E-Newsletter from Nate Bettger Vol 1 No 3
Dear Friends,
My anticipation has been rising in leaps and bounds for our upcoming Modern Monk Retreat at Breitenbush hot springs (October 26-28). If only my spiritual life was growing and expanding at such a rapid pace. I have been contemplating a possible slogan for our retreat. "Modern Monk - I'm not so good at this and so can you!" And isn't this the case for so many of us? Yes, we have our shining days, but so often we just feel like we aren't quite cutting it.

The answer that I have been hearing so clearly from Spirit these days is how little performance really matters compared to my desire. It is desire that  the divine wants from us, not performance. So I ask myself daily, what do I really want? What do the things I say, the way I spend my time, the things I put in my body say about what I want? I hope to ask this every day of my life... and at least be honest when maybe I don't want to be so disciplined or pray right now. What do you want? A good question for the modern monk.

The other thing I have really been led to by the Spirit lately is gratitude. My family and I have started to go to church this last month... WHAT?!? Church? It's been a long time, but I am seeing that sometimes gratitude and worship of the Creator can be the last rope to hang on to when things get shaky. If we can't express gratitude, I am quite confident that we are far too attached to our own wish for control or our own self focus. 

I would love so much to see you all at our Modern Monk retreat. Please do consider it and know that it will be an inspirational and refreshing weekend. In the meantime, enjoy the articles and links below. They have been challenging and special to me this last month. 

Gratitude and grace to you and for you. 
You are all in my prayers, 
Nate
What Does Presence Look Like?
 
I find this article to be profound and inspirational. So often we talk about how important it is to be present... to ourselves, to others, to the voice of the spirit. But what does that really mean, and what does presence look like compared to what we experience from the rest of Western civilization? 
 
The Difference between a Spiritual Director and Spiritual Friend
 
Theresa Blythe is a very good resource  in clarifying the spiritual direction relationship and experience. 
 
Many of have found it helpful to have spiritual companions and friends on our journey. This is so important and yet, spiritual direction is a different kind of relationship. 
 
I invite you to read this article for more clarification. "Spiritual Direction vs. Spiritual Friend."
What good is certainty anyway?

This article, A Case for Certainty, is such a relevant perspective in our contemporary celebration of mystery and aversion to easy answers. Some of you may be familiar with the author, Andrew Cohen, who is a long time spiritual teacher of enlightenment. 

I am struck by Cohen's wisdom and fair embrace not only of mystery and unknowing but also of certainty... a welcome perspective from one who is balanced and accepting of many paths. 
Video inspiration...

Rainer Maria Rilke writes, "Try to love the questions themselves... Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now."

Love the questions... live in curiosity. Enjoy this joyful video!
The Future Belongs to the Curious
monkThe Way of the Modern Monk
I would love to see you at our retreat October 26-28 at Breitenbush. It really feels like the beginning of something significant. Transition happens, whether we like it or not, and every once in a while something comes along that gives us some really good tools to navigate it. The essence of the Modern Monk is that we each have what it takes to live our busy and full lives with an intentional and transformational spiritual practice. We want to give you tools to do that.

 

If you haven't been to Breitenbush, just being here will change your life. Beautifully crafted natural hot spring pools, lush hiking trails, and some of the best buffet style vegan meals I have ever tasted! The early bird price is $260-290. This includes lodging, 6 meals, and a guided weekend of reflection, yoga, and discovery. Here is the link to sign up. 

 

By the way, kids are more than welcome!

FURTHER CONVERSATION?
As always, I welcome your reflections and thoughts. 

If you would like more information on spiritual direction, please follow the links on the right to my website. It would be such a gift to sit with you and hear your story.

If you know of anyone who would like support on their journey of discovery and spiritual connection, please forward this email to them. 
 
From what I'm Reading...
"Princeton theologian Cornell West considers the father crisis a crisis in long-term and faithful commitment [with these three issues]: economic, for without job stability, insecurity and anxiety take over relationships. Political, since weak and feeble community support is demoralizing. Personal. Our society is, he says, 'losing the art of intimacy... the courage to be vulnerable and to accent longevity in your relationship... It takes time to be able to really be vulnerable... One of the things about folks in the past, they weren't perfect, but they knew they were in this thing together... You've got to work some things through. That's how intimacy is cultivated.'" 
Links to my site




I'm always looking for material...
If you have any articles that you have found interesting, photos that have spoken to you, or things you have written, let me know. Also any events that might support one's spiritual journey... pass them along. 

I will consider them in the newsletter.