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Amma Sri Karunamayi - SRIM Meditation Center - Forsyth, Georgia.


This is the archive for February 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Amma found me before I really knew her.  She found me floating out in the Universal Heart Space where incarnate and unincarnate energies combine their love energy to create a space of safety, love, peace and ease for energies who are experiencing pain and sadness in this and other planes of existence.  Amma found me floating in the Heart Space of unutterable Beauty and guided me to the SRIM Center one Saturday so Dr. Ramana Kalli could find me too.

Sri KarunaMayi and Dr. Kalli know that I'm the artist and architect that had been preparing all my life to be the architect and designer for the SRIM Center.  We were brought together in a strange and lovely way.

So - here I am.

Ever since I've been a child I've been pre-occupied with the idea of Beauty and with a fascination for occupying fantastic transformative spaces - more often, those created in nature than those that are man made.  It has been this life's purpose to remind all of the students and children on this planet of what "Heaven" is like - the exquisite intersection and overlayment of transcendence, beauty, emotion, peace, ease, timelessness, reminiscence, joy, the nature of the earth - of Gaia.

Just as Amma found me she also feeds me during the creative process with her ideas and desires for the SRIM Center.  When I work on the design and the drawings I sit down with a cup of coffee and with wonderful music in the background.  I'm fully aware of time and place and everything around me.  Before very long I'm totally lost in the symbiotic relationship between the artist and the work.

Currently the fine builders under the guidance and auspices of Venkat Sanjeev are finishing up the renovation of the existing building that will become housing for Amma's staff and for Amma's students and devotees.

The board and the construction team for the SRIM Center have approved a design for the renovation of the main building which will harbor the meditation hall, the bookstore, a kitchen for warming/preparing/serving "the food of the gods" and restroom facilities.  As time goes by and permanent buildings are completed at the ashram, the meditation hall and the bookstore will move their permanent locations.

Love, Beauty, Nature and the Nature of Sri KarunaMayi guide my creative hand in the renovation design.

The path from the public spaces, onto the site, to the meditation hall building and into the meditation hall itself is being carefully planned.  I am learning the principles of vastu as I work on this project.

The design for the entry to the ashram is a three dimensional interpretation of Amma's symbol.  Moving towards the entry a visitor first encounters ponds filled with lotus flowers on each side of the drive.  The wrought iron gates which will probably be crafted by artists in India will be a pair of swans - one on each gate.  When the gates close they will be face to face, feathered breast to feathered breast.  Looking through the gates the visitor will see beyond to a landscaped island splitting the formerly single road into two one way roads separated by a planted boulevard - entering the experience and exiting the experience.  Fronting the island and centered on the entry gate there will be a Sri Yantra  raised to a vertical orientation so it can be viewed through the gates and as the visitor progresses.

The site is beautiful rolling pasture land and woods with a small pond.  The design will blend, blur and marry nature and manmade - exterior and interior.  Our intention is to design a complex that is truly sensitive to and a part of nature - sustainable.  Sri KarunaMayi had brought me the perfect sustainability consultant - an enchanting and brilliant young man of 14 years old named Ajay.

Keep an eye out on this website for brilliant thoughts posted by Ajay himself on ecofriendly planning and construction.

Instead of the typical horizontal siding prevalent on small domestic structures all over the United States, this building will eventually be clad with a series of panels backing vertical bamboo.  Very much thought will be given to and studies done for the arrangement and location for different varieties, colors, sizes and proportions of bamboo.  Crafting and applying these panels will indeed be a work of the heart, a love filled and meditative seva.

The main entry will be a large columned open trellis which will be overgrown with fragrant and beautiful flowered vines which attract butterflies.  This will be Amma's "stage" when there is a large crowd, the weather is accommodating and she speaks to her students and devotees outdoors.  All around the building the design includes areas for outdoor sitting and talking, reflecting, eating, watching animals . . .

Moving through the main entry form into the building the visitor will be moving from the outer to the inner, from the unquiet to the hushed, from the day to day to the rarefied.  The entry vestibule is designed to be the beautiful and heartfelt transition between the outside world and the inner world. 

The visitor will move through the vestibule to enter the meditation hall. 

Upon going through the entry doors, the devotee will immediately see a large, hushed, colorful room spread before them.  S/he will immediately discover that upon going through the doors, s/he is centered in Amma's view.  Sri KarunaMayi's chair and the shrine platform are directly on axis with the entry door.

All light into the room is filtered.  All the walls of the hall are hung with lovely, soft, colorful saaris.  Directly behind and slightly above Amma's chair there will be an elliptical or round window which eventually will be replaced with another piece of art, like the gates, a leaded glass or multi-colored glass piece with symbols that reference Divine Mother.

Moving into this room and into an even more private space, the devotee finds that they are now in the Heart Space, in peace and in bliss . . . .

Jai KarunaMayi!!!!!

jb February 13/27, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Jai Karunamayi!

The first SRIM Meditation Center Seva Weekend came off with a great start as Ammaís children came out in full force to help clean up the grounds, and prepare for construction.

The Srim Centerís several buildings, which are located on the property, were stockpiled with some heavy pieces of unusable equipment and multiple pieces of heavy metal debris. Some of the unusable equipment included a very large and heavy deep freezer of spoiled food, which provided great laughs and bonding for all. Nevertheless, Ammaís children did indeed successfully figure out how to remove it with out creating more of a mess, and causing damage to the building.

In conclusion, the great success of Seva Weekend was the clearing of several truckloads of debris, the tearing down of a rickety fence, the further assessment of future seva projects, greater bonding amongst all (and no injuries by Ammaís grace!); and most importantly, the opportunity to perform seva for Amma. At the end of the day, the difference in Vaastu energy flow at the center was quite palpable. Stay tuned for future projects, which will include the raking of leaves, plotting out of a parikrama, and the planting of Ammaís garden.

Jai Karunamayi,