A darshan gathering at Matagiri on April 23, 1995, commemorated the 75th anniversary of Mother's final arrival in Pondicherry. Participants made their way up "Mother's mountain" to consecrate 40 acres of land to the next step of Matagiri's evolving collective vision. They moved silently around the Matagiri symbol, which had been outlined in rocks collected from the land, and placed handfuls of rose petals into a ceramic container made for the occasion.
After a potluck lunch, attendees met in small gatherings. Sam Spanier corralled a group, comprised mostly of artists and dancers, which included Robert and Ghislaine Aarsse-Prins, Marvin Rosenberg, and Chitra Neogy. The artists pledged support from their works in progress and felt that the new form of Matagiri should spontaneously evolve from the needs of activities taking place on the land. Miriam Belov, Alex Stark, and Will Moss focused others who variously pledged support, promoted healing as a work of the center, and suggested phases of a multipurpose building, emphasizing the role of Sri Aurobindo's relics in creating a focus for meditation.
From April 22 - 25, more than 70 Italian disciples met in an ancient villa in the Tuscany hills. The title of the Italian national meeting was "The Psychic Being--The Finding of the Soul." The program included readings from Sri Aurobindo and Mother, videos about the Ashram and Auroville, meditations, discussions about common projects, concerts, and a bonfire. Bianca Toccafondi (an Italian actress who met Mother many times) and her husband Giuliano gave a touching reading of Savitri. The program also featured three Indian music performances.
One main issue of the gathering was the identity of the group itself--what was expected and what could be done. All the projects (discussion lists on the Internet, a new newsletter, other meetings during the year) revolved around the problem of this group identity.
The Sri Aurobindo Association (SAA) will present a ground-breaking conference called "Cellular Evolution: The Transformation of the Body" from Oct. 11 - 15, 1995, at the Airport Clarion Hotel in San Francisco, California.
This conference is the first in the world to focus on phenomena happening at the cellular level--in matter itself. It will be an opportunity to explore these phenomena from many perspectives: spiritual, scientific, artistic, cultural, psychological, medical, and mystical. We are about to embark on a remarkable adventure into the body--to the very core of cellular consciousness.
Conference presenters and topics include:
The conference will feature a 6:30 a.m. "body prayer" each day, plus morning meditations. Box lunches and buffet dinners will be provided. There will be a special Saturday night musical perfor mance by Constance Demby, a multi-instrumentalist who plays "contemporary classical space music."
For registration information, contact Sue Espinosa, 134 Coleen Street, Livermore CA 94550; phone: (510) 449-1261, fax: (510) 449-6907.
For conference and presentation information, contact Wayne Bloomquist, Sri Aurobindo Associa
tion, 2288 Fulton Street, Suite 310, Berkeley CA 94704; phone: (510) 848-1841,
fax: (510) 848 -8531.
For a full 11-page e-mailed brochure, send e-mail to Prem Sobel (email@example.com) or Kenny Schachat (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Sri Aurobindo Association of America is planning to organize a group trip to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry during the winter of 1996. We invite you to share an encounter with the Ashram's many facets; perhaps meet some of the sadhaks whose books you've read; visit Auroville or other centers of interest in Tamil Nadu such as Gingee Fort, Ramana Maharshi Ashram, Thiruvanamallai, Mahabalipurim.
Travel arrangements and accommodations can be less complicated and more economical for a group, and we hope as well that the sharing of introductions, experience, and insights of the more seasoned members would make a rewarding and well-rounded experience for all. Of course, the needs of the independent-minded would also be completely respected, but the occasional comfort of a familiar face or two in the midst of India's tumult is always welcome.
If you want to test the waters of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, this is a good way to get your toes wet. Or if you're already comfortable in the mayhem of Nehru Street, please consider the joy of sharing your gleaned wisdom with others.
This trip is just in the preliminary planning stage. Have you always wanted to go, but didn't know how to begin? Maybe you have journals full of suggestions, travel tips, friendly names, must-sees, favorite hotels or restaurants? Do you know how to organize a group trip? Get good airline rates? Even if this trip doesn't interest you, maybe you'd like to let us know what would.
Please forward all contacts to the Sri Aurobindo Association, Pondicherry Trip, 2288 Fulton St., Suite 310, Berkeley, CA 94704; or call Vishnu at (209) 339-1342 with questions or comments.
It is with great sadness that the Sri Aurobindo Association announces the passing of the Rev. Joseph Martinez in San Francisco on March 22, 1995.
Rev. Martinez was the head of the Spiritual Healing Center in San Francisco and his last public appearance was at our center on Saturday, March 18, when he spoke on the supramental and trans formation of the body. He graciously gave the Sri Aurobindo Center the donations collected that day.
On a personal level, the Rev. Martinez using his spiritual healing was able to help me with what could have become crippling arthritis, had it not been caught in time.
We will miss him very much.