The Story of Crystal Hermitage
by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)
Everyone, I imagine, has dreamed of having a hidden spot to which he can withdraw at times, to escape the pressures he feels at that tiny vortex of energy which he is pleased to call his “world.” His dream may be of some distant tropical island, or of an idyllic, wall-enfolded garden somewhere close to home: in any case a healing place—open to close friends, but protected from invasion by unwanted news and insensitive outsiders.
For some, the dream is purely escapist, and as such, of course, can never be fulfilled. For the single constant, if mostly unrecognized, factor in every escapist dream is the wish to flee that too-persistent companion: one’s own self.
For others, the dream is of a vacation spot—some sandy haven, perhaps, with tall, sinuous coconut palms and slow-breathing, turquoise deeps; long, idle curls of silvery surf, and the lulling whisper of waves as they stroke the beach. For such people, the dream is a place less of healing than of respite.
But there is a third, more serious, class of dreamer: one whose dream goes beyond escapism or mere respite; whose need is for inner clarity, strength, and guidance. He may long to understand deeply something that life has been trying to tell him, but find himself too much submerged in the roil of daily activity ever to pause awhile and heed the message.
To this third category I once belonged. For years I, too, dreamed of a place to which I might someday hide—not to “get away from it all,” but to find something that might make that “all” worthwhile.
Out of many hundreds of dreamers, I have been fortunate: I have realized my dream.
Indeed, I have realized more than my dream. For everything I thought I wanted, at first, was a quiet place for meditation and introspection. Almost any plot of land, remote and inexpensive, would have suited me. Life recently had dealt a little harshly with me, and I needed the clarity to be able to trust providence once again. But having once found a place both remote and inexpensive, a new thought began growing within me: “Why not express physically in the home I build here the inner clarity I hope to achieve?”
What, more specifically, was I seeking? Clarity, yes. But how to translate this concept into something visible and concrete? What was it came to my mind’s eye when I thought of clarity?
Well, for one thing, harmony. Again, inner light. And yet again, spaciousness, expansion—an expanding awareness above all.
Harmony. . . . Light. . . . Space: From these three ideals gradually evolved the plan for what has since become an actual place on earth, and the ensuing concept of this book: The story of Crystal Hermitage.