Heart Consciousness Church
Heart Consciousness Church owns and operates Harbin Hot Springs. It is not a church in the traditional sense of buildings, structure and congregation. It is an embodiment and a manifestation of the New Age: that common thread uniting the Human Potential Movement, the Holistic, Natural Movement, and Universal Spirituality.
We identify so completely with this point of view, we call it Heart Consciousness, which we resonate with most deeply, and try to manifest consciously. “Heart” is the inner place where Oneness and Love are experienced. Love of ourselves, of each other, and of the natural environment, is the everyday experience closest to complete identity with Oneness.
The purpose of the Church is to teach spiritual life and how it can be realized by individuals; and to spread wide the practice of Heart Consciousness. Further, our purpose is to provide opportunities for the practice of work and organizational skills, including the discipline and character development necessary not only for effective work, but also for spiritual practice.
The Church honors the spiritual dimension in everyone and each human being’s unique expression thereof. It accepts individual differences in interpreting the essential unity of the Human Potential Movement, The Holistic Natural Movement, and Universal Spirituality. We believe the New Age already exists in these three movements, and our work is to combine them, giving strength to the whole that they form, and then to reach out and to teach.
New Age Church of Being
One of the exciting aspects of New Age Religion is that it draws on the Human Potential Movement, Wholism, and Universal Spirituality, thus allowing its adherents to find inspiration in many different practices, traditions, symbols and metaphors. The bottom line is the miracle of existence itself and the magic that comes from cultivating a grateful awareness. All world views can find a home and an expression in it, including science and atheism. You need not give up your own religious traditions – it is inclusive.
Bodywork, Yoga, Trance Dance, Holistic Foods, Meditation, prayer circles, and quiet places are some of the expressions of New Age Religion to be found at Harbin. The New Age Church of Being, or NACOB, oversees those aspects more traditionally thought of as religion: Rituals, ceremonies, and rites of passage including New Moon and Full Moon ceremonies in the Warm Pool, weekly Kirtan (Hindu devotional chanting), Full Moon Pipe Ceremonies, Pagan rituals marking the Seasonal Cycles (especially May Day and Halloween), and monthly men’s and women’s traditional Sweats during the rainy season.
NACOB Ministers are trained through a six-month program open to residents. The meetings are generally once-a-week, with formal classes in philosophy, history, comparative religions, and traditions alternating with more informal classes for sharing, hands-on practice, and rituals. Many of these classes are taught by the students themselves (and indeed, each student is required to teach a class as well as conduct a ritual). For some, we invite experts.
What do students have when they graduate? Well, hopefully they find that the classes are interesting enough to be their own reward. Beyond that, graduates begin to be somewhat comfortable offering ceremonies, including weddings and other rites of passage. They understand symbolism and metaphor and are able to recognize and take responsibility for trance states induced by rituals. They are able to recognize and avoid dogma. And they have an increased understanding of the personal power and effectiveness to be gained by practicing integrity and presence.
The Minister Training Course is not absolutely necessary for ordination as a NACOB Minister and not a guarantee of acceptance. Nor is it necessary to be a NACOB Minister in order to do rituals and ceremonies at Harbin – that is open to everyone including guests, and is usually arranged through the Events person in the Workshops Department.