I am sitting in a room at the Mt Laurel Extendedstay, enjoying the in room WiFi that I'm hoping will allow me to catch up on blog entries and other writing projects that have been getting put off in favor of more immediate (read urgent rather than important) and more enjoyable (Couch of happiness with Patricia.) pursuits.
So - what's been keeping me so busy?
The weekend before last I had promised Patricia - my Lovely & Talented wife - that I would pull out the honeysuckle shrubs beside the garage and replace them with a terraced rock wall. It all sounded relatively simple until I actually started getting my hands dirty. It wound up taking pretty much the whole weekend and allowed me a preview of heavy lifting that will no doubt be coming when we get further along with the Stone Circle at hope Springs. (More of that later) I did manage to get it done and even had the leisure of contemplating the ironic act of removing one set of "decorative" plants to make way for another. This led to the following poem.
skin on my hands
as I wrangle rough stones
stacking a wall
between dirt and more dirt
building good boundaries
for new plants
to reach beyond
I carry the old ones away
they have overgrown their welcome
and now I must pry
their adventurous roots
from between buried rocks and
send them on their way
The rest of the week was filled with clients, preparation for the annual Sheya Retreat and other projects - and almost at the last minute, creating the promotional post card for the 2009 LumensGate.
This is a labour of love - and one of those times that I actually get to make some use of my years of art training. I like the outcome, though I might still tweak it a bit before printing up more of them. But the important things was to get them done in time for the Sheya Retreat this past weekend, so that the Sheya from other regions could take some back with them.
For those of you who don't already know - LumensGate is one of the best-kept secrets of the spiritual community. Mind you, we aren't TRYING to keep the secret. It's just that we have a hard to getting it out - so feel free to spread the word. LumensGate is definitely ready for prime time. After 18 years of experience, this is the premier ritual event in the United States. (and possibly the rest of the world, but I haven't checked, so I'll hold off on that claim.) The problem is - there are not a lot of others competing for the accolade, so it often falls on deaf ears.
So let me tell you a little about what LumensGate is. From the time people begin arriving on the land, the sense of shared consciousness begins to grow and deepen. With the opening ritual - the lighting of the sacred fire and the formal connection of all our hearts and souls to the One Center - we enter into a shared experience of spiritual awakening and transformation. The personal interactions with others of like-mind and similar spirit add spice to the work of preparing the participants for the impact of the ritual cycle. Evenings at the hot tub or around the heart fire deepen the sense of shared joy and openness. Daily meditation and yoga help to bring bodies, minds and spirits into union, and the food at Hope Springs nourishes the palate as well as the body. Essentially everything that happens - both planned and not planned - contributes to the gentle movement toward the ritual climax - usually on Friday evening.
After the main ritual, we begin the process of integration - gently welcoming the changes into our lives; acknowledging what has been released and making room for the new energies and awareness. This continues through Saturday evening, when the feast and bardic circle provide opportunities for all those gathered to share their own creative expressions in the loving and warm embrace of this community that has become "home" in such a short time. The closing ritual is followed by tearful farewells and many long hugs. And the community continues throughout the year, as we look forward to the next opportunity to meet in person; welcome new faces; and join hands and hearts around the fire once again.
For anyone interested, we do have a LumensGate FaceBook group - as well as our own website: lumensgate.org.
The Sheya retreat - taking place at Hope Springs as well - is a smaller gathering of folks, sharing the transformative path of soul awakening and growth. The retreat went very well this year . It was great to have both longtime Sheya and newly "hatched" ones, with many in between.
It was especially sweet to gather around the table at meals and share the wonderful food and company, swapping stories, telling jokes and remembering those who not able to join us this year.
So - here I am in New Jersey - catching up with my writing and deepening my Tai Chi practice with the amazing Master Ting.
I drove directly from the airport to the Tai Chi class last night, arriving just a little late, but very happy to be able to finish an otherwise exhausting day with some movement of my body and chi.