On the front cover of Issues are two photos taken at the Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center. The top photo showed a group of Tai Chi students and instructors at our annual Summer Tai Chi Camp. See Hajime’s article on page 34. The bottom photo shows our new stone steps leading to the Lodge and a statue called Tara that recently got moved to her new location. I feel joy in my being when an idea gets manifested into reality. About five years ago, a Feng shui practitioner opened my eyes to the importance of first impressions and entrances. As she walked around the grounds, she suggested many improvements including a stone staircase on the slope leading to the Lodge.
A year and half ago on one of my distribution trips, I stopped at Sacred Journeys, a store on the way to Creston that had statues from Thailand. I found a buddha and knew where he would go. As I was leaving, I asked the price of a large Tara statue that I had ignored as I entered as I assumed it was beyond my budget and could see no price tag. The lady looked at me and with a heavy heart said, “One of her fingers is broken.” She then said, “She needs a good home, so I will give you a good price.” The price seemed reasonable for the size and workmanship of the carved limestone, and so I decided to take her.
Over the years I have become attached to Eastern deities like Quan Yin, who is on the cover of the Wise Women’s Festival program. Now I am getting to know Tara, who is probably one of the oldest goddesses. Her Sanskrit name means ‘star,’ or ‘She Who Brings Forth Life.’ A version of the Goddess Tara exists in virtually every culture. Her Celtic name is thought to be the root of the word ‘tor,’ which is a mound of earth imbued with spiritual energy. In Latin, Terra means ‘earth,’ or even ‘Mother Earth.’ They are both considered female buddhas, beautiful, energetic and renowned for compassion. Their devotees call upon them for assistance in difficult situations. Although their primary role is that of protectress, they have many different forms to help humanity transform consciousness.
I made arrangements to pick up the statues later as it would take three men to load Tara into our pick-up truck. When we got home, Richard slid her out of truck and under the protection of the Johnson’s Landing sign that was in the entrance, where she sat all last summer.
This spring I said to Tara, “If you want to get moved, manifest yourself a rock-person.” I wanted the steps completed before we moved her. At the Opening of the Season event, people help us get the place ready by putting up the tree houses and working in the garden. About eight people showed up including Generoso Panazella, who turned out to be a stone mason. His first words as he looked around were, “Would you like a stone staircase?” and Richard said, “My wife will be thrilled!” Saturday morning he gathered many flat rocks and tried them for size and shape, and by Sunday, Generoso was mortaring the cracks. He then found a huge rock that he said was perfect for Tara to sit on and asked Richard to move it with the tractor. They dug two holes and buried logs vertically and made a roof before leaving on Monday. The man standing in the photo is Cory who was Generoso’s assistant for the three days and a volunteer at the Retreat Center. The man squatting is Generoso, putting away his tools. There is an ad on the page six in gratitude for showing up on Tara’s behalf just in case you might need a rock mason.
Later that week we covered the hilly mound of grass with old magazines and cardboard, topping it off with some lime and wood chips. On Friday, the original JL sign needed to be re-planted. Cory dug one hole and then checked with me for the placement of the second hole. The sign needed to be shifted forward so he could dig. We pulled on the sign from either side and it did not move, so Cory said, “You balance the front and I’ll pick it up.” My mind said, “It is top-heavy,” but those words never made it out of my mouth. Instead, I said “okay,” and raised my hands to support the sign.
Well… the sign was top-heavy as it had a roof over it, and it clunked me on the head. As the weight pushed me downwards, I felt my ribs make contact with the trailer hitch on the truck. Winded, I watched the sign crash sideways, suffering some minor damage, as did I. Luckily it was slight, considering how naive I was. Why did I not pay attention to what my angel had said? In the early days, I used to keep track of how many times I heard my inner guidance and how many times I paid attention to it. This was not one of those one-hundred-percent days.
So, once again I am moved slowly, with a few cracked ribs and a deep bruise making me more aware of my breathing. Richard plastered me with comfrey for the next few nights and I took some extra magnesium. When accidents happen, I give myself time to reflect on the energy shift. I call ‘accidents’ my universal kick-in-the-butt. I wonder why my right side keeps getting hurt and what it is releasing or representing.
Another person’s input also helps get to the bottom of things, so I phoned Colette Stephan, a Yuen Method practitioner. The first impression she got was a feeling of being overwhelmed, which I agreed with. There are so many projects that all want to be done and some days it feels like… just too much. She then asked, “Why didn’t you speak as a child?” I go into my past. I remember a time when I am four and half years old, and my mom has taken me to a speech therapist so that I will learn to pronounce consonants. As I look into the therapist’s mouth, for she is showing me how to roll my tongue, I hear my angel say, “Give up, Angèle, they have won.” Within a few days, I am speaking correctly.
Colette then asks, “What are you feeling?” I say, “sadness,” and she says, “What about anger? Do you remember feeling angry?” And another memory pops in. As a child I bit everyone and everything. In my baby book, it says that the first words I spoke were “I’m mad.” I even bit my Dad in the knee once when he was sleeping, believing, as only a two-year-old can, that if I bite off his leg, he won’t kick our dog again. Dad did a knee jerk and I went flying over his head, hitting the wall. I assume I was reflecting the frustrations that my parents felt. Dad would often kick our dog when he was having a bad day or boot us in the butt if we did not move fast enough when he told to do something. It was his way of communicating, and one that I chose not to repeat when I raised kids, but perhaps that anger is still buried. We talked about my inner bruisings and difficulty articulating what I hear. Colette then cleared that energy from my auric field.
I have read that as we age, our bodies no longer have the extra energy needed to hold memories in place, and that as they surface, we can have ‘accidents’ or develop dis-eases like Alzheimer’s. I have processed many of my feelings with skilled facilitators and know the extra energy I have once the auric field is re-organized. We will have many skilled presenters and healers at the Wise Women’s Festival if you are interested in knowing more about these alternative practices.
I am thankful for the Reiki sessions that Chelsea Van Koughnett gave and to the Buddhists who sent loving energy. Those two groups arrived the day I fell. It has now been two weeks and I am breathing much easier and deeper than before. My Rolfer will do some soft-tissue damage repair work once the magazine has gone to print, and soon I will be back to full functioning.
As Ida Rolf says, “The issues are in the tissues,” I am thankful for the Reiki sessions that Chelsea Van Koughnett gave and to the Buddhists who sent loving energy. Those two groups arrived the day I fell. It has now been two weeks and I am breathing much easier and deeper than before. My Rolfer will do some soft-tissue damage repair work once the magazine has gone to print, and soon I will be back to full functioning. As Ida Rolf says, “The issues are in the tissues,” so I expect clarity will come as I contemplate my feelings and needs.
Zachary Williams - 02/05/2023
Congratulations on completing your book.
Richard - 02/05/2023
Great to see your book is complete