My thoughts after the first two weeks in our new community,
the Lost Valley Education Center
What the ancients say: There is a power that brings forms into existence, sustains them for a certain period and then destroys them. It is this first principle possessing various powers: pictures of name and form, the person who sees, the light by which he sees and the screen upon which he sees. He himself is all of these. A peaceful and orderly life is needed for this realization. Some power acts through his body and uses his body to get the work done to make life peaceful and orderly.
This mysterious power that cannot be named takes care of all its creations. This means all that is needed to sustain them and foster their growth on all levels. It also means that it does what is required to de-compose and de-generate each form when its cycle of being a vehicle to burn vital energy is nearing its end.
On the level of human perception I my case, I do increasingly have the feeling of ‘some power acting through my body and using my body to get the work done’. I also see how the entire community can be perceived in this way. People are going about their activities and the work gets done to a certain extent very unhurriedly and deliberately.
I see that I have moved/been moved from living situation to living situation with great skill so as to allow me to be in learning situations most suitable for me. What am I learning? To be more understanding, compassionate and loving of myself, other living beings and all physical surroundings in my vicinity. I am learning to recognize all movements of the limited self (ego) that tend to cloud things and prevent the smoothest energy flow in all interactions and tasks. I am learning how to care for myself, other living beings and all physical surroundings in the most effective way. It may be that someone needs to be heard or something needs physical care as in repair or cleaning. Sometimes words spoken at the right time are called for.
For me this is a process of opening up to the voice of ‘intelligent energy’ that pervades all of existence so that I act in the interest of and in alignment with the greatest good for all. In this current life situation I needed to care for my own shelter, food and clothing – the basics. The Lost Valley Community showed up as a way to do that. It also showed up as a place of learning that is most suitable to my needs since I learn so much through living day to day in relationship with others, coupled with my own contemplation on these myriad interactions. Just sitting in my meditation/contemplation does not present me with the required catalysts for my inner growth.
This community is also a place where I can contribute on several levels to the survival and thriving of this social organism:
- paying rent
- paying for meals
- working in the kitchen
- maintaining the cleanliness and upkeep in the lower large dorm area
- the same in the guest kitchen
- volunteering my services wherever I see I can be of help
I am available for work parties of any kind and keep my eyes open for any other opportunities to ‘pick up the slack’ such as when the person who keeps the lodge fire burning had to suddenly leave so I stocked the wood supply for the lodge, just as an example.
I am a teacher by profession and have taught many different subjects over the years. One class that I enjoyed immensely was a meditative-contemplative course on ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz which Alia and I jointly conceived and facilitated a few years ago at our community in Gold Beach, OR.
In the last few days, since the ecstatic dance event here, I have begun to see our interactions with each other as a kind of daily ‘ecstatic dance’, in which each of us is following our own inner song that moves us out of our beds in the morning and through the day to meet our individual needs and, in the course of that, to help meet the needs of this larger social organism. We encounter each other as mostly compatible and even complementary energy streams that then dance with each other for a while. Then we continue on our separate ways for a bit before then encountering each other again later.
One quick example of this: I enter the main kitchen where lunch is being prepared. I want to make a change to the schedule hanging there. Today’s cook is on his way out with a big pot for the table. I swivel aside as his current smoothly and purposefully glides quickly by and out of the kitchen.
In that moment I experience the bliss, the ecstasy of living and moving together in mindfulness, understanding and caring – yes, in a dance.
I see now why I was drawn here.