"the feet of Bhagavan are everywhere. So where can we gather except at his feet?
Time and space are no barriers to the gathering of hearts." Sri Ramana Maharshi

Celebrating the life of David LaChapelle

Celebrating the Life of David LaChapelle: Visionary teacher, see-er of souls, wisdom keeper and devoted follower to the great stillness. Friend to many. Dream coach, author, publisher and speaker. Chanter, painter, builder, philosopher and patriarch. His body let go. His gifts live on...

Submissions to this blog greatly appreciated:

To post your entry:
- email text and/or photos to ananda@jeffnet.org
(specify "for blog" and specify if anonymous or not) -or-
- comment in two places directly on blog: on left-hand panel or end of each post

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

David's rough draft for Sadhana publication

“Ask and you shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened within you. For everyone that asks, receives, and they that seek find, and to those that knock it shall be opened.” - Christ

Sankalpa and Sadhana by David LaChapelle

When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William sound it was in large part because of a peculiarity of steering super tankers. They are such large ships, carrying so much weight, that their motion takes a considerable time to turn. Even if the rudder is turned completely it can take twenty miles of ocean for the ship to come around and change course.

This process is called a trim tab effect and is a useful analogy for how we might go about changing the direction of our vehicle in sadhana. We, not unlike supertankers, carry a large weight of conditioning, habits and repetitive attention paths. Changing the direction of these of habits is not unlike the massive movement of a turning super tankers. Only sustained intent, carried forward for a long time, can effectively change the course of our motion.

Personal will plays a significant role in the the steering of the vessel of our lives. The correct application of this will is an action which the yogi’s named sankalpa.

Sankalpa is an intent which slowly shifts the subtle patterns of our mind and body and begins to align them with our essence. Because our essence is consciousness itself this action creates a powerful resonance which lifts us beyond our usual capacity. If our intent is correct, then eventually the magnetics of this process changes our conscious values and aspirations by slowly tuning them to the more refined planes of existence.

Intent is a powerful force which creates the condition under which our other qualities manifest their potency. Because of this correct intent is an important adjunct to our sadhana.
If our intent is to find the correct partner, make money, manifest a talent or other tangible accomplishments of life then we will most likely achieve these goals with the application of our sankalpa.

However the relative manifestation of these capacities may not be in the most harmonious alignment with our soul’s growth.

Out of the discord of our essential loneliness we may manifest an endless search for a partner, or be constantly restless in our existing relationship. If we invoke our sankalpa in the direction of fixing this “problem” then we may siphon off the aligning energy of our intent from its deeper purpose.

The highest form of sankalpa is the intent to know the absolute. By adopting this as a consistent position then the obscurations to our clear view begin to gradually melt away. This process occurs because our sankalpa is a function of our personal power. As we begin to consistently align ourselves with our essence the vibratory quality of that state begins to refine the function of our third chakra. This refinement leads to a spiritualization of our personal power. This process of refinement means that we have less and less of our own sense of independent action. Instead our actions begin to align, by resonance with, with a deeper intent than our own. As the energy of our third chakra is purified of personal intent it is able to support very high states of perception and feeling. As we see more clearly and feel more compassionately we are guided intuitively, and immediately, to take actions which are in alignment with a more transcendent intent.

At this stage of action we become instruments of a profoundly connected universe. The wisdom of this connectivity guides our individual decisions so that we are in alignment with the needs of the evolving whole.

Actions manifest in different historical epochs in accord with the needs of consciousness at that time. Thus courage in ancient Rome will have a different flavor than courage in modern times. Faith in Egypt several thousand years ago, will have a different patina than St. Francis’s era.
Because of this evolving structure of manifestation we are constantly asked to update our own qualities that they might be in alignment with the present state of manifestations.
The resistance to this realignment of purpose has caused much alienation and bloodshed throughout human history.

Our daily practice is the testing ground of our intent. As you sit to meditate the sankalpa that you hold creates the foundation for the unfoldment of your experience. Because of this we need to examine carefully the nature of our intent.

What is our motivation for practice? Is it to get high? To remove pain in the body and mind? To serve other beings? To surrender to absolute?

The color of our intent creates the riverbanks for the flow of our sadhana during our practice time. The more our sankalpa,THE APPLICATION OF OUR PERSONAL WILL, is in resonance with our essence the wider the river bank becomes.

Critical to this practice is to truly surrender the outcome of our practice. If we are holding on for a particular outcome, based on our relative need, then we skew the flow of the river and limit its depth. If we approach our practice with a true intent to surrender to the will of the absolute, then the conditions of our experience are set by a standard that is nearly impossible to summon through personal effort. [GIVE A GREAT BEING’S CORRECT MODELING]

The key to this process is a relaxation of tension in the belly and solar plexus. As we become soft in the belly, yielding to the flow of current through us, we can sense into the core of our root strength. This root strength is in vibratory relationship to the flow of iccha shakti, or the manifestation of will in the universe. This alignment allows the foundation of our practice to support revelation of higher states of perception and compassion. In such a state we become absorbed in the flow of a greater manifestation and the tension of our personal existence begins to ease.

Repeated contact with this realm of deeper intent works a subtle transformative change on the actions we perform in our “normal” state. By magnetic adjustment, the filaments of our third chakra are aligned with our higher centers and there is an accompanying tranquility as we have less and less personal resistance to our essence.
Photo image by David. Created June 14, 2009

Monday, April 19, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hawaii home and retreat space

Just found this picture: the fruits of our hard work landing in Hawaii Spring 2006... new paint, ugly floor we ripped up and sanded and refinished, the furniture we made or found at thrift stores, the room divided into dining space for 20 and a temple section for meeting (David built the frames, I sewed the curtains), the way all the colors came together, the couch I recovered and sewn pillows ... all ready for our first group ... May... this same time of year

Friday, April 16, 2010

Reflections on Hawaii. By Maria (Adi) Benito

Dear sisters, I wrote this on the plane back to Princeton. I wish to share with you. In love and in death , there are mysteries and in both there is healing. The quality of our gathering was very feminine and magical, such as the owl represents, the owl that came in on our last day together. The medicine I received washes over me like the caresses of a wise mother, a loving sister, one who is not perfect yet; yet sees with no judgment: a sisterhood medicine. To be welcomed with flowers, a lei of beautiful scent, to welcome a tired body and a tired soul, to be the pillar to allow for tears to flow. To be lifted from the ashes to my truest essence, to see the shadow and the light, and to hold them both; a metaphor. Before departing, crows appeared and a sense of shadow-material emerged. Crows are the guardian of ceremonial magic and healing. In any healing circle, crow is present. Crow guides the magic of healing and the change in consciousness that will bring about a new reality. Crow has been thought to represent the shadow within, the quest within. And it truly was so. The healing circle began with the spread of ashes of David's. Much grief had been shared before the ceremony, therefore we were ready to welcome a new reality. We meditated on the I-ching throw that we collectively did at the memorial site. Revolution turning to abundance. We meditated and reflected how to move forward and keep David alive in our worlds. The healing circle saw many reflections, another healing within the healing, and a satsang with a teacher who not knowing us, exposed some shadow material and held a light for new adventures. Her advise to me was "go outside the box"; "say yes only when it brings you in connection with God"; a true teaching. Without saying so explicitly, my dear sister understood how my quest was that of purpose... a blessing. With much love, Adi

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Almost home again from recent trip to Hawaii (in Santa Fe now on my way back to Silverton first time, to stay, since December).

Returned to the land in North Kohala where, 3 years ago, David and I stored the many items we'd built and sewn by hand to create a home, live-in teen teaching space and retreat center at the sugar-planation-fixer-up-er we rented for a year in 2006

After everyone for Hawaii memorial had gone, I faced two solid weeks pulling it all out, parting with and hauling 8 full truck loads for give-away (rather than nickle and dime-ing each object, very relieved, every object kept value for me that way), wiping down, cleaning out, throwing out, shipping home, going back for more.

We'd also stored our island car, Pueo (after the white Hawaiian owl who'd been our sign for landing here). Before it would sell, had to clean it; before that, get a key made; before that, had someone take the door apart to get the lock to a locksmith miles away.... After several airing-outs, and some spectacular rainbow blessings, Pueo was ready to be adopted by its new family with a second baby on the way... horray! What a great feeling that day.

Very proud of accomplishments of the last few weeks, and fueled by some added inner strength for facing the Ashland 10 x 10, two cabins and another car in Alaska and LaChapelle build-up in Silverton garage...

As "letting go" changes my own life, I send out the message you've already heard plenty... time to reduce, reuse, recycle and stop buying more stuff!

dining set, drapes and hangings by me, altar table by David, carpets, lamps, full kitchen wares, beds, desks, floor cushions, outdoor shower, art materials and art work, books, christmas stuff, pillows, lumber, snorkel stuff, tools, and more tools...

helper elf Shawn, thank heaven he could help, such a big job

the carport David built from 2x4s, and surrounded with heavy tarps for walls, to protect our island vehicle (sat for 2 years before my return to get it running)

one tired soul, two tired soles

Pueo's new family

Goodbye dear friend..

Pueo waiting for me coming home the night i finally sold the car!

Hawaii Sunrise Ash Ceremony, March 22, 2010

First Ash Ceremony for David
Pololu Valley, Big Island Hawaii

March 22, 2010

O wise one

Ocean of Mercy and Love

O Beloved teacher
lighting the way
to my heart

I bow down to your beauty and your grace
I bow down to Beauty and Grace

- Julie Pigott
( recording available: ananda@jeffnet.org)

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Photo by Linda Merryman

Sunrise. Photo by Linda Merryman

Photo by Linda Merryman

ananda.foley photography 2010

Photo by Linda Merryman

ananda.foley photography 2010

ananda.foley photography 2010

ananda.foley photography 2010

ananda.foley photography 2010

ananda.foley photography 2010

ananda.foley photography 2010

ananda.foley photography 2010

ananda.foley photography 2010

Photo by Linda Merryman

ananda.foley photography 2010

Group I Ching throw from David's book
Pololu Valley, Big Island Hawaii

49: Revolution changing to...
55: Abundance

A Hymn of Changes:
Contemplations of the I Ching
by David LaChapelle. Ragged Sky Press 2009
(contact ananda@jeffnet.org)

Saturday, April 10, 2010