As in the temple, so in the parking lot

This time, for my Apprentice Befana sharing, I choose to communicate through an image.

parking lot

It might seem like a banal image, but for me, there is an entire world behind this pattern of interlocking blocks on the ground that we contact almost every day at Damanhur. For me, they are the symbol of an emotional experience that I’ve been wanting to share for some time, although I hadn’t found the right occasion until now. Let’s see if the Apprentice Befana can transmit this feeling from a few years ago…

I had just come back to Damanhur after a long period in America. I was drifting through everyday life with open eyes observing everything with a deep sense of happiness and amazement. I am at Damanhur, at home. Here I am again, finally! Seeing things, seeing you. Touching you. Touching with the hands, the senses, without the digital or astral filters of distance. Everything was real, present, a tremendous gift.

I was walking through the Damjl parking lot, gazing downward with slitted eyes due to the brightness of the summer sun, and all of a sudden, I stopped. For the first time, I saw these interlocking blocks that I had ignored for so many years. I observed their uniform rectangular shape, with colors ranging from brick red to orange-grey. They – the blocks that is – started talking to me. Some had sweet voices. Others were more enraged. Each one reminded me that someone had put it there, someone who had worked up a sweat. I saw a vision of wheelbarrows full of blocks, emptied and filled up again. Every piece in its place, one after the other, gradually completing the covering on the ground.

Hall of MirrorsI felt such a strong wave of emotion in my heart that tears came to my eyes. I was struck by how much love and effort was invested in building this parking lot ground cover, so simple, essential and taken for granted. I felt as if I were in the Temples of Humankind, in the Hall of Mirrors, with feet planted on the ground, neck craned and mouth agape, astonished by the stained glass dome above, appreciating every color, every piece of glass that had been traced, cut, broken, ground down to the perfect shape, covered with a strip of perfectly balanced copper tape, and bound in liquid metal, slipping and densifying.

In that moment, I understood. They are the same: the thousands of blocks underneath my feet and the thousands of glass pieces above my head. As above, so below. The only difference is that the glass is gazed upon and admired every day, and the interlocking blocks are hardly ever noticed. Although, they are the same because the love, attention and devotion that is in each piece is the same. I quickly started walking toward my office again, to avoid the embarrassment of having to explain why I was standing there crying in the middle of the parking lot at Damjl.

Sometimes, when the everyday efforts of constantly moving forward and building Damanhur start to weigh on me, and I feel tempted to stop, retreat, fly away with my imagination to a less demanding reality, I think of those parking lot blocks. I think of the anonymous hands that have placed them there in perfect right angles. I am strengthened by this image and the certainty that one day, every piece that has been built in whatever material will speak to someone who is listening.

 

Questa volta per la mia condivisione da Apprendista Befana, scelgo di comunicare attraverso un’immagine. Potrebbe sembrare un’immagine banale, ma per me c’è un mondo dietro questo intreccio di masselli che contattiamo quasi ogni giorno a Damanhur. Per me è simbolo di un’emozione che volevo raccontarvi da tempo, ma non trovavo l’occasione o le parole giuste. Vediamo se l’Apprendista Befana riesce a trasmettere questo sentimento da qualche anno fa… Continue reading

my first San Francisco Bay Area Damanhur events

Image

San Francisco Bay Area Damanhur events

I’m excited to share Damanhur experience and energy with familiar and new friends around SF. These events are in North Bay – San Rafael … East Bay and SF events coming up!

Ballad of the Flying City – Damanhur Sacred Dance

Video

A performance at the Damanhur Damjl amphitheater on July 1, 2012 with Damanhurian Sacred Dancers, musicians and choir, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Temples of Humankind opening to the world.

Preparing for this Sacred Dance performance was such a joyful yet disciplined affair. I feel that the laughter, fun and love shared between us as we worked out the choreography and harmonized our moves shines through. In the end, what matters isn’t so much the perfection of the final performance—there were some slight mishaps—rather the spirit of lightness and beauty, discovery and magic that accompanies this commemoration of opening the Temples of Humankind in 1992.

Un performance all’anfiteatro di Damjl a Damanhur il 1 luglio 2012 con Danza Sacra, musicisti e coro, celebrando Il ventennale dell’apertura al mondo dei Templi dell’Umanità.

Preparando per questo performance di Danza Sacra è stato un percorso gioioso e disciplinato. Credo che si sente il divertimento ed amore condivisi fra di noi che brillava mentre lavoravamo sulla coreografia e armonizzavamo i nostri passi. Alla fine, non importa la perfezione del performance finale – c’era qualche cosa da aggiustare – ma conta invece lo spirito di luce e bellezza, scoperta e magia che ha accompagnata questa commemorazione dell’apertura dei Templi dell’Umanità in 1992.

the Temples: home sweet home


when I travel around the world and come back to Damanhur,
I don’t feel like I’ve really come back…
even if I return to all the daily rituals and mechanisms of connection,
forehead to tree trunk, plates in the dishwasher, recuperating meetings,
saluting Horus from the gazebo next to the Open Temple with a wink…
until the moment I enter into the halls of the Temples.
a deep sigh, finally… home.
a wave of fresh air that penetrates the skin,
refreshing the muscles and caressing the bones.
finally I can breathe, let go, really breathe.
not a breath that descends to the sternum
and rises back up in a fit of anxiety,
but the breath that cleanses the entire universe,
beginning with the spheres on the altars in the chambers within,
the small, hidden ones full of brilliant treasures
veiled, sometimes brought out and shown,
when the planets and stars are aligned and friends with each other.
finally, protection, a bubble of pure time and atmosphere
defending me from the disharmonious radiation and confused thoughts outside.
underground. salvation. blessing. sensation of electric soul-belonging.
the rock walls, the living sculptures, every figure and symbol speaks to me,
sings a love song to me, divine music that guides the eternal invisible dance.

quando sono in giro per il mondo e torno a Damanhur… Continue reading

The joy of receiving gratitude from those touched by Damanhur

One of the reasons that life at Damanhur is so immensely satisfying, even though so intensely demanding, is the gratitude that comes back to us at unexpected moments, from friends and guests who come here and connect. Here is a message from my dear friend Safed/Tamera whom I met while camping together at the Heebeegeebee Healers at Burning Man. She reflects on Damanhur after an initial visit last April…

“I feel the time has come for me to express my gratitude for my experience at Damanhur.  Due to my connection to you and the general level of love and respect that you command, I was treated as a revered guest in a way that felt very inclusive and connecting.  Distinguished from the Damanhurians and the New Lifers, I still felt a part of something.  I discovered new manifestations of the spirit and devotion and expanded my worldview about what a spiritual life and community means.  I was awestruck at the sheer volume of the “work” that Damanhurians have produced and do produce, the magnificence of the Temples and the labyrinths attested to that in a visual way but there was a sense of something deeper, a drive to search deep and then out of that searching to produce, to create, to express the depths of the being.”