Monday, October 27, 2008

Harvest: Sawain, Heart Consciousness, Pools

At Harbin this past weekend, there were pumpkins around the warm pools and Halloween decorations in the restaurant.

In years past, Sawain, the harvest festival and remembrance for people who have passed away, might have been practiced or celebrated, possibly even to the exclusion of Halloween at Harbin. While the carved pumpkins around the pools are beautifully creative, what has changed such that Harbin is celebrating the U.S. holiday of Halloween (which doesn't really have any religious connotations, anyway)?

I think it reflects a kind of Harbin expression of similarity with widespread United States' social patterns. And while New Age and pagan rituals, like Sawain, may be celebrated as well this year - I'll see this weekend - I wonder if this celebration of Halloween reflects a kind of Harbin movement away from Harbin's 'cultural' roots in the late 1960s and 70s, and the fundamental questioning that was part of that fabric of life. In general, I think holidays have not been that significant to Harbin, even in the 1970s. (To be seen . . . )

I also think that Harbin might continue to celebrate Sawain for generations into the future. Even in Harbin's connection and expressions of similarities with widespread U.S. social practices, 'Harbin' continues to remember and cultivate alternative practices at the same time.


Harbin's 'Heart Consciousness Church,' and 'New Age Church of Being' are examples of this. Each organization is its own unique entity, and both have emerged from Harbin itself. Heart Consciousness Church {HCC} operates Harbin, and the New Age Church of Being {NACOB} is an educational program, which ordains 'ministers,' - even in all of Harbin's freedom. NACOB has ordained about 20 ministers so far. NACOB is a church within another church {HCC}. Harbin, in general, is curious vis-a-vis religion, which it plays down, but, at the same time, has given rise the unique milieu of Harbin, and kind of alternative vision, which for some has a spiritual side. Hippie-ness was very creative with religion, and counterculture gave form to a spiritual revolution, of which Harbin is .


But in Harbin's curiousness, the pools themselves are where you might most likely experience a significant degree of harmony and oneness, (and ease and openness) and without thinking about it, ~ very Taoist - and in a clothing optional environment. How did this happen? This emergence has something to do with the 'energy' of the pool area and the valley.

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