Pilgrim Path

This blog is the work of a seeker and poet. Walking stick in hand, I head out into the world, not of the world, but in the world. My words and my friends carry me along and light the pilgrim path of spiritual journeys.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The workshop/retreat I attended last week was held at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico and was affiliated with the Casa del Sol, a newly formed Spirituality and Retreat Center.


Casa del Sol is called to be:

A space in which to be still and listen
for the voice of Godthat provides guidance to the spirit.

An open-hearted setting
where seekers find refreshment
and a heightened awareness of the landscape as teacher.

A spot of simplicity and beauty where the heartbeat of Ghost Ranch
is felt along with the presence
of God in all aspects of creation.

A community of all creation,
worshipping God as a prayerful center of Ghost Ranch;
an incubator in the service of God’s creation.

Celebrating Christ and Creation as one,
coming from the heart of God.


On May 3, 2006, Casa del Sol opened as a Spirituality and Retreat Center — a contemplative retreat space in the high desert of Abiquiu, New Mexico. The Rev. Dr. J. Philip Newell is committed to being the resident Companion/Theologian for the Casa del Sol Spirituality and Retreat Center at Ghost Ranch.

J. Philip Newell is a poet, a scholar and a teacher. Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, he is currently Writer/Theologian for The Cathedral of the Isles on Cumbrae. He is internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality, including his best known titles Listening for the Heartbeat of God and his poetic book of prayer Sounds of the Eternal. He is an ordained Church of Scotland minister with a passion for ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. Canadian by birth, he lives in Edinburgh with his family where he undertook his doctoral research in Celtic Christianity. Since then he has played a leading role on both sides of the Atlantic in the re-birthing of a creation spirituality for today. His call is for a future church to return to its basic heritage of finding Christ in Creation.

Ali Newell is a Church of Scotland minister who works as a spiritual advisor for the Ignatian Center of Spirituality in Glasgow. She and Philip have four children and live in Edinburgh.

Together, they teach and hold seminars and is in residence with their family each year during the month of July. They continue to help guide Casa del Sol in listening to the deep spiritual longings of those who journey to the high desert. In this process they are helping to lay the foundation stones for a “community” in the high desert.


Ground of all being,
Mother of Life,
Father of the Universe,
your name is sacred, beyond speaking.
May we know your presence,
may your longings be our longings
in heart and in action.
May there be food for the human family today
and for the whole earth community.
Forgive us the falseness of what we have done
as we forgive those who are untrue to us.
Do not forsake us in our time of conflict
but lead us into new beginnings.
For the light of life, the vitality of life, and the glory of life
are yours now and for ever.

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