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Iconic Sign Finds New Home at Center

The next time you visit the Center, you will find it hard to miss a familiar sight hanging in the main hallway.  Those who have attended a Snowmass retreat will recognize the large, brown wooden sign reading, "St. Benedict Monastery."  It is the original sign that formerly sat at the intersection leading to the monastery in Snowmass.  The sign had been there for going on 50 years until replaced by a new one about 15 years ago.

The old sign was a gift from a Carbondale woman who was given it by the contractors who installed the new one for the monastery.  She had no use for the sign and had it delivered to the Center last December.  For a while we had it in our mdeitation garden outdoors, but we've decided to hang it prominently in the hall leading to our classrooms for all to see.  We hope its presence serves as a reminder of our close spiritual relationship with St. Benedict's where Father Thomas Keating resides.

Monastery Sign

Category: Articles
                              Starry Night                     
Dying is a Total Transformation

By Tara Steckler

(This is Tara's reflection following her near death experience.)

     My memory of heaven is stuck in my mind. I have gone over it again and again trying to come up with the perfect description of this exquisite experience, but every time I find myself with no words. Because there are no words to explain this magnificent place we call  heaven. I have shared this experience with the people in my life. Yesterday, my daughter-in-law gave me a word that I need to focus on. That word is transformation. Heaven was an encompassing transformation and that realization was big, an “ah-ha   moment,” for me. Every part of me – my mind, body, soul and consciousness – was  transformed in His presence.

     All of the “junk” that we carry day in and day out vanishes. Our feelings and thoughts change. It isn’t as if we are in a wonderful place with wonderful surroundings; we become wonderful. We change into this place, and this place is love. His spirit consumes us and His spirit is love. We are free with no bindings, no human condition, no demon thoughts, no flesh but only spirit. This divine love is unbelievable. The sensations of peace, serenity and calmness are spectacular as they consume us. I can assure you that we don’t want to leave this place. It is beyond any expectation our minds could ever imagine but at the same time so warm and familiar that it is as if we have arrived home; this is our perfect, permanent home. We go from body to spirit, being in divine consciousness, union – transformed with the essence of love both masculine and feminine. I believe that in death we all experience this transformation in consciousness. I like what Pope John Paul II said that Heaven and Hell were primarily eternal states of consciousness more than geographical places of later reward and punishment.


Category: Articles

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