by a first-time Visitor to Sunburst  •  Arriving early on Sunday morning, my son Tom ushers us into the main building, the Sunburst “Lodge”. The first thing that catches my attention is the beautiful illuminated stained glass rendering of the Sunburst mandala, standing tall in one corner of the “living room” area. I gaze at its beauty for some time, when from my peripheral vision I see a painting of a Kachina. 

A ripple of awareness runs through my body as I recognize this Kachina from a dream I had some time ago. In the dream, I saw this figure just as it appears in this painting, but I was not given its name. Now below it I read: “Talavai Kachina. This painting was a gift from Hopi medicine man White Bear. The blessing of this Kachina is an appropriate one to help us grow pure food, and to purify our thoughts and actions as we walk the road of life.”  

While I am still taking all this in, more people begin to arrive at the sanctuary. They bring smiles and greetings and food to share. We are embraced by many beautiful people and immediately we feel welcomed. 

The stained glass image of the Sunburst mandala, the synchronistic event of the Kachina from my dream hovering in the painting behind me, and the welcome and heartfelt greetings from these wonderful people are circling about, within and around me.

We move to the temple, and the singing begins. Singing is a traditional part of the Sunday morning gathering at Sunburst. Today a song seems to be dedicated to the visiting guests, including my son, my little daughter, and myself. Everyone sings:
     “Hello my friend, nice to see you again. Won’t you please come walk with me  until the journey’s end. Just to know you’re a friend of mine makes everything alright. Got to get you into my life! And I’m gonna love you, love you, love you till my heart can take no more, find me on your doorstep, won’t you open up your door…”

Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I feel the love and the blessing of being in the company of this group of true seekers. Sunburst’s founder, Norman Paulsen smiles at me from a photo on the wall and I realize, as the Kachina suggests, that I too have been intent on purifying my thoughts and actions.

Beautiful voices continue to sing, and the harmony of their voices, and the words they are singing, speak to my spirit as I continue to weep tears of joy. Then suddenly I am at a place of knowing. I realize that I have opened a door and crossed its threshold. I have found in the midst of this group of spiritually committed people, a clearer understanding and deeper awareness of my own spiritual walk.

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