Crystal Castle

Singing Plants at Crystal Castle…

I visited the Crystal Castle 17 days ago and I am still trying to interpret what I saw and what my feelings are.

I chose to visit on a Wednesday as the programme for the day included listening to the “music of the plants”. Described as a profoundly moving and memorable experience. One of my passions is gardening. I love the beauty of plants and of course I believe they are responsive and have connections and vibrations that we cannot actually see. So I was looking forward to hearing them sing…

The plant concert was due to start at 1-30 next to the Blessing Buddha.

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This Buddha is very special to the formation of the Buddha Walk experience. It was in the year 2000 that Naren and wife Sono decided to create the Buddha Walk and in 2004 the search began for all the statues.

Finding Buddha was quite elusive until they heard about a master carver in Java, it was here that this huge, almost 4 metres tall, Buddha was hand carved from volcanic rock from a mountain in Java, then shipped to Australia.

It took another 18 months to create the gardens and transform an old dam site into a fitting setting for Buddha were he sits, giving forth a feeling of peace and tranquillity.

So it was here that I sat, in an open sided marquee, to listen to the story and history behind the phenomena of the singing plants.

It was explained that the idea and research about the music plants made, had first been researched at “Damanhur”. A connection was made with the people at Damanhur and a small box was acquired from them. Now this is were I, sort of, lost all the technology explanations. But a wire with a rusty sort of nail was pushed into the soil around the plants roots, another wire with a bulldog clip was attached to the leaves of the plant and a third wire went into the small box which was then connected to a synthesiser. Ok are you following this… I am now kicking myself as unfortunately I did not take photos. This link will explain it better than I can. http://in5d.com/amazing-singing-plants-phenomenon/

There was an expectant hush as we all sat waiting. Nothing happened.

We were told that the plants could not just sing on cue, sometimes they did not feel in the mood. So the clip was taken from that plant and moved to another. We were asked to meditate and chant the word “Ohm” Suddenly small noises, squeaks, uncoördinated notes emitted from the box.

I made a short video. Against the back ground of the “Ohm” chant you will be able to hear the synthesised sounds.

So what do you think? Is it the plants? Or is it a rather elaborate hoax…

Here is another version of “Damanhur” from a person who experienced living there and now warns anyone planning to go to be careful. https://damanhurinsideout.wordpress.com/

After an hour we went back to the main building to look at the amazing displays of crystals in the shop.

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The Crystal Castle is a truly unique place and on every level it exudes spirituality. The Stupor, the crystals placed everywhere, the spiral design of the gardens, the lush tropical plants used, the magnificent statues, the distant vista of the Border Ranges and rainforest covered slopes, the organic veggie garden. Then the inspiring story of one man and his dream and how he slowly, over 3 decades, turned that dream into reality.

I can appreciate the beauty, hard work and dedication.

But I am a practical, down to earth sort of person. I do not dwell on religion, spirituality, the meaning of life. My focus is on the “now”, the daily necessities of life, the people around me, my garden. So the connection Crystal Castle has with Damanhur and the singing plants left a vague uncomfortable niggle at the back of my mind.

Would I go back again? Most definitely.

For more details of the daily programme, how to get there follow this link.

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In the “weekly photo challenge” Krista asks us to show her our idea of a “Happy Place”.

If you think of “happy” as being serene and contented this Crystal Castle ticks the box for me…

Categories: Australia, Crystal Castle, happy, New South Wales, photos, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , | 34 Comments

The Buddha Walk at the Crystal Castle…

In my previous post I’d been looking down at the organic vegetable garden as we had lunch, so before going along the Buddha Walk I went to look at where the delicious salad had come from.

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The raised beds were home to a variety of salad veggies, herbs, flowers a glorious array of healthy goodness. The sign invites volunteers to feel free to come and help and learn the skills of organic garden. Now if I lived closer I would love to help out.

Now onto the walk…

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Before the Buddha Walk the labyrinth is waiting for you to walk around. This is not a maze as there is only one way in and the reverse way out.

 “A labyrinth is a walking meditation… a spiritual tool for reconnecting with your inner voice. Walking these single path designs assists us in bringing together the analytical/rational part of our consciousness with the intuitive/spiritual level of consciousness. An exercise for the mind and the body” (so says Sig Lonegren)

In a maze we lose ourselves, but in a labyrinth we find ourselves. (Michael Stevens)

Well that’s enough of the quotes lets head through the beautiful towering amethyst geodes and discover the Buddha walk.

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Flanked by the sparkling amethyst geodes is the first deity the chubby, gentle, wise, elephant-headed Ganesh, or Ganesha, is one of Hinduisms most popular deities.

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A short way along the path from Ganesh is Lakshmi.

“Goddess Lakshmi means Good Luck to Hindus. The word ‘Lakshmi’ is derived from the Sanskrit word “Laksya”, meaning ‘aim’ or ‘goal’, and she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual. Lakshmi is the household goddess of most Hindu families, and a favourite of women.”

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Nandi

Nandi

The statues and deities are  incredible works of art and for some will add a spiritual dimension to the walk, but for me it is the gardens and the overall serenity of the surrounding rainforest that takes my breath away.

Then I turn a corner….

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And discover the bamboo glade…

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I listened, entranced by the soft whispering of the bamboo canes as they rubbed together. They seemed to be speaking to each other.

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These children ran exuberantly down the steps and down the end I see another statue.

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Everywhere these bold purple signs inform us of what we are looking at. Giving brief descriptions and explanations. I appreciate that as I only know the very basic facts about Eastern philosophy.

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“Damanhur” now this is a place I have never heard of and later I looked it up in Google and this is what Wikipedia said…

The Federation of Damanhur, often called simply Damanhur, is a commune, ecovillage, and spiritual community situated in the Piedmont region of northern Italy about 30 miles (50 km) north of the city of Turin. It is located in the foothills of the Alps in the Chiusella Valley, bordering on the Gran Paradiso National Park. The community has its own constitution and currency, the Credito.

Damanhur is named after the Egyptian city of Damanhur which was the site of a temple dedicated to Horus.

It was founded in 1975 by Oberto Airaudi with around 24 followers, and by 2000 the number had grown to 800. The group holds a mix of New Age and neopagan beliefs. They gained fame in 1992 through the disclosure of their secret excavation of an extensive underground temple, the Temples of Humankind, which was begun in 1978 under complete secrecy. The Italian authorities ordered construction work to stop because it had been constructed without planning approval, although artwork could continue. Retroactive permission was subsequently granted.[1] 

It seems to be quite a controversial place and some say it is bordering on a cult status.

There is starting to appear many different levels of meaning in this Crystal Castle and I am having difficulty to absorb all the different messages I am starting to perceive here.

Take a look at this link. A virtual tour of this underground temple.

http://www.thetemples.org/tour/

Be careful you may get dizzy. Tell me what you think…

Back to the walk…

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This is the Damanhur Spiral with the young boy taking a photo. The sign requests that only one person at a time enter the spiral. When I passed it again a short time later the boy had gone and this time I could see the woman had connected with the spirit of the large central crystal.

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Finally I reach the spiritual heart of the Crystal Castle and gaze at the Blessing Buddha and I am about to listen to the singing plants…

To be continued in the next post…

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I am joining Restless Jo and her band of trampers from around the world with this part 2 of my Crystal Castle experience.

 

Categories: Crystal Castle, Jo's Monday walks, New South Wales, photos | 28 Comments

The magic of a dream come true

 This story starts in 1985. Naren King was invited to a New Years Eve party at the home of Mal Cooper who had employed  Edwin Kingsbury an eccentric architect to design a unique and magnificent building. The building was positioned right on the point where the earths energy lines, or ley lines intersect. It was a magical place, radiating harmony and peace and Naren fell in love with it.  When the Mal Cooper went broke due to only demanding the very best materials for his “harmonious architecture” it became a dream and an obsession for Naren to own it.

After a number of set backs the property became his and he and his wife began a life long project of creating a place of magic. Naren was Australia’s first direct importer of quality natural crystals from around the world and this was to be the ideal place for him to showcase their beauty.

In 1986 the land had been cleared for grazing and banana growing so now the work began to transform it into a garden, a tropical wonderland.

Jump forward to 2015 and we are house sitting only a 30 minute car ride from this extraordinary place so of course we had to visit it.

But where do I start to show you the captivating, overwhelming beauty of the gardens with magnificent statues of the deities at every corner. The tranquil Buddha and the magnificent stupor that was blessed by the Dalai Lama.

I will start as we walk in and follow the track to the Stupor…

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A rustic path meanders through the beds densely planted with tropical vegetation. Prayer flags are waving in a slight breeze as we round the corner.

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The first of the many serene statues  we are to see, stands guard over the large koi fish.

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Passing the Tibetan prayer wheels the path leads down to the Stupor.

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Beautiful eastern music floats through the air surrounding me as I recorded this short video as I sit and watch all ages walk reverently around this symbol of peace.

Crystals were Naren’s passion and they are to be found all round the gardens. A short way past the Stupor “Rosie”, a 4 tonne mini-mountain of rose quartz is one of the largest ever found in the world with such a large “crystalized face”.

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I spent quite a while in this area absorbing the feeling of calm and beauty that pervaded the atmosphere.

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Going back past the other side of the pond the track now winds through the tropical gardens back to the house that Narin fell in love with.

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After wandering through the Botanical Shambhala Gardens admiring the variety of sub-tropical and tropical plants we spotted the café through a screen of red kangaroo paws. But first we looked around the courtyard outside the café. This is where we saw this amazing trompe l’oeil.

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This extraordinary water feature dominates the courtyard. Using rose quartz it was crafted by highly skilled fountain makers from Germany. The base is granite from Switzerland. The 310 kilogram sphere rotates on a mere 0.3 millimetres of water. It glows as it catches the sun and according to mystic lore, rose quartz emanates the qualities of love and compassion and this is the spinning heart of the Crystal Castle.

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There is so much to see in this courtyard. The ground is embedded with 20,000 pieces of rose quartz

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This seat is made from Sodalite’ this is what I found about it on the internet.

“Sodalite is the stone of athletics, as it stimulates endurance. It is said sodalite will harmonize the inner being or the conscious and subconscious mind. Sodalite promotes peace and harmony. Sodalite is extra lucky for writers.” (I sat there for a while!)

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Magnificent clusters of crystals were everywhere, sparkling and glistening giving off so much energy. Almost overwhelming.

Time for lunch.

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We were there during school holiday time so it was busy. But the service was friendly and quick and the food delicious. Most of the salads and vegetables are grown in their own organic vegie garden.

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This was an Indian Plate and delicious. But look what we followed it with…

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As we waited for lunch we had a lovely view down into the gardens, and across to the distant Border Ranges.

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There is still more to see but for now I will leave you as we eat our lunch and take you on the Buddha walk in the next episode.

Going through to the Buddha Walk...

Going through to the Buddha Walk…

(To be continued)

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I’m joining with Restless Jo’s cyber walking group this week. Bloggers sharing walks all over the world.

 

Categories: Crystal Castle, Jo's Monday walks, New South Wales, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Boundaries…

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Can you see where the reality ends and the creation starts?

This is a boundary with a difference. It is a boundary of what the mind conceives as reality.

From a distance I thought I could walk through the archway into a magical kingdom. But as I came closer it transformed into a “Tromp L’oeil” 

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This incredible work of art was in the court-yard of an enchanting and extraordinary world of the Crystal Castle. It is in the hinterland, surrounded by lush green hills, near that alternative life style village of Mullumbimby that I visited recently. I will be showing you more, much more of this amazing place, but I am still sorting the 300+ photos I took on the day.

This is just a preview of what is to come. 

(Here’s another bench for the October “Bench Series” that Jude hosts)

Categories: bench series, boundaries, Crystal Castle, Mullumbimby, New South Wales, photos, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 32 Comments

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