WINTER SOLSTICE 2021 In the rhythms of nature, what is our dharmic or moral duty? To what do we give our attention this time of year?
Modern society seems to callously continue on with its hectic consumerism creating noise and frenzy, guzzling up resources without recognition of the greater impact, and trying to carve out moments of peace and love and the “warmth of the season”.
Yet, these are the Holy Days. Not a time for frenzy nor disconnection from nature. The darker nights are asking us to turn inward. To reflect. To slow down. To feel the inherent peace of nature.
In our inward turning (which our practices have been preparing us to do) we will be reminded of our collective inner duties.
There is an inherent duty in those seeking to be awake to the world, a duty for recognizing and responding. The pain of the world is our pain. The dilemmas are our dilemmas. As Rainer Maria Rilke once said about our world:
“Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if we could only arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful.”
Our climate and our civilization are in crisis. We can not NOT notice the irony of marketing that goes along on its usual trajectories - aimed at capturing our purchases and keeping us in the matrix of our society - alongside of the tornadoes, droughts, wildfires, typhoons, and frigidly cold temperatures in regions where immigrants and refugees have inadequate shelter.
Therefore, when we turn inward, perhaps we can gather encouragement from Rilke who goes on to say: “You must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloud shadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.”
* What work are these conditions generating within you? * To what do you feel your larger duty is to be given? *. How are you called to serve? * How will you initiate the courageous conversations? * How are you being asked to support those on the front lines of advocacy and action? * How are you supporting centers for regeneration, recognition and responsibility?
At DAYA Foundation, our dedication is bigger than your personal renewal (which we, of course, continue to support. We are called to a larger collective undertaking. This is why we are honored to provide Fiscal Sponsorship to Breitenbush Hot Springs for their Rebuilding Breitenbush Campaign.
Breitenbush Hot Springs is building on and yet going beyond their creation of an off-the-grid, sustainable community retreat center. They are committed to being involved, engaged, even tenacious and, perhaps at times, outrageous. They've done it before!
Starting in the late 1970s, Breitenbush battled the local logging industry on behalf of the ancient forest. The community, with community resident Dinah Ross, led the fight against the most famous ranger in the US: Dave Alexander. Dave was famous for having sold more billions of board feet of timber than any other ranger in the country. Not millions of board feet; billions of board feet! Dinah was instrumental in this fight and helped to save acres and acres of ancient forest from being logged. Poignantly and ironically, she was killed in an auto accident with a logging truck on Hwy 22 on September 8, 1983. After her death, Breitenbush petitioned for the naming of an unnamed peak in the Jefferson wilderness in her honor: Dinah-Mo Peak
In 2021, the intrepid and insistent efforts of Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild halted the continued logging of the wildfire-scarred forest.
Breitenbush and DAYA are dedicated and diligent AND we are ever more so when inspired by your support. While our vision continues to unfold, it begins with our Rebuilding Breitenbush Campaign. The first step is rebuilding cabins so that Breitenbush can once again provide you with lodging for your overnight stays here comfortably!
Like an ecosystem of any kind, everything is intricately tied together. More lodging means more guests which means more participation and conversations which means more courage and collective action going back down the mountain to your families and communities. In the Spring, Breitenbush will be bringing back program presenters and adding new presenters with specializations in permaculture, composting, and ecology as well as social change, anti-racism, and anti-oppression.
So here we are in the depth of Winter Solstice, a time where the darkness transitions again to the light. YOU have a chance to be a part of this transition for Breitenbush Hot Springs. Your Community Campaign Donationsare being matched by a group of Matching Fund Investment contributors. (Click HERE to learn about becoming a fund investor.)
All of your donations are tax-deductible. This is the end-of-year fundraising season and we know that all of the causes you support are important. They are also doing their due diligence and reaching out to you, just as we are! If you’ve been a regular guest at Breitenbush and unable to come due to the fires or the pandemic, perhaps you can repurpose the budget you would have used for your workshop or your stay here to go toward our Rebuilding Campaign?
Every donation matters and we appreciate every one of you!