Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Pilgrimage To Swami's

I have always thought my Epitaph would read “Enter Weary Traveler.” One of my favorite lines in a song has been, “You give the appearance of one widely traveled. Miracles appear in the strangest of places sit down let me buy you a beer.” 


Looking back at a Writing Conference I attended in Telluride, Colorado, It seems like I was visited by one. 

Entering into a book store across from the performance theatre, I immediately flashed on a serene face on the cover of a book titled, “The Autobiography of a Yogi.” The picture was of Paramahansa Yogananda, the man who would become my eventual Guru.  He is the founder of the Self Realization Fellowship. I was soon to begin my studies of Kriya Yoga, and my journey to becoming a card carrying Yogi.

I don’t think I ever really believed in Miracles. Oh! I had heard of all the Biblical Miracles the great ones, but not any personal ones. I’m not sure that you recognize them when you see them. They are subtle.

A nice story at a glance, but where is the miracle? I returned to my writing loft in Vail, Colorado and continued my studies. The veil of maya was slowly lifted from my life as well as the cloud of alcohol that ruled my life. I continued my writing and ski bumming life. 

After attending a writing conference in Aspen, the opportunity to move to that city and ski Ajax  opened up. I quickly accepted it and moved. At the very same time, the manager of the local health club, the Aspen Athletic Club, was hoping to become involved with a group of people her own age and looking for a new job. Kathy, my boss and I started working together at a new fresh career. It was evident from the beginning that we not only worked well with one another but there was an attraction. I was having my mail delivered to our office as my apartment was in the same building. Yes, Main Street Aspen, Colorado across from the Main Street Bakery. We often shared a revered delivery of matzo ball soup from Benjamin’s Deli or famed turkey burgers and brownies from the Silver City Grille. One particular afternoon while sorting through our mail Kathy came upon one of my lessons from the Self Realization Fellowship from Encinitas, California. She asked Nancy our secretary about it and was told that I routinely received correspondences  from there. Surprised, she confronted me and began to explain that as a young high school surfing hippie girl they used to surf at Sunset Beach. It would later in life become Swami’s Beach. They would sit out on their surf boards until almost dark and look with binoculars into the ashram, hoping to see the swamis flying around on their carpets. We laughed heartily at her youth and she said she would take me to the ashram as it was so beautiful. It was one of those promises made that you knew would probably never be fulfilled. Our working lives brought us closer together and we became romantically involved. 

A few years later, we decided to take a month off and travel the west coast from Mexico to Oregon. Somewhere along our vacation the thought occured to us that that we may never have a month off together again and that we would get married in Lake Tahoe after our pilgrimage to the ashram. Upon arriving at the ashram, we were hoping to receive a blessing concerning our plans for marriage. While walking up to Swami’s meditation bench that looks out on the Pacific Ocean, in what I consider to be the most beautiful setting in America, our miracle occurred for us. In the sand in large letters was the name Paramahansa Yogananda spelled out. I being a devoted chela of Paramahansa and Kathy, a respected admirer of his, we viewed this as a miracle blessing for our ensuing marriage. We continued on to Lake Tahoe and were wed. Over the years the blessings of Swami and the Self Realization Fellowship has brought great joy, enlightenment and wonder into our lives.

I am soon to begin a new chapter in my writing life and begin my search for an agent to assist in the publishing of my work, ‘White Dreams, The Trials of the World’s Greatest Ski Bum,’ simultaneously in America and Europe. Hopefully in time for the Olympics that will be held in Sochi, Russia in 2014. I ask humbly for the blessing of my lord Krishna, my lord Jesus Christ, Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahashiya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda, and all Great Saints of all Religions in my endeavor. I further ask that I may succeed in climbing the sacred mountain of self realization and stand at last on the shining summit, face to face with thee, O inconceivable Spirit Divine.

I will leave with the recitation of what is considered to be the most powerful mantra known to man.                  
                                                  The Gayatri Mantra
Om Bhur Buvaha Swaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhyo Yonaha Prachodayath.

Perhaps my new epitaph should be a quote from  Procol Harum in the song Conquistador, from the Album, A Whiter Shade of Pale.

“Conquistador your stallion stands in need of company and like some angel’s haloed brow you reek of purity. I see your armour-plated breast has long since lost its sheen.”

Monday, September 24, 2012

Looking Toward Sochi, Russia 2014

O.K. I admit it. I have had an obsession with the Winter Olympics since they were held in Lake Placid New York in 1980. I tried very hard to organize my artisan and musician friends in climbing the back side of Whiteface Mountain at night with musical instruments and generators. It was my dream to hold a concert at sunrise. You guessed it. It never happened, that failure has not stopped me from dreaming of pulling off publishing my writing in conjunction with an Olympics. I came close in 2010 Vancouver with Of Mountains And Men. Wrong publisher and under marketing made for lackluster recognition. This Olympics I feel primed. I just recently realized that I can publish my blog in different languages, such as Russian, French, German, etc. What a great thing. Now if I can arrange to have my book of poetry already an ebook ( available in translation, double score. My collection of short stories White Dreams, (The Trials of the World Greatest Ski Bum), available as an ebook and possibly find a publisher to simultaneously publish in Europe and America I will have arrived.  Why the 34 year obsession? I want a contract to write a Historical Novel about Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in Colorado and have the funding to do it right. Well so much for the confessions of a self-absorbed obsessed ski bum writer. Wish me luck! Who knows if I can afford it I may be able to realize my Oregon Retirement Dreams.