A blustery Saturday afternoon. Squally rain spattering the tall windows. We were out of the elements, under the echoing high ceiling of the old country church . Quiet enough, inside, despite the rage in the weather, outside.
We were gathered quietly, sitting on the old worn benches, feet on the floor, hands on laps or gently folded. Breathing steadily, medium drafts in, and easy let goes, air drifting in and out of our bodies and minds. No forcing. No trying to do anything. Just sitting.
It was 1965. The night before, I’ve been listening to John Mayall and the Blues Breakers.
That blustery windy wet Saturday morning, on the way over to the venue in my 1946 Rover 10, driving through the counties of Kent and Sussex, I’d been listening to Mama Cass, and the Papas, and had arrived at the old West Sussex church in receptive mood.
The afternoon had started with a brief directive on how to sit, hold ourselves, and just be; to exist, and listen to the quiet within.
We did as we were told. The director spoke calmly but with great authority. There was certitude in his tone. His quiet voice hummed with an underlying vitality.
It was a calming, soothing, experience. Twenty people , sitting and breathing, focusing on the moment, hearing the force of the elements as they lashed the building. They generated a calm, vital, refreshing, energy that bathed every cell in every body that was present.
The director told stories of people in his life, and of lives long past. He spoke of people who influenced the direction of his daily living, day by day, week by week, so that the influence ran through his life. Some of the stories were dramatic, some simple. None without impact.
What he was teaching us was that life, in all its forms and shapes, events, interactions and communications, misunderstandings and happenings, need be no better and no worse than how we deal with it.
Fifty six years later, his words and his voice still ring.
And the things of which he spoke have not changed one bit.
But that's only my belief. What's yours?