Photograph Courtesy of Joy Photography
In late October of 2020, The Surya Chandra Center hosted a socially distant in-person event to create footage and gather inspiration for Pulled By The Root, a non-fiction book about the story of the traumas as well as the hope and healing processes of adopted children. This population includes a wider audience that includes parents who have relinquished their biological children for adoption and parents who have adopted children. It also includes the foster care system and the health care professionals who collaborate and treat them.
This Surya Chandra Center Pulled By The Root event brought together myself, a psychiatrist and co-author of Pulled By The Root; Heidi Marble, author, inspirational speaker and co-author of Pulled By The Root Alex Mazurkevich, videographer and event photographer; Stephanie Joy Pipes, portrait, editorial and fashion photographer; and Sean Farley, American singer, songwriter, guitarist and Luthier.
The Surya Chandra event included filmed interviews about the content and purpose of Pulled By The Root. Portrait photography captured the co-authors in various spaces in the healing gardens. Original music was performed and filmed with the Surya Chandra Healing Gardens as the backdrop for this highly creative endeavor. Mr. Farley, who is presently composing original music for the filming of various portions of the interviews also performed his original music at the event. Mr. Mazurkevich filmed all of the Pulled By The Root interviews within the gardens. Ms. Joy-Pipes photographed the portraits of myself and Ms. Marble, and captured us all coming together throughout the day.
One of this event’s purposes was to offer all of us opportunities for connection with each other’s talents of writing, film-making, photography and music composition.
Most of us had not previously met except under the auspices of Zoom meetings, due to the constraints of Covid-19. Some of us are from Oregon (myself), from Washington (Ms. Marble, Ms. Joy-Pipes, and Mr. Mazurkevich) and from Pennsylvania (Mr. Farley). We all gathered to tell the story of Pulled By The Root using our own unique talents and ways of “story telling”.
Not unique to Ms. Marble's story, are the many stories of the traumas, disordered attachments and ultimately the healing processes, which halt the trans-generational traumas experienced by children of adoption. Through our collaboration to tell the story of Pulled By The Root we learned that there is something universal about wanting to use the “languages” of our own creativities to tell this story.
The ability to create stable, healthy, beautiful images of this story, through writing, filmmaking, photography, and music is deeply effective and deeply healing. As people read words, hear music, see film, and see portraits, they are able to create these more stable and thus healthy images of self. We learned that there is something universal about wanting to use the “languages” of our own creativities to tell this story. This is something, which we as professionals from varied venues, already knew, but the bringing of our talents together through the Pulled By The Root project has brought to all of us to a different level of awareness of this phenomena.
We offer as part of this post some of the photographs inspired and co-created by Ms.Joy-Pipes. She notes that when people see portrait images/photographs of themselves, they are able to see that which she has “seen” in them, and has co-created with them-- an image of themselves that has transcended whatever traumas may have been previously part of their story. The co-creation of this portrait image has been a “healing” between photographer and model. Of the new co-created self, seen in the image/photograph, the model may say, “I ‘see’ myself now. The world can now see me in this way. I am seeing myself as if for the first time, as one who is healthy, vibrant, beautiful and whole”. This is also the experience the book Pulled By The Root aspires to co-create and offer.
Alysa Zalma, M.D.
In 2020,The Surya Chandra Center experimented with its first season of sustainability in attempts to become more knowledgable in growing of our own food. We were able to grow multiple varieties of early and mid spring, and early and mid summer vegetables and will be incorporating the activities of learning to grow one's own food supply into our customized Groups in 2021.
We featured early snap peas, lettuce, arugula, in the early spring and heirloom, cherry and other varieties of tomatoes, as well as brassica, and multiple varieties of kale in the summer. We also were able to grow swiss chard and beets which were big performers. The brassica , swiss chard and the kale are still providing crop into the winter of 2020-21. We also were able to grow many different types of bush and pole beans in the mid-to-late summer of 2020. Our fruit trees surprised us and bore multiple varieties of apples and pears. Our blackberries (!) never fail to provide much crop of unsprayed and organic berries as well.
After our 2020 experiences and experimentation with growing fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season, we feel learning to grow a portion of one's food is important to general health and well being. We will be offering instruction and demonstration as an integral part of our customized Retreats.
We are in the process of clearing more land for more organic, unsprayed sustainable farming.
Building of the Arroyo at the Surya Chandra Center late summer 2020
An arroyo is a "dry" river, found in various areas of the United States and Spain. In the US, notable areas of arroyos include New Mexico and California. These dry river beds are frequently found in deserts but may fill with water after acute periods of rain. We wanted to simulate this Southwestern phenomena and experiment with surrounding plants that are more indigenous to areas surrounding arroyos. We loved the idea of using rock to create a dry bed that would also help us track and focus the underground streams under the property of the Surya Chandra Center. We love the tranquility and healing experience of the arroyo, which is now part of the permanent collection of the property, to be offered as a destination point for all Retreats. Discussion and demonstration of creation of healing spaces is also now incorporated into our customized Retreats.
Creation of Healing Spaces in your own space is now part of discussion and demonstration in our customized Retreats.
A Rock Garden is an opportunity for a healing space in that it has the ability to transport the visitor to multiple areas of the world in just a few seconds. This type of garden allows for various micro climates to grow a variety of plants from around the world, particularly from different altitudes while all physically in one garden. This is accomplished by adding different type of soils into various areas of the rock garden to simulate different altitude and alpine environments. Some of the Rock Garden will contain very sandy soil to accommodate higher altitude alpine plants and some areas will contain more dense and rich soil to allow for smaller conifers. The creation of a rock garden also offers another destination for retreats at The Surya Chandra Center as well as opportunity for discussion and demonstration of novel healing spaces. It is our latest in-progress garden! It follows our other healing spaces and gardens which include our newer Willamette Valley Overlook, our Garden Room, and our Arroyo. Our more established and older Healing Gardens include The Reitman Family Healing Garden, Our Flagship and Lavender Healing Garden, Our Labyrinth Garden, and our Council Circle and Shade Garden.
Some of the best healing spaces are those one is currently creating! This is our newest in-progress garden and healing space as of late January 2021. It is available for discussion and demonstration.
On Sunday, February 9, 2020, The Surya Chandra Center and Healing Gardens hosted the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (HPSO)'s first Open Garden Tour of 2020. It was a beautiful sunny February day, with a blue sky that illuminated the Surya Chandra Garden's collection 25 different varieties of witch hazels (Hamamelis).
Oregonians have been craving some sunshine and many came out to see some of the earliest bloomers at any garden in these early days of the New Year 2020. Thus, it is still early in the season to get a glimpse of the promise of new life in the outdoors.
The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (HPSO) hosts many Open Garden tours throughout the state of Oregon throughout the year and the Surya Chandra Center had the honor of hosting the first one of the 2020 season. Horticulturists and gardeners alike, along with photographers, and anyone who enjoys walking in nature understands the healing properties of being outside and immersing the senses in a beautiful garden. We realized that with 25 different varieties of witch hazels presently at our Center, we had much to offer this early in the season.
Of our witch hazel collection within all of our Healing Gardens at The Surya Chandra Center, all seemed to be in especially brilliant bloom this past Sunday. The more established witch hazels of the 8 year old garden such as 'Diane", 'Arnold's Promise', 'Jelena' and 'Pallida' are larger in stature and presence in the garden. However, many of us were surprised that our younger witch hazels, such as "Angelly', 'Moonlight', 'Primavera' and 'Sunburst', as well as the newcomers to the garden, such as 'Blue Moon', 'Strawberries and Cream', 'Quasimodo', and 'Orange Sunrise', swept many of us off our feet with their character and differences in colors, fragrances and contrast up against a vibrant blue early February sky.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the more formal tours as well as the more personal walks through the original Flagship garden at the entrance to the Surya Chandra Healing Gardens. Tours also included viewing of the witch hazels through the younger gardens that flank the Lantern Garden and yoga deck that overlooks the Willamette Valley. Many witch hazels also grace the Shade Garden and the Sacred Grove of 80 year-old old growth trees in addition to Oregon native walnut and cherry trees. It is also within this garden that the Surya Chandra Center has its Council Circle, a meeting area for its Day Retreats throughout the warmer months. There were also viewings of the the witch hazels in the Labyrinth Garden, where our collection of magnolias wait for their time to bloom.
It was warm enough for all to sit out on the deck of the house on the property of the Surya Chandra Center and enjoy the sunshine and a glass of pinot gris, as well as some good hearty cheeses, assorted olives and other snacks that flowed in and out of the kitchen. The house is also home to Surya Chandra's indoor space to accommodate smaller day retreats, with the ground floor living room space and upstairs loft.
Tours were led by Co-Director Stephen Back, M.D., Ph.D. Also present for tours and to answer more general questions about the Surya Chandra Center was Co-Director Alysa Zalma, M.D.
The full witch hazel collection at the Surya Chandra Healing Gardens include
'Angelly', 'Amethyst', 'Berstein', 'Birgit', 'Orange Slice', 'Mahogany', 'Greer', 'Arnold Promise', 'Blue Moon', 'Boskoop', 'Carmine Red', 'Diane', 'Fire Charm', 'Gingerbread', 'Rubin', 'Sandra', 'Sunburst', 'Jelena', 'Lombart's Weeping', 'Moonlight', 'Orange Sunrise', 'Pallida', 'Primavera', 'Quasimodo', 'Strawberries and Cream', and 'Firemagic'.
The Surya Chandra Center is one of many labryinths around the world participating in World Labyrinth Day. At 1pm in every participating Labyrinth Site around the world in their time zone, people will start their labyrinth walk.
World Labyriinth Day is sponsored by The Labyrinth Society.
The Surya Chandra Retreat Center and Healing Gardens is a proud participant.
For more information go to https://labyrinthsociety.org/world-labyrinth-day
World Labyriinth Day is sponsored by The Labyrinth Society.
The Surya Chandra Retreat Center and Healing Gardens is a proud participant.
We are very pleased to have acclaimed actor, musician and author Eric Walter join us to share rich musical offerings on the Native American flute, which he has played for over 25 years both through studies with Native American Masters and his own improvisations. A graduate of Reed College, Eric spent many years working as an actor, director and producer. Eric is also a largely self taught musician who has embraced a wide variety of musical styles that reflect his deep interest in ancient cultures, explored in his travels to diverse landscapes, from Arctic Alaska to the jungles of the Yucatan, from the deserts of Utah to the shores of ancient Greece and the Kingdom of Cambodia. The depth of his experiences is expressed both in his poetry and his musical offerings, which he has shared with admiring audiences throughout the American West, in Greece and Cambodia and on radio and television. As a solo artist he has produced two albums, Ruin Sky and Hawk’s Reply. He has published six books of poetry and short prose, the most recent of which is Moves Between Worlds. Out of his recent travels in Cambodia Eric has distilled a highly personal collection of poems reflecting his experiences with this beautiful resilient culture.
In the spirit of World Labyrinth Day/One World, one of the hopes is that by collective walking of Labyrinths around the world concurrently, energy and healings can be gathered for us as one People. Mr. Walter continues to preserve and recreate this mission through his travels in Cambodia, where he continues to return, teach and inspire the children of this country by volunteering his rich talents to teach a variety of musical instruments to children who have no other access to musical education.
for more information visit http://www.movesbetweenworlds.com/ericwalternativeflute.html
Some of the fees due to the Transformation Group may be covered under your current health insurance. Please call Surya Chandra Office Manager Gretchen at 503-544-6129 for further details.
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