Friday, October 23, 2009

(1) A New Milieu

Being "retired" is a whole new situation. Naturally, I didn't feel
as pressured. Being financially secure helped me over the
hump as well. I did join the analyst's group at the Santa Fe
Jung Institute. This meant that I could get my hand-in once in
awhile, when it came to presenting a lecture for the students.
I didn't want to slide into a full-time teaching position, however.

I circulated around the various Santa Fe counseling facilities,
some pastoral, some ecumenical, some even New Age. These
places kind of reflected Santa Fe at-large. It was a fascinating
city, in that lots of fabulously well-off actors, artists, writers, etc.,
were slipping into the city and its immediate environs. Just as
I was putting-down stakes, so it seemed that Santa Fe was
becoming the place to be! Need I say that I enjoyed the

No longer responsible for analysands, I felt free to pitch into
these various activities. Little over a year, I found that my
plate was fairly full. Mainly I lectured, but also I was beginning
to offer Jungian seminars at all the facilities around town.
After awhile I had become well-known when it came to my
spiritually-directed offerings. And I was reaching many, many
people! Finally, I was getting into what I had longed to do.
Fortune was with me as I integrated my knowledge-base
into my presentations.

There was still one loose end. I had put off contacting the
Benedictine monastery near Pecos. It was a charismatic
Catholic community, and I really didn't know what to expect.
Was it fundamentalist, evangelical? Not really knowing, I
decided to stay clear. But, again, Fate plays tricks. At one
of my seminars I was approached by a very knowledgeable
woman. She introduced herself, having once been a nun
at this double-monastery. I didn't even know they had women
there. Only a few now, and only a few monks as well.

She provided more detail about this monastery. For years
they have mixed Jungian psychology into their retreat
offerings. And they really focused on Jung in their Spiritual
Direction School. I mentioned that I had gone through such
a program at the Shalem Institute. She was well aware of
the institute. In turn she invited me to come and visit the
monastery and talk to some of the people who ran their
school at Pecos.

So we both drove over to the monastery. At first I was kind
of shocked with the place. The small monastery was housed
in a dusty looking building, once an old dude ranch. But it
was really a busy place--full of spiritual retreat visitors. Indeed,
these retreats went on nearly non-stop. It was how the monks
made a living. But few of the monastics were qualified to
present Jungian teachings in any depth at their school, so the
monastery really depended on acquiring Jungian professionals.
After a short talk with the school's director, I was "hired" then
and there!

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