I went down to Madison, Virginia for my second Transormative Writing workshop with Pat McEnulty last week.
I stopped off in DC to see my doctors and friends, especially Randy, my-ex boyfriend. While I was there, we went to a couple of fantastic classes (Vedic Astrology) and workshops (Joy of Now). And, he gave me my long-awaited initiation into dumpster diving. Getting all this gourmet, unspoiled food for free is so freaking awesome. And, I do love a covert operation.
We also spent our second Valentine's Day together, which was unexpectedly pleasant. He built his first fire in the fireplace of the new home, and we sat quietly together in the living room on the futon couch, watching the dazzling, yellow flames. Upscale Retailer was dumping all their flowers, so he sent me off to the workshop with a case of brie and
a case of roses - 12 dozen.
The driveway of Sevenoaks, "Pathwork Way,"is one of my favorite places on the property. Lined on either side with pines, it's a spiritual place of natural power. As usual, when I hit the gravel driveway, I put my car into first gear, open the moonroof and the windows, and breathe in the piney air. "Aho!" I cry." Mitakuye Oyasin!!!! We are all related!" I shout into the forrest and the sky.
I am staying in Lighthouse - the new, round building. In a room with nine beds, there will be four women altogether staying here. I am the first to arrive. I choose the most auspicious bed according to my Feng Shui tradition, and put the linens on the bed. There are five windows in this room, looking out into the forest.
As previously arranged with Karen (the management), I go to the main building to arrange the roses in vases for the weekend. Connie, the kitchen manager, and Gretchen, the facilities manager assist me as I set up water, scissors, and vases. It takes four hours, but I cut all the roses and arrange them into eight vases, and place them around the campus. The rooms and buildings are filled with the scent of roses. I gather the petals that fell into a paper packet, and go back to my room and scatter them all over my bed and my pillows.
I go to Center Building to register for the workshop and pay the balance of the fee. I have dipped into my meager savings to attend this workshop. Pat is a great writer and teacher, and she has conjured my writer's spirit back from the dead. It is good for me to be here.
Although there were eleven of us in the first workshop, there are twenty-two in this one. Wow! Word travels fast. I am anxious to meet my fellow writers.
I have fallen in love with one of the cds that Randy gave me to burn onto my new laptop. Yoga practices and devotion are one of the main things he and I have in common.
They are Kirtan cd's - (India) Indian chanting songs for his Guru, Sri Sri AnandaMurti. The songs are simple and beautiful, filled with devotion to God in the form of the earthly teacher. The CD is called "I am a Little Child," by the Neo-Humanist Foundation. I start to play it when I arrive, and continue all weekend to listen to the vibe of innocent devotion. Finally, it is ten o'clock, Saturday, and the workshop is about to begin. I bought a new journal for this workshop at the Sevenoaks bookstore. It has handmade paper and a beautiful "OM" symbol on the front. I have seen Pat at registration and we exchange a happy hug. The room in which we meet is the one next door to the room I am staying in. My commute is about 15 seconds. Things are so easy and beautiful this weekend.
We do a familiar excercise to get started. We pick a name for ourselves - a metephorical name. I choose, "Awakening Phoenix." That is just the perfect name. Other names are wonderful, too - Salty Popcorn, Happy Stardust, Bold Compass. We are off to a wonderful. Start..
We write all day, and, after a delicious dinner at the Center, we write into the night. After class ends, I am so wired, I can't get to sleep - even though I've taken my medication. I go into our classroom and listen to the Yoga cd and play solitaire and mah jong until I can get to sleep. I do these silly activities because Sevenoaks doesn't have wifi here, so the games and the music are the only things I have access to on the laptop. Finally, like most nights, I finally get so tired that I can't keep my eyes open any longer, and then I can sleep.
I stumble next door to our bedroom, where my three new friends have been asleep for some hours. I prop the door open to let in the anemic light from the hallway so as not to wake them. I settle into my rose covered bed, and say my prayers of gratitude.
One of my neighbors is snoring! I try to sleep for about fifteen minutes, and then laugh at the absurdity of the situation. I take my pillows and covers next door into the classroom, where, inexplicably, a single bed has appeared where where there was none before. Why would anyone need a bed in a classroom? The universe - maybe in the form of Randy's Guru - provides. I settle in and drift off to sleep.
I've got to get up early the next day to teach a Yoga class. It's at 7 am, before breakfast, so I wonder if anyone will even bother to come. I fall asleep with the words of the Kirtan music and the impressions of the faces and the words and the bodies of my workshop mates floating in my consciousness.
"Love you forever, and ever my Lord. I loved you when time began, and I'll love you til it ends." from I'm Just a Little Child by the Neo-Humanist Foundation
“The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because S/He is completely perfect, all emanations, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because S/He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate, S/He remains the complete balance.” (Shri Ishopanishad Invocation)
Om Purnamidam, Purnamidam, Purnat, Purmadiyadatchyate, Purnasya, Purnamadiya, Purnamivavashtitchayate.
Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti! Om! Peace! Peace! Peace!