Living the Dream. . .
When my husband and I met some years ago, we exchanged stories of when we were kids and the dreams that we each had. I knew, always, that Love was all there really is, and that all the other hubbub that seems to go on (that feels and looks like so much less than Love) is all a call for Love. My husband dreamt about the stars, the sky, and the planets. He wanted to know what it all meant and dreamt of finding out in this lifetime.
I had a pony. He played outside every day until dark. I lived on a farm. He worked on one. When we met it truly felt like a cosmic union--an undeniable Love that had been waiting for THAT moment to show up. Our relationship has been the fertile ground on which our collective dreams have come, and continue to come, true. Sure, it hasn't all been easy. There have been tears, challenges, disagreements and loss. Yet through it all, there has always been Love.
Our dreams merged, and we traveled--first to Thailand for a 3+ month yoga immersion training...
days after completing our yoga training immersion on Koh Panang, Thailand
I remember many mornings practicing before dawn, and returning to the pyramid studio or sound chamber long into the darkness. We chanted, practiced asana, mandala gazing, mantra, pranayama, studied anatomy, physiology, cosmology, Vedanta, Tantra and Samkhya. Our bodies shifted, changed, and evolved in ways I can't even imagine attempting to put into words.
Then, we found ourselves in Bali where we studied with yoga teachers from across the globe, a sankrit scholar and traditional teacher of Vedanta who studied under his teacher for more than 30 years. We would sit with him for hours listening to his loving messages.
Our beloved Bapak, landlord and Bali Papa, who passed away on our last trip to Bali
We lived in Bali for some six moths out of the year, for three consecutive years. We spent our time absorbed by the culture and the richness of the people and their wisdom.
The Balinese are primarily Hindu, and greet one another with "Om Suasti Astu"--loosely translated as I see the rightness in you, the universal alignment with nature in and through you, and I see you seeing that same rightness in me.
They chant, pray, worship, sing, and dance into night. They follow the lunar rhythms and stay up all night every full moon, carrying offerings to all of the gods, mounted high on their heads. They leave offerings outside their doors, on the sidewalks, in their family temples and throughout their neighborhoods. They see everything as sacred, and so, too, did we.
I traveled to India to study with Dr. Vasant Lad for 6 weeks, while Larry stayed on in the U.S. to begin building our YogaFarm.
Sitting beneath the Bodhi Tree with Usha Lad, between seeing clients at the Farm Clinic, India.
This page simply can't speak to all of the brilliance that has been shown to us, but hopefully will show you some of the signs by which we have been guided.
Sign #1: We drove down a long road, until the pavement ended... and then drove some more.... we found a for sale sign and drove down another long drive. We fell in Love with the land... and then I got scared... WHAT? Live at the end of the road? The middle of nowhere? No cell service? No internet? We drove out the driveway and pulled into our neighbor's drive. Tibetan prayer flags adorned his porch-- ahhh, yes... I can do this.
Sign #2: We called our real estate agent to check into the zoning of the property--she called us back and said, "I am not sure why you are asking because the county records show you as the owner". (For the record, the county made an error, and we knew we didn't actually own it, but it certainly got our attention.)
Sign #3: We asked a friend and intuit, Esther Arce, to walk the land with us -- she tells us we are to be stewards to the land for a while and will move into our home in 5 years -- which felt like forever. Our tentative move-in date is the week summer begins 2012 -- five years since she shared this message.
Sign #4: We explored building an clay straw home with a company out of New Mexico called EcoNest. They turned us on to Healthy Home construction and Vastu Shastra -- the mother of Feng Shui (in perfect alignment with yoga). They relocate to Oregon. They are our close consultants on the project.
Sign #5: Andrew Stabile, a brilliantly talented and incredibly open architect moved his family to Oregon after designing homes in Colorado. We are blessed to be able to work with such a big hearted, talented human being on this project.
Sign #6: We are referred by our natural home consultants to a Vastu architect, who has studied Vastu Shastra for decades in India and now resides, practices, and consults out of Vedic City, Iowa. He agrees to take on our project, although he generally wouldn't, considering he is not our lead architect.
Sign #7: We find a house online (pictured below) in upstate New York that blends our visions of farmhouse with yoga studio (mind you... none of this has been permitted, nor have we any indication that it ever could be). We proceed anyway.
Samuel Brooks house circa 1850 upstate New York
Sign #8: Our builders come... one by one... as if called by something so much bigger than ourselves -- we can tell you story after story about how we stood and scratched our heads, saying, "I really need someone who is an expert in [fill in the blank]". It didn't take long after for the phone to ring.
Sign #9: The organization FarmStayUS has approved us as a self-sustaining farm. They are a blend of what we have witnessed and researched as a farmstay/yoga type retreat center. The national headquarters are in Oregon.
Sign #10: The county planner I spoke to 3 years ago, who at the time gave us no indication we could do even a fraction of what we hoped, returns my call after I come clean and send her a detailed outline of a "perfect world" of the YogaFarm... She says, "I really don't see any problem...."
And so this story goes... and goes... and goes.
I will stop here. Perhaps we can save the other magical moments for a visit and dinner by the creek. There have been dozens of signs, if not a hundred. The journey has been, and continues to be simply amazing. We have been guided, led, inspired by, and taught thought and by so many.
My teacher in Bali has called the place Deva Daaru. This is the divine place that is protected by the God of the trees, the cedar trees. Here is how our home is held by the trees... Most magically, perhaps is how the house chose, in conversation with the land, where it was to be built.
Built of Faswall, our home is a modern, eco-Vastu home inspired by the past, future, and present The reparian zone required a 50 foot buffer between creek edge and house, while the cedar tree nestles perfectly between the house and the yoga studio, visible from the library of the house, the guest entry, main entrance, prayer room or puja room, and the yoga studio. We are part and parcel of this land.
The dream is alive, each moment, and has embedded itself in each of us. We don't have to take time to dream about it -- it dreams us. Funny as it may sound, it tells the land, the house, the builders, and each of us when to slow down, speed up, shift, rest, change. It tells us when a product is substandard, and what is allowable. As Vastu is teaching us, it is a breathing, living entity that will house our dreams, our yoga kula, and the teachings that have come through us, to all who choose to partake, as sweetly as our skin houses our own bodies.
Om Namah Guru Dev.
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Copyright © 2014, by Britt B Steele. All rights reserved.
Each day you wake up and you either move through life consciously -- paying attention to the details, or unconsciously -- going through the motions. It isn’t what happens in your life that makes the greatest impact -- it’s the perspective through which you see your life and what you do with what you see.