Ordained Interfaith Minister Paul McMahon Chonny and Claudio Schanchez of Coheed and Cambria
I lead a guided meditation to send and receive blessing at 10 am each Sunday morning in the back yard of the Mothership, at 6 Sergeant Richard Quinn Drive in Woodstock NY 12498 US. The public is invited. It’s a short ceremony. Children are welcome.
In around 2005 an admirer of BFFBABYMAMA gave a beautiful swimming pool to my twin girls. We set it up in the back yard and it was their favorite thing in the world for the one or two summers it was here. They would stay in it sometimes three hours at a clip. After a while there was a very bad smell around it that lasted a day or two and went away. Much later, when it was emptied I found out why. Lack of light and water finally killed the grass and it all seemed to have died at once, giving off that bad smell.
At some point it became okay for the pool to move on and i gave it to my Mexican friend whose apartment was in what i think is a small cluster of Hispanic families in Kingston. I think many children had fun in it. The pool left an imprint where it had been; a big circle of bare earth. I decided to make a little firepit there because the great Shiva firepit established by Bhagavan Das next door is really the domain of my friend Shiv Mirabito, it’s caretaker.
Since 1996, when I moved into this house, I had been hearing the church bells ring each Sunday morning and feeling what? I couldn’t put my finger on it but after all I had been officially ordained an Interfaith minister in the Sacred Sound Chamber at the Seminary: the Center for Alternative Resources at the Wittenberg Center just months earlier. But there was no church I knew about in Woodstock in 1996 that I wanted to go to.
Fast forward 10 years and I am making a small firepit on the bare spot of the recently removed swimming pool. This usually entails removing all the vegetation but that part was done of course. All I needed was a circle of stones. I asked my Mother Superior Betsy Stang for permission and obtained four stones from Grandfather Thundercloud’s former medicine wheel. I placed them in the four directions of the pit. It was at his house in Sparta (after the chimney fire in Branchville) that I was visited by the four directions in dreamspace.
I soon realized I could do a little church service of my own at that firepit. There may be a record of it advertised as a Mothership program, which it still is. In the fall of 2007 the Woodstock Mothership, started with Ralph Schiano, opened on the ground floor. My foggy memory is that I started doing a weekly Sunday meditation at the small firepit around then. I have done it every Sunday since except when I was out of town. The ceremony has only been definitively rained out once and that was when a trouble-making person was present. Every other time the weather has been sweetly benevolent.
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