"Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannot hear. Then, what deafness may we not all possess? What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us?"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - from Frank Herbert's Dune

                                                                                                    - Maggie Taylor

              Helen Keller:  The Story of My Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3kqkHT3HzM

Left photo is of Helen Keller when she graduated from Radcliffe, 1904.

Below, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker.

With exception of the few, you will not find that people living at the Foundation are uncomfortable with silence and there are those who manage to carry it "among the crowd".  It very well might be that an unconscious love of silence is that which captured those who didn't know the extent of what an "informal" path of silence would offer in a refuge environment. It could be said that spiritual practitioners who work in such an environment gain specific benefit and evolve perceptually.  Yet, it can be said that all people receive benefit regardless of the lifestyle they lead, short of abusive or self-destructing tendencies. Even at that, the silence is always available with chance after chance. What makes for a love of silence?  What are we listening to beyond the echos of chatter?

“The primary reason for silence on meditation retreats is to support our meditation practice. Silence helps keep our focus on cultivating mindfulness and concentration. Continuity of mindfulness is much easier when we don’t talk. The complex interplay of emotions and attitudes involved in most social interactions tend to keep the mind too active and scattered to allow for deep concentration.  And this internal activity often lingers. The mental momentum from a conversation is seldom finished when we stop talking.  It can take a while for the thinking mind to quiet down after a conversation ends.”  - Gil Fronsdal 

                          - Cliffannie Forrester

Certainly this is accurate, yet it doesn't seem necessary to entirely couch the intent solely in regard to "the practice". There are varying degrees of benefit related to a "change of scenery" as well as solitary versus group meditation in that one may proceed at one's own pace and take time with specific interests that might arise. It could be that a silent retreat is needed for relaxation only and a much needed get-a-way from the workforce, family crisis, respite from care giving, problem solving, physical traumas, or any number of reasons that do not involve obligation to formal practice. 

                                                                                                              - Joel Sartore


  1. A wholesome and generous vegetarian meal each day (more often w/arrangements; special diets observed)
  2. Stocking of water, drinks, snacks 
  3. Clean linens and towels with changes upon request.
  4. Message service by request, i.e., Foundation contact # provided for guest contacts.
  5. Laundry service if needed to prevent contact with others.
  6. Note board conveniently placed for any messages to or from guest.
  7. Meeting with a representative from COS can be arranged if “grounding” or any other concerns arise. This can also be arranged ahead of the retreat. 
  8. Airport, train or bus transport           
  9. Ambulance service one mile from Foundation
  10. Shuttle service into Deming passes the entrance to Foundation.
  11. Rates are determined by guest’s personal package which might include daily, weekly or monthly rates for:               

                                   - Tent, Bird House or Pyramid w/shower      

                                   - Platform only for those who have tents

                                   - Message service which implies offering a Foundation # for guest contacts

                                   - Laundry service with pickup/delivery; no verbal contact

                                   - Meals delivered w/prearranged times to do so and pickup of dishes

                                   - Drinks, snacks, ice daily upon request

                                   - Transportation rates would be generated by time, distance, fuel, etc.

                (Laundry Service) Photo:  Mark Pedrosa


The Foundation has a pyramid.  Creating retreat quarters in the pyramid would put a guest in proximity to the shower house and washer facilities, be an appropriate distance from others for privacy with nice views of the mountains.

The interior space of the pyramid would provide:  a loft for cooler weather sleeping, an interior banco or outdoor overhang for protected warm weather sleeping, a living room area with shelving and modest storage for personal belongings, and a streamlined propane kitchen area with stove top, sink, minimal shelving, and "insulated" cold food storage compartment cooled with ice prior to occupancy.


                Rough Outline for Project

 Remove central table (sell stones; defray costs)  Rework windows to open for ventilation            Pour slab or lay down bricks/pavers for floor      Plumb for water use                                      Install a propane line for portable tank use          Build loft, banco, shelving, and counter            Build overhang over the entrance area              Remove exterior shingles and stucco pyramid      Minimally landscape; add outdoor shaded area  Make composting toilet enclosure outdoors        Add a tall length of privacy fencing east/west

SUGGESTION:  Bring in Neal and a rep from Rockhound State Park group to give estimate/suggestions for table slab and stones. This could be done in any case.

Le Louvre below

Tents are being used all over the US, a catch-up with many other countries that have been onto it for a long time.  Tents are used for camping, guest quarters, retreat spots, B&Bs, refugee housing - you name it.  

The tents below are of the smaller versions of the luxurious Lotus Belle tent line.  They are about the size of the Bird House at the Foundation; slightly larger than the Bird House.  As a collapsible structure that can be erected onto a pre-made wooden platform when retreat guests would come, it offers longevity due to its portability, a jump-start on getting into a minimalist retreat experience in a pristine environment, and it is large enough to accommodate personal belongings and work space, i.e., movement, writing, etc.


Tent, platform, bed on the interior with linen, portable shelving for belongings, desk/table and chair, outdoor shaded area, fire pit outdoors with stacked wood, pad/pillow for yoga or meditation,   cooler for water, drinks and snacks.                                    


 Smaller version below:  Lotus "Pearl"        

Robert Ransom Odom was a European-American who converted to Hinduism.  Robert's spiritual path led
him to study and teach in places as diverse as South Mississippi; South Louisiana; Darmstadt, Germany; Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles and San Diego, California; El Paso, Texas-Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

From 1990 (until 2016 - ed.), Robert lived and worked in New Mexico, being a well-respected, leading figure in the metaphysical spiritual community. Robert has presented workshops and lectured in a wide range of venues, including the Whole Life Expo; Pacific Northwest Conference on Treatment and Addiction; Border Book Festival; La Familia Conference on Treatment Issues at the University of Texas, El Paso; various presentations at Universidad Autonoma de Cd. Juarez. - Goodreads

The photo above shows Robert standing in front of the shrine of Meher Baba (Meherwan Sheriar Irani) which is located in the Village. Although Meher Baba was born in Pune, India, his parents were of Persian ancestry. Typically, Meher Baba is known as an avatar or universal man and not affiliated with one religion.

Please donate your rummage.We will be collecting rummage during July for a fundraiser to purchase exterior paint and supplies, pea gravel and landscaping cactus/trees/shrubs for the front of COS Community Center. It's time! If you can't find something to donate, please make a cash donation regardless of amount.

   Contact Alima:  eyeofthemountain@gmail.com

                        RUMMAGE SALE 

       Saturday, August 6th on the Village Plaza                                      8 a.m - Noon    

Please help to make this a great sale by donating most anything at all in decent shape - tools, furniture, kitchen wares, art, jewelry, pottery, houseplants, lamps  - no clothes or books, so keep the shirt on your back!  

Volunteers needed for setting up/breaking down and sales.  Cold drinks, coffee, snacks for sale.

Greetings to Helena Myers who has returned to Minnesota for the Summer.  

We're not forgotten in this deep heat. Helena has sent a beautiful photo she captured over the St. Croix of the Solstice Moon.

It's always wonderful when she comes back to the desert.  It's the time of cool days and brilliant skies - and projects!

Many thanks to Maya for seeing the Foundation through to receiving a long term permit renewal for our stellar wastewater lagoon - the best of the best in the State of New Mexico! Maya would likely love to have an understudy by this time. She has been looking after the lagoon for years and has kept it stabilized throughout.  She isn't due to retire for another five years (!), but give it a thought or two. She'll be happy to teach any and all how to brew up the EM, file reports and gauge how much water needs to be added. Consistency is the key. Thanks, Maya, for all you do.

The Gila River, New Mexico's "last wild river", has been named one of the country’s most endangered by American Rivers due, in large part, for diverting water flow. Audubon New Mexico, The Southwest Audubon Society and BHMU have strongly participated in bringing this serious development to the public, along with many other national and regional organizations. The affect on wildlife is and would be stunning, and we in an accelerated time of species extinction, as it stands.   http://www.gilaconservation.org/wp/?page_id=30

Located northwest of Silver City, the Gila River Bird Habitat Management Unit, a special unit of the Gila National Forest, offers great birding in the cottonwoods and willows along the River. This is a very special place where spring migrations and the combination of riparian habitat and desert hills bring a great variety of birds together. Over 200 documented bird species use this extensive riparian ecosystem. Common Black-hawks patrol the Gila River or perch high in treetops. The flash of Yellow Warblers, Cardinals, and Vermillion Flycatchers draw your eye like magnets. Towhees and thrashers rustle in the thickets, and Black Phoebes and Phainopeplas have their favorite, conspicuous perches. Look for the Gila 

Woodpecker, Montezuma Quail, Tanagers, Bell's Vireo and Lucy's and Olive Warblers. There are so many species here that you can spend many days birding in the cool shade of the cottonwoods on the banks of the Gila River.   - New Mexico True     Photo credit:  Montezuma_Quail_R_Shantz.com

NOTICE:  Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society holds monthly meetings in Deming on the second Tuesday of every month at:  La Fonda Restaurant, 601 E. Pine St. at 5:15pm. The July meeting will be held on Tuesday the 12th. THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO ATTEND!

CONTACT Kara Naber, freelance writer and the Audubon’s contract Community Outreach Coordinator for Southwestern New Mexico:  ic_kn@audubon.org


 SWNM Audubon Society website:  www.swnmaudubon.org

Sandhill Crane below

Why not cool off along the Gila this Summer?  It is close enough to make a day trip, though staying longer is always an option which would allow time to visit the Cliff Dwellings. Head into Silver City on the way home for a nice latte, or stop at Diane's for a delicious meal.

A brilliant new blue pigment – discovered serendipitously by Oregon State University chemists in 2009 – is now reaching the marketplace, where it will be used in a wide range of coatings and plastics.

The commercial development has solved a quest that began thousands of years ago, and captured the imagination of ancient Egyptians, the Han dynasty in China, Mayan cultures and others – to develop a near-perfect blue pigment. It happened accidentally.

OSU chemist Mas Subramanian and his team were experimenting with new materials that could be used in electronics applications and they mixed manganese oxide – which is black in color – with other chemicals and heated them in a furnace to nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. One of their samples turned out to be a vivid blue. Oregon State graduate student Andrew Smith initially made these samples to study their electrical properties.

“It was serendipity, actually; a happy, accidental discovery,” Subramanian said.

The new pigment is formed by a unique crystal structure that allows the manganese ions to absorb red and green wavelengths of light, while only reflecting blue. The vibrant blue is so 

durable, and its compounds are so stable – even in oil and water – that the color does not fade.

These characteristics make the new pigment versatile for a variety of commercial products. Used in paints, for example, they can help keep buildings cool by reflecting infrared light. Better yet, Subramanian said, none of the pigment’s ingredients are toxic.

OSU has reached an exclusive licensing agreement for the pigment, which is known as “YInMn” blue, with The Shepherd Color Company. It will be used in a wide range of coatings and plastics.

“This new blue pigment is a sign that there are new pigments to be discovered in the inorganic pigments family,” said Geoffrey T. Peake, research and development manager for The Shepherd Color Company. Commercial quantities of the pigment will be available later this year, he added.

The lack of toxic materials is critical, Subramanian pointed out, and a hallmark of the new pigment.

“The basic crystal structure we’re using for these pigments was known before, but no one had ever considered using it for any commercial purpose, including pigments,” Subramanian said.  “Ever since the early Egyptians developed some of the first blue pigments, the pigment industry has been struggling to address problems with safety, toxicity and durability.”

Another commercial use of the product – in addition to coatings and plastics, may be in roofing materials. The new pigment is a “cool blue” compound that has infrared reflectivity of about 40 percent – much high than other blue pigments – and could be used in the blue roofing movement.

“The more we discover about the pigment, the more interesting it gets,” said, Subramanian, who is the Milton Harris Professor of Materials Science in the OSU College of Science.  “We already knew it had advantages of being more durable, safe and fairly easy to produce. Now it also appears to be a new candidate for energy efficiency.”

In addition to testing the blue pigment for other applications, Subramanian is attempting to discover new pigments by creating intentional laboratory “accidents.” His original work was funded by the National Science Foundation.

“Who knows what we may find?,” he said.


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