Posts Tagged ‘Holistic Living’

Don’t do it! Don’t Go Back to Normal

24/05/2020

This wonderful statement by Sony Renee Taylor has been circulating around lately, and it’s surely a wake up call –

“We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.”
You can find out more at the Facebook page Over Grow the System

And from Brenna Quinlan on her Facebook page….

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The first step towards creating something is imagining it. We imagine the smell of fresh bread as we tend our sourdough starter. We imagine the taste of ripe tomatoes as we plant out our seedlings. When we lay down the first stone, we imagine laughter and stories from future meals shared in our new home. The ability to create, in our minds, a possible future, is what gives that possibility a chance of being realised.

If all we imagine is business as usual, then that is the world we will create. But if we draw on our curiosity and creativity, we can hold in our minds something much greater than the world we are in. And once that happens, we can begin to act. Find out more about Brennan here.

Lockdown/Slowdown #1

24/05/2020

Let me catch you up on Mountain Spirit New Zealand during these “interesting” times. The first post, was first published on our Instagram feed in March 29th 2020. I thought I’d include it below as a starting point.

May 25, 2020
As New Zealand comes out of lockdown from “Level 3” to “Level 2”, things are still pretty quiet in Wanaka. The kids are back in school which frees me up a bit to post what we couldn’t during lockdown. I thought we’d share what we did here at Mountain Spirit in the following posts. Maybe it will give you some ideas, good for thought, or just some entertainment. Let us know what you think as well.
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March 29th 2020
As New Zealand went into lock-down (Stage 4) a few days ago, we had a beautiful sunset to signal our weeks of isolation here in the Wanaka. Although we are home bound, there’s lots of activities and jobs to do. We’ll fill you in as we tick along during this pandemic. We send you well wishes during this time.

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Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle with MSI

10/04/2011

As our world moves closer to facing climate change and its consequences, MSI is doing our part to provide education and awareness on how to achieve some measure of personal sustainability.

We invite you to come to Vermont on June 10-12, 2011 for a weekend retreat to explore how to make healthier choices about food, relationships and navigating everyday life in a healthier and more conscious way.

In our upcoming Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle program, we feature some of New England’s most gifted teachers and facilitators.

Henry Homeyer

 

Henry Homeyer, author of four gardening books and New England garden columnist, will share insights from over 60 years of organic gardening experience.

Jen White

 

 

 

Jen White, Sustainability Coordinator at Colby Sawyer College, will help us understand the global impact of our choices, connect with our values and live sustainably from the heart.

Miles Sherts

 

 

Miles Sherts, author and founder of Sky Meadow Retreat in northern Vermont, has been teaching about conflict resolution and communication skills since 1990. Miles will lead a workshop on Conscious Communication.

 

So please think about joining us at Sky Meadow Retreat in June – at the very least it will get you thinking about what you can do to live more in alignment with the earth, and we guarantee, you’ll learn a few good things about Creating A More Sustainable Lifestyle.

Prajna, The Best Knowledge

13/03/2010

Shirley's Herbal Sweat Studio

The Simple Pleasures of Jamaica

On a morning bike ride around Treasure Beach, Jamaica recently, I was drawn to stop and admire a beautiful hand built sandstone building, surrounded by lush perennial herb and flower gardens, fruit trees and meandering pathways.  Shirley, the owner, walked down the hillside, greeted me with a warm, broad smile and welcomed me into her yard for a chat, typical of the Jamaican residents we had met during our two week stay.  It turns out Shirley is a well-known herbalist and massage therapist in town, had built the structure herself for her massage business, and within minutes I had signed up to have one of her legendary herbal sweats and relaxation massages. With this vitally important step out of the way, we toured the gardens and learned about the fragrant mixture of wild Jamaican herbs and fruit juices Shirley uses to send her clients to relaxation nirvana.

In Jamaica, the elder women pass their knowledge of herbs and plants from generation to generation, as Shirley’s mother had while she was growing up in nearby Great Bay.  Shirley explained the provenence of each plant, either planted from seed, field dug, or gifted from a friend or family member.  Her knowledge of the individual characteristics and uses of each plant was remarkable. When we parted over an hour later, I could barely wait until it was my turn to savor her herbal ‘detox’ treatment and relaxation massage.

Shirley Genus, Jamaican Herbalist & Massage Therapist

So it was that the next day, I watched as Shirley chose from her yard the pimento, lemon grass and eucalyptus to help clear my lungs, and lime juice for cleansing my skin.  She tossed these and other herbal delights into a cauldron of  boiling water over an open fire.  She then poured the boiling, aromatic mixture into a clay cauldron tucked inside a three-sided steam room with a cloth door.

In I went, with Shirley’s instructions to stir the mix, ‘breathe’ and stay hydrated with the water she provided. This was not your typical steambath!  Immediately, the rich herbal smells filled the small space and I settled in to enjoy a blissful 30 minutes of total relaxation.  Next came the oil massage, which included a fascinating philosophical commentary by Shirley about the history of Jamaica, the value of massage, the state of our busy lives, her world travels and education in the United States, and good humored bantering about gender differences.  Shirley’s massage combined many styles, and is uniquely her own brand.  I dare say it’s one of the finest massages I’ve ever had.

As I ventured back to reality toward the end of the hour, I asked Shirley when she was going to write the Book of Shirley.  She laughed heartily and replied,  “Everyone wants me to write a book.  I say to them, come back and see me and we will continue to talk together and teach each other.”  I think I will, Shirley, thanks.

Meditation: The Ripple Effect

27/02/2010

By D.R. Richards

Do Your Part: Breathe

I wrote in a recent post,  “As I write this, my wife is sitting peacefully in the mountains of Quebec at a Vipassana retreat center. I feel the ripple effect.  Janice Vien, in her Iyengar Yoga classes always closes with the phrase, ‘May the benefits of this practice be extended to others’”.

Knowing that somebody in your family is sitting quietly in a little mountain snow-bound retreat without saying a word for four days, has a profound effect. Through Amanda’s action in meditation, I feel calmer.  What’s more, she borrowed my watch, for the alarm function, to wake up at 4am to begin meditation.  So I find myself staring at my wrist a few times these past days.

Scientific studies have shown that groups of people meditating can actually bring down the crime rate. One particular study/meditation event  in Washington D.C. had dramatic effects. Now I see.

Tolle says “You’re either part of the problem or cleaning up the mess”, and that “No one else it going to do it. If you wait for the rest of the world to become enlightened, you’ll wait forever. Start by cleaning up the inner landscape, and in that way you’ll make a change in the world.”

I’ve been meditating since I was about 11 years old. I read The Making of a Psychiatrist by David Viscott when I was about 12. I’m not sure why, I just took to it. When I was about 20, I read the complete works of Emerson. So I’ve been on my path for while –  but to quietly feel the presence of my wife’s meditation in southern Quebec, while I’m south of the border, is quite an amazing experience.

So if you wonder if the inner work you’re doing has an impact on those around you, I definitely say yes.

MSI Co-sponsors “Fresh-The Movie”

03/11/2009

Film-Series-Fresh-Poster

"Fresh" Screening, in NH, USA

Mountain Spirit Institute is co-sponsoring the screening of the movie Fresh in New London, NH on Saturday November 21, at 7PM at the Whipple Auditorium on Main Street.

Says MSI director Randall Richards, “We saw the oportunity to get involved and help with the screening of this movie. We’re providing some desktop layout skills, and equipment for the showing.

Marketing and Development director Amanda Richards,  had heard about the movie Food.Inc, and having just arrived from New Zealand, had been concerned about what she was seeing in the U.S. food supply. When she heard that Linda Howes, CN, HHP, CBE was preparing to show the  movie Fresh, she decided to get involved. Howes is the local chapter representative of the Weston A Price Foundation and owner of Nourishing Wellness, in New London, NH. (more…)

Peru’09: To Ollantaytambo

02/08/2009

By R. Richards
In the next few weeks I’ll be journaling the Peru 2009 Cultural Immersion program which lasted 14 days. I won’t chronicle every day but the most important highlights of our experience.

We had 7 participants: Sally R. and her husband Scott S., Gail and Hal B. of Sunapee NH, newlyweds Tim Y. and Amy G. and Betsy S. of Grantham NH.  Most were teachers which made for good dynamics. On our first day in Cusco, we hiked up to Sacsayhuaman ruins. After walking the great walls, we had a little meeting as the sun set, setting the tone for open communication and willing to stretch outside of one’s comfort zone. The group all agreed they’d give it their best shot.  That night we had dinner at the Retama where Guillermo is the music director of his band Chimu’s/Chimu Inka and plays there almost nightly.

Guillermo plays "cane" flute at Moray

Guillermo plays "Quena" flute at Moray

After a night in Tika Wasi in Cusco, we headed for the Chinchero and the fascinating agricultural terraces of Moray.  Here, Guillermo took out his flute and played, setting a surreal tone in the ruins. You could hear the music echo through the terraces below. Then there was a hair-raising ride (not so much much for me, I’m used to the heights) to the Inka salt pans just before the sun set, then off to Anna’s pension.  Many thanks goes to Julio of Personal Travel Service for setting up our ride with Ernesto and the Mercedes bus plus all tickets and other logistics in the Sacred Valley.

Anna's Family, Guillermo & Ernesto

Anna's Family, Guillermo & Ernesto

It had been a few years since I’d seen Anna when I stayed at her pension for night. It was good to see Anna again, her daughter Katey and her other daughter who had been in Italy for four years, who I’d not  yet met. Anyway, we all settled in nicely, the participants heading off to stay in nearby homes, down the street. We’d all met up for dinner at Anna’s though. Although it was a bit of a switch from the four star Hotel Antigua in Lima, everyone adjusted well to Anna’s where we’d be basing ourselves over the next few days. Below is a short clip as we arrived at Anna’s. Ernesto our knowledgeable driver, Anna, her godchild, daughter, and Guillermo are featured.

The American Bedouin

05/07/2009

Reconnecting with a Mentor
By R. Richards, MSI Founder

Screen Shot of "American Bedouin"

Screen Shot of "American Bedouin"

According to an excellent 2007 Aljazeera Feature video, Erga Rehns  has been living the life of a Bedouin in the desert with the Bedouin tribes of Wadi Rum  for seven years. I’m not sure if she still does though. I’ll have to do more research in order to contact her again. The last, (and first) time I saw her in person was in 1981, when we first met at her little art studio and home in Obidos, Portugal.

Some people are lucky enough to be a primed for a turning point in their young lives, and come across just the right person at the right time that poses questions, and challenges one’s view of the world – who plants the seed for a paradigm shift. Most people aren’t’ aware they’re ready for that change, until years later, when they realize the shift was primed by those mentors. (more…)

Traveling Lightly

27/06/2009

Decisions, Decisions – Motorhomes or Going Light

"fast und light"

" Capt'n Fast und Light"

Huge motorhomes rumbling down the Motorways and Interstates are proof that humans have entirely too many non-renewable resources at their disposal. What it takes to move these beasts of burden one kilometer in energy could light the two lightbulbs in my yurt for a week.  OK,  I actually owned a motorhome when living in Sedona Arizona, as an alternative to apartment living. We’d drive out into the desert at night and base there, while I led trips for Sedona Adventures.  And yes, we drove it to Washington state, fully loaded for the Outward Bound summer season. If a motorhome is one’s main residence, it may be “going lighter” on the planet, (I think) –  Maybe lighter than owning a MacMansion.  If, however, it’s one’s vacation mode of travel, please read on. (more…)

From Mt. Hood to Russia

16/06/2009

Bob Stremba

Bob Stremba

M.S.I. VP/Board member and fellow spirit adventurer Bob Stremba, EdD, is heading for Oregon and Washington State tomorrow  to take a bit of time off between semesters running the Adventure Education Department at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He’s also headed north to climb on Mt. Hood’s southern route again. He’ll be climbing the route with fellow board members of the Association of Experiential Education. Over the years, Bob has also summited Mt. Rainer twice,  as well as Mt. Baker and Mt. Adams.

After his trip to the Northwest, Bob will be flying to Russia where he’ll be going into classrooms,  facilitating group team building initiatives for Russian students. When I asked how his conversational Russian was coming along, he said he’ll have a translator.  However he is working on the written language a bit,  I assume so he can write a bit on blackboards and flip-charts.  Stremba applied for, and was selected to be the lead (and solo) facilitator for this program.   At program’s end, Bob will finish in western Russian – which is only a two hour train ride to Finland, so he figured he might as well leave Russia from the western border. If  we’re lucky, we’ll get some updates on this blog during his travels. We wish him the best on his program and further travels to Finland after program’s end.