Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Featured Book for February 2022

The Wild Land Within: Cultivating Wholeness through Spiritual Practice

by Lisa Colón DeLay

Video Conversation

Audio Recording

Additional Author Links

Community Questions


The Wilds Within, Beginning Our Journey Reflection Questions from Claudia Love Mair to help guide your reading
  1. If you've ever tried a spiritual practice that didn't seem to work, what feelings did this experience bring up for you? ( p. 3) Please share in the comments.
  2. Lisa writes that when we travel to unknown places, wise guides are essential. Of the spiritual teachers listed on page five, some of whose work we have explored here, in the Lift Every Voice book club, whose work have you read, and what benefits did you find engaging in the spiritual practices they recommend? Please share in the comments.
  3. Now that we have discovered our guides, been introduced to the Johari Window, and reviewed the four soils parable recorded in scripture, answer the five Quaker Queries on page 18, and share your thoughts about embarking on this journey in the comments.


Maps of Old: Learning from Ancient Christian Spiritualities, Climate as Context: Centering Marginalized Voices, and Chasms Within: Naming Our Wounds Reflection Questions from Claudia Love Mair to help guide your reading
  1. What insights did you discover while reading about Ancient Christianity and Eastern Christian spirituality, which Lisa wrote about in chapter 2? (pages 19-27) Please share in the comments.
  2. Who and/or what are your personal influences, and how have you engaged with BILPOC--Americans of African descent, Indigenous, Latinx (Latina/o), and other persons of color who appear to be nonwhite--in your spiritual journey? Please share in the comments.
  3. On page 64 Lisa writes that the interior world of each person has three ravines--core wounds--with which to contend. In the comments, if you are comfortable, please share one of your core wounds, and the kind of support system you've had or will consider having, to help you process it.


Weather Fronts: Witnessing Our Afflicting Thoughts, Still Waters: Opening Ourselves within Prayer, Predators and Prey: Befriending Our Fears, Reflection Questions from Claudia Love Mair to help guide your reading
  1. On page 77 Lisa writes that to start healing from core wounds, begin to feel reconnected with your bodily senses. In the comments, please name one practice you've utilized to begin to take notice of your body?
  2. On page 111 Lisa writes that the Irish word for contemplation means "on the edge of waiting." She mentions fully settling into a posture of stillness, solitude, and silence, to direct us to the tender affection of the Shepherd within our inner landscape. Read the section on dealing with distractions on page 118, then try the Jesus Prayer or Centering Prayer in chapter six, and share your experience in the comments.
  3. After you read chapter seven, reflect on what it's like to approach what Lisa describes as the feral, wary tendencies in yourself. Please share any insights you receive in the comments.


Fire Bogs: Trekking through Trauma and Loss, and At Home Within: Grounding Ourselves in Divine Love Reflection Questions from Claudia Love Mair to help guide your reading
  1. In Chapter 8 on Fire Bogs, Lisa describes the Tulsa massacre and asks us to look at collective trauma and “a spirituality sturdy enough to sustain people In dire times.” How does contemplative practice and spirituality sustain us through things like the pandemic and climate crisis?
  2. Chapter 8 also looks at how we can experience communal trauma after tragic events, such as the Tulsa Masacre. (p.149-151) What tragedy in a marginalized community, such as the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, deeply affected you? Please share in the comments.
  3. Chapter 9 encourages us to ground ourselves in Divine Love, emphasizing the importance of soul care, finding social support, and rooting actions in spiritual formation. Read the pledge to the nonviolent movement (ten commandments) on page 176. Which practices are you drawn to? Which feel like they could be challenging for you to commit to? Please share in the comments.