On Sunday, September 16 when the call came for us to go to Iowa, I said to myself "not this time". In spite of the fact the course was free and I had offers to stay with friends in Fairfield, I just wasn't in the mood for it -- once again creating coherence in at attempt to save the world from itself.
For about 3 days I hunkered down with that idea. I just wasn't going to do it! But on Wednesday morning as I was sitting naked at my computer, telecommuting to work, there was yet another e-mail from the movement with another quote from Maharishi. Something in the wording softened my position.
But I didn't really want to leave this big project at work (not to mention having to get dressed). So I mentioned to my boss, (not a TMer) who had become depressed/philosophical since the 911 attack, that I was considering going to go away for a week and "meditate for world peace". To my surprise he was quite supportive. When I told the project leader, he helped me find cheaper air fares to Iowa (going to Des Moines was about $500 compared to $1500 for Cedar Rapids).
So by Wednesday noon I had reservations, confirmed my place to stay and was accepted for the course. I did put on some clothes and go in to work on Thursday for some meetings. On Friday I flew to Des Moines, arrived at 11:00 PM and stayed in a hotel near the airport. On Saturday I drove about 3 hours to Fairfield, dropped my luggage at my friends, registered at MUM, received a new dome badge, and was in the dome for afternoon program.
I stayed through morning program on Sunday, September 30. The course was good. Maharishi set up unique rounding schedules for this course... of course we never discuss the details. But I will say it was "flexible" -- you could pick and choose the schedule you found most comfortable. I was doing 3 extended rounds a day but never did 2 of them back to back. I loved it.
I drove to Des Moines following Sunday morning program. Flew in to Seattle at 10:00PM. Went back to work the next morning. And unstressed my brains all week. I can't remember ever being such an emotional basket case following a course. I'm back to normal now (what ever that is!)
Here are a few shots I took on my last full day in Fairfield when I was back to 2 rounds. (I felt rather stable at the time.)
All these photos were done with "hold your own". This was taken in the parking lot near the men's dome. I just held my camera out in front of me and hoped for the best.
This is a better shot. I used the camera self timer and set the camera on the bleachers at the soccer field. This shows the new eastern entrance to the men's dome.
Thank God there was earth moving equipment working every day during my noon rounds. It wouldn't be a course for me if there wasn't some heavy construction going on. They are moving the earth around the dome to give better vastu.
The ladies dome. No earth moving or reconstruction around there. All it needed was white picket fence. Then the vastu was good.
I just love seeing this on a school bus. A small group of us went a bus tour of the "Mandala Project" and some stapachaved constructed homes and hotels. The project has evolved a lot over the 10 years. It started as a project to build health centers and housing for 5000 sidhas. Now they are in the final stages of getting their charter for the creation of a new city -- Vedic City, Iowa -- the first new city in Iowa in a very long time.