1998: The First Gathering (page 3)


Al / Ishvara Das

Yeah, The Gathering was lots of fun. Personally, I was under the weather and not really feeling up to par. So perhaps The Gathering wasn’t quite all it could be for me. But, certainly, it was enough.

My experience of the meditation at the end of The Gathering was the most profound for me. We did some chanting of the word “om.” It was really nice. I made it a point not to try to get on the same pitch as my neighbors for the sake of harmony. That’s especially ironic considering the fact that I was sitting next to Lee/Aiyar Das, my harmonizing partner from the band. I just wanted to get in touch with the vibration of the om inside of me. This resulted in a slight dissonance with my neighbors. But it didn’t sound bad. It just added more complexity to the general chorus of sound.

At one point at the end of the meditation, Dorie placed some little white flowers in my lap. They were so clean, and pure, so fragrant, so innocent. I cried a little bit then and there. I cried for the innocence and purity of one very sincere disciple who never ever gave up.

I guess it was my way of comforting that disciple inside of me who worked his butt to the bone attempting to fulfill the conditions of his sabbatical for ten long years awaiting the invitation to return that never came.

Thanks to all the organizers of The Gathering, you guyz worked really hard, and you helped change some lives.

al/ishvara das (1978-1991)

Steve/Mon-Ra-Son, Al/Ishvara Das, Catherine/Kalon, Joern/Ra-Camah-Nesh

Steve R. / Mon-Ra-Sone

Okay children. Write a story about your summer vacation in 500 words or less. AAAAAHHHHHHHHGGGGG!

Okay okay okay. The Gathering. I am very proud to say “I WAS THERE FOR IT!” Whoooaaaa! Pretty cool indeed! My only upset? That the whole body electric wasn’t there to play too. We missed you all deeply, and we understood the myriad of reasons why you couldn’t join us, but you were there in spirit, we could feel you.

It was bliss. How do you describe being seperated that many years from the main reason why we were there in the first place? Communal. We had a communal thing in common. Nothing like it. And we are the communion.

But how do you properly stand aside while someone you are aching to embrace is in the embrace of another equally desirous? Squirm squirm squirm. You wait and look and ache and wait and then it’s your turn and you explode in delight and emotions unexplainably delicious!

I remember seeing Vasha Deva enter and her being swooped up by three or four others before me as I waited in the background. Vasha Deva! Oh my gawd! She is sooooooo wonderful! And what a story to tell! And then she spotted me. And we screamed that delightful squeel that only children can make! So very V.D. :) And Mo-Nay-On. (smile spreading across my geeky face) Oh I wouldn’t trade that night for a million incarnations! No one in my book is as exceptional as you all are. We are the best! Well, okay, we have a history together, and that’s what brings the preciousness to it all.

And then there was Belvain. Uhhhh! As handsome as the day I last remember seeing him! Here’s a man who can be comfortable around me regardless of my leanings! And not have a qualm about it! Too hard to decribe that. You have to experience it. I could melt in his glance! And he knows it… :)

And all the others. Simply awesome. We have to wait so long? I hope not again. I can’t handle such distant love affairs as that! Foreplay should not linger quite so long. It’s much too intense to handle.

Let’s see…

And it was very sad. Probably the saddest experience of my life so far. Knowing we are only a handful of the total. Knowing we are so distant, some of us, and we just might never ever be together ever again in this life. And being an extremely visual person, I crave seeing you all now, I don’t want to wait till we’re all one with the source some day, I want it now. Right now. And again in a few more minutes, and days, and weeks. I’m that selfish.

So I cried a few tears of sadness. When I saw Sivani I cried. Understand, I have a certain affinity toward the elderly – always have. They intrigue me. I’m the Harold in Harold in Maude. I can’t be with them enough. And to see Sivani. Ohh my. So I cry even now at this moment. Such a soul. Such a loving and delightful and giving person. And to have experienced what she has. My god, the mother of Divesei and Peace and Mohanta and Firkon. Imagine that… Could she ever really tell her story? And now she can barely speak at all. But to look in her eyes, and know she knows how much I love her, and know how much she loves me. I can’t write further about her. I love her so much…

And Peace. Peace. If ever a mantra fit the being. Peace. And standing next to Shan-A-Qi. Don’t DO that to me! It’s simply too much for my little circuits to handle! You burst me!

How do I go on with every one I met? I can’t. It’s mine though. I’ll never forget that night. So many of us, yet so few. Maybe the exact number I could take being near all at once after so long. Maybe. Who knows?

The movies. Pain. That was painful. Seeing Avi-On and hearing everyone who knew her moan a moan of sadness. If ever there was a loving perfect woman it was she. Never met a one who didn’t love to be near her.

All these young people, us, filmed at moments when we were who we are not today. So much stiffness and uptightness. So much held back, discomfort, forced acting. Not comfortable and flowing, fluid and elegant. Discordant. Actors all. Too much pain. Like I said, my best days were when I was doing a garage sale or Karma Yoga out of and away from the event stuff, trying to be something all too foney. But it was good seeing it. It made me realize what I miss is not Morningland. What I miss is all of you. When we played we really played. When we acted, we did so pretty poorly from my perspective. And if it was that obvious I can’t doubt those looking in also saw the acting.

The fashion show. I hated it. It was movement that felt to me like it was staged, performed. Not real or natural. Performed. But we did that. We were young. We were led and trained to follow orders. So we performed. Seemed the only people enjoying it, or looking like we enjoyed it, was ourselves. The ‘other’ audience seemed perplexed, uncomfortable, like they couldn’t wait for it to end. Kind of how I always felt inside. Please make it end, I want to go home, this is false.

Viewing the leaders. Never met Donato, but the Gopis. Oh my. Talk about staged! Definitely uptight and stiffled! And Sri. Talk about performance. Not a person at peace with herself at all. Yet she had a charisma, no doubt.

The table with all the books and the list and stuff. Uh! Groan! Too little time! You mean we have only this short amount of time to visit, peruse, watch shows, eat, meditate and then go home? You mean it ends? Not fair! So to tell the truth, I barely had a moment to view the table with memorablia on it. And that bothers me. I need to make time for that.

And then the meditation. Interesting. Someone(s) I believe was sending interference for the meditation to happen. I had to be reminded twice that it was about to occur. If I had missed it I would not be a happy camper. I’d unsubscribe, yah! That’s what I’d do! No, really. There was definitely interference. I have no doubt about this. Let me describe without getting metaphorical: I knew the meditation was about to happen. I wanted to be a part of it. Yet each time it was announced I would hear the announcement, then my mind would go blank, like I hadn’t a clue it was ever announced. Then I would hear it again in the distance, even though I was looking in Dories eyes while she spoke it to me. “You’re coming to the meditation, right?” But it was distant. Like a vacuum, or a tunnel and I was falling away from it. Then in came Al (Ishvara Das) and he literally jumps in front of me and says “HEY! You commin?! It’s GONNA START NOW! YOU COMMIN?!” Inside, I jolt, and realize I’m being drawn away from this portion of the evening, and every ounce of me intends to BE there! So what is going on? Then Al stands on a chair and says “HELLLO! IF YOU WANT TO COME TO THE MEDITATION WE’RE ABOUT TO START!!!! WE’RE IN THE HALL OUTSIDE! COME JOIN US!” or something like that. And I snap out of my miasma. Only a couple of us do. There was definitely interference. And it felt like they were from within, not without. Within the building. And it felt like a person, not a thing. Someone with focused intent to hinder our experience. But what do I know? I’m only a feeler.

The experience: the meditation was peace and tranquility. I felt like my life culminated to this moment in time with these exact people. I feel and felt that what we were accomplishing was magic – we were manifesting a healing intent to ourselves as well as all who have entered and left Morningland, as WELL as all those who are there now. The incense (Nog Champra?) the sounds, Dories tonal, the feeling, the intensity. Magic. Here I finally was with people I’d only heard of, or read posts from. And the heavenly scented carnation placed on my palms was an exquisite touch (thank you Nightshadow, I knew you were there as well {hugs}.) Making sound at the end – that was difficult for me. I don’t know why, but I don’t like to hear myself, to hear my sound. I don’t know why yet.

And then, sitting next to Steve Mercer, I had to ask him his perception as the most recent member to have left Morningland in the group. And his perception is very heartfelt, and very warm, and very intense. Now THIS is man who’s presence I’d LOVE to spend more time in. Very intense, yet understandable and forthright and knowledgeable.

And then we had to depart. Painful. I don’t want to leave. I need these people in my life. They’ve been taken away from me before, and I want to be with you all again. Now.

So, it was ecstacy and bliss. It was hilarious and wild. It also hit the other end of the spectrum however. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so sad before in my life. And maybe that’s why I write so much. Makes me feel like your right here beside me… Again.

Steve / fka Mon-Ra-Sone

Lee/Aiyer Das, Karen/Ravanna


Colette/Sirisa, Jane/Mo-Nay-On, Lee/Aiyer Das