Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Stand Unshaken•Master Yogananda has told us: “You must learn to stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds.” In that spirit we carry on at Sunburst Sanctuary. In fact, we are making the best of it, letting “breaking worlds” send us deeper into oneness with Spirit. [Opening image above: Al King hiking at Sunburst Sanctuary.
Meanwhile, we’ve certainly had our share of breaking equipment this winter. But our guys, sometimes with a bit of outside help, get it up and running again.
And who could be unhappy amidst the beauty of Sunburst Sanctuary? Here are some photos taken right before and right after morning group meditation.
Then there’s the bounty of the land. We’re still enjoying persimmons and a late crop of potatoes and strawberries from some personal gardens.
Plenty of great activities keep us busy: Around the Temple, Curtis was weeding; Craig was cleaning and fixing the rain gutters.
Heiko was working the organic fertilizer spreader. Haley was turning compost rows.
[Below] Al & Anna (visiting) gathered wild mushrooms. On a recent morning after meditation, we saw the horses waiting for fresh hay. So much to see and do at Sunburst Sanctuary. You can visit, explore, retreat.
Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Opening the Gates Once Again! •
Appropriately for the change in seasons, Sunburst opened its gates to participants in two gatherings this past weekend. On Saturday, the Sacred Geometry Workshop delighted participants with various activities that opened eyes and minds to recognize the divine signature found throughout nature.
Craig Hanson, Sunburst’s Sacred Geometry specialist who has studied this subject for over 45 years, offered a slide show, a walk in nature, exploration of divine patterns in Sunburst’s Permaculture gardens, a drawing activity, and other educational demonstrations.
On Sunday, the public was once again invited to services in Sunburst’s meditation temple. In-person Sunday meditation services had been paused since Covid became an issue. It was a glorious day to meditate and receive inspiration together, as well as visit with old friends, welcome new friends, and enjoy some time together. Everyone also had the opportunity to take home organically grown vegetables from the Sunburst Permaculture gardens.
Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Springing Forward • Despite very cool mornings, Nature is springing forward at Sunburst Sanctuary. An opening double-photo shows the King’s almond tree at the start of February with buds on bare branches (left side) and, at the end of the same month, fully opened almond blossoms (right side). Deer are enjoying fresh green shoots in the main field (below).
Farther up the canyon, a field Sean disked and sewed with hay seed (1st photo below), is now green with new growth (2nd photo below).
To prevent insects larvae from boring into dormant spring peach tree buds, Al sprayed mineral oil on them.
A Pueblo Blessing: Hold onto what is good, even if it is a handful of earth. Hold onto what you believe, even if it is a tree which stands by itself. Hold onto what you must do, even if it is a long way from here. Hold onto life, even when it is easier letting go. Hold onto my hand, even when I have gone away from you.
Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Range Management • January
“Do what you love to do, and be around things that make you smile. The cows make me smile every day.” – David Jackson
Sunburst is a sanctuary in nature not only for people, but also for flora and fauna, plants and animals, wild and domestic. Management of 4,000 acres of mostly wild land is a challenge. Potential fires, erosion, and useful resources are all taken into consideration, with permaculture in mind. If the land is healthy, the animal ecosystem prospers too. We are all connected.
Overgrowth of flammable foliage is managed with the help of cattle that also fertilizes the land, and develops passable trails for other wildlife and people. Sunburst’s livestock, cattle and horses, are people friendly, especially the horses. You wouldn’t be able to pet a cow, bull or calf, because their tendency is to stay clear of people, although they find people fascinating to watch.
Plant communities have developed with grazing animals throughout history, making grazing animals important to the wellbeing of these plants. The goal is a healthy balance of plants and animals.
Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Agriculture • January
“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” – Masanobu Fukuoka A large property requires many hands to caretake its acreage. At Sunburst, we look forward to the end of Covid restrictions, not only for the return of Sunday services, but for all manner of events. These will include opportunities to join in our daily activities, including those in permaculture, agriculture and environmental improvement. This is the first of our Wednesday blog pieces to inform you about activities ongoing with Sunburst Sanctuary’s current crew. Everything from hiking trail maintenance, to water systems, agriculture, and more will be covered in text and photos. Last summer we enjoyed delicious fruits from our raspberries and grapes. This year they’ll be even more abundant. Pruning is taking place in the grapes (Al):
and raspberries (Curtis):
The young orchard, which is also being pruned, is a mix of apples and peaches.
A few more years of maturity are required before these trees will bear fruit.
A cover crop protects the soil between the rows of trees.
More on “Light on Sunburst Sanctuary” next Wednesday.
As the Covid-19 pandemic moves into its fifth month, Sunburst has settled into a routine of both quiet reflection and active improvements around the property.
The permaculture garden is flourishing thanks to Sean Fennell, who joyfully now offers an organic CSA, and continues to develop a fruit orchard and greenhouse. What a joy to see the land being so well cared for by our brother Sean!
The new New Frontiers store in Solvang has adapted to the changes by offering curbside pickup and prepackaged deli food for easy purchase. It is truly a sanctuary for shoppers, with its spacious friendly energy and gourmet offerings. Hats off to Jake and Missy Collier who keep the store spinning in a positive direction.
Resident Craig Hanson has been hiking the Sunburst trails regularly and keeping them cleared. He has been increasing his knowledge of the local flora and looks forward to resuming Sunday hikes as soon as it’s safe. He also works to keep the landscaping in the Sunburst lodge area looking beautiful.
Missy, Dawn, Greg, Ischa and Letha have been responsible for contributing inspirational quotes, talks by Norm, and meditations by Sunburst ministers to the Sunburst Blog and Facebook page.
Elena and Emily are still running the Sunburst office, answering calls, coordinating zoom meetings, preparing for the prayer circle each week, and staying abreast of the current pandemic guidelines. We are anxious to reopen our doors, once the restrictions are lifted. If anyone cares to check in with Sunburst, please email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear how everyone is doing!
Heiko, Sean, Curtis, David, and Al are staying very busy keeping cows and horses fed, the roads and fences in good repair, the hayfields producing, and the water systems running smoothly, while juggling a whole host of other projects and ongoing ranch maintenance.
One recent project was the Sunburst kitchen being painted and the cabinets refinished by Paul Custer and Craig.
Sunburst spiritual director Patty Paulsen has been working hard on the Nojoqui Farms property to ready it for the next phase of development, which will hopefully lead to the next perfect owner of our beautiful farm. Please help us project success for this important Sunburst venture!
Last but not least we want to acknowledge Dr. Greg Anderson for his tireless work in recording the Sunburst ministers for online viewing of their Sunday meditation talks. Be sure to also check out his podcasts, as he offers insights of Life-Love-God, written by Sunburst founder Norman Paulsen.
As we move forward into the great unknown of the future, we move forward with faith, knowing that everything is happening in God’s time, that we can relax and enjoy this journey, relying on our connection to Spirit and to each other, for guidance, support, strength and inspiration.