Last night I had the privilege of giving a talk at Krotona School of Theosophy up in Ojai. It was a perfect Spring day and before I spoke I was taken on a tour of the grounds, the school, and the many various buildings by the director herself. I felt honored to walk with her and hear some of the stories and history of this esteemed place.
As we walked through many different scenes, rooms and colors, I was taken by the order and the love that was everywhere around me. She explained the origins, the architecture and the esoteric meanings of what I was seeing. She showed me where to get the best view of the mountains. She showed me the rose gardens and many sculptures, paintings and photographs. All of it, taken care of. Every single thing was cared for. I could feel it as I walked through. There was nothing overlooked or not considered. Everything had its place and its function and had been “thought about”. The word that came to mind was “care”. Conscious caring.
I like to keep my environment like that. Well, except my desk. But for the most part, my home, the space that surrounds me, I care for, like it belongs to me, like it is a part of me, because it is an extension of me. I am in relationship with my environment and I want to take care of it. I shepherd my space the same way I would for a pet or a garden. I feel I have some responsibility to it. The way I know that I’ve done this is by how it feels. Does it agitate or calm? Just like our appearance, or our voice, we can be agitating or calming. Our very bodies can bring peace to our world or disharmony. Our homes, our environments can bring a sigh of relief or create ambient tension. I am aware of these things like I am aware that a plant needs water. It is something that matters to me because it’s under my care and is part of the physical extension of my life. I can help it shine.
Krotona is like that but on a grand scale. While I was at Krotona I was acutely aware of the consciousness of the many people that had contributed to this care of every single little thing. I could recognize it because I do it. You know that old saying, it takes one to know one. This is a spiritual principal, just like like attracts like. As I walked the grounds I found myself taking long, deep breaths. Breathing in the rabbits that were hopping about and the golden apricot rays of light shining long beams through the dust and the pollen as it neared sunset. I could feel the loving intelligence and the guiding hands that had brought this place to such a high vibration.
So when at one point on my tour I came across something different than that, it struck me so strongly that I took a picture of it, the only picture I took that day, because on some level this image of out-of-orderness gave me a sense of relief. Which surprised me. It’s very disharmony made me notice the masterful harmony all around me even more. I was able to see the beauty that was all around me by its very contrast. Here I was in one of the most beautiful, thought-fillled places in Southern California, and here also was this spectacle of something out-of-order. It reminded me of the humor in the world, the playfulness of consciousness rather that the relentless seriousness of it as it can sometimes become, and I laughed and laughed, took my photograph, didn’t even know why I took it at the time, just had to, and went on with our tour. And now I find myself wanting to share this so very much. Many of you know I haven’t written in this format for a while. Isn’t it interesting what inspires, which for me it turns out is about beauty and grace and form, which is not so surprising at all I realize now as I finish writing this piece.
Beauty is complex and simple. It is yin and yang, dark and light. For a moment I was given a gift yesterday, a little window where all of this became so very apparent. Harmony is divine, and everything, in its way is divine. Upside-down, right-side up, on-its-side, beauty has an elegance and grace to it that is recognizable. All we have to do is notice it. It’s everywhere. It’s right where we are sitting right now. Look around you.
Being a musician and particularly a piano player the exact pinpointedness of this particular image gave me the relief and the backdrop I needed to recognize the beauty that I had been literally wading through. It put my perception on its end, quite literally. So practical and irreverent to place a grand piano – a Steinway grand piano – on its side in one of the most sacred places on the earth. It was perfect.
bowing to divine order again
and sending you blessings and blessings,
p.s And just so you know, I know everyone at Krotona would want you to know that the piano was set like this for just a short while they reorganized the room it would soon grace again.