New beginnings offer adventure and excitement but are also wrought with risk and a sense of the “unknown”. Every day of our lives is sort of like that. Even though we may come to count our days as predictable and our lives as secure we really begin each day anew stepping into the unknown where “mystery” surrounds us. When we are mindful of the great river of change that flows through our lives we realize that potential and possibility bubble up into our dreams and visions and give us inspiration, energy and hope to push forward in spite of all odds.
Here at The Mandala Center we are at a time of change and growth. New things are happening. New energy is flowing. New insights are being birthed. When I was asked, during my interview process, “What is your vision for The Mandala Center?”, I knew that answer did not live entirely within me. I knew that the land, the Center itself, the history, the staff and the people that journey here all played a part in the “vision” and in the unfolding path we would come to walk together. Since my arrival, I am very aware of the “power of place” and the wisdom in the wind and the mountains here that know much better than I what it has to offer. I still have work to do, decisions to make and ideas to share. We never get out of the “work” we have to do in our daily lives even when Spirit guides us. My work, this work, is a labor of love – as life should be. Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things, only small things, with great love.” And so we begin each day.
But new beginnings – like this beginning – are not entirely new. It is based on the foundation of the past – a history of this land and the lives of those who have helped to create this sanctuary for people, pilgrims in their own right, who journey here in search of consciously integrating, healing and learning about the body, the mind, and the spirit. Father John Wilbur, the first executive director wrote exactly 11 years ago in November 1998 this description of The Mandala Center , “We seek to provide a fuller experience of being alive – of being human- of being part of a living cosmos and learning individually and collectively the deep meaning of leading a conscious life.” He wrote, “Sacredly blessed, this serene and beauty-full haven beckons you to come.”
So here I am. I have come to be part of the evolving mission and mystery of The Mandala Center. New beginnings are simply transitions or transformations from one form to another. There is usually a time of waiting, of germination, of incubation and new beginnings always involve an equal amount of letting go, of change, of death. Something is always passing away while something is being born but that which passes always has served as the fertile soil that sprouted new life even when we cannot see exactly what crop we have planted yet.
Not too long ago in one of my Art as Meditation classes a student, Leigh, made a collage card for me. It said, “Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.” This gave me hope. All we can do is keep making the effort – with love. My role here is only one step in a bigger picture – a larger plan – of which I cannot see entirely from where I sit – but I feel it- I feel it very deeply. I welcome you also to be part of the vision here, part of the new beginnings, part of the cycle of change, and the bigger picture of The Mandala Center.
In peace, Lori Coon, Executive Director