Voices Topics Info

Johnathan Yates and Deborah Michalak

Haidakhandi Universal Asharam

Interview Conducted by: Whitney Conti & Kelsey Gustasfson on Feb. 26, 2008.


Setting: We conducted our interview in the earth house kitchen of the Asharam. We had no prior engagement or appointments for the interviews, but after wandering in to the earth house we found both Deb and John talking in the kitchen. They invited us to stay and talk, offering us tea and treats. The interview was primarily with John as Deb was cooking, but she also chimed in on questions or issues she found interesting or important. John clarified that he wasn’t particularly involved with the drilling issue, but as Deb is a member of the Crestone Spiritual Alliance and local who lives in town, she self-proclaimed to be more involved. About half way through the interview, Penelope, Brittany, and Larissa also came in and sat down. Although they didn’t actively question in the interview, but they were listening and involved. Interview Notes All of these notes are taken from written notes taken during the interview as to what John and Deb said. However, there are very few direct quotes because of the poor recording quality of the tape. Johnathan’s Brief Background with Crestone First visited Crestone in September of 1987, later visited here and there, and then in ’95 he visited for a week and 1/2 , in 96’ he stayed for 7 weeks, and in ’97 he decided to stay permanently and has lived at the Asharam since. He said that he stayed because he had no strong call to be back where he was. Johnathan’s Role and Daily life in Crestone Johnathan described his life in Crestone as being encompassing and busy. He attends 2 daily services, yoga, various festivals, and receives a lot of visitors on weekends and in the summer. Sacred Qualitites of Crestone, Sense of Place

Historical Understandings of Crestone

The Universal Ashram and its place

Spiritual Alliance

Hypothesized Effects of Drilling

ANALYSIS: This interview was really interesting because Jonathan said that he didn’t really know much about the drilling issue, while Deb is an active member of the spiritual alliance. Also, Jonathan primarily lived in the hills at the Ashram while Deb lived primarily in the town and worked in the Ashram. The general sentiment was that the drilling would severely and irrevocably change the atmosphere and energy of Crestone, but Jonathan said that his commitment was to the tradition of the Ashram, and didn’t think he would be driven out. Also Deb notes the flight or fight hypothetical and said that she was much more of a fighter than fleer.