Sacred Ground in the Small Town of Lincoln
November 05, 2015
The picturesque town of Lincoln is getting a lot of attention these days. In the foothills of the Green Mountains near Mount Abraham, Lincoln is where Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, are seeking refuge.
Ever since arriving to town in October, Randy Quaid has expressed his love for Vermont and even a genuine interest in joining the Lincoln fire department. Meanwhile, residents are unfazed by the Quaids and seem to welcome the couple with open arms. To learn how the Quaids ended up in Lincoln, you can find all of the details in this recent, excellent piece by Seven Days.
I don’t know much about Randy Quaid other than his memorable role in the 1983 movie, National Lampoon’s Vacation (“Oh, nothing but the best.”). But his arrival to Lincoln has given me a new appreciation for the town and helped me learn things about the community I never knew. Mainly, I was surprised to read that the town has a spiritual pull and is considered sacred by many.
For example, students of geomancy, a form of divination using lines, figures and geographic features, say Lincoln has unique attributes — such as the shape of the land and flow of the river — that indicate its sacredness.
Also, with a population of 1,200, Lincoln is home to two Tibetan Buddhist groups: the Sunray Peace Village and Meditation Society, a community built on Native American and Buddhist teachings; and the Metta Earth Institute, a holistic retreat center.
Before the town was settled by Quakers in 1795, indigenous communities, including the Abenaki, Mohegan, Narragansett and Wampanoag people, gathered in the area around Mount Abraham. The mountain was considered “a sacred meeting place where people could share information about weather and planting, dreams, and visions of the future.”
Referring to the town’s spiritual pull, a 2011 article in Seven Days put it this way:
“Over the years, scores of people have found their way to Lincoln, drawn by something more than just the town’s charm and quintessential New Englandness. It’s no exaggeration to say there’s a spiritual pull to the place, bringing seekers to its foothills even before the Quakers arrived in 1795. In the time since, in addition to traditional Christian congregations, Lincoln has welcomed Tibetan and Shingon Japanese Buddhists, New Age dream interpreters, Native American elders, renowned dowsers, a meditation society, contemplative ecologists and students of yoga.”
And now it welcomes Randy Quaid.