Archive for the ‘MSI News’ Category

Mountain Spirit Inst. Offers Programs/Events

12/07/2012

Mountain Spirit Institute Offers Upcoming Programs and Special Events

Mountain Spirit Institute of the Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Region and Queenstown New Zealand area, is offering programs this summer and fall in New Hampshire, based on its mission to “help people reconnect with the environment, each other and a deeper connection to one’s self”.

The first program, on July 22nd ,  is an Adventure Educator’s Sharing Symposium open to teachers, students and outdoor educators who would like to share, learn and apply best practices of group processing and facilitation, especially with a holistic approach. There is no charge, as MSI is offering this as a public service.

Mountain Spirit will also be offering a Reconnection with Nature Hike on July 24th where there will be hiking to a local mountaintop, and participants will have a chance to relax with a short meditation and powerful nature reading. Again, there is no charge, as MSI is offering this as a public service.

On July 28th there will be a one-day Solo retreat starting at eight in the morning with a basic orientation and safety talk. Participants will then be shown their own “solo spot” where they will spend the day with minimal gear and distractions. There is a nominal program fee for this event.  There will also be an Overnight Solo on August 24th and 25th  where participants spend the night under a tarp in a beautiful local setting.  The goal for Solo’s are to reconnect, unplug, contemplate and be present in nature with few distractions with the safety net of experienced facilitators and guides. Solos will also be offered as an on-demand basis.

Lama Miller

Mountain Spirit Institute is collaborating with Lama Willa Miller of the Wonderwell Refuge, in Springfield NH on an outdoor adventure program called Mindfulness in the Mountains. The Natural Dharma Fellowship has a retreat center, where the program will be based for the weekend of Oct 12-14th.

MSI will offer again its MSI Film Series, one of which will be Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. This remarkable film follows two men, one an Australian and other an American truck driver, on their amazing path to recovering their health through juicing and healthy lifestyle choices . There will be some testimonials and discussion after the film. They do what their website calls a “reboot of your body”.

Rock Climbing will be offered to parent/children pairs, as well as families up to four, on the local crags in the region by appointment.

Mountain Spirit Institute is an insured non-profit educational organization started in 1998. Their first program was a cultural immersion trip to Peru. All of the summer and fall programs will be facilitated and managed by internationally recognized guides and facilitators. For more information on any of these programs or on Mountain Spirit Institute,  visit their website at www.mtnspirit.org or call 603-763-2668

Back Writing Again..& Upcoming Programs and Special Events

06/07/2012

Holistic Outdoor Connections
Since 1998

Although I’ve had a backlog of ideas and material for MSI’s blog, and have even shot some footage for video posts (stay tuned), our family has been busy with a major move of late. Nevertheless, it’s time to start writing again.  Plus, we have some upcoming programs that may be of interest!:

  • Adventure Educator’s Symposium July 22: Share,learn and apply best practices of processing & facilitation. Open to students, teachers and outdoor educators. No charge.
  • Reconnecting with Nature Hike July 24: Hike to a mountain-top, relax with a short meditation and a powerful reading.
  • Getting Outside! Nature Deficit Disorder July 25, 7pm: How do you view nature? Do you find it hard to get nature time? Technology got ya?
  • Solo July 28: 1 day retreat in a beautiful setting to unplug.
  • Solo Overnight Aug 25/6: Saturday morning head out to a private spot, supervised retreat, minimal gear.
  • Mindfulness in the Mountains Oct 13/14: Co-sponsored with Natural Dharma Fellowship, come explore the adventure within through Rock Climbing / Hike / Kayak.
  • Rock Climbing as Metaphor for Life: By appt. For families up to four.

Stay tuned for more info or to contact us,  and please visit us at mtnspirit.org
Cheers,

R. Richards

MSI Hosts Adventure Educator’s Sharing Symposium

06/07/2012

Learn and Share at MSI’s Symposium
Image: Participants in North Cascades, WA

Mountain Spirit Institute invites educators and interns to attend, share, and learn at the
Adventure Educator’s Sharing Symposium

WHERE: A Quiet, Rural Setting in the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
WHEN: Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
WHO: Open to Students, Teachers and Outdoor Educators and Interns..See more below.
COST: No charge. The Adventure Education Sharing Symposium is provided as a professional service by Mountain Spirit Institute, its staff, and its donors. If you wish, you are invited to make a contribution to the Mountain Spirit Institute scholarship fund.

WHAT: Experiential educators and adventure facilitators have creative and involving ways to help people bring the adventure home—to make connections between adventure experiences and our lives back at home, work or school. This symposium unites adventure programmers to share, learn, and apply some of our best practices regarding processing, facilitation, and transfer of learning in adventure education.

The Adventure Educator’s Sharing Symposium is responsive to the training and needs of each participant. By sharing, demonstrating, and talking about the processing and facilitation techniques we use in our various settings, the content, outcomes, and much of the structure of this day is co-created by participants, but with a little guidance toward the primary goal of an expanded tools-of-the trade repertoire for all participants. So, take an active role in your own learning and share your knowledge with others. (more…)

Buddhism & Mindfulness in the Mountains: Part III

10/04/2012

By: R. Richards
We continue our interview with Lama Miller of Wonderwell Refuge in Springfield, NH, USA
See Part I  or Part II

Buddhism & Mindfulness in the Mountains: Part II

03/04/2012

A walk in the woods at Wonderwell Refuge

By R. Richards,
Lama* Willa Miller, head of a Tibetan sect of Buddhism, based in Cambridge Mass, continues the interview on the new Wonderwell Refuge, the importance of being in nature, as well as her own early influences and experiences being in the wilderness with her father in Idaho.  We also talked about Richard Louv’s concept of Nature Deficit Disorder, a term the author coined in his book, The Last Child in the Woods.
The early teachings of Buddhism emphasized the refuge of wilderness, the mountain top, the cave. Lama Miller sees this as a return to the traditional ways of Buddhism by encouraging her visitors to the refuge, to get out on mindfulness walks in nature.  See Part I here.
*(Lama: A title given in Tibetan Buddhism to a venerated spiritual master, a monk/priest of high rank)
Mountain Spirit Institute is planning a collaborative effort with The Wonderwell Refuge to offer a Mindfulness in the Mountains retreat in the fall of 2012.

The meditation hall at Wonderwell Refuge, Springfield, New Hampshire

The Power of Vulnerability

27/03/2012

Brené Brown:TED Talk

Vulnerability and Connecting, A TED Talk with Brené Brown
Mountain Spirit Institute’s newest board member Ken Wylie has been expressing the vital requirement of vulnerability in which to build a foundation of compassion and connection (which is our mission) to the natural world, each other and a deeper connection to ourselves.  It appears that like great minds think alike –  Brené Brown states in her TED talk: The power of vulnerability.
Brown studies human connection – our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TED in Houston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. See Brene’s talk here or click on the image at right.

Special thanks to Lindy Roberts in Auckland, NZ for sending this our way.

Ken Wylie Named to MSI Board

24/03/2012

Mountain Spirit Institute names Ken Wylie to Board of Directors

Ken Wylie

Ken Wylie, a veteran certified mountain guide from Cochrane Alberta, Canada with years as an experiential educator and program manager at Canadian universities as well as Outward Bound Canada and the Outward Bound USA, has recently been named to the board of directors at Mountain Spirit Institute based in the U.S. and New Zealand.  In addition to helping guide the U.S. organization, Wylie has plans to launch a  Mountain Spirit Institute Canada where he will create mountain programs based on the mission statement. Mr. Wylie and founder Randall Richards along with fellow board members are in discussions about also collaborating on mountain programs in the U.S,  New Zealand and possibly the Alps.

Says Wylie, “I am drawn to Mountain Spirit Institute because of the organization’s vision. MSI has the vision for the 21st century in my estimation, and is what I have been searching for in my career.” Adds Wylie, “The mountains are an experience that can change people’s lives, but are more often than not just another consumable, another peak to check off the list. What people need now more than ever,  is to connect and MSI helps them do that.” (more…)

SOLO, After All These Years

03/02/2012

Dr. Frank Hubbell started SOLO, (Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities) in the mid-’70’s and is still going strong. I was recently at SOLO’s base in New Hampshire, renewing my Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician qualifications and thought I’d share some footage of the place that many outdoor professionals know so well. SOLO offers a wide variety of programs.  I met some interesting folks attending this re-cert, and will post an interview or two here in the coming days.

From their website: SOLO took root in the early 1970s and grew out of the vision of its founders Frank Hubbell and Lee Frizzell (husband and wife). As Frank recalls, pre-hospital care was in its infancy, and an organized EMS system didn’t exist yet in New Hampshire. The concept of providing emergency care to the sick and injured revolved around what is today referred to as the “Golden Hour.” “As skiers, climbers, and EMTs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, we would respond to the call for injured hikers and climbers,” Frank remembers. “It very quickly became apparent that the skills that we had learned as “street EMTs” did not work in the wilderness environment. We had to learn how to provide care outside the golden hour. But, that information was not available—we had to learn it through experience.” Frank’s frustration with the lack of an appropriate “wilderness” standard led to the creation of one of the first, if not the first, wilderness emergency medicine courses in the country. By 1975, a basic “Mountain/Woods First Aid” course was taken on the road by Frank, and taught to the few folks who could see its value.. Read more..

In addition to SOLO, there are also a number of organizations offering Wilderness First Responder and EMT trainings. I’ll probably cover a few of them in this blog at some point

A Restored Mountain Hut Getaway with Good Energy

11/01/2012

A New Zealand Farmer Does Good by Following His Passion

Tom O'Brien of High Country Walks

Tom O’Brien, owner of Blackmore Farm and founder of High Country Walks has followed his passion by offering up a little hut on the back side of his 5000 acre farm. Called the Chinaman’s Hut, it was restored some years ago, by local volunteers, Tom and his father. The hut is situated on the rolling mountains of the Slate Range,  just south of the Remarkables Mountains, on the border of Otago and Southland. Tom took the afternoon to show me his farm, the backcountry and the Chinaman’s Hut. below is a short piece on the hut, and a chat with Tom about his philosophy and passion of sharing this part of the world with others.We’re in hopes, here at Mountain Spirit Institute of collaborating with Tom by running some programs on the Slate Range and Blackmore Farm. We chatted about providing Solo’s and other types of programs.
Thanks for the time you took to show me around Tom!
Note: I’ve met one of the volunteers who helped restore the Chinaman’s Hut, a neighbor of ours here in Kingston named Dusty, who I’ll see if I can get on tape in the next few days. He has an interesting story to tell of not only this restoration project by many others.

Staying the Course

28/11/2011

Why are you here?

This post refers more to for-profit ventures, but it applies to anyone wanting to make a difference.  I started Mountain Spirit Institute over 12 years ago, and still keep the fire burning.
Ed.
Startups Are Hard. So Work More, Cry Less, And Quit All The Whining
“I slept at work again last night; two and a half hours curled up in a quilt underneath my desk, from 11am to 1:30pm or so. That was when I woke up with a start, realizing that I was late for a meeting…But it was no big deal, we just had the meeting later. It’s hard for someone to hold it against you when you miss a meeting because you’ve been at work so long that you’ve passed out from exhaustion.”

Suddenly everyone’s complaining about how unfair things are in Silicon Valley. How hard everyone has to work so darn hard, and how some people don’t get venture capital or a nice sale to Facebook or Google even though lots of other people are getting those things.

Silicon Valley is an unfair place, say all the headlines. The CNN racism documentary was just one piece of this. Another are the cries from the press that Zynga would actually consider renegotiating contracts with highly compensated employees no longer pulling their weight. Expect more articles soon about the woes of being asked to work hard at a startup. People are working so hard, they’re crying themselves to sleep!

As if all of this was new. The quote above isn’t from some overworked Zynga engineer. It was written in 1994 by Jamie Zawinski, an early engineer at Netscape. Here’s more: Read the rest of this story..