Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blessings, Swami Satchidananda, and L.S.D.'s Cousin

A near miss was avoided for me at the beginning of the Festival itself .......maybe it was divine intervention, good karma, or.... matching robes. Earthlight Theatre is up on stage with Swami Satchidananda who is about to give the opening meditation and blessing..I'm sure you've seen the famous photo of this, we were practicing yogis.....well, we knew an asana (a yoga pose) or two. We were all wearing gold robes with matching gold tie-dye loincloths underneath. The Swami does not have the matching loincloths; just the robe. We were like his little neophytes, his followers, his groupies....his Swam-ettes.

So I'm late and I just come flying down from the back of the audience. A Security guy says "you can't go on...they're already on stage." I'm in disbelief. "What do you mean, I can't go on?, I'm with that group...can't you tell?..I have the same gold robes they have...I have the matching tie-dye loincloths underneath!" I ultimately did get a chance to be a part of this historic blessing and meditation. Some say that Swami Satchidananda "set the vibration for the festival". Earthlight remained connected to that energy through out that summer of love, our subsequent national tour, and off-Broadway run. And of all things, we were partially produced by the same folks that managed the Swami.

By the way this was our second chance at blessing the Woodstock festival. A week before the festival, in a then empty field, Earthlight rehearsed their off-beat show and blessed the space. That very space that would fill up with half a million strong. Yes, we blessed Max Yasgur's farm twice, hallowed ground for the counter culture and sixties generation. I never realized the signifance of this until many years later. Of course, at this first blessing, at the then empty Yasgur's field, we were not under the influence of the Swami this time, but a drug called STP, sounds like transmission fluid to me. It's a drug I had never heard of before or after. I was told "it's a cousin of LSD, only stranger". I personally never did that many drugs. But I always made the most of the drugs I did.