I loved the Morning Son, Daughter Moon (Spiritual Focus) session. A couple of months after I started directing a branch of the School of Metaphysics, my students and I were decorating a Christmas tree at the school, making handmade decorations. I felt myself filled with love and thought how much in love I was with all of my students. I realized that I was not related to any of them by blood but that we were truly all related as spiritual beings.
My experience of the Morning Son, Daughter Moon session was similar. I do not have my own physical children, and I appreciate it deeply when parents allow me to share my love with their children. I was filled with love when 7-year-old Brenda put her head in my lap and slept on the way back from the hayride. I loved creating stories with the kids and adults to act out. I was proud of 5-year-old Leah who stood in the center of a circle of adults and showed the bounty from the garden that she had picked, sharing what she had learned. I felt profound gratitude for the students who made a safe path to walk to the cave, and for the men who kept us protected and secure as we walked through it. I was energized and inspired as adults and children alike played music together and danced at the campsite.
At many points during the weekend, the love was strong and palpable and I had the clear thought, "This is universal love." It was not conditional on social roles, like this person is my child or my spouse or my brother or sister. We are all brothers and sisters of our Creator. As we create together, we experience this divine love.
Thank you for giving us all this opportunity to create and become closer to our Creator. Dr. Laurel Clark, Niangua Camp Counselor for over 10 years and great aunt to all Indigos everywhere
Thursday, July 21 - Arrival
Anticipation built as we awaited the arrival of the families coming for our first Indigo Family Odyssey. College students Bryon Parrino and Jen Childers volunteered to be the welcoming committee, as Damian Nordmann and Shawn Smith prepared the evening meal over a campfire. Everywhere people were moving with greater purpose this day for the families were coming home.
The idea for this had been gestating for years, ever since our son Hezekiah was born. The experiences he has brought to me, his father, to the many students who have studied at the College of Metaphysics (where we live) and in the Schools of Metaphysics across the Midwest have opened my mind to infinite possibilities and Morning Son, Daughter Moon is one of them.
Dr. Teresa Padilla, who is the mother of a daughter seven years older than Kiah, and I often talked about the need for rites of passage particularly for modern youth. The great souls who are coming to us require experience that can be enthused with Spirit and we must provide this for them. Left to their own resources these experiences can be addictive when they could be liberating, hedonistic when they can be intuitive, harmful when they could be healing. For liberation, intuition, and healing to be present, there must be caring, involved, and lucid reasoners in their midst. Morning Son, Daughter Moon creates and allows for this. It gives all of us a place to salute the souls in our world, regardless of age. Dr. Barbara Condron, 52, wife and mother of 10-year-old
On the Niangua River
Sitting together in a warm river on a summer eve is a great way to get acquainted. The first night of the Indigo Family Odyssey all of the families and a number of College of Metaphysics students hopped on the back of a tractor driven trailer for a hay ride to the Niangua River. It was a warm night and the anticipation of some cool, wet fun at the river filled everyone.
Our mission on this evening was to make baskets by weaving them underwater. These baskets would then be a focal point throughout the weekend to store special mementos. The reeds to make the baskets were in large bunches and were plopped right in the water so they could soak and soften enough for weaving. Dr. Sheila Benjamin was the only expert here and as she gave instructions the adults began to weave with the children. Things moved slowly as we were all beginners.
The kids spent time alternately sitting and weaving and then splashing around in the river collecting fish, shells and crawdads. Eighteen-month-old Alexandra and 2-1/2-year-old Blaze reignited a friendship that seemed to span lifetimes as they exchanged rocks with each other. Five-year-old Leah and ten-year-old Hezekiah headed off with fish nets in hand to explore the rich river life. Seven-year-old Brenda sat with her mom and worked on her basket, no doubt relishing the undivided attention as she is one of three kids in the Humphreys family. And Bo, her older brother, swam around talking about bears and adding a bit of drama to the scene. Later I heard that he was the fastest and most skilled when he worked on his basket, a testament to the power of his own mind when directed toward a clear goal. At one point I looked around with all of us sitting in the water, focused and creating together, and experienced a wonderful peace, calm and togetherness. The reeds had floated and separated and wound around many people connecting us in a great cosmic spiral. It was all familiar and seemed like we had known each other forever.
As we worked on the baskets and kept an eye on wandering children, daylight faded to twilight and then night fell and we were still in the river. Finally we conceded to the fact that the baskets would have to be finished the next day. With wet towels and sandy feet we followed the flashlight beams as they led the way to the tractor. Then the most magical thing happened! As we drove up the steep winding hill to the main campus a glorious full moon emerged on the eastern horizon. It had a hazy orange hue and was huge. With the gentle sound of the summer night surrounding us our closest celestial neighbor glowed and was a friendly wondrous presence. The kids settled into loving arms, calm and centered in a way that only nature seems to provide. Here was the manifestation of Daughter Moon, everything seemed to be just right and this was only the beginning. Dr. Christine Madar, 35, wife and mother of 18-month-old Alexandra
The First Circle of Love
It was almost ten oclock when we returned from the river. We prepared for bed then gathered back at the campfire for watermelon. The fruit was a perfect end to the day, refreshing and cooling. (The summer sun was brutal these days with temperatures reaching 100º. Remarkably clouds would move in each evening, right around 6 p.m. with summer winds that lessened the heat ten to fifteen degrees. It was as if God was showing his mercy on our endeavors.)
It was past ten and the children had had a full day of traveling followed by welcomed time in the cool Niangua River. They were ready for sleep. We gathered in our first circle of love. This exercise closes every School of Metaphysics class. The energy exchange among a group of people awakens the mind to the reality that we are energy beings as well as flesh and blood matter beings. The Circle of Love lends intelligent direction to that energy exchange, elevating it to the greatest gift we as humans are capable of giving and receiving LOVE.
There were giggles even before we began. Just the action of holding each others hands stirred the joy within and laughter is its easiest conduit. Still we held firm, focusing the mind, and breathed love, imaged love, created love, and projected love until it filled each of us and was shared between us. The delight was on every face when we were completed.
As the sentiment I love you just because you are was passed from person to person (quite accurately I will add, as often the seven words change even with a small group) the radiance emanated from each face and mother and son, father and daughter, brother and sister were recognizing very old friendships. It was the perfect ending to a great day and the perfect beginning for our times ahead. Dr. Barbara
Friday, July 22 - Forest Day
Cooking breakfast each morning during the weekend was a great learning experience. Dr. Dan gave us his guidance and campfire cooking expertise teaching us about timing and teamwork. We had a great time cooking for all of the guests this weekend knowing that we started their day off right. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, oatmeal, biscuits and gravy, mmmmm-mm! -Shawn Smith, 35, accountant and college student
Few people embody the Spirit of Nature like Jonathan Duerbeck. He guided the group of children and adults through the forest as if he was born and raised there. The group received and experienced his reverence for all life as Jonathan and his nature students walked on the newly-cleared pathway winding from the campsite area, to the bluffs, to the outdoor chapel, and back to camp. Along the way, we learned through our eyes, ears, noses, mouths and hands how to identify wild oregano, sassafras trees, turkey feathers, animal prints, as well as the difference between useful and poisonous vines. We learned how the Native Americans perceived the earth, the sky, the water and the plants as a connected whole. We quieted our minds and felt the earth, breathed the sky, and listened to the wind. We learned about the universal symbology of nature representing parts of ourselves and qualities within us. Everyone collected natural materials along the way that reminded them of qualities in their family and friends, such as leaves that cling to clothing representing stick-to-it-iveness. We then gave the items to the person that they represented. It was a gratitude-filled way to wrap up a comprehensive walk through the mind of nature. Paul Madar, 40, entrepreneur and grad student
While the parents gathered at the Peace Dome with astrologer Damian Nordmann, Drs. Laurel Clark, Sheila Benjamin, and I created intuitive experiences for the children. The theme was energy. Energy, particularly Indigo energy, is what most people are at a loss to understand or even tolerate in our society. I have found myself becoming an advocate for soul rights which requires the freeing of human adults consciousness and energy. Im reminded of the Dalai Lamas response when asked when will Tibet be free? His answer: When China is free.
The children have amazing concentration skills. They can become enamored of an anthill, a dance, or a backpack for minutes and hours. More than likely if some adult diagnoses them with ADD it is because another adult cannot make the child do what s/he wants. ADD is an I am He moment, a you-spot-it-you-got-it phenomena, not a disease that needs medicating. The only medicine needed is an open heart and an open mind. When we as adults are free, exploring the energies available to us, growing from believing into knowing, the kids will be free.
So with these thoughts in my mind we draw the leaves from the orchard which gives the children a way to assimilate their experience in the College orchard. Children naturally use pictures for communication because pictures are the language for the whole mind. Encouraging drawing from a very young age fosters communication and builds skills the individual will draw upon throughout life. Next we move upstairs for an improvisation of The Giving Tree a wonderful story about human love and friendship between Gods creatures. At first the children are reluctant to sit for the play. Kelley Naylor as the tree and Sebastien as the boy change their minds very quickly with their expressive and comical presences.
We tie and untie ourselves in knots, feel each others auras, and experience the magic of muscle testing. Each child is fortified by vegetables, and they go instantly weak with sugar. (Course you knew that! The child experiencing the difference leaves a profound impression that will linger.) I ask Dr. Christine Madar to test for a favorite memory with Hezekiah. He smiles and is strong. Then I suggest testing for a recent instance when he got mad, and the energy is immediately zapped out of him. Kiah is thinking. I can see the wheels turning. The other kids are watching. They are thinking too. This is real stuff, this energy thing. Weird as Bo is fond of saying, and I see his curiosity level going up.
Our final energy exercise is the aura painting. I sit with each child, teaching them a series of words and breaths for centering their attention and energies. While they repeat these I receive impressions of the energy field emanating from them and translate this into pictorial form. Each child is eager and cooperative, and as evidenced in the pictures, very unique. We knew this. Now they have more evidence of it as well. The formation of identity, particularly in the second seven-year cycle molds the kind of person we will tend to become. Positive feedback that answers who am I? is a strong investment in the future of the child and the future of humanity. Dr. Barbara
I was very grateful to see the families move easily down the trail. Several of us worked very hard on the trail to make sure it was safe for all. The entire time I was working on the trail I held the idea in mind that I wanted the families to feel safe and cared for. As I heard some of the hikers expressing their gratitude for how safe they felt while on the trail, I felt a great thrill in knowing that our service was effective and that our consciousness while constructing the trail helped make the adventure to the cave a truly rich experience. Adam Williams, 24, former UPS manager and current college student
The cave tour was a very connected experience. I was one of the spotters there to help anyone to cross any treacherous spots on the trail and help move people through the cave safely. It was great. Everyone seemed to have a very memorable experience and appreciate all of the thoughtfulness that went into planning the trip and cutting the trail. I know the kids all had a blast and learned a lot. It was a good example of experiencing joy through service. Shawn
Healing Pond Campfire
After the hayride to the Healing Pond and eating dinner, I swam and played in the pond with Bo, Brenda, Hezekiah, Leah, and Bryon Parrino. I hadnt swam or played in such a long time. For me it was a very connected experience to interact with the Indigo kids this way and to develop relationships with them that still continue. The healing effect of the pond and its mud (which I draped all over my body and hair) was cleansing. I loved meeting the children where they are and connecting with them there. I was reminded of playing as a child myself and the need to find creative ways to play with as an adult. Jesse Kern, 25, college student
Building the cave trail and starting and tending the healing pond fire were both amazing experiences of giving. It was an honor to prepare experiences for these families that they would never forget. In doing this I learned some valuable skills I can draw upon in the future.
The highlight of the weekend was the kids, though. Ive enjoyed getting to know Hezekiah better and found it easy to jump in the pond and play with the others (the Humphrey kids, Leah Pawlus, and some of my classmates). I have always had an easy time befriending kids that come up to me and start talking. In this way Ive depended on them drawing me out of my shell with their kindness. Kids like Hezekiah that already have lots of friends to play with are another story. Bo and Brenda were like this too. What I learned is that when I acknowledge my genuine desire to befriend someone, of any age, then act from this, rather than worrying about them wanting my friendship or accepting me, then things just flow smoothly. I can see this pattern now throughout my life. I would make friends when I was centered on the joy of building the friendships. I have also had many experiences of losing friendships or not being able to form them when I have let my attention be on self doubt. Because I learned this this weekend, I had a great time bonding with Bo, Brenda, Leah, and Hezekiah. They taught me about being imaginative, creative, present minded, playful and mindful, which is my Dharma. Most of all, they taught me that its better to put the self on the line to make a friend than it is to be safe.
We played serpents in the healing pond. After which I could feel my body grounded and tingling. We also explored and played together on the river. This was a beautiful compliment to the objective role of filming with the video camera, which I also did at different times along the river, learning about entraining my mind with others to find the story telling shots I was looking for. I really feel like the families bonded with each other and I feel more connected with them. The experiences that we shared with them are warm and memorable. Bryon Parrino, 24, college student