Sunday, December 09, 2007

Many paths lead from the foot of the mountain, but at the peak we all gaze at the single bright moon. ~Ikkyu, Zen-monk poet, 1394-1481

Friday, December 07, 2007

music sanctuary

I talk of silence, of Spirit First being a place of quiet. It is true; Spirit First is a place to come for quiet, for peace, for the journey within. But silence is not our only meditation. In fact, before I learned how to listen to the silence, I first learned how to quiet myself with music meditation. Music became my place of transition, a space between the noise of the world and the silence of the Universe. I could move from one to the other through the space in between, and for me that was music. A little more practiced now, I can step into silence without the help of music as a transition, but I still have favorite pieces of melody that I enjoy from time to time for inspiration or even meditation.

It shall come to be that Spirit First has a music sanctuary tucked away in one of its gardens, a beautiful small sanctuary with soft light pouring through stained glass windows, a place to sit with music meditation. One can always step into and be surrounded by music in this stained-glass sanctuary.

One is always welcome to slip quietly into the music sanctuary and settle into a comfortable position, perhaps nestled on pillows, or upright in a chair, or cross-legged on the floor. Sometimes it will be simple meditation music that is playing. Other times one might hear a boys’ choir singing an old song such as “Be Still My Soul” or “Panis Angelicus” (two of my favorites). Or it may be a single voice like Josh Groban singing one of those same songs.

At another time it may be Gregorian chants or perhaps a Buddhist chant that fills the music sanctuary. The music might be Jewish or Muslim or Christian or Zen, but Spirit First will always have a place for you to be calmed and soothed by the graceful sounds of
meditative music.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

all at the same time

A friend of mine called a couple of days ago, a builder in Tennessee whom I have not seen in quite several years. We chatted a bit, he told me about the grand new house he is building for himself and his wife, and he asked me what I am up to. I talked to him about my work and then explained to him what I want to create in Spirit First. He seemed fascinated that I have taken on such a big creative idea. The next day he called back, wanted to talk about hiring the best accountants and designers and architects to create my beautiful sanctuaries and gardens (I listened but explained I am not yet ready for this conversation until I build funds). He asked me to explain to him again about having a place of sanctuary, a place of prayer, that welcomes Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish people who meditate. Even atheists and agnostics. He, thinking I would create a retreat center that would invite a Buddhist group on one weekend and a Muslim group on another weekend, asked me then the strangest question. “You don’t possibly intend to have them there at the same time, do you?”

To me it seems so natural a thing to have a place of sanctuary with monks and nuns from every discipline sharing and tending the same land…seems so natural a thing to me that I do not yet have words prepared to make my case.

I’m going to have to get a lot better at explaining what this all means.