Johnson Hall
Mending Hearts and Minds
Johnstown NY

One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.

If you ever find yourself unable to resolve a conflict, looking to mend a relationship or find inspiration on how to bring peace between opposing parties go to Johnson Hall in Johnstown NY (40 miles west of Albany NY). It is a powerful place of healing and reconciliation. It is a place that all politicians and those advocating war should spend time at each year. It is a remarkable thread and needle that can bring healing to just about any schism.

William Johnson and Johnson Hall

“Though close to Albany and Schenectady, which were settled a century earlier, the site of Johnstown was still in undisputed possession of the Mohawks when William Johnson, a young Irishman of twenty-three, came to America in 1737. His task was to administer 15,000 acres of land in what is now Montgomery County, for his uncle, Commodore Peter Warren.

Honest and fair in his dealings, Johnson soon won the respect and friendship of the Indians and the undying personal loyalty of their leading chiefs and sachems. They adopted him as a full-fledged Mohawk chief and gave him an Indian name, Warraghiyagey, meaning "Chief Big Business." Having learned their language he sat at their councils and listened patiently to their democratic discussions, hour after hour, day after day. Oratory was very important among the Indians, and Johnson learned to adopt their figurative style and to vie with their best speakers. Thus, when he became Royal Commissioner for Indian Affairs and Colonel of the Iroquois, he was not a military dictator, but a loved and trusted adviser who kept his dusky brothers informed of the wishes of the Great White Father across the Sea.

After he had lived at Warren's Bush a few years, he bought a large tract of land on the northerly side of the Mohawk and on both sides of Kayaderosseras Creek. In 1742, at or near the site of Fort Johnson, he erected a large frame dwelling, which he called Mount Johnson. Seven years later he built Fort Johnson, the substantial stone mansion, which at one time served as the headquarters of the Montgomery County Historical Society…

Johnson's ability to persuade men to work together in a common enterprise, and to lead rather than drive them, accounts for his success as a soldier as well as in dealing with the Indians and in colonizing…” The Allaire Group

As like others we have written about, many might want to take aim at Johnson’s loyalist leanings or question his treatment of Native Americans. I understand those feelings. What we should not do is denigrate the grounds and the consciousness that permeates the grounds around Johnson Hall.

Experiencing Johnson Hall

That ability to work together, to negotiate, to resolve conflict permeates the grounds of Johnson Hall. Whether William Johnson was drawn to the site because of the atmosphere of negotiations or that he created that atmosphere is difficult to ascertain. Probably a little of both, or at least he added to it.

The grounds provide for a leisurely contemplative walk. There are numerous fields of consciousness on the grounds. You will not have to walk far before you encounter one. The building was closed the day we visited but I am told it has a powerful presence and time should be spent there. (I later learned it was open and only looked closed. Go in and ask for a tour.)

The real jewel of the area is just below the carriage house(caretakers home). There is an incredibly powerful stacked field of consciousness (several stacked fields next to each other) that made our hair stand up when we were there. It is a large area. Go by the large old trees and also by the large red maple. This area stretches from the kid’s area to the other side of the large trees.

Spend as much time as you can there. If you are trying to make amends with someone or looking to bring parties together, this is where you should either pray and ask for God’s help or seek a solution or find a inspiration through contemplation.

In contemplation I find it helpful to begin by petitioning in a mantra like way by asking for help and guidance, this helps to get me in a meditative state. Many believe that mantra is the easiest way to get into a meditative state (trance) and even to reach Samadhi. Once I get into a meditative state I sit back and see what comes to me and explore those thoughts. Try to be as open and accepting as possible and willing to explore all that comes, even if it self effacing. It could be that this process of itself could be all the illumination you need. Or you might get a thought or action that seems right. Dwell on it and nurture it with attention. Understand what you are getting is a seed that needs to be planted. Put your faith and trust in that seed and let God do the rest. It could take days before advice comes. Even if you get nothing something most likely will happen. Observe and reflect and you might be surprised. Remember you are dealing with subtleties, small changes that can mushroom over time. Miracles might not come but things will certainly be better.

Trees are often a harbinger of a space. Large trees may indicate a special place. Trees in a circle could indicate the same or a ceremonial circle. Twisted trees, trees of odd shapes or that are contorted may be telling you to back away.

If you are not looking for a resolution this area is still great for pondering, or dreaming of a better world. You could pray, meditate, do ceremony or just hang out. We often spread tobacco in fields of consciousness to honor the space. While you might not be able to distinguish the places of consciousness there, they are stacked so closely together you will always be close.

The grounds with the exception of an overlook area are covered with a positive samskara.

If you go

Johnson Hall is located off of Hall Ave in Johnstown NY. For hours and other information go to: Johnson Hall; Phone: (518) 762-8712 / Fax: (518) 762-2330 .

Special thanks to Peter Betts Fulton County Historian.

Madis Senner

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