Spiritual Retreat Center

I have this idea that it would be great to have a spiritual retreat center.

World Peace

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Jewish, Muslim & Christian, all friends. It is a microcosm of world peace.

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The Goal of the Hike, The Waterfall

Shenandoah Waterfall

The Girls on the Rocks

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In a Sari with my friends

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Early Morning Sunrise

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Shenandoah Cookout

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Shenandoah Spiritual Gathering

Over 125 people showed up to the DC, MD and VA regional gathering. At the gorgeous Shenandoah National Park, Big Meadows campground, on Skyline drive. It was filled with good food, great fellowship and a highly charged spiritual atmosphere. One of the highlights of the gathering was a hike in the park and along the historic Appalachian Trail. Spiritual truths can be observed from the hike. The trail was rocky and steep. Some abhyasis skipped and ran over the rocks like they were pebbles on the beach, while for others, every loose rock was a bolder to roll over them, and each crack in the rocks, a crevice to swallow them up. Each step a moving target like the floor of an amusement park crazy house. This illustrates the spiritual point that we perceive our own reality. The size and shape of the rocks on the trail did not physically change yet each person saw them in a completely different way. Each person has his or her own perception of “reality”. Reality is different for each person.

Another concept from our spiritual journey/hike is that, with continued practice things become easier. The abhyasis who thought the trail easy has been hiking and running on trails since a child. The other abhyasis has never before been on a trail in their lifetime. So it is with our spiritual practice, as we progress along the spiritual path our daily practice becomes easier. In the beginning when people start to meditate there are difficulties, stops and starts, they think, “The drive is too long to group meditation.” “The meditation teacher lives too far away, I do not want to bother him or her, they are too busy for me to call them,” “I don’t feel any transmission.” “I am too busy to waste 1 hour 55 minuets doing nothing every day.” “Who is this Chari guy anyway?” But, the more one does it, the more the practice grows on you. Gradually you become comfortable. Regularity becomes easier. In time, we look forward to the gatherings and we become curious to see who Chari is—this highly evolved being who is helping us to grow spiritually. It is just like the trail, which starts out as rocky and treacherous but with practice becomes smooth with pebbles.

The next day 8 abhyasis awoke at 5:00 AM, armed with cameras and flashlights, with the intention of hiking to Black Rock overlooking the valley to photograph the rising sun. They found and hiked along the appointed path in the dark and came upon the rock just in time, before sunrise, only to realize the ranger had directed them to a Western facing view and the sun rises in the East on the other side of the mountain. We were facing the wrong direction! But was it really the wrong direction? Sometimes when we have a planned goal in life, life takes us in the “wrong” direction. But is it really the wrong direction? We had no less fun on the hike. We still got some beautiful pictures. We were no less happy and still had great fellowship. Sometimes our life and spiritual path takes us in the “wrong” direction that is not really the wrong direction at all. Think of the times you may have lost a job and felt terrible for a time but it turned out to be a blessing in the end when you found something else that you liked better. Or the time you got a big promotion only to feel empty and hollow inside. The lesson here is that we must find beauty and joy in each step of the journey. Even if your final destination is not what we originally planned. Perhaps the Divine has another destination in mind for you, an even better one.

Later, after meditation we had a discussion with the regional coordinator, who was asking about ways to improve the Meditation group. A couple of things were brought to his attention.  People asked, “How can we have a greater sense of community?” “People go meditation, chat for 5 minuets then disperse.” There is not much opportunity to create lasting friendships or that sense of community.

Another thing that was brought up was that except for the gatherings there is not much for the children and the youths. Most religious organizations have weekly Sunday school for the kids not only to teach them spiritual principles but also for them to bond and make friends. Gatherings are great for this but they only happen every month or two and people cannot always attend. We need something on a more regular basis so kids can bond with each other and have guidance to keep them on the spiritual path, especially during the turbulent teen years.

Many people came up with lots of good ideas. The regional coordinator said the solutions lie in the members themselves. We are the basis of the meditation group and when we come up with ideas we should try them out on a local level, then if they work we should expand them to other centers. It is up to us to make a difference in our centers and our group.

What is the Definition of Poverty?

When I was in India I was I was voluteering to sell coffee and chai in the mornings. In the kitchen there were two men who worked in the kichen. They were sleeping on concrete floor with a piece of cardboard for a mattress. They each had one dodi which doubled as a blanket. A dodi is a piece of fabric that the men wear as a skirt or tie up to make shorts. Think Gandi. That was their only posession–one piece of fabric. The thing that was even more perplexing for me was that these two guys did not think of themselves as poor. They had a good job, a place to sleep (abet on a concrete floor) and plenty to eat, lots of friends to talk to and hang out with. How does one define poverty?
On the other hand my teenage daughter wants me to buy her more clothes. The last time I counted she had 87 shirts! And she still wants more. How many shirts does a person need to be happy? 1 or 87? The guys in the kitchen appeared to be content yet my daughter seems discontent even though I try my best to give her everything I can.
Another thing I noticed when I was in India for a large meditation gathering was that the Americans were discontent. They complained about the heat, the bugs, the primitive accomodations, even though our dorms were better, yet the natives were content to sleep on the ground in huts. Perhaps we Americans are spoiled or maybe all the material comforts in the world do not make us happy despite what we are raised to believe. What do you think?

Braco

This is when I went to see Braco.

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My theory of how the Braco gazing works.
Braco is a Highly Evolved Being (HEB) (See Conversations with God book 3 by Neale Donald Walsch for info on HEBs)
Because he is highly evolved he vibrates at a high frequency. In the same way that when you ring one tuning fork in the room the other tuning forks start to vibrate also on their own, when Braco puts out a high vibration frequency we begin to vibrate at a higher vibration also.

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