Quan Yin is a Buddhist deity of compassion. Her spiritual archetype, however, exists across many different religions and cultures. Mother Mary within Christianity and Sophia within Gnosticism, for example, represent similiar all-loving and all-merficul qualities. Many beautiful art pieces, theater skits, short stories and community projects were born out of Domain Day. This one, however, stands out as a unique integration of the creative and spiritual domains beautifying and uplifting our campus.
The Spiritual Domain Group designed and built this shrine with Quan Yin as its center piece. She had long stood by the water-feature in the outdoor classroom, before Rainbow teachers and Spiritual Domain Group leaders, Mark Hanf and Justin Pilla, spotted her and felt her to be the perfect point of inspiration from which to build a shrine. After having smudged the area with sage, the dozen students began by placing their own personal artifacts within the center of an imaginary circle. Students then took turns placing the large rocks in a measured and intentional formation to mark the boundary of the shrine. Max had been gathering these large obelisk- and sphere-shaped stones over the course of several visits to the same enchanted forrest creek. The mindfulness with which every piece of this altar was put together cast a spell of wonder over the young spiritualists. In between building the shrine, they picked up instruments from a blanket lined with shakers and hand drums to accompany the ceremony with music.
In its second year as an ‘annual Rainbow celebration’ Domain Day has received extremely positive feedback from students and teachers alike. Within a small multi-age group, students get to spend a whole day focusing on a domain they feel passionate about. They can choose between the physical, natural, social, emotional, creative, mental, and spiritual domains. This intentional time spent with teachers who have also been called to that particular domain gives students the opportunity to embody that domain more fully. And because each domain is connected, and linked to the greater whole, a student’s comfort in one domain inherently empowers their understanding of the others. In this domain group’s case, each student was able to embody the spiritual domain’s cornerstones of ritual, world religions, contemplation, and communion with the natural world, while simultaneously working through the challenges and gifts of the creative, social, and natural domains.
Thank you, Spiritual Domain Group, for leaving behind this radiant evidence of your connection to spirit. You have altered our space and given us a sanctuary at which to breath and center. We invite all who stop by our campus to visit Quan Yin, and if inspired, to leave her a token of gratitude.