|huntington beach pier|
Paul C. Bragg
Manly P. Hall
Sri Swami Satchidananda
Professor Arnold Ehret
Tao Lodge was first mentioned to certain minds in 1971 at a place called The Acacia House.
The House was actually a small collection of wooden buildings on a street corner, a few blocks from the ocean in Huntington Beach, California.Sitting at the corner of 8th and Acacia and facing 8th was the front house, it was a typical 1940's Southern California wood frame, wood slate covered beachside bungalow. It was in fact the only structure on the lot that was intended to be inhabited.
Facing Acacia and attached to the back of the front house was the long middle section of the compound. During our time there was a large living room, a bedroom, and a large handmade kitchen. In back of the mid-section was a good size wooden warehouse. It was built in the 1920's and had served the roles of garage, store, warehouse and... while we were there: home for about 10+ people.
The Lodge was refuge for a steady 10 to 15 people and a thoroughfare for a fluctuating many more. Not quite the idyllic commune one might imagine but rather a relaxed group who worked together at similar jobs (carpenters, boatbuilders, and surfboard makers), and who shared a good number of common beliefs regarding the spiritual, the moral, and the social aspects of what was happening in the immediate afteryears of the mid-1960s to ourselves and the universe around us.
The Acacia House was home to all the new and old teachings that were suddenly making themselves available to southern Californians at the time.
In Huntington Beach near the pier we had the Meher Baba Bookshop (long gone - in its place Mazotti's, an Italian restaurant took over for many years and in 1996 - the last time we checked - a microbrewery was setting up shop). And the Bodhi Tree had just opened in West Hollywood (still there and doing well).
Among the many areas of study were the I Ching, Parmahansa Yogananda and the Self-Realization Fellowship, Edgar Cayce, the Hopi Indians, Swami Satchidananda (yoga), Master Chen Man-Ching (Tai Chi Chuan), Manly P. Hall, the Urantia Book, the The Beat Generation, Alan Watts, Zen and Mahayana Buddhism, the Sufis, the LLewellyn's Moonsign Book, the Tao Te Ching, the Evans-Wentz collection of scholarly masterpieces, the entire gamut of psychedelic information with a focus on the works of Dr. Timothy Leary and his colleagues at Harvard, and many other seemingly diverse texts and teachings. An excellent representation of what books were on the Lodge shelves can be found in the original Be Here Now by then Baba Ram Dass now Richard Alpert.
Our interest in dietary alternatives was strong too. Professor Arnold Ehret, Dr. Bronner, and Paul Bragg were among our heroes. We were among the first to churn wonderful fresh fruit smoothies, grow spouts and wheatgrass, and make butter, cheese, and *meat* from nuts. We learned of cayenne pepper and chia seeds.
The time zone was the early '70s and now, 30+ years later, the group has spread out, alluviated and moved on to other places and spaces. But one remnant undoubtedly remains: the name Tao Lodge, a nomen given to cover the wide range of interesting practices, ideas, and teachings we were working, learning, and growing with.
At one point members of this group produced a small publication, The Mystery Gate (which still enjoys an occasional rare electronic version run) in which each of us had the opportunity to participate either doing art, poetry, rant, or rap. This was all long before mass accessibility to the Internet existed...and so here we are...
For many years I practiced the hobby of calligraphy, a very satisfying artistic outlet for me. It is among my treasured *talents*. It is somewhat in line with the times that I would eventually lay down the pen in favor of a new medium: a screen and a mouse.
One problem that quickly confronts the computer artist is how to share the digitized pixel images. The answer for me came in the form of the OTIS On-Line Art Gallery (quickly becoming well-known by its new name: SITO (copyright problem encounter) two years year ago. The images are cataloged under two studio names: DataGlyphics and Cinnabar Labs.
This document and its immediate links attempts to serve two purposes: One, to provide links both likely to be of general interest to a certain segment of the minds out there and the young freakoids (wherever they all are now) of the Acacia House (and hence part of the Tao Lodge of ideas, archives, and information). And two, for experimental HTML page deSign/ART.
Tao Lodge is currently located in Taipei, Taiwan.
If you have interest, please check out the:
Dr. Richard Alpert
aka Ram Dass
Dr Timothy Francis Leary