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C. Shaffia Laue, M.D.
Holistic Psychiatry

A HEALING RETREAT
As experienced by C. Shaffia Laue MD

I chose to take a silent healing retreat led by Devi Tide of the Sufi Healing Order in order to take a break from everyday life and rejuvenate myself. The location was in Upstate New York in the Berkshire Mts., a welcome relief from Kansas summer heat. Since I tend to push myself at whatever I endeavor, I also choose to see if I could have fun and relax!

Early in the retreat I was on a small dirt road under a forest canopy and looked up to see the light coming through the leaves in a most inspiring way. I happened to have my camera, and so the adventure began. When I downloaded the shots that evening, I was so taken by the images that had been captured that I decided to take more pictures as a “study in green,” looking for shades of green and textures in green.

The retreat process is often “alchemical,” the process of change and metamorphosis occur in ways that surprise and inspire one to keep moving. Within that caldron of change, one is often examining opposites: light and darkness and the many ways that they appear. So my adventure unfolded to look for light and shadow; contrasts and melding of contrasts. A magical spider web appeared, three-dimensional, glistening in the light. When I saw the images later that day, I was taken aback by one picture that was full of rainbows. Another riddle on the path, no matter what we think we are looking at, it may appear different to another eye or the eye of the camera! A friend asked me to witness a healing ritual. The camera recorded her placing her hand in the waterfall and filled her hand with light! One leaf in direct sun may appear to be lemon yellow and another leaf just inches away in shadow will appear to be deep forest green.

Devi encouraged us to “write letters to ourselves,” to help us remember the non-physical places we had visited while on retreat, to help us “remember” when we returned to the busyness of life, the state of Being when we allowed ourselves to feel closer to the Divine Presence which always surrounds us. I began to put my images into a “slide show” and put Healing Piano music by Akbar Manolson in the background, and then realized that rather than a diversion, I had created a “letter to myself” that was so much more than I had first thought or intended.

I share this letter with you. Please allow yourself 16 minutes to relax and enjoy this communion with the Divine Presence. This Quicktime MP4 is 37mb in size, so I suggest that you save it to your computer for a better experience. Thank you!

About the Music: The CD...HEALING PIANO: The Aramaic Prayer - music to energize & restore balance is available for purchase online at a number of quality online stores including: CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, CDnow.com, and many more. The music from the CD is available for download at: MP3.com and other digital download sites.

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Updated 11/18/13