Harbin Hot Springs
Heart Consciousness Church Retreats, Articles, Workshops
Welcome . . HARBIN’S ANNUAL
Just outside the Hot Pool grotto, where the 113° volcanic waters cool to autumn steaminess in the Warm Pool, a spider was weaving her web among the yellow fig leaves overhead. Dew drops caught the morning sun and made her web sparkle with tiny crystaline rainbows. It was so beautiful, I wondered if bugs willingly sacrifice themselves on her altar. Webs - when you live in a community such as Harbin, you are aware of webs, of loving the people you don’t even really know, because you see their part in the web. Our guests, too, have that relationship with us. Many have been coming here for years and are as intricately woven into our web as if they lived here. And beyond this little community, we are woven inextricably into the larger fabric of our world.
So while things continue to be beautiful, magical, and abundant here - while we have the peace to sit and watch a spider from the luxuriant waters of the Warm Pool, and while we try to weave sustainable webs in our gardens and our lives - we understand that what we do affects many outside of Harbin whose abundance may be more elusive. A case in point is the Post Office: The Quarterly Magazine is cutting back its mailing list! This issue is being sent to at least 10,000 fewer people, allowing us to save a lot of paper. That means only active members will be receiving it by mail. By Spring, 2012, we will be doing no mailing at all! Fortunately, we mail from the Petaluma Bulk Mail Center, so our little town’s postal workers will not be feeling a direct impact. Phew! And if you are right now mourning the loss of your mailed Quarterly, it is available on that other web to which we are now all connected, at www.harbin.org, where you’ll have to look for “Harbin Magazine”. (For our advertisers, the total print will decline from 40,000 to 30,000 copies for the time being, but now your ad will be included in our on-line version.) I went back today to see if the little spider was still there - it wasn’t. Going rapidly were the yellow fig leaves and even - thanks to the clean-up crew - the ones that had been floating in the pool. But the pool is still there, and for the moment, the sun. Some things pass and some things remain. We hope you will be OK with the passing of your mailed Quarterly. Meanwhile, the web of Harbin remains - come on up and be part of it! 2
Contents . . HARBIN HOT SPRINGS QUARTERLY
Things to Know 4
Fall, 2011 Volume 27, Number 4
Publishing Staff: Ann Prehn, Editor Carol Thompson Cover Photo: Carol Thompson
Poetry Winners 6
Contributors: Vimlan Prem, Arpita, Ditte, Eric, Ishvara, Lynne Osmundsen
Two Spirits Soaring 8
The Harbin Catalog is published seasonally at the equinoxes and solstices by Heart Consciousness Church, a non-profit corporation, and is mailed and circulated to 30,000 people. HCC membership dues are $30 per year and include the right to visit Harbin Hot Springs and bring guests.
Arpita Brings Acupuncture 12 Harbin Art Shows 14 Mental Illness (satire) 14
We Bought the Bar X 16
full page $1000; half page $600; quarter page $350. (Half price for residents on quarter page only.) Deadlines are April 30, July 31, October 31 & January 31. Please submit camera-ready hard copy (no half-tones) or pdf file. Call Publishing: (707) 987-0477
Getting Away 18 Tales of Old Harbin 19
(for address changes & reservations, call Reception: 1-800-622-2477)
Fall Workshops 20
Distributed by: Reliable Distribution (415) 640-1766 email@example.com
Finding Us 31
Harbin Springs Publishing P.O. Box 1132, Middletown, CA 95461 firstname.lastname@example.org 3
Things toKnow . . o Harbin is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. o Campers are required to arrive and set up before dark. o You will need a towel, flashlight, sandals, and footwear appropriate for rocky terrain. o Our pools are our sanctuary and we maintain a meditative quiet in the pool area. o The pool area is clothing-optional, and the dressing facilities are co-ed. o Alcohol, drugs and pets are not permitted. (No pets may be left in vehicles.) o Fire Ban: Open fires, lanterns, candles, incense, and camp stoves are strictly forbidden. o Smoking is restricted to an area by the parking lot. o Pool maintenance often happens the first Tuesday of each month. (Cold plunge becomes hot; heart pool becomes warm; swimming pool is cold.) o Children may stay in the campgrounds and quietly use the Heart Pool and swimming pool during daylight hours (till 8pm in summer) beginning at 10am. Babies under three must wear plastic pants in the pools and children three to five must wear swim suits. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. o Food: The Harbin Restaurant serves breakfast, and dinner. There’s a market, a guest kitchen (vegetarian only), a seasonal outdoor café, and a coffee shop as well as Middletown stores and restaurants four miles away. o No Cameras. o No Cell Phones. Exceptions: Inside cars at Lower Parking Lot and far end of Dome Parking Lot only.
re G A
ft! i G at Save with this Season’s
Reservations Room reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends. Reservations must be guaranteed with a credit card or advance payment; cancellations must be made by 1pm two days before your scheduled arrival date to avoid charges. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards or Harbin Cash/Gift Cards. A minimum two-night reservation on weekends and holidays is required. (707) 987-2477, 1(800) 622-2477 Harbin Cash/Gift Cards now available at the Front Desk.
Scheduling a Massage Our practitioners are specially selected for their gifts in the art of healing. We offer a wide variety of massage styles including a relaxing full-body Swedish-influenced massage and Harbin's own Watsu® (water shiatsu). Depending on what day you will be visiting, other services that may be offered are: cranio-sacral, shiatsu, chi nei tsang, lymphatic, energy work, and reflexology. Rates are slightly higher for specialties such as Deep Tissue Massage, Wassertanzen (WaterDance), Hot Stone Massage, and Spa Treatments. Rates: 1/2 hour $43-50 1 hour $75-85 1-1/2 hours $105-120 Appointments can be scheduled from 9am to 7pm daily through the Health Services Office. To make a reservation or inquire further about the services we offer, please call: (800) 884-3117, (707) 987-0422, (707) 987-2994 x130, or visit the massage section of Harbin's web page at www.harbin.org. For reservations by phone, please call with your Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover card number ready. Massage gift certificates available upon request.
The Harbin Domes
Room Package Includes basic room for 1, massage or watsu¨, & breakfast. Starts at $130 plus tax. Happy Camping Package includes camping, massage or watsu¨, & breakfast for only $95.
The Harbin Domes - the otherworldly spheres perched on the side of Harbin Mountain - now feature eleven unique rooms that are available for guests. The location features shared restrooms, shower facilities, with common indoor and outdoor areas. One of the center's magical pools will be available to guests of the Domes for late night soaks under the stars. Room rates range from $70 to $190 per night. For complete rates and information, call our reservationists at (707) 987-2477, or check our website: www.harbin.org.
Available Mon-Wed only, Jan 3 thru Feb 29, 2012 except Holidays. 4
Retreat Rates Membership: One person in your party must have or
Regular & Special Events
purchase a current membership. Trial (one month): $10 One Year: $30 Lifetime: $300
There is usually something going on at no extra charge at Harbin, though donations and offerings are often appropriate. Full Moons are honored in the Warm Pool and also honored by a sacred Pipe Ceremony in the Garden. Essene Priestess Heather celebrates the New Moon in the Temple. During the rainy season, Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed Sweats happen monthly - call Lorindra at (707) 987-2260 to get on the call-back list. The Unconditional Dance is on Tuesday and Thursday nights. A Community Drum Circle happens the first Wednesday of each month, drums provided. Laughter Club meets on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays. ELYSEUM Writers’ Wordshop meets on Sundays. Live musical events happen every Saturday night, and Open Mic is on the last Saturday of each month. Start your Sunday mornings with Harbin Kirtan Band. Compassionate Communication (training in non-violent communication), and Sound Healing with live music are also offered every Sunday. Osho Meditation happens on Mondays. Reiki Healing is on Wednesdays and Fridays, Feldenkrais is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Meditation, Mysticism, & Mindful Living is on Fridays. Any ‘A’ 12-Step is on Wednesdays and Saturdays. All are subject to change. Please check our website at www.Harbin.org/events for special events & classes such as Quantum Light Breath, Shamanic Circle, Kundalini Dance, Dances of Universal Peace, Qigong, Free Your Spirit Breathwork, Prayer Circles and Satsangs, as well as special concerts, theatrical presentations, and holiday happenings.
Visit Rates (per person): Mon-Thu
$25 $20 $35 $30 $65 $95
6-hour Visit $20 Child (under 18) $15 24-hour Visit $25 Child (under 18) $20 Tent Cabin (1person) $50 (2 persons) $75
Campers should arrive before dark. We do not supply equipment for camping.
Room Rates: Check-in time is 3:00pm; check-out at noon. Basic rooms, domes, and dorms use shared bathrooms. Bring your own bedding and towels for dorms. 2-night stay on week-ends & holidays required. Add 5% room tax. Mon-Thu
Dormitory Basic Room 1/2 Bath
per person 1 person 2 persons 1 person 2 persons
Full Bath Manzanita Jasmine Cedar additional adult in room
$35 $60 $90 $75 $105 $130 $170 $170 $190 +$30
$50 $95 $140 $120 $165 $190 $230 $230 $260 +$45
Domes range from $70-190
Room Reservations are highly recommended. Reservations must be guaranteed with a Discover, Visa, Amex, MasterCard or advance payment. A 2-night minimum stay is required on weekends & holidays. 48-hr cancellation policy: cancel or change your reservation by 1pm two days before your date of arrival to avoid charges.
Yoga in the Temple Three free yoga classes are offered daily at 8am (intermediate), 10am (beginners) and 5pm (mixed). Harbin yoga nurtures the heart and spirit as well as the body and is accessible to all levels. X Yoga and Saturday Chakra Intensives are offered once a month for $30-$35 - check website for schedule.
Holiday Rates will be in effect November 23 & 24, and December 19 - 29. Rates are subject to change.
Interested in Becoming a Resident?
Reservations & Information:
Harbin Hot Springs is operated and maintained by more than 150 dedicated residents. To receive information about joining our resident program, visit the Human Resources office during your next stay. To receive information by mail, make your request including your snailmail address to Sanna & David at (707) 987-2994 ext 128, email@example.com, or Human Resources, Harbin Hot Springs, P.O. Box 782, Middletown, CA 95461. Forms may be downloaded at harbin.org/resident.htm.
1-800-622-2477 Outside California call (707) 987-2477 Workshop Information: (707) 987-0379 Massage Reservations: (707) 987-0422 or 1-800-884-3117 http:/ / www.harbin.org 5
Grand prize to Calie Candia
Water; You cradle me in your folds, Releasing me from the weight of the Earth. You are my thinking place, Held between the canopy of skies, and your greatest depths. I can let my mind roam freely, without bounds. You are the space between the lands like the poets pause between words. My body is strengthened in your wave of liquid touch, Floating freely and unfettered by that which cannot be grasped, yet each droplet an aqueous melody of the infinite.
Runner Up - Apollo Healing Waters (short version) I look around and see evidence of love everywhere The People. The Trees. The Animals. The Breeze. I even felt it in the air If paradise was half as nice, I would be overcome with bliss I tilted my face towards the light and the sun gave my soul a kiss I enter the healing waters and my body begins to melt When the universe came into being, this is how God must have felt Source explosion, body imploding, and I am ready to expand Human touch. Eyes of Love. Galaxies between our hands A realization is the power that lies within my breath My ego is ready to die to give birth to my inner self The universe is inside of you, below, and above When you remove all distractions, the only thing that's left is love
Our Poetry Contest Winners Runner Up - Arianna Helen Silently Flow Between
The readers of our e-newsletter were invited to participate in a Harbin poetry contest. Thank you to everyone for the huge response and great poems â€“ it was a difficult decision!
falling trickling through fig roots into pool rock and stream below bridge and buildings honoring a sacred place
If any of you poets will be here for Art in the Garden (Oct. 8-9), we invite you to sign up to read at our Writers Grove. To get our e-newsletter, go to www.harbin.org/subscribe.
a meditation a prayer of gratitude to the waters warm hot cold from sky from deep earth it finds itself and unites we seek it hot cold
collect it into pools held by one and then another, we silently flow between worshiping of self-all a swim a misty fall rain touching our faces hot cold from minerals from hot steam soften, cleanse, expand, contract we find ourselves balanced cozy pillowed tiers darkened evening entertainment relaxed deep and sleepily connecting hands falling melting through dream
[My first] visit to Harbin was for 10 days, camping up on the hill way above the pools in that flat area before the long ascent on the Tea House trail. Even though I had spent all those unusually rich and varied years in the ashram back east, I had never experienced such a profound effect on my being in such a short period of time during my visit at Harbin. To be specific, I found a couple of simple questions coming up all the time that always brought clarity and contentment. One question, "What do I have?" lead me to view what was around me in its objective beauty. That passive question was balanced by the active, "What do I have ... to do?" which shifted the focus on me and what I needed or wanted to attend to at any time. The experience of ease I felt at Harbin is similar to what I have heard other visitors to Harbin say and is a reflection of values here that have created a safe place to be our natural selves and to permit and respect that in others. How, you might ask, is Harbin similar to the ashram? Both are churches and are oriented to the simple life. The principle difference is between the focus being directed toward a person (the guru in the ashram) and to the natural waters at Harbin. It is like night and day with none of the convoluted politics that surround a guru and all of the peace that the feminine waters provide. This experience at Harbin reminds me of what Meshulam Zusya of Hanipoli (d. 1800) said: "In the world to come they will not ask me, `Why were you not Moses [or some other exalted being]?' They will ask me, `Why were you not Zusya?'" By the way, Zusya was a wandering ascetic of whom many folk legends have been told which show him as a simple, modest, and benevolent person who, despite his meager knowledge of Torah, attained merit because of his innocence and personal creed. With those profound words, I can't say that Harbin will be the place where I will gain merit as an ascetic like Zusya, but it certainly is where I can uncover myself (no pun intended) and be me. Welcome to Harbin ... and us.
~Tom Bradley, Winter 2003 Harbin Quarterly 8
Spirits Soaring On the surface, they did not seem like kindred spirits. Tom had a sort of “the meek shall inherit the earth” gentleness, while Nirakar was tall and handsome with a tough Germanic charm. On the Health Services staff, he had star quality, and the magic he did with his massage and “De-Hypnotherapy” was famous - Nirakar was a healer, a teacher, and the stuff of legends. Meanwhile, Tom stayed in the background, quietly tending the pools. It was not long after Tom arrived in the year 2000 that stories of his quirky side began to make the rounds. Besides knocking on his neighbors’ windows in the middle of the night to tell a joke, or going out of his way to say hello to a cat, he was soon seen riding around on a Segway. Then he competently rebuilt the engine of his Mini-Cooper from scratch. Meanwhile, Nirakar had become enamored of gliders at nearby Crazy Creek Soaring. Here is where any dissimilarities end. Both men were born in the mid-1940’s under the sign Aquarius and both men spent time living in ashrams before coming to live at Harbin. Each, in his different way, carried an inner light that touched other people and made them take notice. With Tom, you didn’t really know you were taking notice you just walked away from this elfen man with a sense of wonder that something had just happened, but you weren’t sure what. With Nirakar, you definitely noticed. And both men had a way of showing up with angelic presence when someone was sick or needing help. 9
Two Spirits Soaring, cont’d It was over flying that the two men connected and became friends. Nirakar had become an aerobatics pilot and was working for his commercial pilot’s license. And Tom had quietly, persistently, acquired a pilot’s license of his own. So it was natural, perhaps fated, that when Tom bought a little single-engine Zenith Stohl CH701 sport utility plane, Nirakar regularly occupied one of the two seats. Shortly ago, Harbin acquired an airstrip and now the little plane was used to take Harbin residents aloft in the company of one of the two pilots. So dearly did Nirakar love flying, that when a tragic accident left two Middletown flyers dead, Nirakar remarked, “But what a way to go!” He likely spoke for Tom as well. It was in the spring of this year that Tom had the stroke that destroyed his car and left him in the hospital. When he was released a few days later, he was told he was grounded till his periferal vision returned. Now Tom, grateful and fearful that a stroke had almost disabled him, put all his affairs in order - the moment he had the doctor’s OK, he and Nirakar flew to Southern Oregon. News of their crash ripped through Harbin’s heart like a dagger - both men died on impact. But as we gathered to share our stories and remembrances, a subtle joy also began to permeate. They had died strangely ready, and doing what they loved to do most. And they - two kindred spirits - had died together. Those of us who are left behind are pretty sure they are flying still. As we bless them for the profound gifts they left us, we wish them wings on their journey and God speed ahead.
Anand Nirakar (Formless Bliss) Nirakar lived the last 17 years at Harbin Hot Springs, where he touched many peoples lives with his Integrated Body Work (DeHypnotherapy and Massage). He always spoke of the body/mind/personality in 3rd person, as a constant reminder about our true self - the witness, whose inherent nature is bliss. His whole life was dedicated to becoming conscious about our true self. In his bio he writes: "This life has been lived in uncompromising and fierce determination to find answers to the questions that arose at age 14. Witnessing the "death" of my brother, I decided to use my life to enquire about my Self and life. Who was he? Who am I? What happened to him? What is life about? What is death? It's been an absolutely amazing adventure!" Nirakar was a passionate pilot and always dreamed of departing this way. Even though it was an accident, he somehow felt that his time might be over soon. He was already in deep bliss and inner silence the last months and shared that he had reached everything possible in this life and that he was ready to leave any moment. The gift of his life is his surrender to the endless dimensions of awakening and liberation. Everyone who knows him closely feels that he continues to expand into the whole of ~ Vimlan Prem existence. His website: http://home.earthlink.net/~Nirakar/
Arpita Brings Quarterly: Congratulations on your new practice! You’ve been at Harbin a long time, doing bodywork and yoga and leading Kirtan. What made you decide to go to Acupuncture School? Arpita: I became a foster parent of teenagers, and discovered that teenagers are expensive! I decided that it was time to finally look into going to Acupuncture school, so I could make more money than a massage therapist, to be able to afford to be a foster mom. Quarterly: Let’s back up - How did you happen to move to Harbin? Arpita: My first visit was when I helped my friend and her toddler age son move here from Wisconsin, and I thought she was crazy, leaving 5 acres of land and a beautiful house she built herself, to move into a trailer in the RV park! But she kept on trying to get me to move here too, and one winter night, when the temperature had been 25 below zero for two weeks, with wind chills of 50 to 100 below, I had an epiphany, that human beings were not really meant to live in weather like that. Plus, my friend changed tactics, telling me we'd go to Kauai together, but that I should come to Harbin first because plane tickets were cheaper from California than from Wisconsin - 16 years later and I still haven’t been to Kauai! So, basically I was manipulated into moving here... But I'm grateful! Quarterly: What did you do when you got here? Arpita: Well, I started doing acupressure in 1993 when I was living in Wisconsin, and came to Berkeley for the course. I came back in 1994 to do a specialization course in Emotional Balancing, and visited Harbin for the first time. The next year, I started doing acupressure, shiatsu, and massage on Harbin’s Health Services staff while, at The School of Shiatsu and Massage, I studied Lymphatic Massage which I added to my practice. I also did the ministerial training at Harbin, became a minister, and started leading the Quarter and Cross-Quarter holiday rituals. Soon after that, Bhagavan Das – he’s somewhat famous from Ram Das’ book, “Be Here Now”, - moved to Harbin and I was living next door to him. Bhagavan introduced me to Kirtan devotional chanting and Indian spirituality - he also took me to meet Amma. When Bhagavan Das left Harbin, he asked me to keep the Kirtan going, and I started leading weekly Kirtan chanting. Quarterly: Now, it’s hard to imagine Harbin without Kirtan – it’s become such a part of who Harbin is. What other devotional or ministerial activities have you done? Arpita: After awhile I stopped leading the Quarter and Cross-Quarter holiday rituals, as it felt too busy. Somewhere in there, it was the first season of the women's sweat lodge and I was a fire 12
Acupuncture to Harbin keeper, and did vision quests and was learning the pipe and water pouring from Lorindra. I did yoga teacher training at Harbin and started teaching, maybe in 1997 or 1998. Quarterly: So tell us about Acupuncture school. Arpita: I had started looking into schools, thinking that when my foster son turned 18, I'd go to school, then he ran away right at the beginning of the fall semester. I thought, "Huh. Maybe I'd better just do it, before I get another kid!" I called The Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College of Berkeley and they told me to fill out an application and bring it tomorrow. So I filled it out, packed, and drove to Berkeley that night. Three and a half years of full time grad school, commuting from Harbin to Berkeley, and still doing massage and teaching yoga and leading Kirtan - exhausting and stressful! Especially since I found out that I'm a perfectionist in this setting, I really liked getting 100% on exams, or at least an A! As part of the training, I did an internship in Neurology in China at Number 1 Teaching Hospital at Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is featured in the documentary "9000 Needles". They are internationally renowned for post stroke treatment. This was very inspirational to me, to see a whole hospital that is Traditional Chinese Medicine. The doctors there are treating so many patients per day! I thought, people could come to Harbin to get treated with acupuncture, what a great environment! They could get acupuncture every day, like in China, plus soak in the pools and get massaged and be in this beautiful healing environment! I graduated Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors) from The Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College of Berkeley in December of 2010 and passed the CA Acupuncture Licensing Exam with flying colors in February 2011. I like doing Acupuncture treatments, it's a beautiful thing to help someone with pain, digestive problems, menstrual problems, sinus congestion, menopause, or healing from injuries and surgeries. But, being a Harbinite, I also love working with emotional stuff, and all the trippy things like chakra balancing, past life recall, spiritual evolvement, heart opening... I want to say that they didn't teach that stuff in school! That was my extra-curricular studying. (My version of being naughty -- reading books that are NOT on the booklist!) There's so much heart disease out there, it's important to help people open their hearts! More open hearts, less open heart surgery! Quarterly: Whatâ€™s next? Arpita: Next? Well, I also studied Medical Qi Gong in school, and I'm teaching classes at Harbin once a week, but I'm not offering Medical Qi Gong treatments at Harbin yet. Soon! It's very magical stuff! Wow, that turned out long, guess I've been busy! 13
Harbin Art Shows ~ If you missed Harbin’s annual Art in the Garden on October 8 & 9, you might be pleased to know that the Harbin Restaurant has ongoing art shows. The show in September and October is “Self-Portraits”. Then, for November and December, "Recent Plein-Air Watercolors" will be an exhibition of paintings by artist Ditte Jensen (Ditte rhymes with Cheetah). Many visitors to Harbin have already admired her striking work, displayed in various places around the grounds. There is a beautiful example hanging at the massage office, titled "Lightbathing"; the watercolor depicts a rocky, light-drappled creek bank that practically invites the viewer to wade in.
“Mental Illness” [Eric writes, produces and directs shows for Harbin residents that poke fun at all things Harbin and New Agey. "I see Harbin-land as my acupuncture patient. I insert needles gently and some kind of energy comes out. My shows have no real healing value - until you realize maybe they do, maybe... I don't know." Disclaimer: The opinions and comments stated in the story below do not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Harbin Hot Springs, Heart Consciousness Church, or the author. All rights reserved.
Doctor: You must be Charles Farley, please have a seat. Charles: Thank you for seeing me Doctor, it can be hard to find a good therapist, let alone on such short notice. You came highly recommended. Doctor: I see, well, you sounded pretty distressed over the phone, why don’t we get right to it. I come from the school of full frontal honesty and I like to go straight at the problem.
Harbin has played an important role in Ditte's artistic development. "The soft flowing feminine feel of Harbin is a natural for watercolors" she says, although she is equally skilled in oil painting. Ditte has studied at the Akademie of Fine Arts Minerva in Holland and the Art Students League in New York. Now back after 10 years away, she teaches painting in the Harbin area and at her studio in Sebastopol. There will be prints and originals for sale at the exhibition. Find out more at dittejensen.com.
Charles: I like that. Well ok, to put it simply, I’m kinda having an existential crisis. Everything I know about myself, my world, my relationships is coming undone. All the qualities I used to love about my life now seem jaded and soured. And the thoughts I most cared about all seem meaningless. Doctor: What thoughts did you most care about? Charles: My core thoughts, you know, my beliefs. Doctor: Oh, I see, your beliefs. Charles, I think I understand the problem. You see you have beliefs, but beliefs don’t really exist. Believing in a belief is actually a form of mental illness. It’s 14
By our Resident Comic Skit Writer, Eric Richardson all. Language is a mental illness. Think about this. You make sounds that come out of your mouth “blah blah blah” and you attribute meaning to those sounds. But there’s no way that anybody else makes the same connection to those words as you do. You know that crazy guy on the street corner talking to himself. That’s you, except you’re directing your words at me.
called ‘Certainty’. Lots of people have it. So it sounds like you got a little bit of that going on. Charles: Wow, that’s a lot to take in. Well, what about my art. Ever since my thoughts have gone south, it’s affected all aspects of my art. There’s been a tidal shift in the way that I think about my art and-Doctor: Charles, if there was ever a poster boy for mental illness, it would be art. Art is a mental illness.
Charles: But you seem to be understanding me.
Charles: What you talking about, there are thousands of artists who --
Doctor: I’m trained to make it feel that way. But you’re really just all alone talking to yourself. We all are.
Doctor: who can’t express in a clear and present way what is going on inside of them. So they make strings from the guts of cats and strap them to a wooden box and strum them and sing songs about their lives? Crazy! Charles, art is just life, frustrated. If somebody says to you they’re an artist, well, they’re gonzo.
Charles: But why are you talking to me? Doctor: I’m still working on my own issues. Charles: So beliefs are a mental illness and art is a mental illness and spirituality is a mental illness and language is a mental illness. How do we get away from mental illnesses?
Charles: But that goes against the center of my spirituality.
Doctor: That’s the cool part. You get to indulge them. Just keep pushing through the doors and walking down the halls until you see that they all lead to--
Doctor: Spirituality...or mental illness. Spirituality is one of the most pervasive forms of mental illness on the planet, Charles. Almost everyone has some form of it. Basically spirituality is storymaking - we make up a story of how life is supposed to be because we are scared of life. That story, no matter how beautiful it is, is nothing more than a form of art. And art, as you know, is a mental illness, Charles. Get used to it.
Charles: mental health! Doctor: My god no! Mental health is like some invisible trophy everybody is trying to win-Charles: But aren't you trying to convince me your ideas are true? Aren't you yourself trying to win the Mental Health Award right now?!
Charles: But you’re not hearing what I’m saying to you. You’re twisting my words, you're playing with my language.
Doctor: Nonsense, Charles, I've already won the trophy. Now I just need people like you to help me polish it.
Doctor: Charles, here is the biggest one of them 15
We Have Bought We came across a very beautiful ranch estate for sale at a good price, and bought it for four million dollars. It is 1,600 acres and includes an incredible estate home, a two story house, and several farm buildings. It is about a mile north of Middletown on Highway 29, and has a river and a lake. The white structure you see by the Highway is just one of the barns. It, Harbin, and the ranch property we bought last year, form a sort of triangle, as you can see on the map (see next page). As far as highway access, Bar X is between them. There are beautiful pictures and some description if you Google “bar x ranch ca.” We have renamed last year’s Diamond J Ranch purchase the Oneness Institute, and we will be holding classes, events, and workshops there. My idea is to call Bar X the Oneness Institute - Lake Campus, and Diamond J the Oneness Institute - River Campus. Any feedback on that idea would be appreciated by me; we have had trouble
The Bar-X Ranch with names. The website, which is not yet developed, is onenesss-institute.org. Our near term plan is to use Bar X as guest housing until the cabins by the Harbin meadow are finished. Then we shall see whether we shall continue to use it as housing or add it to the Oneness Institute as part of our New Age University. The purchase, at this writing, is scheduled to take place August 23, 2011. After we own it, you can stay there as part of visiting Harbin; it will be a completely different experience, more spacious and pastoral. The living areas are more flat than Harbin, with beautiful lawns and hills. We expect to have horses and cows. The pools, restaurant, programs and everything else at Harbin will still be available as part of your stay. As a New Age Center, we want to offer a wide a variety of ambiences and activities, and we hope you will enjoy this addition. Love to you all, Ishvara.
Getting Away from it All (Or Deep-six the Cell) by Ann Prehn When I came to live at Harbin almost 25 years ago, I was getting away from a broken romance and a business that just plain wore me out. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, I just knew what I was getting out of. Beyond knowing there were friends, a job, some nudity, and a roof over my head, I knew nothing.
(Sorry, the new properties are not available for hiking yet.)
Something I didn’t expect was the silence. Talking in the Warm and Hot Pools was discouraged, and on the mountain trails, there was a vast silence of wind sighing in the trees without a humanly produced sound to be heard. Silence does not mean quiet – during the day, bees buzzed and deer crashed through the underbrush at my approach, and in the evening, doves cooed to each other and the entire valley would ring with
the haunting song of coyotes. During this time, I had no telephone. I called my friends and family from the pay phone, and tried to explain that they wouldn’t be able to get hold of me at will, that we would have to make a schedule when I would call them, or – imagine! – write long and thoughtful letters. At first they didn’t get it, and called the office constantly, trying to reassure themselves that I had not landed in some kind of cult. Of course, my unavailability only convinced them that, indeed, I was being held against my will. I have to say how grateful I am that, against their better judgment, they didn’t try to kidnap and deprogram me. And I also am surprisingly grateful for the time spent incommunicado. As it turned out, Harbin was changing me in ways they could never have understood, that I couldn’t understand myself – I needed the time away to digest and put into words what was precious and ineffable. But then came cell phones. The changes that happen at Harbin are profound. Even were I just visiting for a day or two, I would need time to absorb it before all the assumptions of who I am to people-who-think-they-know-me should vaporize the experience. Like second-hand smoke, just hearing someone else on a phone is disturbing. A few years ago, one of the cell phone companies tried to obtain a permit to put a cell tower on a nearby hill, and thus bring cell phone service to our deprived rural backwater. Harbin was having none of it. Not only did Harbin dissuade them in county hearings, but also bought the hill where the tower had been proposed! Since Harbin espouses a belief in subtle energies accessible through meditation and silence, the issue involves far more than annoyance. That, and the effect of those kinds of radio waves on physical health has not been determined. Cell phones seem altogether a bad fit for a healing retreat center. Of course, times change and there are places on property where cell phones work. We have designated two where they are permissible – away from other people! – and located at the far end of parking lots. Connectivity is the buzzword of a new century and a new generation. But take it from an old-timer like me, and use your time at Harbin to connect with yourself. Deep-six the cell – you’ll be glad you did. 18
An ongoing series on old Harbin -
EVERYDAY AT HARBIN IS LIKE SUNDAY ON THE FARM ~ Lynne Osmundsen I'm back! I am Lynne Wiggins Osmundsen, the oldest grandaughter of the Ma and Pa Booth. Grandma and Grandpa bought Harbin in 1910 and started their dream of a destination resort that would appeal to the gentrified people of California and elsewhere. Everyone that visited Harbin called them "Ma" and "Pa" and they loved it. Imagine that it is school break in 1952 and I am 12 years old and have been dropped off at Harbin for the summer. When one is 12 years, one is somewhere between a girl and a woman. I know the difference now but I can't convince my own Grandaughter that she will grow and learn more later. One of the maids, Madellaine, was so much fun and, I thought, so pretty and nice. I think that my brother liked her. One day we all, all of the maids, my brother, and I went swimming in the Putah Creek. There were some areas where it was deep enough to swim for quite a while. Madellaine said that I was "A girl after my own heart". Wow! She thought that I would grow up just like her. I was so happy and now I am thankful that I grew up just like me. I loved swimming in the big pools, the hot ones and the big cold ones. What a perfect summer for young people. My Grandfather found a fawn that had been abandoned by her mother and he brought her home to the Grandchildren. We named her "Sandy" because everyone else named their fawn "Bambi". Of course, I really didn't know anyone else that had deer of their own. We kept and cared for her for most of the summer until she started to grow antlers, thus requiring a name change to "Bucky". Male deer can become quite aggresive and somewhat dangerous for the guests so my Grandfather and Uncle took Bucky into the wild again and let him go. I prefer to think he survived and lived a long and happy life. Fourth of July was always the highlight of the summer. Every year the same, wonderful guests would arrive. There would be music and parades and wonderful costumes and decorations. Lots of fun, noise and celebration would go on for the entire week. My cousin, Gayle, and I were given sparklers by one of the guests. We made the mistake of lighting them on my grandparents porch and they ignited a basket of laundry and almost burned the house down. I don't even remember getting in trouble. As the summer drew to a close and I was to begin my freshman year at Acalanes High School, my brother drove me and some of the people working at Harbin over to Hoberg's Hot Springs for a dance. Hoberg's was a more geared to young people and nightlife than Harbin so it was very exciting. I had a new dress and felt quite grown up. I was a little uncomfortable dancing with people that I didn't know very well and was so impressed with the night life and music. I saw some young boys stealing a case of beer and I was shocked. The night was warm, the music was young and fun and that night was a perfect start to my new high school adventure.
Series to be continued...
Celebrate the sacred in your bedroom and your daily life.
Begin or expand your career in the
Healing Arts …
FindingUs . . . 20
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School of Shiatsu & Massage at Harbin Hot Springs We’re located approximately 2 hours from San Francisco or Sacramento on Highway 29. In Middletown, go to the stoplight at the corner of Wardlaw and Hwy 29 and turn West. At the end of the block, turn right onto Big Canyon Road and follow it 1.2 miles to the fork and bear left onto Harbin Springs Road. From there, it’s 2 miles to our gatehouse.
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Published on Dec 8, 2011