It starts with a ferry ride to an island off the coast of British Columbia. An old growth forest, deep green leaves, colossal tree trunks, a path around a lake. Stillness. Smoke from local forest fires reduces the sun to a barely visible red ball and blurs boundaries between lake and sky into a cloudy grey. Twenty people, many of them strangers to each other, enter a large, wooden octagonal space with big windows opening onto the forest and lake.
It starts with meditation, introductions, everyone stating their intentions for the training. A simple set of rules is introduced to pull the consciousness inward and minimize the beguilements of the outer world. A simple process is introduced to break down the barriers between the inner Mystery and the peripheral mental and emotional functions. At first the energy is cloudy like the air. The room fills with the smoky remnants of resistances, worries, distractions, upsets. The trees watch passively from outside the windows, infusing the room with a steady tranquility.
I’m playing the music and J-R excerpts, and for the first day or so I don’t have much inner guidance as to what to play. And it doesn’t matter much, because everything is hazy and indistinct. A piece of music is a key to a door that opens into a field of consciousness, a countermeasure for a specific disorder—and since everything is disorder at first, there’s nothing to do except watch the smoke rise. Gradually it coalesces into patterns and pockets of clarity, contours and beings, glimpses of landscapes, and as this happens it coaxes out certain pieces of music that shape and order the energy, that reveal larger vistas, more defined beings. Gradually those beings mature into huge angelic forms that know what they want and how to direct the music to conduct their divinely-directed spiritual surgery, and the room transforms from a hodgepodge of psychic fragments into a symphony of healing and a celebration of oneness—all the while more clearly refining the individuality of each consciousness. Soon there is no more choice for me, as Spirit knows clearly what it wants to do with the music and with J-R’s voice. I’m following directions that surprise, delight and inspire me, and I’m enjoying the show.
Having J-R’s voice in the room all day, continuously narrating the process and describing the possible pitfalls and shifts in consciousness in real time–at turns serious, joking, exhorting, soothing–gives the training a slightly surreal but very protected quality, as though God were accompanying you constantly, narrating the events of your life. The assistants are veterans, having nurtured these Canada PATs into annual events for a couple of decades, taking the year to promote the PAT and find participants, book the venue, police the food, and generally make sure that we create a perfectly functioning church for a week or two every summer in the forests of British Columbia. I always look forward to experiencing the crystalline aura of rural Canada, the beautiful flower arrangements of Kevin McGinn, Corinne Kidd’s liberating combination of zaniness and loving concern. Peter Kiernan and Ina Carbajal-Kiernan helped set the pattern in the early years and they’re now assistants-emeritus who help us with logistics and ferry us to the ferry. A couple of spaces are left for newer assistants, often veteran participants—this year Carol Neil and Deb White. It’s a yearly escape into a sweetly entrancing little haven.
After the fourth day the smoke lifts (physically) and we’re treated to blue skies and the delicious Canadian air. By this time we’re all family. One of the participants is just 15, so we even have a kid. If I were to try to explain what happens at the PATs, it would sound unbelievable. So much is released, and there’s so much new space that’s created inside each person. People are emptied and filled with sky. And even after the event is over, it often seems a bit dreamlike. Did that really happen? It happened in another dimension, where time flows differently and the negativity of the world seems muted and distant. What remains is spaciousness and clarity. This year there’s a special treat after the training—baptisms in the lake led by John Richard Greene, who facilitated the PAT. It’s a fitting parting gift from the Spirit—a real-world painting of what took place during the week. People dressed in white, emptied of detail in a lustrous, detail-less expanse of water. A head and a bit of white rise above the mirror-like surface. Canada geese fly honking overhead in a sky that’s returning to the grey shades that greeted us on the first day. We pack up the music equipment into three small suitcases that will release their universe of sound somewhere else, and we dissolve back into the grayness as a drizzle begins, clearing the last remnants of smoke from the air. There’s another ferry ride back to the mainland, but this time the view seems longer, the ride smoother, and we stare off into the sea for longer periods of timelessness, listening inside with greater depth and less concern for the outer world. Outside there’s grey, but inside there’s just a headful of blue sky, and a wake behind the ferry that disappears into the ocean.
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Interested in the Canada PAT 2 in 2019? You can contact Corinne Kidd for info:
phone: 250 885 7422