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Drawing-in Divine Mother

January 23, 2008 by Lightwaves
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erichead.jpgCan a man build a sacred space dedicated to Divine Mother? Eric Burton describes his recent experience and connection to this Ashram project.

Young adult program participant Eric Burton recently offered his talent and inspiration to the Ashram’s Divine Mother Room project—the transformation of a 100-year-old log cabin into a space dedicated to the worship of Divine Mother.

Eric first came to the Ashram as a teenager and in 2003 took the three month Yoga Development Course. He stayed on and helped transform the Ashram’s original farmhouse into a vibrant and functional workspace. For the past few years Eric has been busy attending college and university studying visual arts. His recent karma yoga experience combined both his artistic and carpentry gifts.

Here is what Eric had to say about the Divine Mother Room project:

When I arrived I was given a few guidelines about the scope of the project. I wasn’t given many background ideas about what other people had suggested as far as additions or adaptations for the building. In that sense I approached it very fresh. It was interesting and great to walk around the space—there is such a strong resonance to the building. There’s also an inherent history, as with the old steamer windows.

The way I approached this by looking at what was there, taking measurements of the rooms and the walls. Then going about it in a more artistic fashion, while at the same time being realistic—thinking about what we can do and what are some of the basic considerations. For example, the structure is already a hundred years old, so how will it hold up over the next 50 to 100 years?

ericmain2.jpgI held an awareness that it is a room and space that is dedicated for the divine feminine. I know that we all have that quality in us and it’s not something that has to be solely brought about through the feminine energy. It was more like being asked to present some ideas and finding in that something very nurturing. I have my own connections and ideas about the divine feminine—in the qualities that I’m coming to understand with Her. It just is the divine feminine, so I don’t need to get overly invested in trying to bring the divine feminine out in something. It already is. I think a lot of it is in the approach.

In the initial ideas phase I felt a little daunted by what I was being asked to do. This is a fairly large, symbolic request. It asks, in some sense, how would I renovate my own space for divine mother! I can get pretty drawn out on those lines and think about a lot of ideals that maybe aren’t quite measuring up in my own life right now. But in another sense I know that after visiting the space for just a couple of afternoons—I didn’t spend a lot of time meditating there or chanting— it was just a matter of seeing it as a space. I think part of that experience plays into my relationship with work. All the materials and everything there is part of this larger divine relationship. And yet, everything is intimately precious.

It’s a very welcoming space I think because it has such a resonance already. I remember walking down to the cabin, following the deer’s footprints down past Mandala House and through the little creek, and thinking about the heart centre and about the delicateness of the deer. I approached the building from different sides to have a look at it. The ideas began to open up in the grassy space towards the creek.

ericmain1.jpgI still have a young man’s perspective a lot of times where I think it might be more economically feasible to start again, tear it down. So I think that’s where this experience of working with the community comes in – because there’s a sentiment to find a way of transforming what’s there. And that’s what I’m looking at in my own life too in regard to the divine feminine. How do I work with what I have and not necessarily build new all over but just see how to refresh it. I think that’s an amazing quality that divine mother has. There are times when I can lose track of everything. So how do I refresh the little details and pay attention to the little reminders—“Yes it is happening, it is unfolding.” That’s the kind of encouragement the divine feminine gives.

Those were the kind of attitudes I looked at, how to cross over without making drastic transformations. And I see that the Ashram is more and more moving into this daily creating of spaces. It’s like daily painting, being aware of the little things that need attention.

This community has been established now for a long time, but the energy that’s established it and the energy that’s helped it blossom has been very strong. It’s as if it’s saying this is where we’re progressing towards and this is why we’re doing it. I think everyone having clear ideals within the community is what ignite directions so strongly.

It’s a pleasure and real joy to be able to come back and be in the ashram community again.

Work on the interior of the Divine Mother prayer room continues this winter. Contact the ashram if you would like to join in or find out more about the project.


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  1. What a great essay! I love these lines: “everything is intimately precious” and also the way Eric Burton describes the kind of “encouragement the divine feminine gives.” I’m sure this will be a wonderful space.

    Comment by Sherisse — January 26, 2008 @ 11:34 pm

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