Nov. 25: Jennifer Ladd of the Temenos Retreat Center

posted Dec 8, 2014, 11:33 PM by Amherst Club   [ updated Dec 8, 2014, 11:41 PM ]
President Roger Webb  called the meeting of the Amherst Club to order at noon on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014, and welcomed us all.

Tina Berins brought the good news that Isaac BenEzra is now home from rehab, and is very grateful for the cards and good wishes he received. See below under Announcements for a celebration in his honor.

Raffle: Jacquie Price won the wine and Bonnie Isman the $10.    


The last performances this fall of the Eric Carle Museum Picture Book Theatre, directed by Therese Brady Donohue, will be presented on Friday Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. and Sat. Nov. 29 at  3p.m. Tickets available at least one day in advance for $6 at 413-658-1126.

If you are shopping at Barnes and Noble on Saturday, Nov. 29th,  please  tell the cashier that you are a supporter of the Jones Library so that 10% of your purchase will go to help the library.

Isaac BenEzra will be honored in the Town Room of the Amherst Town Hall on Thursday, Dec. 11th from 4:30-6 p.m. The town is celebrating his 18 years of service to Amherst Community Television (ACTV), where in addition to producing his own show he was on the board for 9 years.

Ruth Miller whetted our appetites with information on a brunch outing on Sunday, Feb. 8th, to the Griswold Inn, Essex CT. This is the oldest continuously operating inn in the country, open since the late eighteenth century in the quaint town of Essex. Ruth proposes a nearby concert after brunch. For more information, call her at 253-9855 or


Honore David evoked her childhood in Mexico, where her father was a metallurgical engineer running a business started by the New York Guggenheim family as a silver mine a few miles from the town of Charcas in central Mexico, high up in mountains close to the Tropic of Cancer. There was no highway to Charcas, and the train ran near the town but did not stop there, so people took the train and jumped off when they wanted to visit.  Honore was home schooled until she was twelve, when she went off to boarding school in San Antonio. The family lived in a fenced and guarded American colony but were friendly with the nearby townspeople and their mayor, a Yale graduate. Honore’s mother loved gardening, with help from a local gardener. One day the mayor brought a gift of some large plants with beautiful blue flowers which they planted prominently in a flower bed. Unfortunately, these pretty flowers were marijuana, which the mayor was selling in the U.S.!  Once discovered, they were torn out of the garden, but not before Honore saved quite a few leaves pressed in a book. After this episode, each time they crossed the border into the U.S. their luggage was given a very thorough going over by American customs. Of course, nothing happened to the mayor!


Claude Tellier introduced our speaker, Jennifer Ladd of the Temenos Retreat Center on Mount Mineral Road in Shutesbury.  Their web site explains that the name Temenos is a Greek word meaning the sacred space surrounding a temple or an altar.  Carl Jung used this same word to refer to one’s interior space, where soul-making takes place. Many guests visit first as hikers exploring the trails on the mountain side. With a doctorate in international education, Jennifer Ladd first visited Temenos in 1990. Jennifer is now on the Temenos Council, their governing board. The retreat center is non-profit and non-denominational, very ecologically aware, and determined to tread lightly on the earth. There is no electricity or plumbing, Heating  is by wood stove, and there are outhouses instead of bathrooms. Retreatants and other guests stay in either the main lodge or one of a number of cabins, all of which are simply furnished. A variety of guests stay at Temenos, including families, religious groups, and others eager to experience the simplicity, silence and beauty of nature on this mountainside.  The fees are very modest, and on a sliding scale so that guests may pay whatever on the scale is comfortable for them. Volunteer donations and labor make up for any shortfall they may experience financially.  Volunteer helpers and workers are always welcome: see the web site or call 413-367-9779.

Your scribe,                                                                                                                                                    Linda Honan