Recently I had the remarkable chance to stay at the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California. I was more than ready for a break from the day to day and a weekend of silence, contemplation, chants, ocean, forest (and God) sounded perfect! The New Camaldoli Hermitage is situated in the rugged coastal mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Located on 899 acres at an elevation of 1300 feet, the Hermitage is surrounded by California chaparral, redwood, madrone, bay laurel, and an oak forest. The view is of both ocean and woods – a natural setting profoundly conducive to the contemplative way of life. via www.contemplation.com
I am excited to share the photos of The New Camaldoli Hermitage with you. I’m not sure you can get much closer to God than a rainbow in the middle of the ocean on a sunny day. Actually the Hermitage seems as if it is half way to heaven. The fog even stopped before it reached the place. I was extremely touched by the chants of prayer and by the kindness of the Monks. I invite you to learn more about them at www.contemplation.com and support them if you have the means.
Saint Romuald’s Brief Rule: Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish. The path you must follow is in the Psalms—never leave it. If you have just come to the monastery, and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want, take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart and to understand them with your mind. And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up; hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more. Realize above all that you are in God’s presence, and stand there with the attitude of one who stands before the emperor. Empty yourself completely and sit waiting, content with the grace of God, like the chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing but what his mother brings him.