My motivation for the creation of SKY Haven is its Core as described in “Community“, on this website.
SKY Haven’s Core
The full-time practice of Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga (Surrender Meditation) requires special conditions that do not presently exist elsewhere in the U.S. This refuge is desperately needed for those who wish to take this sadhana to its fulfillment. Such a place requires that individuals may live independently within the context of these special conditions.
Some of these conditions are that practitioners not have the usual distractions of having to earn a living, deal with snakes and predators (including human ones), noisy peacocks, traffic or other forms of pollution, and have special living conditions such as appropriate dwellings, privacy, abundant water and other provisions as stated in the shastras (spiritual texts). These practitioners will, of course, be few.
Durga Ma’s Onion, as described in Community, is much more complexed than I would actually like it to be, but I put it together this way as a means of including householders and other students who would like to be close by, or have access, without having to live in the Core and practice full time sadhana. However, there are other ways of accomplishing this that have already been successfully demonstrated by other groups whose model we could use as a guide. Until this strata is needed we will keep things simple and concentrate on the Core, keeping our minds open to different ways of accomplishing any expansion we need when we need it. Large, multi-strata communities are much more vulnerable to internal difficulties anyway, so we will start start simply, and see how things evolve.
I have learned through experience the hazards of putting things like this together, and I do not intend to make the same mistakes again. SKY Haven will not be a democracy, socialist, communist, or any other such political model, which will eliminate some of the flaws and temptations inherent in these systems. SKY Haven will be a benevolent monarchy.
The monarch will have an advisory board including at least one attorney and one qualified psychologist, and other experts. If such expertise is not among us, they will be hired. Persons desirous of residency will be screened. Laws, building codes and zoning laws will be carried out to the letter. Any illegal activities or substances will be prohibited and violators evicted. SKY Haven dharma will be short and sweet, and based primarily on the Yamas and Niyamas, and will include simple parameters for building dwellings.
My previous attempt at creating such a place started out well and ended in disaster. One person, who had contributed money and lived there, came to feel that he owned the place and anything and everything on it, including Durga Ma. He became abusive and I became concerned for the safety of all of us. There were seven dwellings, four people in residence and two more preparing to come, leaving one cabin for guests. He refused to leave, so I did, and things fell apart from there. I learned a great deal from this experience, hence the above mentioned monarchy with its advisory board and experts.
Trusting Each Other
What all this comes down to is that we will need to be able to trust each other. I need to be able to trust you, and you need to be able to trust me. We must be able to be kind and direct with each other. No one should ever be living in fear of being controlled or manipulated by anyone else. Nor should I. We must all be and behave as mature adults. As divine individuals, we are all equal in what it is that we really are, and we must keep this, and the significance of it, in mind in all our dealings.
I do hope that those of you who want to take up this sadhana full time, now or in the future, will find this approach reassuring. It may look a little tough and tight, but I believe these strategies are necessary to make a go of things and maintain them with the least amount of difficulty.
I have no particular wish to be a leader and will always take the simplest route, listen to the people involved, and do my homework … but I may ask for help.