Total Pageviews

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Prayer/meditation circle held at ZenRiver/haibun

Last Tuesday, Aug. 30, Janice Chrysler of Mindful Journey brought her area prayer circle to ZenRiver Gardens for their weekly evening session.

Dr. John and I prepared a bonfire by the Jimi Hendrix tree stand to welcome the group, and their small cavalcade arrived on schedule at 7 pm. I threw some dry juniper branches onto the fire, which shot flames many feet into the air to welcome our visitors.

Janice had her circle enter thru the cedar twig entranceway, draped in prayer flags. About 11 women from our greater area attended, with guests from Marmora and township, Campbellford, Havelock, and Madoc. After introductions Janice smudged everyone who wished to participate.

every head bows
below the low-hanging
prayer flags

Dr. John and I had also lit tea candles and placed them on the sacred rock face, so everyone enjoyed their flickerings while admiring the natural rock clefts and man-made paintings on our small version of the nearby First Nations Petroglyphs.

old Malibu Buddha
broken sunglasses reflecting
tiny flames

Janice is a natural leader, or perhaps more accurately, a master facilitator. She intuitively understood that the visitors would wish to explore the gardens, so after a brief prayer, she asked me to lead a tour.

We followed the meandering trails thru the sumac labyrinth, and I also showed everyone the shaman shack with its mandala and sacred paintings. I did my usual jokey tour of the 10 X 10 foot shack, describing in detail the various 'rooms' - the kitchen, the bedroom, the study, and the altar.

Everyone then wandered me thru the labyrinth. The sumacs have begun reddening for fall, and I've let them grow much higher in the past several years, so they now tower over our heads. I pointed out the trail thru the sacred cedar grove to the flat rocks and the upriver pond, and several of the ladies found their way there. The late afternoon sun glinted on the mineral veins twisting amid the ground-down layer of what geologists have explained are the very roots of an ancient mountain range, once as high as the Himalayas.

Janice had given everyone 'free range' time to explore and meditate. Some visitors practiced moving meditation on the sumac trails, while others found personal power spots and sat quietly meditating or reflecting by the Upper Moira River and on the shaman shack deck. It's interesting how people gravitate to the same power spots at ZenRiver.

visitor sitting
by the blue heron's
fishing hole 

Eventually Janice began gently beating her drum, the call to gather at the picnic tables on the west lawn of the shaman shack. Janice gave a nice introductory prayer for our group meditation, and then she led  us thru a beautifully poetic prelude to group meditation. First were the grounding instructions, imagining our feet growing roots down to a beautiful huge ruby at the center of our planet.

One by one Janice changed the crystals and their colours to match the progress of our kundalini climb up the chakras of our spine, from the base to the crowns of our heads. Her descriptively poetic journey was helpful and unuobtrusive, and soon everyone was in a very relaxed, spiritual and meditative state.

People began drumming gently, following their personal heartbeats and breathing rhythms. It was a powerful experience to be sitting at dusk in this circle of empowered people, safe, united in a common spiritual bond experiencing and sharing spiritual energy with the beings on our planet.  

Mohawk Warrior flag
unfurls in the wind 

Time lost all meaning, until eventually I heard Janice's voice gently saying my name. Janice then led a group discussion of recent spiritual experiences. She told how a friend had fallen and hit his head while walking his dog, and that the injury had become life threatening. Janice said she went into a deep meditation while her friend was being operated on, and that she encountered his spirit on the astral plane (these are my terms, not necessarily Janice's). Her friend was in limbo between life and death in this realm, and having a hard time deciding whether to live or die. Janice told him this crucial choice was his of course, and that if he chose to live, that he should make every effort to recognize his wife when he came out of the medically-induced coma. As the brain injury had worsened, eventually he hadn't been able to recognize the people closest to him. When he came out of the operation, his wife was holding his hand,  he looked up at her, and winked!

Another woman commented that she felt a powerful presence of the Elemental realm at ZenRiver. I explained that positive elementals are both encouraged to visit and reside at ZRG. Last year our neighbour, Warren Fraser, accidentally captured in a photograph a brazen little leprechaun strolling amidst the sumacs!

beneath our feet
the crystal toes
of the Shield

After sharing our spiritual anecdotes, Janice led the group in several chants and songs. Then she had us form a circle and hold hands. Janice is a reiki master, and everone could sense the energizing power coursing thru our prayer circle, hand to hand, person to person, spirit to spirit. People spoke the names of friends and family and acquaintances in need of healing, and the group focused its energy on these people.

By now it was pitch dark, and a hatching of late summer mosquitoes hurried everyone on their way home. The evening had been magickal and communally spiritual. Dr. John and I again hovered by the waning bonfire, casting on the last of the dry junipers, shooting brilliant light towards the heavens as a farewell to our guests.

dried juniper branches
shoot flames of welcome
and goodnight

No comments: