Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fairfield, Iowa

"So, Erin, how is Fairfield?"

Good question!

Most things that I care to describe are so incredibly challenging to put into words, and so it is with Fairfield....and God, and Love, and Grace, and lots of other amazing wonders of life. Thus is the Tao.

So I will paint a picture for you, of my experience in Fairfield so a finger pointing at the moon.

I arrive to town in mid-August...Move into the ladies dorms at Maharishi University of Management...Share a bathroom with all these other women? Really? OK, I guess so...At least my room is huge and has lots of closet space...200 new friends in the first week...Networking heaven...Exchanging ideas...So much inspiration and love...Let's change the world together...But don't drink the Kool-Aid...Definitely not...Sing, sing, sing, sing, sing...Dance...By my third day in Fairfield I was on stage in a long glittery blue evening gown with spaghetti straps, singing "At Last" and some other songs before the masses...The stage is my favorite place to be...Also bonfires amidst the cornfields...Firedancers...Dancing and drumming under the full moon...Yoga...Dorm life...Eating in the dining hall...Overcooked organic vegetables are Ayurvedic...So is tumeric...But luckily there are salads at every meal...Yum.

I learned the Transcendental Meditation technique, and I learned about its many benefits...And I watched four weeks of Maharishi tapes in a class called The Science of Creative Intelligence...Intense...All of the students here are required to meditate for 20 minutes, twice a day...Attendance is required and graded...It's called "Researching Consciousness" and it goes on our university transcript...This is consciousness-based education.

Live music...And I mean GOOD live music...Yummy food...A visit from Dad...So much fun and an all expenses paid trip to Target in Ottumwa - Hooray! Thanks, Dad...A visit from Mom...More fun and lots of long walks...I feel so grateful, and so loved.

Michael Beckwith came to visit...You know, the guy from the movie "The Secret"...he received the Maharishi Award for all of the beautiful work he's doing in the world...Krishna Das was just here, too...And future president Barack Obama.

I thought I was moving back to New York City, when I set out in my car from New Mexico...I never dreamed I would "end up" in Iowa...I mean, really, come on, of all places...Iowa??? Well, here I am and I guess New York City is coming to me now...Even better.

Two weeks of working in the one-acre MUM greenhouse...Vedic organic means no chemicals and lots of beautiful classical Indian music...24 hours a day, in fact...Caring for the plants was so sweet...Nurturing them and loving them and picking cherry tomatoes and spinach and rasperries for hours on end...It seemed like just a few minutes...Pulling weeds, realizing that death is everywhere...I love it here...Hands and feet in the dirt...Grounding me.

But Fairfield is like a cosmic washing machine...One minute I am floating blissfully in the soapy waters, and the next moment I am in the spin cycle.

Lots of tears, anger, fury, frustration, sadness, grief, apathy...multiple existential crises...They call it "unstressing" here...I don't know if it's stressing or unstressing, but it's painful...I think all of my unprocessed emotions from my whole life are coming up all at once...And all of my issues...Transformation by fire...WHOA.

Some people say it's because there are over 2,000 people meditating in the domes for an hour and a half or more, twice a day...These are the people practicing the TM-Siddhi Program...People come from all over the world to meditate in the domes...Some of them are part of the Invincible America Course...Some people are in there 8 hours a day or more...They have an intention to create World Peace.

Going to school at night after working all day is stressful...Why am I back in school anyway? Is this really the right path for me right now? Well, I guess I'll give it a try since I'm already here...So I quit my job and switched programs...Communications and Media is so much better for me than the MBA program...My Digital Arts professor, Gurdy Leete, is one of the most enthusiastic, brilliant, helpful people I have ever met in my life, and he writes some of the "___ for Dummies" books.

Students from 70 different countries at this university makes life interesting...And there are so many more holidays to celebrate, like the Ethiopian New Year, which means more parties and more yummy food...Everyday I learn so much about the world, just sitting in the dining hall.

Genuises...Everywhere I look, geniuses...with shiny clear eyes and beautiful, open, pure hearts...Many spiritual paths converge here, and high intentions abound.

Days of joy and bliss and inspiration...Celebration...First Friday Artwalks out in the square and in the 25 art galleries that surround it...Singing and dancing barefoot on the sidewalk with friends...Beautiful, happy people...Film screenings...Yoga classes...Capoiera...Jyotish charts...Human Design...I am a manifesting generator I found out...Big plans...Visionaries all around...Sweet, small town charm...International diversity and flavor...Amazing restaurants...More per capita than San Francisco...So many incredible musicians...And did I mention the beautiful, happy people?

Lots of lakes and fields and open spaces...A river runs through it...And 17 miles of bike trails around the town...The woods smells so good in the fall...Crispy, crunchy fallen orange and yellow leaves...Almost everyone rides their bikes here, even the professors in their beige suits...Apparently Maharishi suggested wearing beige because it is very close to the color gold...Don't ask me, I just got here.

Tonight after yoga class I drove out to see my yoga teacher's sculptures under the full moon...We got there and found out that her sculptures were three giant hay bales that she had somehow formed into the shape of stars...We ran through the farm fields like children, as fast as our legs could carry us, screaming and howling and shrieking with joy at the tops of our lungs...And dancing...Bowing to the moon, singing songs of gratitude and love to her, thanking her for her endless beauty and grace.

Abundance Ecovillage, which is totally off-the-grid, Cutting edge technology and research on how we can continue to live on this beautiful planet together...The Sustainable Living Department here is absolutely amazing...Everyone here is talking about sustainability, and more importantly, they are walking their talk...And did I mention all the beautiful, happy people?

I love Fairfield...Is it too soon to buy a house here? Maybe I should wait awhile and see if I still love it this much in a year...Go around the sun one full time to see all the seasons, before I make any hasty decisions.

But I think I want to put down roots here...Make this place my home base and travel the world from here...In a town where so many people are seeking Truth and all of my friends are becoming the change they wish to see in the world.

I feel happy here.

And did I mention all the beautiful, happy people?

So...when are you coming to visit?


Anonymous said...

very interesting... thanks for sharing....

aspiring yogi said...

Hi Friend,

I LOVE LOVE LOVE you!!! You are fabulos in everything you do. Singing,writing,yoga,being a beautiful human being. You should know this! If I was controlled by ego, I would be jealous of you.Instead I am filled with love for you and wish you much happiness. and i am just glad to have stumbled onto your page that day. since your not coming to the bay area, guess ill have to visit fairfield sounds amazing. Peace erin. muah

Chris said...

Ha ha, Erin I feel like you really captured our experience here. Beauty, beauty everywhere don't drink the kool-aid. I hope I've said this a million other times but thank you thank you thank you for your time and effort spent enlivening everyone else's experience as well as your own with your singing and information passing of what is going on in town. It truly is a unique place we are living in with incredibly unique people whirling about us.