Way back when gas was cheap and acid was strong, a military draft combined with an unjust war to help radicalize a generation. In the fall of 1970 a Caravan of old schoolbusses full of hippies left San Francisco and criss-crossed the continent, like a fly caught in a bottle until they had found their final destination a few miles off the black top in the scrub woods of Lewis County Tennessee. Many are the tales which circulate about life in that 'dingy village on a hill', the quixotic little community which flashed in and out of existence like a brilliant firefly in the latter half of the 20th century, offering many a tripper refuge and safe haven. But as the Buddha teaches so emphatically, even good things are subject to the laws of karma and impermanence. Although there are still some gray hippies living there, The Farm quickly eroded as a spiritual community, and collapsed into a crisis of uncertainty in the early 1980's. It wasn't due to Reagan, the FBI or the economy, although you mght hear that line of reasoning, usually from folks who were oblivious to the poisonous effect creeping class divisions had on peasant morale, but that is a tale for another day. In the end, it was simply that we had collectively outgrown our common spiritual techné.
Among the thousands of births that happened on the land during that wondrous decade, two babies would share a unique distinction; the first kids to have been born and raised on The Farm to fall in love and begin their own family. Their first child was born in 1989. A few months previous, they had the extreme good karma to meet the Khenpo Rinpoches, and took refuge along other founding members of THS.
Some theorize that without the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet, we would not have access to so many profound Vajrayana teachers in the West. In the same way, our formal entry into the Vajra Mandala was dependent upon ripening experience and suffering the limitations of our 'best shot'. A once-simple life-circumstance complicated beyond our ability to comprehendß and respond effectively. Around the time of Lennon's death, our nameless, multi-faceted karmas descended upon us like the mythical tower of Babel, as we fragmented into a hundred variant views. Bands drifted off in every direction toward more fertile pastures.
Seven years later, the baby turtle that would be buddha emerged from an egg mysteriously appearing in the still-warm ashes of the old phoenix.