I was invited to give a few lectures at two organizations’ events the past two months; one was in Mentone, California and the other in Dearborn, Michigan.
The retreat in Mentone was hosted at a Christian campsite that they graciously allowed the organization to rent. California has received a good bit of rain after a long drought; we had a light drizzle the entire time I was there which actually enhanced the beauty of the mountains.
Notice the red of the wood
7 a.m. hike after morning prayer in the mountains
This past weekend I was invited to Dearborn to give a short talk and lead a discussion on the role of silence in our lives as religious people; I spoke about the importance of minimizing the bleeps and bloops of internet notifications and getting back to focus on books and self-reflection.
A few friends from out of town flew in and made a weekend of the event. Dearborn is well known for its halal food options (the Muslim analogue to Kosher slaughter). We went to a really cool burger place the serves burgers, brisket, and hot-dogs and focuses on grass-fed and organic meats; right up my alley.
We also visited a great Japanese restaurant and a restaurant that served kibbeh niyyeh, Levant-style steak tartare that includes a pleasant array of spices.