One of my very most favorite things to do these days is to hang out with dear friends. My friends who share my focus on spiritual upliftment are my spiritual family. During COVID my ability to spend times with my friends in the flesh was really squashed. I felt myself pining for touch, physical touch.
I am keenly aware that when John Morton is present for an event, whether physically or virtually, there is a greatly added radiance of Spirit, loving and caring that is available. For my wife Edie and I to leave our home in Montana (physical homestead) to travel to Santa Barbara to head for Windermere for an afternoon of Peace with my spiritual family and the Traveler was a no brainer! Yes please.
It lined up most perfectly, as things will when I pay attention and follow my inner directives. We flew to Santa Barbara and stayed with a couple beautiful friends in Santa Barbara, a refreshing visit. And then… we received icing on the cake. John Morton and Leigh Taylor-Young Morton were showing up to Windermere to an “in person” event. Sign me up.
I know that John Morton loves this property and has a personal interest in shepherding care, expansion and nurturing of the property. John and Leigh recently hosted a fund raising event as a birthday party for John at their house. I clearly saw their dedication to support improvements at Windermere and to support the new and current care takers, Milo and Leilani to achieve some long awaited improvements.
One of the great teachings I have learned through MSIA, specifically through DSS, was that when I walk out into the world, if I hold my singularity of purpose, there is a natural protection that Spirit supplies. Especially when I travel to share my loving, to go and share the goodness and the bounty of heaven on earth with my friends, Spirit seems to step in and say “I have you.” I always call on the Light when I travel, both in the world and inwardly. And, following my understanding of practical spirituality, I take good physical care to fully protect myself, as best as I can, in these COVID influenced times.
Windermere is a 142 acre property owned by MSIA about a 20 minute drive out of Santa Barbara right along the ridge line of the Santa Ynez mountains. Being on the ridge line there are magnificent views out to the ocean. We have identified this land as a place of peace. The peacefulness and healing quality of this land is palpable as I walk the beautiful land. This is a property I fell in love with since the first time I visited some years ago. In fact, I feel that I have a personal investment here to be a part of supporting the action here and “leaving things better than I found them.”
As we drove up to Windermere there was a cloud ceiling that topped out right around the elevation of Windermere. So, at times it was a bit foggy as we made our way up the hill. And as we drove into the property there was this beautiful mist blowing through the tree tops. We were met by beautiful parking angels and then by bright smiling folks at the registration table.
Immediately my heart opened as I looked around and saw so many dear friends, here for the purpose of sharing in the peace and loving together. I got super excited, I think my heart was leaping out of my chest as I went from dear friend to dear friend to say hello and touch in and catch up. Some folks were hugging, some chose not to (COVID carefulness) but either way did not change the radiance of friendship, comradery and togetherness that was palpable as I made my way through the groups of people.
Folks were gathering around the labyrinth. I was aware that Peter Bailey had made and brought a round white marble disc with a beautiful HU etched into it. It was set into the center of the labyrinth. We gathered and John and Leigh stood at the labyrinth center. John gave a greeting and some explanation and then Leigh shared a beautiful discourse on the power and usability of the labyrinth. She shared information and ways to connect into the labyrinth that many of us did not know. John then did a blessing and planted a column of Light.
I closed my eyes and went in as John began his blessing. This is a time to listen and observe. I watch to see what Spirit would bring. For me, I see with my inner eye, a beautiful column of Light and a blessing and a message from Spirit. This column of Light adds to all the Peace and Light that is already present here. You may go to Windermere and open your heart. As you do this, the Light and loving that is present there, and the peace will speak to you. There may be a personal message for you.
After the labyrinth and land blessing, John did a baby blessing in the center of the labyrinth. Made sacred by the loving of our presence here, the labyrinth becomes a chamber of grace. I consider it a great honor to be present at a baby blessing. The labyrinth is surrounded by this great spiritual family. We are all bringing our loving. We are family in truth.
After the baby blessing we all go off to eat our picnic lunches that we each have brought. There are lovely table spots outside both the Garden House and the Bunk House. Breaking bread with my friends is another great joy. I am experiencing a great deal of the “best” that is now coming in. As John says “The best is yet to come.” I experience this again and again as I spend time with my friends.
We head for the upper ponds next. MSIA and NOW Productions and probably Milo and Leilani (thank you!) have set up a small stage and chairs and a sound system in the gorgeous oak grove near the pond. This oak grove, in and of itself, is worth going to Windermere to see and walk in. For me there is a quality of an ancient hall or grove, a profoundly beautiful spot in nature.
There are tables of food and desserts set up here. We love to talk, schmooze and eat together. That’s what family does, right? Leilani and Milo open with calling in the Light. John and Leigh come up to share a map representation of the Windermere wish list and improvements to come. (Yep, there’s going to be even more improvements.) Hey, Windermere was always really nice to visit, albeit a bit rustic. Now, for all you comfort lovers, the roads and paths and houses are really nice, modern and super comfortable.
Then John comes up for a Q & A. We are so blessed to have John Morton in our midst. John-Roger, the founder of MSIA (and Windermere home of IIWP: Institute of Individual and World Peace) chose John Morton to be spiritual director and, of course, hit a home run. For me, one of the things I really love about John Morton is that he is such a regular guy. I admit, as much as I love John-Roger, there were times his tremendous awareness was intimidating. With John, he feels like a brother or a best friend. He is so accessible. I dare say we all love his Q & A sessions. We get to ask any question we want and find ourselves with greater clarity, connection and depth to our lives afterward.
During John’s Q & A, a typical Windermere scenario was unfolding. Back by the pond the herd of goats were doing their thing. They would run around the pond then begin to make their way out into the fringes of the crowd watching John on the stage. Perhaps they were wanting to get into closer ear-shot of the Traveler too? Or maybe, they’re just being goats. Then one would turn and hightail it back to the pond and they’d all take off to gather at the back of the pond.
The mist began to come in again as John was wrapping up. The sun was covered over and the temperature dropped. I connected with a couple more friends in brief but deep conversations about life, love and our blessings of grace. These events are profound for me. Somehow, I find my inner connections enlivened, I find my heart expanding. I feel the presence of Spirit walking with us. I am so grateful for this Windermere day, for my friends, for John’s presence. Thank you.