September 9, 2014: First weekend and Monumental Photo

photo (1)Wow:  Out of pure desperation and true grit…I want to humbly announce that this photo is The First Pic of my Life that I somehow just uploaded to offthegridmama.  So far, I have waited for Hubby’s presence to be able to ever post a pic here.  He has uploaded each one for me.  Today I am alone at the internet place in Bonao…okay, we have just taken a huge baby step forward in the computer world!  If I did it once, somehow I’ll be able to do it again!  The photo is of one of the buildings at the farm, designed by Katiuska.  It currently serves as a movements/dance/music hall, in addition to being converted into our dining space during seminars and group weekends.  It’s a beautiful, open space, surrounded by fluffy rainforest ginger and other aromatic plants.  

Jose’s group met this weekend from 7:30 am Saturday until late afternoon Sunday.  During the year, there are approximately 20 or so group members that live and work in Santo Domingo, about an hour and half from the farm, who meet once a week in the city, and at least once for a long weekend at the farm.  During the January – April seminar period, many more group members come from Europe, Mexico, the United States to join in, and they participate via information sent out weekly otherwise.

The weekend was filled with numerous activities.  We met at 7:30 for a morning meditation/exercise both days.  Different people share in the many tasks of food prep, cooking, serving, dishwashing, cleaning, childcare, etc.  In addition, there are ongoing projects at the farm to work on.  This past weekend, quite a few people were helping with work on the new kitchen and dining area being built – everything from mixing cement to stripping off old ceiling pieces to painting.  Woven in between the practical work, we practiced Zikr and movements twice, group meetings, a reading from JG Bennett (a well known student of Mr. Gurdjieff).  As I wrote before the weekend, I felt a hunger for the group practices:  Upon awakening Monday, I felt full.  

During the gathering, we are given a bountiful plate of glistening, delicious gifts to gaze upon, to taste, then to eat…to be fed and nourished, deep and deeper, inside.  At the same time, each person has to take personal responsibility to remember that the gift is here, to pick the delicacy up and eat it and use everything available each moment that is possible for one to remember.  We are given a possibility of practicing, working, making certain efforts, but it can’t be hand fed to us every moment.  I felt that I was given a lot to chew on this past weekend.  I hope to remember to pick up this feast of exercises and practices…now…

What remains is both a joy and a sadness.  The joy that so much is available to feast on in a spiritual sense, and the light that comes when I remember during my day.  The sadness at seeing how frequently I lose my ground, lose my self.  To see that both are true, to accept the fact of this, to just be with this, and use this knowing itself as a tool.  Embracing the joy and the sadness and sitting here, breathing in, aware that I am here breathing.  Let it go and be here breathing.

So much fun to see everyone!  A new beginning here in our offthegrid rainforest world.  Fernando and I managed to spend a little bit of time on the video project, and he may be able to come out to the farm again this weekend to finish filming.  There will be several short videos, as I mentioned previously.  Most likely, the first one to complete is a short film that will be available to show groups and people who might be interested in holding a retreat at the farm.  We hope to show you the property, some of the buildings and rooms, the lovely river, the surrounding hills.  My little pic above, is a sneak preview of images to come!

As always, my heart sends you a deep wish for your peace, love, happiness, health, safety and goodness.  You are everyone.  xoxo

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