Posts Tagged ‘Amanda Richards’

Kirtana Performs 1st Time on New Zealand’s South Island

08/02/2015

Kirtana photo for Art of HealingMountain Spirit near Wanaka, will be hosting Kirtana, a California-based singer/songwriter will be who performs at events with speakers such as Eckhart Tolle, Gangaji and Geneen Roth. She comes to the South Island for the first time to share her contemporary, sacred songs. She will be performing at St. Columba’s Anglican Church on Sunday, 12th, April from 3:00pm-5:00pm in Wanaka

Described as a ‘brilliant poet, marvelous songwriter and accomplished guitarist’, Kirtana best describes both her music and her purpose in sharing it is to “celebrate divine love and the truth of who we are.”

Randall and Amanda Richards, of Mountain Spirit, the newly created retreat centre, say, “We’re really excited to have Cover unseen graceKirtana come to the South Island and share her music with us. It will be our first event. We’re still working on infrastructure  on our land and permitting for other programs, so we were not quite open to host the event on-site.  So when the Anglican Church agreed to have the event at their church, we knew it would be a great venue.”

Kirtana says she is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her music and divine exploration in concert with Kiwis. She will be performing songs from her newest CD “Unseen Grace”

Says Onethemagazine.com, “Kirtana has become one of the most highly sought after modern-day minstrels of non-dual awakening. Her voice and lyrics reach with vulnerable longing for the heart of God, while at the same time transmitting the discovery of that, the opening to that, and the final consummation within it.”

Kirtana bwTickets are $30 in advance, ($35 on the day). With a “Group of 5 offer” at $125 and can be purchased over the phone at Mountain Spirit 03-443-5669 or online at Eventafinda.co.nz  For more information call 03-443-5669 or go to the event webpage at mtnspirit.co.nz

How Life Changes in a Second

04/03/2011

Although we weren’t downtown when the Christchurch earthquake hit, (we were there the day before) we are still recovering from the experience of being in our home 1km from the epicenter, and about 20 min from Christchurch. We’ve since relocated to the Wanaka/Queenstown area.

Dust rises as the Quake hits Christchurch

We hadn’t been in the Christchurch area more than a week or two. We had just unpacked after having arrived from the U.S. via a short trip to Australia for Christmas. But we were getting to know the city. We had gotten our library  and metro cards. Amanda had signed up for art classes in Lyttelton.

I thought I’d share this post, and….  Here is an interactive  look of  before and after satellite images of the hardest hit areas of this wonderful town. The Queenstown District Council had, at last count, recorded about 75,000 people having left Christchurch and come into the their region as either temporary or permanent residents.

"Christchurch Before and After" Scroll/Slider

The Christchurch Earthquake

26/02/2011

When the Earth Shakes, and We Humans on it.
Make a *donation directly to NZ Red Cross Christchurch Fund

Epicenter: Lyttelton from above our house, a day before the quake

Amanda and I escaped. We were in Christchurch about 19 hours before the earthquake hit, just in front of the main church , which is now collapsed,  in the square dropping off my passport and work visa application at New Zealand immigration, We also ran some errands, and split up in the afternoon, Amanda stopping by a store, and I picking up our van at the bus depot.

When the earthquake did hit we were both at home. I was in the hallway, and all of sudden, I was being thrown about. I was disoriented for a few seconds, then ran down the hallway to grab my pregnant wife’s hand. She looked as confused as I, as we ran for the door. We had just experienced the earthquake 1km from the epicenter. Our rental home is just across the Lyttelton Inlet in Diamond Harbor’s Charteris Bay.  As I grabbed Amanda’s hand and we ran out of the back door of  the steel-framed house, I thought, “This isn’t good for Christchurch.”

Little did I know how bad it was.  Just over the crest of Port Hills, 20 min away, it was Hell. (more…)

MSI Successful Board Retreat

16/09/2010

Burning the midnight oil

At MSI’s recent residential retreat, the energy was contagious. The board members worked on actively bringing Mountain Spirit to a new level of commitment and confidence. MSI was started in 1998, when R. Richards,  after having just returned from high alpine guiding in Peru, led a trip under the MSI name to the Cusco region of Peru.  Since then the non-profit organization has had numerous and successful programs and workshops ranging from a Peruvian Shamanic Studies program which ran over the course of two years, a wilderness experience educational program, author lectures, and a film series, ongoing programs to Peru, the teen healing adventure and the Peru/USA Music Exchange held in the Northeastern US in the fall of 1998.

“Becoming more sustainable as an organization, and building capacity to deliver programs ” has been the board’s goal for the last two years.  At each board retreat we’ve identified how we can move forward, and at our last retreat, we dug in and wrote our first grant together. Laptops were all over the room, crunching numbers from every program we have on the calendar.

We had a ball, put in some long hours and have some great results. Importantly, we have set a time to develop our annual program schedule where we’ll slate new programs for the coming year during our Board of Directors summer retreat. Also, as  a result of the great work every did putting together some great programs and an top-notch organization-wide budget, we applied for our first grant to the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Express Grant. We put in some serious hours, and suffered from a bit of what fellow board member Craig Cimmons calls “HBO”.  The acronym stands for “Haven’t Been Outdoors”.

Thanks to Cindy Heath, Craig Cimmons, Bob Stremba, and Amanda Richards for all the work and energy that they put into the board retreat! Adelante!

Image: MSI Board Members LtoR: The beagle Daphne (not a board member), Randy Richards, Amanda Richards, Bob Stremba, dinner guest and author *Henry  Homeyer, Cindy Heath and Craig Cimmons. (*Who you’ll be seeing more about on this blog)

Snatam Kaur Benefit Concert for MSI

12/04/2010

Mountain Spirit Institute announces Benefit Concert with Snatam Kaur

Snatam Kaur

Snatam Kaur will be playing at the Lebanon, NH, USA Opera House on September 1st, 2010 for a evening of meditative music. Kaur is an internationally known recording artist, who’s music is highly soul soothing.

Say Cindy Heath, Mountain Spirit Board Member and Coordinator of the concert, “I happened to be at a Kripalu event and heard her playing for a yoga event. I had remembered her music when we had it playing at a MSI board meeting.” Adds Heath, “When I approached them to see if they’d be interested in Snatam playing under an invitation from Mountain Spirit Institute as a fundraiser concert for the organization, they eventually said yes.”

It took a while, but after the booking person looked at MSI’s website, they deemed our organization has a similar mission to Snatam’s.  Tickets for the concert will be sold through the Lebanon Opera House

Concert in Toronto

“I was first introduced to Snatam’s music by my wife, Amanda, who listened to Kaur’s music while attending meditation and yoga retreats in India during the summer of 2008,” says Randy Richards, director of Mountain Spirit.  “I have just about worn out Snatam’s CD’s, and when we heard from Cindy that she had met Snatam and there might be the possibility of a concert, we jumped at the chance.”

Read more about the upcoming Snatam Kaur/Mountain Spirit Institute Benefit Concert  at our webpage on the concert. To listen and learn more about Snatam’s music visit her website.

MSI at International Festival

26/03/2010

MSI at Colby Sawyer College International Festival
New London, NH, USA

R. Richards tells about MSI's programs, B. Dowst in background

Mountain Spirit Institute had a booth  at Colby Sawyer College’s International Festival in New London NH, USA yesterday on Thursday March 25th. Foreign students and college staff were dressed in their traditional national clothing and served food from their country.  The Peruvian band Inka Wasi, from Boston, taught audience members how to play the zampoña, then percussion instruments. Later, the trio later played traditional folklore songs from the Andes countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina.  Mountain Spirit Institute’s director R. Richards, spoke with one of the band members about the band Chimu Inka from Cusco. MSI sponsored Chimu Inka in the fall of 2008. The two discussed about some possible collaboration with the two bands in the future, when Chimu Inka returns to the U.S.

Inka Wasi director teaching Zampoña

Many local residents came out see this popular event which has been running a number of years here in this New England college town.  MSI board members Brenda Dowst and Amanda Richards, and Randy Richards manned the booth.

The Carrolls visit at MSI's booth

Local author Dave Carroll and his wife Laurett stopped by the booth to say hi as did other Sunapee and New London residents.  Both the Carrolls were not only fans but supporters of the Chimu Inka 2008 Peruvian/USA Music Exchange tour.

Google Translator

02/03/2010

By D.R. Richards

Easy to use Translator

I use Google Translator quite often for composing emails that I send to businesses in Peru. I admit it,  I’m cheating, but when dealing with businesses, it’s often a more reliable way to get my point across, and not cost mistakes, and money. If you’ve not needed Google Translator, you might find it fun to type a few words in English and see what it spits out at the other end, in Chinese or Russian.
We’ve had some Russian interest in one of our posts by Amanda Richards,  “Rebuilding the Machu Picchu Ruins” .  A Russian website has a link, and one of our photos on their site, so I decided to post a reply in Russian. I wonder if they’ll read it!
Signed,
Рэнди Ричардс
Горный институт Дух

Quebec vs. American Anxiety

26/02/2010

By D. R. Richards

Telltale signs of "joie de vive"

What is it, that makes Quebec, Canada a breath of fresh air for those of us who often escape there from the northeastern U.S.? It’s interesting to experience this question through the eyes of my wife, who’s from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. She’s new to the U.S, and to New England, and is not afraid to share her observations. I always felt more comfortable when I lived in Europe, South America and New Zealand,  but, honestly, still struggle to put into words exactly why an ex-pat life could still be my destiny. I had my “Euro-epiphany” at 21, after having a chance meeting with Erga Rehns in Portugal. It took two years to sink in, and I almost didn’t return stateside. I still have that ex-pat perspective. I still look at the U.S. with the eyes of an foreigner.
My wife just got her Green Card a few days ago, on the 22nd, and the next day we were outa here, off to Magog, Canada. Partly because my birthday was on the 23rd, and partly because she was on the wait list for a Vipassana course for which she was accepted and started the following day.

Mt. Orford with "Visitor's Center"*

As we walked the streets of the little Quebec towns, and went for a walk at Mt. Orford Provincial Park, we discussed what exactly is it that makes us feel more relaxed away from the U.S.? Here’s what our conversation yielded: For one, the people take care, and pay attention of their food and time. They are not as stressed. Immediately it’s obvious that there isn’t an anxiety in the air –  in fact, there’s a calmness. Kids are smiling, people are quietly enjoying their week-day afternoon. We also concluded it takes a lot more effort in the U.S. to relax because of the nervousness of the collective consciousness. Today’s Health Care Summit in Washington illustrates the deep crisis Americans are experiencing about such basics as going to the doctor. In other countries, people are incredulous that there’s even a debate in the U.S. about profit over people. The idea that someone could lose their house should they become sick is a foriegn concept.  It would simply not happen in France or New Zealand, or in Canada. (See the movie Sicko)

Meditation: The Ripple Effect

As I write this, my wife is sitting peacefully in the mountains of Quebec at a Vipassna retreat center. I feel the ripple effect, and I hope you do as well. Janice Vien, in her Iyengar yoga classes always closes with the phrase, “May the benefits of this practice be extended to others”. It’s clear Americans face difficult roads ahead because of the greed of the “corporatracy”. And yes, of course, one can keep their center no matter where one is, as put forth by Eckhart Tolle. But for those that are sensitive, the difference in  energy between the U.S. and Quebec is striking.

Maison Verte's B&B = Quality and Care

*The reason I put quotes around the Mt. Orford Visitor’s Center is the sense of scale in Quebec, and other countries is more realistic than in the U.S.  When one thinks of  “Visitor’s Centers”  in the U.S., usually the image of the Denali National Park, Arches National Park, or the Smithsonian most likely comes to mine. The Center is Quebec however, is a small lodge, (with fireplace, bathrooms and picnic tables), despite it being a popular national park.

An “Awakening Together” Retreat

23/02/2010

By D.R. Richards,
Learning to live with an Open Heart, Part I

Martha and Don Rosenthal

I first met Don and Martha Rosenthal about 10 years ago when I enrolled in a monthly meeting of  “Awakening Together” sessions here in New Hampshire, where couples meet to witness, listen, talk and learn vital life skills in relating to one’s partner. The group was started 18 years ago and a few of the original couples are still continuing today. Other couples have naturally come and gone. Indeed, the gathering is more about becoming a more fully realized human being, about living in the present, than how to only relate better to one’s partner. It’s about learning to love unconditionally with all who come across one’s path.  At least this has been my experience of the meetings and the work.

Amanda and I just completed the Rosenthal’s  Awakening Together couples retreat” at their country farmhouse in central Vermont, as a proactive approach to building a good foundation for our marriage. We’re so glad we committed to going to the Rosenthal’s for the weekend. We are also enrolled in the once monthly group mentioned above, but the weekend was a “full on” laboratory for personal disarmament.

The Rosenthal's "Learning to Love"

Six couples of various ages and socio-economic backgrounds attended the weekend retreat.  Amanda and I were blown away not only with the wonderful format and top quality information covered, but with how both Don and Martha walk their talk, not to mention their well versed articulation and perceptions of participant’s situations. In fact, if you haven’t heard of Don Rosenthal, I expect you will as his reputation will most likely grow . His book and his way of being in the world is direct and heart felt. In short, he walks his talk.

We suggest this as one of the best, if not the best, couples workshops a couple can attend. It is mostly advertised by word of mouth, so I thought I’d post this today. I will write more about our weekend in Part II.

From their website:
Don and Martha began their 31-year journey together in Alaska, where they lived in a remote cabin and explored the quiet life together. Emerging after some years, they moved to the coast of California where they began what has now been more than two decades of counseling couples and individuals. Don received training in psychotherapy and began a career as a counselor. Martha studied mind/body/spirit connection with various teachers and developed a private healing practice. They have a son, now grown, whom they home-schooled.

Don's Second Book

In 1989 Don and Martha moved to rural northern Vermont, and shortly thereafter began offering weekend workshops for couples. Through word-of-mouth these soon expanded to a wide circle, becoming the core of their work. In addition, Martha leads meditation retreats for women and works with couples and individuals privately; Don offers consulting to individuals and couples, fundamentally as a form of spiritual guidance. Don and Martha view their own relationship, with all its trials and wonders, as the testing ground and measure of their teaching. They are co-authors of Learning to Love: From Conflict to Lasting Harmony.

For more information on their work, or the weekend workshops see their website.
Editor’s Note: Another book “The Unquiet Journey” is a book of reflections, written by Rosenthal that provides the philosophical and spiritual context for his later publications. Many readers have found it valuable.
To Be Continued in Part II

Plant Hope & Grow Happiness

27/12/2009

By Amanda Richards

An Eco-fable about planting trees

I picked up an excellent book on the week-end – one that I hope you will read. It’s an oldie but a goodie. This book is a magical and inspiring tale about a man who planted trees. It is also known as  The Story of Elzéard Bouffier, The Most Extraordinary Character I Ever Met.

It was first published in 1953 and is a timeless eco-fable about what one person can do to restore the earth. The hero of the story, Elzéard Bouffier, spent his life planting one hundred acorns a day in a desolate, barren section of Provence in the south of France. The result was a total transformation of the landscape-from one devoid of life, with miserable, contentious inhabitants, to one filled with the scent of flowers, the songs of birds, and fresh, flowing water.