Community alchemy and building a home

california-quailNow that I am “home” in Damanhur after a 33 day journey, I reflect on the viaggio of the past month, beginning with bringing Damanhur School of Meditation teachings to Tamera in Portugal and concluding with a Burning Man Symposium held like an egg in a nest at Esalen in Big Sur, California. It’s so heartening to see those of us who carry and move within group identities connecting in with each other deeply and dissolving boundaries in these collaborative endeavors.

I have noticed that Damanhur facilitates transformation within people in a certain direction, and Tamera does so too on a different and unique trajectory. Holding the Damanhur Path to Spiritual Freedom course in Tamera brought the participants into a movement that ended up in a different place than either of those, a beautiful synergy of the gifts from each source, sparking joy, authenticity and liberation.

tameraThe same thing happened during the Burning Man Symposium at Esalen I feel. The unique alchemy of each container poured together to create softly exploding fireworks of pure magic that mixed the sound of the Pacific ocean waves crashing into the night with the smell of sulfur in the sesalenteam of the baths and the taste of miso soup and marinated kale, together with the roar of power tools and high caliber laughter, swigs of tequila, pink hair and building up something colorful and creative just to set it on fire immediately. Somehow it worked.

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the heart of being you

cuore di ghiandeOn my most recent journey in California, I returned to Esaleletting gon in Big Sur, a place that not only nourishes me and restores me to who I most want to be, it has offered some of the most significant synchronic signposts on this ‘roadtrip’ of an incarnation, including the time I met my first Damanhurian friend at the Esalen Art Barn. Every time I go back there, I visit the Art Barn, pay homage to those moments, and sit outside by the roaring crystalline ocean waves and let myself be inspired to write.

Here’s what came through this time. It’s poem for a friend of mine who is moving through some vulnerable moments. She’s a Scorpio. They are sensitive.

in every heart,
there is a place
where you meet all your desires.
a hot chocolate embrace,
sticky kisses of nectar the color of sunshine,
silk pillows stuffed with rainbow bird feathers,
so full that one burst open
and a flurry of feathers
dances with the wind
tickling the laughter out of you,
when the whole world seems to be conspiring
to inspire frowns and tears and
the shrinking of your light.
and in that sacred, delicious place
is a memory
of that one time
you decided to be you
nothing more
just the roaring, passionate everything of our soul
and in being so unapologetically, shame-free you…
you were whole,
and you were loved.

Click here to read last year’s Esalen Art Barn poem.

treeDurante il mio più recente viaggio in California, sono tornata a Esalen in Big Sur, California, un luogo che non solo mi nutre e mi ristabilisce la capacità di vivere come voglio, mi ha offerto alcuni dei segnali stradale più significativi e sincronici durante questo viaggio della mia incarnazione, anche quella volta ho incontrato la mia prima amica damanhuriana al ‘Art Barn’ (laboratorio d’arte) di Esalen. Ogni volta torno a visitare, vado al Art Barn per rendere omaggio a questi momenti e sedermi fuori, vicina alle onde dell’oceano così cristalline e vivaci, per sentirmi ispirata a scrivere… Continue reading

bringing visions from sky to earth

big surnot all spiritual beings fly. some are grounded, really rooted with their feet heavy like rocks and hands colored with earth, because they need to see the planet and its inhabitants from close-up, not from the sky. with open eyes, beaming like rays of sunlight through glass, coloring inner vision, lines, shades of red and yellow. the poetry of forms in matter, in the imperfections. with heart radiating the rhythm and pulsations of blood… they need to be so close that the exhalations of divine breath create fog on the window that looks out to the field vetro portawhere animals live according to their instincts, fog on the camera lens, on the contact lenses, on the skin in contact. bodhisattva, welcome to our world. the wind of your breath – slow as the ocean – brings messages, sighing together with the waves of human events, small and pretty like stones, rounded and carried by the river to the ocean with the water always in movement, nuances of eternal blue.

for Piovra Caffè, written in the Esalen Art Barn, September 2013

gli esseri spirituali non volano tutti. alcuni sono atterrati, ben fondati, con i piedi come rocce e le mani colorati di terra… Continue reading

The journey and the destination: Damanhur

My name is Quaglia Cocco, which means “Quail Coconut” in Italian. I live in Damanhur Spiritual EcoCommunity in northern Italy as a full time resident “A” citizen. This means I live in one of the nucleo communities and fully participate in all aspects of Damanhur, so: the social and community life, the spiritual tradition and rituals, and the aspect connected to playful transformation. I am the first and (so far) only born-and-raised American who has made this particular choice of full immersion Damanhur.

I often hear the questions, “How did you hear about Damanhur? … How did you come here? … How did you come to live here?!?” asked rather incredulously. Yes, it does seem unlikely that an Ohio-born, Texas-raised nomadic Renaissance artist with ancestral roots in China and Taiwan and educational roots in Berkeley, California and tribal roots in San Francisco, with a tendency to hop tropical islands and fire dance all over the world … would decide to settle in provincial northern Italy at the foothills of the Piedmont Alps. Well, this isn’t just an Italian mountain village here, folks. This is Damanhur. I could live anywhere in the world, and I chose to live here. But how?

Like many important, life-altering choices, it all started at Burning Man.

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