Arizona Artist Died Three Times But Was Never Sick

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Devi DeLavie, Renaissance man, is back at work. After the devastating loss of two years worth of work, he embraced a spiritual journey that took him into the deep woods of Northern Minnesota where he lived without water or power, at temperatures of minus 60 degrees and more, in a shack built on an 8Â?x12Â? trailer.

Devi DeLavie (the artist formerly known as Dan Miner) was an up and coming artist in Colorado. He had his own gallery, Gallery Paragon, across the street from Frank Howell’s gallery in Breckenridge. Through the good graces of Nat and Barbara Henshaw (supportive patrons and students of his sculpture) he was given the opportunity to become the first Artist-In-Residence at the renowned Shidoni Foundry in Teseque, New Mexico. While there he produced some two-dozen sculptures that showed the emergence of his more eclectic side, with subjects that ranged from Tibetan Monks to Three-head dogs from hell.

It was during this time that he received word that a spiritual Master from India was going to be in Oakland, California. Devi felt an irresistible need to meet him and he put all of the molds of his sculpture in a storage facility with the understanding that the foundry would pay the small monthly rental fee from the money they owed him. Driving a converted bread delivery van, Devi made it to Oakland and spent nearly a year in the presence of the man he embraced as his teacher. It was during this time that he began to get notices from the storage facility in New Mexico saying his rent was past due. He called Shidoni many times to confirm that they in fact were paying his bill… they assured him they were.

Finally leaving his teacher and heading to Tulsa University to teach a seminar, he stopped by his storage facility to pick up his molds. They were gone, dumped in a landfill somewhere for lack of payment. He was furious and devastated. It was not in his nature to sue the foundry owners who had broken their promise. He went on to Tulsa with a heavy and empty heart.

Some years later the opportunity arose to live in the middle of 56 acres of undeveloped land just outside of Bemidji, Minnesota. His heart needed healing and this retreat to solitude and meditation seemed the perfect solution. But Northern Minnesota can be a harsh and life-threatening place for someone living in a shack built on a flatbed trailer, with no water and no power. On three different occasions, Devi lay down to meditate and sleep, only to awaken hours perhaps days later, he was never sure, in a body that would not respond, and smelled of decomposition. “It was as if I had to push myself back into my body, like pushing toothpaste back in to the tube.” He says of those frightening moments. “My meditations were filled with tunnels of light, radiant beings and indescribable places and feelings. I became aware at some point that I had to get back to feed my beloved dogs, who would have starved or frozen to death without me.”

He adds “That which we call death, has a whole new meaning for me now.”

Arizona life for Devi now is full of constant, prolific creativity again. Sculpture, paintings, music, and video productions are just part of the outpourings from his finally healed heart. His business card says it all: Devi Jaya DeLavie, Renaissance Heart.


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