By Robert Kennedy
I was in the Dome's front lobby around 1 PM. A lady, perhaps forty years old, walked in. From Nebraska, she was briefly passing through town: "I've always wanted to visit this place." I asked if she practiced TM. She did a kind of meditation sometimes, but was interested in TM. I told her about TM and the Domes for a few minutes.
She noticed a sign advertising Ideal Life campus. Seeing $320-a-month rent (utilities included), she said, "I pay that for two nights in a hotel." Nearby was an sign about the upcoming TM-Sidhi course. She asked if she could live at Ideal Life campus if she took that course.
As she was leaving, I realized that, wait, she hasn't seen the Dome. I invited her into the Dome's main area, which had no one in it. She walked in and suddenly stopped. Her breath seemed to stop. Time seemed to stop. Soon, tears ran down both sides of her face, light glistening off her tears' pathways. "Wow," she whispered, her voice cracking. She tried wiping her tears away with the sides of her hands. "It's so beautiful. It's so so beautiful."
She wasn't looking up at the wood ceiling, and the backjacks and sheets were slightly disorderly from the recent cleanout. I asked what was so beautiful. "It's so peaceful, so calm, so serene, so peaceful." She was trying very hard not to start full-blown sobbing, like when a overseas-stationed soldier surprises his wife with an unannounced visit.
Seeing hundreds of backjacks, she said, "I've sometimes meditated with a few others, but nothing like this." Somehow she knew that meditating in a group -- as large a group as possible -- was a very great thing. She asked if she could sit for a few minutes and close her eyes; I said OK. She sat.
I went behind the stage to untangle some cords. Ten minutes later, she was gone.
I am not sure who was most moved by this experience...her or me. I had never seen anything like this -- such instantaneous, pure, deeply-emotional appreciation of an unseen subtlety, within one part of one specific building. By a seemingly ordinary person.
I told this to a Fairfield sidha who's active in his Christian church. He said this has been his experience also. He brings non-meditating church members on Dome tours as often as he can arrange it. He said they always "feel so very good" about seeing the Dome. They're always impressed, much more so than he ever anticipates. He is somehow surprised every time.
"I guess I take the Dome for granted," he said. "It's sort of my home. Seeing how much these people appreciate it...makes me feel even more thankful and lucky that I get to do my program in this Dome. And showing them the Dome...goes a long way toward explaining to them why I drive to this building twice a day."
We, who come into these buildings daily, are far more fortunate, and wise, than we realize.