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October 22, 2007- Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat Report
We have just returned home from our journey to Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat near Detroit, Oregon (about an hour and a half southeast of Portland). It was a lovely place to visit and amazing to experience, with the snow covered Mount Jefferson, a dormant volcano, towering in the distance in majesty and beauty. There is a colorful history around the center as well, and it is a rare gem nestled in the Willamette National Forest, no other private land around. It was established before the National Forests were, so it was grandfathered in.
The fall colors were everywhere; October is a wonderful time of year to be there. Every time a wind came, the yellow leaves would flutter to the ground and blanket the forest floor like the flower blossoms falling in those beautiful artistic Japanese movies. The hot springs were just gorgeous and the settings and the views were spectacular, especially the silent pool that overlooked the river and the mountains far away. It was a wonderful place for contemplation. Our staff member Margaret gets the prize for the most hot springs dips, though, and no one could keep up with her! She tried out every pool and has become the hot springs expert as to which ones are the hottest and what the aspects of each are.
The community currently has 49 permanent members, and Devon Love and Christine Breese were very lucky and privileged to be invited by Quija, our main contact during our visit who made sure our retreat was all set up and ready to go, to come and see her lovely abode in the community. We got to see the schoolhouse for the kids and the entire “village” of Breitenbush on the private side of the river. We also got to learn about how Breitenbush is run almost entirely on geo-thermal energy and they don’t have much of a utility bill. They heat all the cabins and the lodges with hot water in radiators from the geo-thermal sources underground, and they generate their own hydroelectric for their electrical power needs from earth sources as well! I stood in front of their engineering house for a moment contemplating how it all worked, but of course only an engineer would understand. We have much gratitude to Quija for sharing so much with us, and we learned so many things! Alternative energy is the way to go.
The retreat was so perfect the way that it flowed. It was very intimate because the group was so small, everyone got lots of personal attention and chances to share and meet each other and make friends together, and of course there was lots of laughter, even in between the serious moments of deep spiritual contemplation. It seems that some long lasting connections were made between all participants and everyone felt ever so comfortable and cozy in the group.
The meditations were very deep, since everyone was an experienced meditator, and everyone definitely gained a deeper realization of self, which was the theme of the retreat. There were three meditations per day, morning, afternoon, and evening, with an evening off in the middle to give everyone a break from the transformative work that meditation in infinite spaces can provide. Lots of free time was available so that everyone could enjoy the grounds and the hot springs, or simply sit by the river or walk the labyrinth. Devon walked the labyrinth and reported that it was an amazing experience indeed.
Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat Center was a wonderful place to be, and there was a magical fairyland energy to it all. Oh, and did I mention that if you go to Buddha’s Playhouse there you will be in stitches laughing even after you walk out the door? There is something about that place, and everyone at Breitenbush has reported that for some reason, as soon as you walk into Buddha’s playhouse, your funny bone begins to act up and it has long lasting effects even after you leave. It is impossible to be serious in that building!
September 1, 2007 - UMS Growth, More Automated Record Keeping, More Time for Students
Summer is still in full swing, but the end is nigh! And did you see that amazing lunar eclipse that happened on August 28th in the wee hours of the morning (technically the 29th)? The University of Metaphysical Sciences elf-techies (tekkies, tekkie-elfs, the lovely geeks-of-UMS) were busy working on our computers and doing updates all through the night until 5 AM while all the office staff was gone. They took quite a few breaks to go outside and look at that rare lunar eclipse that only happens, well, once in a copper moon! (The eclipse was copper colored).
August seemed to be a very intense month for most people, a lot of challenges, maybe the stars went crazy or something, and University of Metaphysical Sciences was no exception. Our metaphysics university had its fair share of challenges, one of them being that we were barely able to keep up with our growth and had some growing pains. University of Metaphysical Sciences has graduated to the next level of biz and the enrollments were too many too fast. We had to pull back on the search engine listings we have so as to catch our breath and update all our procedures and files.
We are attempting to automate more things so that we can give our students more of our personal attention instead of being robots doing things that a computer can do, like uploading a student’s next courses as soon as payment is made without having to go in and do it manually ourselves. (We haven’t implemented it yet, but it is in the process of programming.) We also are introducing a portion of the student’s page area to include a record of all their payments so that they can see as soon as we receive their payments and keep track of their own progress through their chosen payment plan. We realized that we spend a lot of time answering people’s questions about “did their payment make it yet” or “how far am I on the payment plan?” We had the brilliant idea, well, our illustrious webmaster did, that we could put all our students’ payments online in their personal encrypted student center area, and they could see for themselves anytime they want to!
We are looking into other ways to automate things too and update our procedures and system, we have been looking into how we can more efficiently use our time to get more done is less time. UMS is growing fast and since time seems to be moving faster for everyone these days it is harder to get a lot of things done! Well, it is the quickening time of humanity’s evolution—literally!
Christine Breese was very busy this month with re-editing some of the courses and updating them. We have had some super grammatically correct students assisting us with editing and they are so greatly appreciated! We are also adding some late-breaking sources to our courses as well, since there is always new information coming out about various metaphysical subjects. We also have a couple new electives courses in the editing process, our metaphysics electives list is always growing and we invite people who specialize in special metaphysics subjects to introduce a subject they might be interested in writing about.
May your September ‘07 be full of light and love!
July 27, 2007 - UMS Annual Summer Retreat was a success!
Our retreat was a smashing success! We had a great turnout for our first retreat, Mount Madonna was absolutely beautiful, and everyone just loved meeting Christine Breese. She gave a lot of good talks, led wonderful meditations, and was quite humorous during the question and answer sessions. Everything went without a glitch, and we were so happy to meet our students and see the faces behind the names that have been going across our desks for so long. What a beautiful crew the University of Metaphysical Sciences student body is. We have students of all ages, from young to old, and all backgrounds. We even had people from overseas and Canada. It was beautiful to have such a “coming together” of like-minded folks.
We are already gearing up for our next retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs in October, it’s going to be so fun! This one is limited to a very small group and is a rare chance to have really close contact with Christine Breese, founder of UMS. We hope to see you there!
June 25, 2007 - Party time!
We’ve had a lot of birthday parties serve the past couple months here at University of Metaphyscial Sciences. Every staff member who has a birthday, we have a party for them! Christine Breese had a birthday on June 6 and that was a lot of fun and Tracy, Devon and Laurel had birthdays recently too. We all get raw food pies on our birthdays, it's a tradition at University of Metaphysical Sciences started by our raw food specialist in the office, Tristan, who is responsible for getting us all interested in eating healthy raw food recipes we'd never imagined before!
Our YouTube site has really taken off and so has our Myspace site. We also made a lot of new changes to our regular website, www.umsonline.org and we hope you enjoy all the additions.
We’re gearing up for our Annual UMS Summer Retreat at Mount Madonna which is coming up in July. We’ve had a lot of sign-ups and it is great to see so much interest from everyone. We are really looking forward to it. Mount Madonna Center is such a wonderful place to be.
We have finally gotten around to editing Spirit Talk, our metaphysical talkshow made-for-TV. Christine Breese, founder of the University of Metaphysical Sciences, used her skills in filmmaking and audio engineering to shoot spirit talk a few years ago, but she never had time to edit it. We have five episodes edited now, and they have begun showing on our local public access station. If you would like to host our TV show on your public access station, it’s really easy. All you have to do is go to your city manager’s office and submit any show you like on the public access station, it’s for the people. All that is required to submit material to the public access station in your town is that you are a resident of your town. We are excited to see spirit talk, a metaphysical talk show manifest so beautifully and help so many in this town. Someday perhaps it will be in many towns. We need your help for that! If you would like to be a sponsor, simply go to our Contact Form and let us know that you’re interested. We submit all of our shows on DVD, but we can do VCR as well if necessary.
May 29, 2007 - Things are going swell, YouTube Launch!
We finally set up our mass e-mailing system so that we can let all our students know all at once about upcoming events, retreats, and announcements. Since we have such a large student body now, this is so convenient and necessary at this time. We just let everyone know about our Awaken Now Retreat coming up in July at Mount Madonna. We hope you all want to come! This is our first UMS annual summer retreat.
Our new employees have been training and everyone is doing really well. It’s really helping that we have more people to do all the work that needs to be done. UMS was growing a little faster than we could keep up with for a little while there. We’re so happy that UMS has grown so much after starting from such humble beginnings all those years ago. Our school doesn’t make a huge amount of money because we pass the savings on to our students by charging low tuition, but we’re all grateful for right livelihood. The UMS family is more than we have ever hoped for. We also just put up a staff page with people’s pictures and biographies so that people could know the face to the voice they are talking to on the phone. Some of our staff is a little too shy to have their pictures on the website, but some of them do!
We also launched our YouTube website and put up some videos. We only uploaded six at first, but we have 20 altogether, and many more to add later as time goes on. We’ll be making a bunch more as the summer goes on. These video satsangs that Christine Breese does are a great way for people to be exposed to what she teaches and the energy behind UMS. We’re already getting a great response on YouTube and people seem to like her video satsangs. Come and subscribe to our channel and we’ll subscribe back to you. Then you get to find out about our new videos as we put them up there. We will be uploading them on a regular basis as they are being made. To see our youtube site and watch our videos there by Christine Breese, either watch them from here on our site under the Video Satsang tab under Free Resources or visit:
March 26, 2007 - Myspace site launches!
We just launched our Myspace site and put a few of our meditations there and description of the school. We also set up a site for our retreats with Christine Breese. You can find our Myspace sites at:
Come and be friends with us at our Myspace sites! Myspace is such a wonderful community and there’s such a huge spiritual circle. We hope to be friends with lots and lots of spiritual sites and create a metaphysical community on our site.
February 27, 2007 - Getting Chilly, More Tekkies to Help UMS!
We seem to be having another rush in enrollments here at University of Metaphysical Sciences. We always have a steady flow, but at times it gets extreme. We’ve been interviewing more people because we’re ready to enlist more help. We’ve gotten some really computer illiterate people to know all about things we know nothing about. It’s so nice to bring in new people who know computers so well!
It’s been colder than it’s ever been here in Arcata. Usually we just barely get her freeze that still doesn’t kill anything, but we lost a lot of foliage this winter that we have never lost before. There was a pretty big freeze this year. Arcata gets a lot of rain all winter, but we’ll take a rain over snow any day!
January 8, 2007 - Hola! Spanish Translations of University of Metaphysical Sciences ?
Were talking with someone this month about opening a branch or University of Metaphysical Sciences in Mexico and translating everything into Spanish. This is exciting! Of course it will be a long laborious process to translate everything the Spanish and we aren’t quite exactly sure where the funding will come for this but we will see. It will take approximately a year because our curriculum is so massive. Christine breeze, the founder of UMS, will be going back to the local community college to brush up on her Spanish, which she used to speak long ago in her travels, since she will be speaking the meditations into Spanish.
We’ve also been talking with someone about opening a branch in Brazil and translating everything into Portuguese. We’re a little bit surprised at how much translation costs. At this time we simply cannot afford it and we hope maybe some donations might come in that could help with this, but not many people realize we need the money. We’ll have to wait on this. Someday!
The holidays were lovely and New Year’s was so very much fun. Welcome to 2007!
November 15, 2006 - New Courses
We have added a couple of new electives to our curriculum and updated a few courses with some new information that just came out. Eventually, we do like to put all of our courses on audio so that people could listen to them in their cars or on stereos. We discussed today the possibility of all the charitable things we would like to do but we don’t have the money for yet. Someday soon, we hope! UMS has been created as a vehicle for change in the world, but we operate in a breakeven format in order to keep all our prices really low so that even people in low income brackets can do it.
University of Metaphysical Sciences has opened another branch in Minnesota this month! Our goal is to have several branches, and even some in other countries. This month we celebrate our University of Metaphysical Sciences Minnesota branch. We hope to have an office open in Minneapolis someday.
October 23, 2006 - Busy busy busy!
It’s still a pretty busy fall season and we have been quite occupied. We have really settled into our new offices at this point and we just added a couple new computers so that we could hire more people to try to keep up with the growth spurt that University of Metaphysical Sciences is going through. We have had to hire several new people in order to keep up with the work! We welcome our new staff members and everyone seems to be working out fine. University of Metaphysical Sciences has turned out to be a beautiful spiritual family and everyone loves coming to work here every day.
Zolar the Magnificent, our office cat friend who lives next door and comes over to hang out with us all day, got locked in the house last night and he sure was glad to get out in the morning. Oops! Everyone knows now that they have to watch out for the cat when we lock up at the end of the day.
Our webmaster got all of our exams online and automated. It’s wonderful! It cuts down on a lot of staff time so that now staff can spend that time on other projects. We can now spend more time on the parts of the exams that are just the true/false and multiple-choice questions. We can now take more time to read and answer the meditation reports and other short answer questions. Automating the true/false and multiple-choice questions for grading has made life so much easier for us!
September 18th, 2006 - Summer Ends!
September has started with quite a bang this year. We have been very busy since the beginning of the month. Summer is over and people are starting to think about school again, although the weather is still quite nice. Here in Arcata, some of our best weather is in the summer. The nice thing about Arcata is that it never gets too hot in the summer and it never gets too cold in the winter.
Well! We better get back to work! Lots of enrollments to process today that came in over the weekend. This is our busiest time of year.
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