Whoops. Left this one in the draft folder…all year.
The weather couldn’t have been better for February. Hundreds of people gathered on the grass north of the ponds to celebrate the idea of peace as a possibility. The one message I got from the event is a movement toward anything starts from the one, our self, moves out to The One, which is everything (including ourself) which is at the same time a move back towards a center or source which is in us. So…one to One to one. All things lead to one place…which encompasses everything, everywhere. So where you want to be is where you’re at, maybe you just haven’t realized and felt it—known it, with certainty. Confused yet? My words are not adequate obviously.
The organizers did a good job of putting together a mix of different spiritual teachers (leaders?) on a theme of the four points of the compass. I can’t recall who exactly was North, South, East or West. But we heard from an Northwest Aboriginal musician, a Peace Troubadour of Franciscan origin, A Sufi master, and a Warrior Shaman. The event was backed by Pepe Danza on drums and opened by Michael Beckwith from the U.S.
The opening musical piece, Amazing Grace, on a wind instrument, natural materials, hesitate to call it a flute was beautiful. He didn’t have a lot to say but did tell a story of his spiritual mentor’s wish for the world, which dang it, I forget already. Should have sat down to write sooner. Oops.
The Peace Troubadour, James Twyman, told a story of being humbled by a situation that he didn’t have an answer to: speaking to members and leaders of warring gang factions in South Africa and leading them in song and prayer as a way of getting around the filters we put up to manage incoming verbiage, then finding among them at least one hardened killer with a desire for change and peace but no idea how to do it.
The Sufi Master explained his tradition in a way that made immediate sense to me. I guess the simple ideas are the easiest to understand. But can I spill it back now in a way that makes sense? No, of course not. But I never understood the whirling practice. He explained it as a form of meditation where you use ‘the whirl’ to focus on the center. Right hand in the air to maintain focus and balance, pivot on the left foot, around and around.
It’s coming back now…maybe. The heart is the sun, the body the earth, and the hand is the moon reflecting back the light from the sun. I gave it a whirl (hmm maybe that’s where the expression arose?) and after a few circuits felt nauseated. Ever since my last major knock on the head, almost ten years ago, and a certain concussion, I’ve been more susceptible to motion sickness. A few spins and whoa! Enough of that for me. I’ll never find anything by spinning.
I thought Michael Beckwith didn’t make a lot of sense with his opening to the event. But later I saw an interview with Fanny Kiefer on Shaw where he redeemed himself with clear explanations of his views on life and spiritual studies.