Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Hundred Brilliant Suns

Wow.  Talk about good vibes.

This weekend three dozen mildly mentally handicap Belgians took their annual retreat at the Abbey where I am staying. Over breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the communal cafeteria, I had the pleasure of getting to know them.

Being a strangely accented Canadian I definitely stood out. Conversations, jokes and laughter broke out easily as we shared our meals.

What warm and wonderful people! Their smiles were absolutely luminous. It was as if I was surrounded by a hundred brilliant suns. Everywhere I looked, my gaze was returned by smiles, smirks, waves and laughter. Handshakes, hugs, pat and kind words were dispensed as easily as the Spring rain falls from the sky.

I couldn't help but think the group would make fantastic participants in the 1Mandala project.

After explaining to the leaders how I was looking for portraits of peace, I was introduced to the group. The room of handicap people broke out into spontaneous applause and jumping up and down when they were told I wanted to take their pictures to share with the world. I've never felt so warm inside after an applause.

Yesterday, after lunch I set up my camera to take photos. Those who wanted to could come and pose. They all came! A long line up extended down the hallway. I asked them to look into the camera and send their peace to the world.

After a three day retreat, they had alot of peace and joy to send out.

My camera's preview screen is alas busted from 3000 kms of trials and tribulations on my journey, so I can no longer see the photos I take! Thus, technically the photos aren't the best. However, the vibe that comes through them makes the set one of the most powerful I've ever taken.

Of course, I, nor my camera had much to do with it-- its the amazing person in the photo!


Beth said...

Josh told me about your blog and I'm really glad he did...and this last post gave me shivers. Well done! Seems like your whole trip is filled with good vibes. :)

Awakening uBuntu said...

The joy and excitement (ONENESS!) is clearly evident! Very touching indeed! Here's to many more awsome moments Russ! With love. Anna-Mari