Count Me In!

Great Swan for sendingGreat Swan Peace Cathedral is hovering in my consciousness constantly now. Who will help? How to do each little element that has to happen? Daily calls and discussions….looking for the right skills, the right people who will respect  the deeper nature of this work.

Much is unfolding. People connections of all are happening. Deeply good people are helping already in related ways. Inspirations flow with an uncommon effulgence accompanied by profound Joy, and thus the vision of Great Swan grows more full and clear in my consciousness.

 

I have shared a simple story of how Great Swan came as a calling to me with many. It is now a web page of its own with a detailed version of the story.  Construction will begin in a few short weeks! There will be tons of welding of metal art for it. and months mosaic stained glass windows to make. Yes, a good start has been made on the metal. Those are details of finished metal in the plan you see. But oh, so much more is yet to be made! I feel the aging of my body, its struggles and the great demands it carries already. I have to constantly go beyond fears and limitations in mind and body, as does Loren…daily. The financial means to cover this also have to come. This is a fearful undertaking were it not for the surrender of all in Trust I practice. This is a great Leap of Faith, the Holy Jumping Off Place for me.

MetalHymnOnSiteAnd then there are these magical moments of providence. Mike is one of those neighbors amongst several of us that weld art. I have been telling him about Great Swan for quite a while. Today, he suddenly GOT IT, that this was something pretty BIG in many more ways than one, something that he HAD to be part of. “Count me in!” he said, “especially when it comes to the art welding”. You have to know what music this was to my ears!

Actually Mike taught me to weld on Metal Hymn, my 2nd welding project. He helped sooooooooooooo much! He earned our love and gratitude forever.

Metal Hymn w mosaic thru BlanketThen when the lady of his life first came to Dandelion and saw Metal Hymn, she announced that was where she wanted to get married, not even knowing the big part Mike played in it. And so they were married in the place Mike had worked so hard to help create….One of those special little miracles that just keep happening for people who volunteer on Dandelion. (Oh, so many sweet stories flood my mind of the wonderful things that have come to volunteers on or shortly after their time on Dandelion).

 

 

 

 

 

Frog Pond becomes Sea of Infinity

MetalHymn Thru GateThis title may sound like one of those frog-to-prince or ugly duckling-to-swan fairy tales. But it was beyond any fairy tale I heard as a child, beyond my imagination.

It happened one unusual morning on Dandelion Farm…..Well, really it didn’t start that very day. It began a couple weeks earlier when I signed up to go on retreat  on the Mountain of Attention Sanctuary. It was a  summer in the early ’80’s. And I was excitedly headed for an ecstatic retreat in the Company of Adi Da Samraj, so I thought.

But as I arrived and settled in on the first day, word came that He was LEAVING! And sadly, He did that indeed, quite soon thereafter. I was in “Great Food Dish” as He walked, staff in hand, up the stairs and past the windows, allowing those inside to see Him pass by as a farewell gift to us all. He stopped in front of 7th Gate on the path and leaned over to kiss little Naamleela good-bye for the time and walked out of sight.

Da early 80sSo began my 2 weeks of retreat. There had been so many retreatants before. But suddenly the flood of people from around the globe onto retreat in His Company had withered down to three die-hards…myself amongst them. Instead of a large, passionate group  to share meditation and the long, long “full cycle of devotion” formal recitations and chanting  every afternoon, there were 3 of us alone together. Chanting with out accompaniment with non musical types? You have to have done it to appreciate this unique form of torture.

We were as dry as the dearth of devotees. I felt unusually incapacitated in my feelings and in my practice altogether the whole retreat. This is to say it was utterly, painfully BORING. There was nowhere to run from this pain of boredom, other than the devices of a real beginner’s mind…Talk of PAIN! But with no place to run I struggled and persisted all the way through the 2 weeks of minor hell, feeling it was all such a waste of time!

Back home on Dandelion Farm, I was much relieved to simply walk in nature again, contemplating in my heart with a slowly resurfacing feeling ability…Yes, I was beginning to  slowly, for some mysterious reason,  be able to feel again. I noticed the peace of nature and the sun shining a bit brighter than usual…ahhhhhhhhhh, nature, what a relief!

I enjoyed my relaxed walks a couple more days. Then I headed for the irrigation pond to lap up a bit more of that wonderfully bright sun, swimming leisurely for a bit before rolling over onto my back to bask in the sun as I floated on the still waters.

Instantly my mind fell away as brightness overwhelmed all. But as that wash of brightness swept me away, for an instant I was a lotus flower unfurloughing all the petals of my being outward from the flower’s core, out in unfettered love of that brightness upon the waters. No self…… drifted deep away…no time….nothing…..but at some level of unthinking awareness there was the most exquisite, pervasive, delicious, heart deep and cellular PLEASURE.

Lake of Dreams CurtisI became fully aware of that unknowable land only as it quickly vanished with the words of my returning mind, “Is it right to feel such PLEASURE?” Those words arose clearly to even my mind like the ugly blight they were. a pestilence upon a space exquisite beyond description.

But I did quickly recognize that this was a Blessed Gift after a difficult retreat. I could only marvel that Adi Da had been able to give this in spite of my devotional incapacity and beginner’s unpreparedness, and with so little time before He left. Clearly I placed all kinds of limiting presumptions on Him that this tampered with. Such sudden and stark high-lighting of my limited presumptions has, more than once, thrown me into unknowing awe!

Cloud of Unknowing gate bg
Cloud of Unknowing gate on Dandelion was named after a 14th century book by an anonymous Christian mystic. The experience of “unknowing” has come and relieved my being like a descending peace dove over a battlefield. There were times it was so blatant as to remain etched in memory forever, and other countless times when as it became a door to heart meditation. Perhaps I will share some of those stories too…the most special ones… after you have tread in the shoes of my mind a bit further.

Unknowing and drifting in the “Sea of Infinity”. That is Where I drifted that day. That became the name of Dandelion’s first pond. Most of the time this is a froggy, fishy little watery place of grasses and weeds and critters coming to drink or fly around. But it is to me always, truly, a different bliss and Light filled Reality, the Sea of Infinity.

And thus a little prayer arose: “Ah, Love, Let it be that You and I may fly as One, beyond the sun and through the Sea of Infinity….And thus also, a theme I began to make in jewelry… fanciful versions of a woman swept away in Love.

fly