Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Retreat to The Hospital of Enlightenment
The sea and sky were silver and gold yesterday morning. Excellent crepusculars, too.
I love Virginia Beach.
Besides the Atlantic Ocean and all the usual beach town light heartedness, the city resonates with the heavy presence of the Navy, also with the energy of the huge shipping ports nearby such as Newport News and Norfolk. The Navy and port energy is palpable and impossible to ignore since Navy jets streak overhead on a regular basis, and huge shipping vessels move slowly past, out at sea but clearly visible from the boardwalk.
Virginia Beach is just south of the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The joining of large bodies of water generates tremendous amounts of energy, making it impossible to settle down. Even the air can't hold still. There's always wind coming through the Golden Gate, too. The feeling is very powerful; almost scary.
The early English settlements of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown lie just northwest of Virginia Beach. The English sailed up the bay in vessels with the coolest names: Susan Constant, God Speed and Discovery, until a ship went aground, a clear sign that it was time to stop, drop anchor and make themselves at home. I think that's how they made the decision to stop. That was in 1607, a really long time ago. Trying to imagine what it was like for them boggles the mind. Equally mind boggling is how potent the energy of those settlements still is. Wow.
Everything above makes Virginia Beach molto bitchin, in my book anyway (being, as I am, a shaman of place), but the reason I go as often as possible is because Virginia Beach is where Edgar Cayce moved in 1925 to open his Hospital of Enlightenment.
What a great name for a hospital.
Whenever I can, I take continuing education classes at the Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy. The first time I went, in 2009, class was held in the building that was once the Hospital of Enlightenment. This year we worked in the building next to the old hospital, recently renovated to house the school.
I think Edgar Cayce must have been a really nice guy, you know, pure hearted. The school and in fact the entire campus of the A.R.E. radiate what some people would call "a positive vibe." The energy in and around the site is calm and clear as a bell, peaceful. The campus is on a hill. From the Hospital of Enlightenment, you can see the ocean glittering a few blocks away. There's a huge Chartres style, eleven circuit walking labyrinth with two beautifull mosaic dolphins in the center, posed tail to head in the shape of a yin/yang. Adjacent to the labyrinth, in front of the hospital, is a meditation garden, also a path made from different kinds of stone. A barefoot walk on the path becomes a reflexology treatment. Can you say fabulous? I always do, every time I'm there.
I'm going to post on Chateau Seven about the class itself. It's enough to say here that I came away from the class enriched, inspired, and with a tool belt full of new techniques for my work. What's not to love about that?
This is "Norwegian Lady." A Norwegian ship, "Dictator," crashed there in 1891. The community came together to help. After that, Moss, Norway and Virginia Beach adopted each other as sister cities. There's a "Norwegian Lady" in Moss, Norway, too.
A dear friend went with me this time around, which turned what would otherwise have been a wonderful working weekend into an adventure and a blast.
I didn't think, when I registered for this class (months ago) about how perfectly timed a restorative retreat would be just prior to the election. I feel renewed and inspired, ready to work today with good cheer and calm. I have already voted, so that's done. Whew!
Mr. Cayce, thank you so much for your lifetime's work. I don't know much about you, but I certainly benefit from the fruits of your labors. I think you were a good guy, and the real thing. Thanks!
Onwards, now, through the energy of election day. I plan to keep calm and carry on. Shalom.
Once upon a time, at a beach in Mendocino County, California, while very stoned, it came to me that all seagulls are named "Randy." That was ages ago, but the idea still resonates.