Posts Tagged ‘Huaraz Peru’

Mountain Spirit and Simple Living

10/12/2009

by Bob Stremba, PhD
MSI Board Member

TV- Not all it's cracked up to be

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled onto the Simple Living Network and was reminded about what’s important in life. I don’t think it’s Thanksgiving day football games on a bazillion inch widescreen flatscreen high def LCD 1080p 120 megahertz TiVo Wifi iPod-enabled TV. What’s important, I’m convinced, is authentic connections to self, others and the environment, and that happens to be what Mountain Spirit Institute (MSI) is all about.

The Simple Living Network has its roots in a movement, which began in the 1970’s with publication of the book, Voluntary Simplicity, by Duane Elgin and Arnold Mitchell. Simple living, according to their website, is about living an examined life—one in which you have determined what is important, or “enough,” for you, discarding or minimizing the rest. Living in a way that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich. So I recently cleaned out some closets, donated more clothes to the local thrift shop, and got rid of more clutter. More stuff brings more stress.

Weaving in Willoc, Peru

It struck me that Mountain Spirit Institute is doing today what voluntary simplicity launched over 30 years ago. The values at the heart of a simpler way of life are…

1.    Material simplicity: Owning and buying things that promote activity, self-reliance, and involvement, rather than items that induce passivity and dependence.
2.    Human scale: A preference for human-sized living and working environments, rather than institutions and living environments that are anonymous, incomprehensible, and artificial.
3.    Self-Determination: Less dependence upon large, complex institutions whether in the private sector (the economy) or public sector (the political processes); a desire to assume greater control over one’s personal destiny and not lead a life so tied to installment payments, maintenance costs and the expectations of others.

Field/Lake near Chinchero, Peru

4.    Ecological Awareness: The interconnectedness and interdependence of people and resources. This awareness often seems to extend beyond a concern for purely physical resources to include other human beings as well. A preference for living where there is ready access to nature.
5.    Personal Growth: For many persons taking up a materially simple way of life, the primary reason is to clear away external clutter so as to be freer to explore the “inner life.” (more…)

MSI Founder Purchases Land in Peru

28/10/2009

Randy and Amanda Richards have purchased a small parcel of land near Hauraz Peru, which if their plans come to fruition, could mean a basecamp for Mountain Spirit Institute. The couple would eventually like to build a small retreat center/basecamp on the spot which overlooks the Cordillera Blanca range in northern Peru, including the highest peak in Peru, Mt. Huascaran.

Huaraz'09Wilcacochasmlr

Possible MSI Basecamp, Peru

Richards first saw the site 12 years ago when we was taken up there by his godchild’s family. Richards was guiding Huasacaran at the time. He always had it in the back of his mind that the site would be ideal for either a small cabin or retreat where participants could come and take Mountain Spirit programs.

Peru'09-HuarazLandHrse

Huascaran from MSI's Basecamp(?)

The site had only been accessible by foot – a 1.5 hour hike from the valley floor below, but two years ago a dirt road was put in to access the area, and Richards thought it was better to act now than wait any longer.

Although Richards purchased the land, depending upon funding from Mountain Spirit, the organization could become involved if the board thinks it would like to expand operations in Peru by offering a basecamp. Regardless, The Richards will enact conservation  and stewardship practices, maintaining the protecting the area from further development by possibly purchasing additional acreage or seeking others willing to put the land into protection. The location is particularly special and deserves protection from hotel interests that have been interested in the area. The area us currently used for farming, and the couple will encourage their “Peruvian family”, the Sanchez family to add the parcel to their nearby fields.

Peru'09-Huaraz-TaiChiLand

Tai Chi on Land near Hauraz, Peru

Says Richards, originally of Sunapee, NH, “I never thought I’d be purchasing land in Peru, but the time and situation seemed right.” He added, “It has a special spirit of the place,” which would be a appropriate for an organization called “Mountain Spirit”.