"Gold can be made elementally pure and brilliant to the eye only through submission tofire."  - From a "free rendering" of portions of Ch. 11 of the Bhagavata Purana by Adi Da Samraj[i]
Fasting and Fire:  Purification, Rebalancing, Regeneration
Over the past 12 weeks, passing through the catastrophic fire here in Lake County and facing the violent ripping away of so much of our lives, our spiritual community, as a collective, has been going through a tremendous process of purification, very close to a literal death process for many of us (in fact several animal companions did not survive and one of our friends is still missing and presumed dead). The landscape has stopped smouldering but is now simply ashen. And as Adi Da has instructed us "death is a radical fast" and fire is quite literally the principal, primal and potent elemental force of purification. 

The most difficult part of a fast, as many of us have learned by hard experience, is when the fast is over and we begin to actively re-integrate the food body with the whole realm of food. At that point, no matter how fantastic we may perhaps have felt during the fast, having purged the body of some measure of gross toxicity, lost some excess poundage, and found a new balance point, once we start to eat again, the whole deeper patterning of the "mind of desire" (based in vital shock and the urge to survive) comes rushing back to the fore and we may experience our vital desire for food with irresistible force. And if we are not very careful, and skilled, we may find ourselves quickly undoing much of the fast's benefits by simply re-establishing our same old patterns of food taking, and lose the opportunity to shift the body's pattern and regenerate the body in  a more benign  state and in accord with our best understanding and inspiration. I know that in my early attempt to fast I literally made myself sick with overindulgence after breaking the fast. But over the years, based in a study of my Guru Adi Da Samraj's instruction, including studying quite a bit of practical wisdom about the fasting process as well as by living in a culture he established of intelligence about fasting, I have learned to be more skillful with the process and can benefit from it.

The fast is one of the main examples of the process of purification, rebalancing and regeneration. This cyclic process is a main way to establish ongoing free growth, adaptation and change in the human body-mind complex and in the natural world altogether.

For most of us, the shock of the fire (and the destruction in its wake) is still very raw and our inability to simply reestablish our "normal" lives continues to generate daily anxiety, based in our persisting vital shock and urge to survive. This is made easier to the degree that we are seated in a recognition that Adi Da is literally and tangibly present here and now with us, as blessing presence, without any limitation and that, as he taught us "What Is Truly Wonderful is never threatened!"

Nevertheless, the body-mind has its own momentum and even given our recognition of and response to the living Spirit, the waves of the mind of desire persist, crashing against the brutal facts of our scorched circumstance.  The impulse is to scramble back to safety, to rebuild a familiar safe space. Yes, what we had  may not have been the kind of "architecture and design of sacred life," or a fully manifested "spiritual culture of cooperation" that we know would be optimal as serious spiritual practitioners, but at least it is familiar, and we can recreate what we had relatively quickly. And all of the mechanisms of insurance, mortgages, aid agencies, contractors etc. are lined up to simply sell us a re-creation of the world of single-family-homes-on-a-lot that existed before the fire.

In spite of this intense internal and external pressure many of our friends have said that they do intend to rebuild in a much simpler and cooperative fashion, to resist the urge to recreate the past, and to pause  .  .  .  while we take the breaths necessary to feel together what our possibilities are in this new post-fireworld. I am very grateful for those who can do this, because I feel that it will help Magdalena and me to feel more deeply how the fire has stripped us to core essentials, help us find a deeper balance point andthen to create a new, regenerated circumstance for our life - one that will be even more supportive of our impulse to live a concentrated spiritual life that can also be intensively of service to all. Some of our other friends are in a more urgent situation and desperately need to scramble back to "shore" as soon as possible so they can take care of basic issues of survival. I understand this also, and we are working hard to integrate all aspects of our rebuilt community in a new and cooperative and full and vibrant form, one that truly serves the ongoing, critical process of Transformation here on Earth. We have had three full community town meetings as well as many smaller gatherings. We have brought in some outside help to advise us on rebuilding in a more creative, cooperative fashion. We are intensively researching the various kinds of architecture and financing and legal associations that may be possible. Our new nonprofit, the "Seigler Springs Community Redevelopment Association" is now street-legal. And we are finding ways to enjoy our community fellowship in our present still-stripped-down and transitional form. We are extremely fortunate that our meditation and retreat sanctuary, the Mountain Of Attention, is still standing (though severely burned outside the core temple complex) and we have been able to enjoy some deep meditative retreat and celebration time there. We are, for the most part, set for winter and will be continuing to meet with our friends over the coming winter months to be ready for spring's new surge of life. 

Many things have changed radically and it will not be the same again here in Lake County.  This fire is a once-in-a-lifetime event, one that has the possibility of shifting everything about how we live. I wake up every day with the hope that our purification will truly be followed by a deep rebalancing and regeneration and that we will manifest a new collective "embodiment" that will serve all beings by building our lives according to a more conscious, cooperative, creative Architecture. Isn't this the secret of the building of a real "temple" or sacred space - that such a structure is resonant with the deepest Reality such that It can Flow into and through that form, Manifesting Itself in this "world" for all to see and feel?


PS - THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to our GoFundMe campaign - https://www.gofundme.com/4el-mag !!! It is amazing to feel you "out there" and your kind words of encouragement are real "food" for our hearts! We are still shopping for a Yurt (www.pacificyurts.com) as a temporary dwelling comespring, but we'll see how that may combine with the efforts of our friends. If you want to contact us, we are living at 8242 N. Heights Dr., Kelseyville, CA 95451 - at least until March. 



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