Another small but sweet gathering with Ananda Margii meditators in Portland Oregon last night – gave a talk about the children’s home, and looks like we are welcoming two more new sponsors into the family! It was particularly nostalgic to be back in Portland, this is where I began my journey as a volunteer working with the New Day School and leading yoga classes!
Spent time reminiscing with Shiva Kumar. Indeed, it has already been 21 years since I left Portland to go off to acarya training. I had so many memorable and formative experiences during the two years in Portland:
Kiirtans and Oatmeal
I remember 24 hours of kiirtan at the New Day School and the incredibly beautiful dharmacakras with Maitrii’s joyful bhajans, Diipal’s exquisite kiirtans and Devakii’s Krsna-like flute. I also remember when we started bringing a huge pot of warm oatmeal to homeless people on Sunday mornings.
Once the weekly free homeopathic clinic volunteers arrived just after a pressure cooker of beans exploded onto my face, and I experienced first hand the amazing instant healing of the right remedy in the right moment. In fact, I still have the homeopathic remedy set for acutes that Kamalanayna and the unit had given me as a going away gift. Those remedies have helped countless trainees, children and margiis over the years!
Painting the jagriti
I also remember overcoming my fear of heights, climbing up high on a ladder to paint the orange rays of a rising sun on the jagriti. By the way, I don’t know how long it lasted, but my apologies for the very dark teal color choice – the paint was donated and ended up several shades darker than I had imagined it…I started the painting with a group of international volunteers during a workcamp, but they left and still the bulk of the painting wasn’t finished….so guess what I did for the next month or so
Portland was also the beginning of my permaculture journey – with Maitri and Ole as my gardening and sustainability gurus
Indeed, when Maitri visited me in Romania last year, she told me, with quite a few giggles, about how the first time I came to her house with its edible landscaping – I pointed to some greens and asked what it was. When she revealed that they were carrots – I was so astonished, having never seen carrots actually growing in the ground. Thanks to that inspiration – it has become a life long passion, and now in Romania, one of the projects I coordinate is an organic Community Supported Agriculture farm, and I helped to write a book on how to engage children in imbibing the ethics of permaculture (earth care, people care and fair share) from an early age.