Saturday, August 6, 2011

2011-22 Lilly Dale New York


Lilly Dale NY

National Spiritual Association of Churches

I was feeling a bit down the other day, as I had a pain on my right side, causing me to favor that side only adding to the discomfort by the end of the day.  After a few aspirin and a fair nights sleep I decided to drive over to Lilly Dale.  What better way to lift ones spirits than at a Spiritualist Camp.

Camps were popular in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  You may recall my visit to an historic Christian camp in Lancaster Ohio (report 2011-19).  And the area I'm currently in was famous to many religious movements such as the Shakers, Mormons, Mennonites, and Amish and of course the Spiritualist movement.

As a bit of a background, back in my early 20’s, I had joined the National Spiritual Association of Churches in Orlando.  There, I attended many classes in philosophy, religion and meditation.  Having grown up Lutheran and having a wonderful minister who told us during our catechism classes that we must question our religion and not just accept it on faith and to find the true meaning behind our religion, I was ready to start learning.  With that I began a wonderful journey exploring what this life was all about.  And the Spiritualist movement aided me in that search.

So after taking a long drive through western NY’s hilly wine country, with it’s many small towns nestled between thick forests on rolling hills, past farms and vineyards and even a couple dozen wind turbines slowly turning in the early morning breeze I arrived at the spiritualist camp called Lilly Dale.  After a 35 year absence.

After paying the $10 entrance/parking fee I entered the sprawling, park like setting of  Lilly Dale.  Each day during the summer months, hundreds of visitors arrive to explore, get spiritual readings, and attend lectures and services.  Since I had been having a bit of pain, I headed to the Healing Service, where about a dozen healers perform Laying on of Hands.  Asking the divine healing of the Universe to aid those in need.  Having done some Laying on of Hands myself, I was very familiar with the procedure and waited my turn to sit and received the healing energy.  A peaceful white light of energy was received and after a few prayers of healing for those close to me, I headed out to explore the grounds.

Now most people come to Lilly Dale to receive readings.  Hoping to contact loved ones that have passed over to the other side, or to receive inspiration or guidance from spirit guides, or just to receive confirmation of life after death.  Like the Tv program that was on the other night with Bob Woodruff, Near Death Experiences, I think we all would like confirmation of life after death.  I’ve been fortunate to have always felt guided and in tune with my path in life, so needless to say, I did not feel the need to have a reading.

Instead, I enjoyed wandering around the camp, going to the bookstore (purchasing way too much), visiting the Marion Skidmore Library and discovering that a new book has come out on Anne Gehman’s life.  She being my minister and spiritual teacher back in Orlando in the 1970’s.  So of course I had to go back to the bookstore and purchase it.  It’s called, “The Priest and the Medium” by Suzanne Giesemann.

Lilly Dale is comprised of about a 100 homes, hotel, guest houses, campground, museum, library, healing temple, assembly hall and a few restaurants , coffee shops and gift shops.  A lovely lake for swimming, boating and fishing.  And of course the dozens of mediums available for readings.  I love the park like setting as I wander between the shops and restaurants.  Stopping in the Sunflower for lunch.  Had a Monte Cristo and sweet potato fries.  Then is was off to hear Albert Batten and his wife, a medium, Beverly Batten.  They hale from Ontario Canada and Albert has been a Spiritualist all his life.  As with many Spiritualists, he explored other religions from Southern Baptists to Islam, you name it.  Learning from each but always feeling something was missing till returning to Spiritualism that seems to accept and encompass truths from what ever the source.

A trip to the museum to learn about the different types of mediumship, the history and check out the story on Susan B Anthony.  Noticed a lot of teenagers working in the shops and restaurants and as Albert mentioned from the podium today, lots of young, older folks and middle people.  Real nice mix.

Well, after a full day of exploring and not wanting to get all preachy or sappy about my visit, I feel I nourished my Body, Mind and Soul along with a two scoop vanilla ice-cream cone for $1.50 and headed on back to my campsite.

My last week here in upstate NY and I’m meeting up again with my buddies, Ben and Walt.  I’ve got a number of excursions planned and will mention them in the next report.

Additional photos on PICASA.

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