Reflecting on Kuan Yin and Past Festivals at Naramata Center (Jun – Sep 2014)

Last month, I completed a task that I thought about 25 years ago when I started Issues magazine. I got the feeling I should save several copies of each edition and copy all of my Musing columns into one file. Over the years I have been faithful to that guidance and even when my computers changed, I updated the files so my fonts were readable by the new operating system. I figure I must be one of the original bloggers – I just did it before it was “the thing to do.” I do not really know why I should document my life but my angels think it is important. My mind thinks it is to encourage others to listen to their inner guidance by providing real-life examples of a busy lady who combines inner growth with her many chores. Sharing experiences helps us realize we are not the only ones with issues. I would say that with so many people learning better communication skills, along with mechanisms like computers to spread the word, overall awareness has increased tenfold in the world, in the last ten years.

On the Internet, there are thousands of websites saying the same thing, repeating what Gandhi said, or Nelson Mandela … same as all the great sages and saints: Know Thyself and Expect the Impossible. It is our greatness that needs to shine, our knowingness that we are connected to the Divine and that like conduits, we can bring heaven to Earth. Life-affirming joy captures the essence of our dreams. Practical steps on many websites offer individuals and organizations an easy way to be part of the shift that is happening. I am glad to see a healthy questioning of the old structures and a lively interest in exploring energy alternatives, preventative health choices and so much more.

On the front cover this month is a Quan Yin statue carved in Vietnam—I am attracted to her, rather then the Buddha. About 20 years ago while I was having a numerology reading, the reader’s head nodded as he went into a trance. He then described me as a young woman stitching together flower petals to make handkerchiefs. When I asked why, he said, “It is your job, you work for the lady of the house.” I asked, “What does she do with them?” and he answered, “When people come to her with injuries, she places them on a hurt to help them heal.” I then asked who the lady was. He said she was Quan Yin. I asked who Quan Yin was, and he answered “a Bodhisattva from the East.” Then he said, “That was strange…” and continued on with the reading as if nothing had happened.

A few months later, I was organizing the Fall Festival of Awareness. Low enrollment had made it a rather tense time for me, so I decided to make the best of it and get some healing energy work done on me since we had so many healers and so few clients. At the closing ceremonies, the coordinator chanted words that were not in English. We repeated the words back to her and she chanted the next line. Within minutes, I had tears streaming down my face, and by the end of the chant, I could no longer hold hands or be in the circle as I was on the floor weeping from the emotions moving through me. It took over half an hour before I stopped crying and asked her what the words meant. She said it was a devotional chant to Quan Yin.

Later that month when I did magazine distribution, I found a statue of Quan Yin in a metaphysical shop. I have learned that when I hear/see things three times, I need to pay attention. I searched the library and found a book that listed 1,000 deities of the East. It had one paragraph describing Quan Yin. At least now I knew she did exist. It has only been in the last ten years or so that her endearing essence is being recognized in America, in China she is a beloved deity.

Today I have three books about her. The latest is entitled Becoming Kuan Yin, The Evolution of Compassion, written by Stephen Levin. You will find a book review on page 23. I was also given a magazine by a lady who lived in Asia. It features a 33-meter-high bronze and gold statue of her that watches over the island of Putoshan, one of the four sacred mountains of China and home to more than 1,000 monks.

Anyway, back to my website. All my Musing columns are now posted starting with 1989 when I shared pages with the Vancouver publication, Shared Vision. It seemed the Okanagan was ready for its own metaphysical magazine and I was ready to learn to be a writer and publisher. With each posting there is a family photograph from my homesteading days, which graced the front covers for the first ten years. Being a homesteader gave me a much different perspective from that of a child being raised in the city.

As my sister-in-law looked at a few of the old photographs, she laughed and told me a story my brother had shared with her. When we first moved to Rosswood, BC, an hour’s drive from Terrace, my family rented the old telegrapher’s cabin beside the creek. Each spring when the banks overflowed, Dad would move the furniture and open the front and back doors to let the creek run through the middle of the living room. Once the run-off was complete, we would sweep out the gravel and close the doors so the fire could dry things out. A good example of adapting to one’s environment!

Just as this edition was going to print C.U.P.E., the union that serves the Naramata Centre, put up a picket line that I will not cross. My hope is that in the next three to four months they will figure out what is best for all. I know much anger and hurt have happened over the years. There is such a fine line between protecting the workers against abuse and workers taking advantage of a situation. Naramata is a very special place and perfect for hosting the two Festivals. In fact, there is no place else I could do it.

And finally, if you read the ad on page 16, you will know that Richard and I are ready for the next step of retiring from the busyness of running the Retreat Center. We had hoped to create a Canadian version of the Findhorn Foundation here in Johnson’s Landing but that has not evolved. We have weathered many storms and even a landslide. I feel it is the time to pass our knowledge and vision on to some younger folks. As with all creations, there is much responsibility and also a time for letting go so the new can emerge. If you know of folks who are vegetarian and see this kind of work as “Love in Action,” please let them know.

Last week, Richard said he feels like Noah, building the Ark and trusting that the rain is coming. We both love it here and hope that help is coming in pairs, humans, preferably a couple with a variety of skills that would be an asset to continuing on with this project. Community living is not easy but then who said life was!