The cover photo shows Theresa Lee teaching her Planetary Gong workshop in the Group Room of the Retreat Center. I assume you know that everything vibrates, be it a table or a rose. Vibrational energy contributes to our well-being, and every thought has a vibration. Be it a low or high vibe, each of us influences the next. As we tune in to the natural harmonics of the Earth, moon, sun and planets, the gongs or singing bowls resonate the frequency needed to find harmony and balance the energy levels in our bodies. For many, many years, Therese LaForge has brought her crystal bowls to the Naramata festivals. At Johnson’s Landing we had both her precious singing bowls and Theresa’s Planetary gongs, so it was an uplifting vibrational weekend for all of us.
Since I can no longer rent the Naramata Centre, we decided to split the Spring Festivals into two events, one in Penticton and one at Johnson’s Landing Retreat where I live. Richard just completed the inside of the dome, giving us a fourth workshop space. Shatford Centre in Penticton has six rooms for workshops, so in total, the two locations provided the ten workshops that the Naramata Festival was famous for. It feels like the Festival Devas want the magic to continue and even grow as we split it into two venues. Still way too many choices at any given time, but that seems to be the point. How does one choose with so much abundance?
This is my reflection for I am a 7 on the Enneagram, an Epicure who enjoys many tastes and life experiences. A 7’s lesson in life, according to the Enneagram, is to stay focused on doing a few things well, which I think I do. This is my 25th year of publishing Issues and 27th year of organizing these very special festivals. I started Issues to promote the Spring Festival of Awareness and network my ideas of wellness. Learning a publishing program in those days was a challenge, but it was made easy by having the right people show up in my life at the right time.
Educating myself and listening to my angels has served me well. As my body ages, it needs more time to recharge. I am slowing down and have found committed people, so the festival continues. Without Marion, my registration lady, the festivals would have stopped a while ago. Sunnaira does a great job overseeing the Healing Oasis in Penticton. Margaret, Rita, Perry and Bernice worked many more hours than expected, setting up and decorating. They also stayed for take-down along with Rhonda and Verna. Even Karen showed up for an hour on Friday afternoon adding her festive touch to the various altars, allowing them to radiate their beauty.
I am thankful that so many enlightened presenters said yes to my invitation to pass along their knowledge via the many workshops. I am thankful to the many volunteers and healers who made the space inviting and to the attendees who make it financially possible … kisses to you all.
Being at Naramata for 26 years allowed me the opportunity to learn to do it better each time. Renting the Shatford Centre this year took a bit more figuring out, including providing the food. I have noticed that when I complain about something I usually get a chance to do it myself. Over the years I complained about Naramata’s spongy bread, bland muffins and mini pizzas, etc., I was told the Centre was a commercial operation and had to buy from their suppliers. The cooks did their best preparing Buddha Salads and other vegetarian dishes and most folks appreciated whatever was served, but I wanted better quality. This year, I got the opportunity to provide food the way I wanted it. I served lots of our home-grown, organic squash and potatoes, along with bread from the Kaslo Sourdough Bakery, who fresh-grind the wheat to make flour and Just Pies famous rice bread. As I drove from the Kootenays to Penticton, I stopped at roadside stands and bought over 30 dozen fresh chicken eggs. It was a pleasure working with cooks who love preparing nutritious meals that use few dairy ingredients. Seeds, nuts, eggs and hemp hearts provided the protein.
Creating a functional Healing Oasis was like creating a sand mandala. After it is enjoyed, it is destroyed. My crew arranged the artists’ easels that were in the room into several rows. We adjusted the wood braces so they were six feet in the air and placed electrical conduit on the braces to hold the curtains. In this way, we were able to divide the large room into separate massage rooms.
I bought smaller tables for the Angel Altars as their Great Hall is not as large as Naramata’s. I had stopped dragging the heavier crystals and statues from Johnson’s Landing some time ago, and with smaller tables, the medium-sized crystals were perfect. Crystals are conduits for vibrational currents, which is why they are used in computers. They are beautiful and as important as the flowers that grace our Earth. The Quan Yin and Buddha tables were in the hallway and the main altar was at the top of the entrance stairs. Both jesters enjoyed the bright lights and connected with the many souls seeking enlightenment. If you would like to see pictures of the event, turn to page 23 in the flip or back portion of this magazine.
Next year we will be ready to expand a bit more, but I was happy with the number of attendees for both festivals. From now on, the Spring Festival in Penticton will be on the first weekend in May and the Wise Women’s Festival will take place on the first weekend in October. At Johnson’s Landing, the Spring Festival will happen on the second weekend in May, and Wise Women’s on the last weekend in August. I have also created a summer festival called the Rejuvenation Festival that will happen July 24-26 this year. Details on the flip side.
The Shatford Centre used to be Pen High, the old high school. It feels like a national treasure, like Naramata Centre used to be. Instead of it being ripped down, a group of dedicated individuals are making good use of it. Soon the commercial kitchen will be complete, which means that local growers will be able to make products that can be sold because they are produced in a legal setting. It is good that the people of Penticton claimed the building for the common good. Learning to share our resources makes us sustainable as a culture and provides more than mere profit.
At Johnson’s Landing, we welcome community-minded people year-round and I was delighted when many people arrived just in time to unpack my van from the Penticton festival. I wasn’t sure we needed that much help, but I trusted that my angels know best and in the end, it was perfect. They readied the back kitchen, cleaned counters and moved the couch and carpets so the front room could be turned into a large dining area. Richard completed the dome just in time so that Bernadette could wash the wood floor. Alannah cleaned cabins and made beds, Kate and Jordon cooked. Doug, who lived here many years ago, hooked up the new water system in the campground and did other vital chores. Danny mowed the lawns and put sawdust in the outhouses while Francis continued to put a deck on our new gazebo. Even Barbara and her baby showed up to greet the guests and instructors. Earlier in the year, my son Dale installed solar systems for both the dome and the campground.
I feel deep gratitude for the 40 people – instructors, healers, participants and volunteers – who showed up to allow the magic to happen at the Johnson’s Landing event. The Planetary gongs were the hit of the day for me. I could feel the power vibrate through me, which allowed me to get up early and stay up late. I even participated in Saturday night entertainment, signing a favourite song, Ghost Riders. The words seem so apropos: change your ways or with us you will ride.
My ride feels like a loaded toboggan zooming in the air after the last bump. Life continues to be eventful as Richard and I share our journey, connecting with so many like-minded people. I hope you will come and check out our Labyrinth and newly completed dome, with or without a festival.