Experiencing the Present Moment at Camp Creative Thunder


Over that past few days I have been detailing my road trip adventure across the United States from Virginia to New Mexico with my husband, Rick. In my last piece I talked about arriving to the Mable Dodge Luhan House historic hotel just in time for the beginning of our retreat, Camp Creative Thunder in Taos, New Mexico. Now, let me pick up where I left off as I describe every detail of our retreat.

We quickly unloaded our faithful and steadfast Ford Explorer as it got us to our destination safely on our spare tire and missing a front left turn signal with no further mishaps or incidents. Our room at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House was just as I pictured it with an exposed brick wall and built in fireplace. Rick and I made haste as we changed clothes and freshened up for our evening repast. The dining hall was in the main lodge, which was a short hike up the hill. Our meal included chicken enchiladas with summer squash, corn & rice, and a mixed Vera Cruz greens salad. A decadent chocolate torte cake was for dessert. I only indulged in a couple of bites from Rick’s portion.

At around 7:30 p.m. all the Camp Creative Thunder participants met for a brief get-together at the classroom at the Juniper house, which happened to be where our room was located. There was a total of 12 of us including Jill Badonsky… a nice even dozen creative spirits. Jill invited us to be in “The Present Moment” with a meditative experience in which we closed our eyes and mindfully breathed. Jill then had us move outdoors to be authentically mindful and present to the mesmerizing environment on the edge of the desert adjacent to the mountains. She wanted us to fully experience and capture the enchanted essence of Mabel’s grounds and of Taos.

After we seized the moment, we came back into the classroom to share as we introduced ourselves to each other. Each of us had similar yet very different experiences as we described what we felt, heard, smelled, and encountered. For some it was the wafting of the gentle breeze through their hair, or the hint of fragrance from the surrounding vegetation, or the mellow birdsong in the distance as the sun began to set, or just feeling supported by the stone pathway and earth under their feet. No matter what we seized from our mindful moment, the common feature among us was the serenity and calmness we each experienced.

I learned that everyone at the retreat flew into New Mexico except Rick and I. Most of the campers flew into Albuquerque, one of them flew into Santa Fe. And, then most of them rented cars to drive the 2 to 3 hours to get to Taos. Jill, Denise, Robin, and Tracy flew in from California; Judy came in from Hawaii; Rebecca came in from Texas; Sandi flew from Alabama; Ellen came from South Carolina; and Shannon came from Florida. The whole opening ritual was a blissful experience grounded in experiencing “the Present Moment” and it was a lovely ending to a very active day. We all looked forward to a good night’s rest and sweet dreams. Tomorrow I will share more of the events of Camp Creative Thunder and all the wonderful activities we did.

All rights reserved. ©2016 by A. K. Orobko

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