This is Lake Fulmore, about 10 miles east of Idyllwild--a favorite spot of mine. My family often camped in Idyllwild and when my grandkids were toddlers, I took them fishing at Lake Fulmore. Photo courtesy of Gina Campground.
There is a place calling to me in Idyllwild, CA, nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains, called Colombiere Center, a retreat for transforming consciousness. (Since this original post, Colombiere Center has become Spirit Mountain Retreat. Francis Rothluebber still lives in Idyllwild, by the way, but you can find her through Spirit Mountain Retreat.) I have not yet visited there, but hopefully soon will. I was deeply influenced by Lee Coit’s profound little book “Listening” in the early 1990s, but I admit that I often resist “listening,” and Colombiere Center is no longer whispering to me--it's gently shouting at me.
The center was founded in the 1970s in Wisconsin the website says, but in 1985, Francis Rothluebber, MA moved it to Idyllwild and is its current co-director. A former educator/administrator, Francis has written extensively and has just published a new book “The “Upstart Spring: An Experience in Evolutionary Spirituality,” which I will order today. A student of Carl Rogers and Carl Jung, as well as Sri Auribindo, Francis equates spirituality with many of the thoughts and writings of people who have influenced me. Esther Kennedy, MA, LCSW, joined as co-director of Colombiere in 2002. She is an Adrian Dominican sister and recently served as associate director at Weber Retreat Center in Adrian, Michigan. She has a gift of blending the beliefs of Christianity with the teachings of the East and traveled extensively in the East in the 1990s.
Colombiere’s vision on their website states that it embraces a new paradigm in spirituality occurring today across the world, shifts the emphasis on alienation from God, from each other, from ourselves, from the earth toward a conscious return to original unity. It offers a new vision of the human family entering the next phase of evolution, a movement from separation to unity and harmony. Participation in the movement touches the ache in many to live more aware, more in genuine freedom and peace within. Finding the way from living as a separated ego to emerging into a presence of Divine Consciousness is the evolutionary call of our time.
I truly ache to find out more about Colombiere, Francis and Esther and the workshops and space they make available for retreatants. My art heroine Seena Frost taught Soul Collage there in the spring, which I missed, but it was Seena who first mentioned Colombiere Center to me. I just love the synchronicities in our lives—we just have to listen. I have visited many large and small retreat centers across the country, but I’m always looking for new ones. Which are your favorites or ones you have heard about but haven’t gone to yet?