Posts Tagged ‘Mountain Spirit Insititute’

The Pursuit of Happiness

12/12/2013
Read 10 practices to a happier you

Read 10 practices to a happier you

This recent Outside Magazine article shows what many of us already have known, but is confirmed here again – That not only living a healthy lifestyle contributes to happiness, one can literally create new neuro-pathways in the brain, (and you can actually change your DNA) by practice uplifting behavior and exercises.

Launch the new year with these simple, life-improving strategies.
From Outside Magazine,  January 2014
The tendency to be happy or not is an inherited trait, but the good news is that this is less than half the story. According to a 2012 study of identical and fraternal twins conducted by a team of scientists from top universities around the world, only about a third of our happiness level is determined by genes. The rest is up to us.

Destination: Your center

Destination: Your center

Looking for drivers of well-being, the researchers zeroed in on a gene that aids in the transport of the neurotransmitter serotonin. In the biochemistry of mood, serotonin plays a role much like the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, bringing brightness and cheer, and regulates stress levels, sleep, and pain, among other things. The study found that those who’d inherited longer variations of -the gene had a slight increase in overall happiness, but surveys of the twins suggested that genes get only a minority vote when it comes to mood.

Other research indicates that how happy you are can influence the ways your genes are expressed. In a 2013 study, researchers at UCLA and the University of North Carolina reported that happiness levels have powerful effects on genes and our health. But there was a catch: the specific kind of happiness mattered a lot. The unselfishly happy, whose feelings of well-being involved a deep sense of purpose in life, had a strong expression of antiviral and antibody genes.

Happy hedonists, meanwhile, wrapped up in materialistic pleasures, had weaker immune systems, resulting in inflammation that can lead to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. “Even pleasures that seem virtuous, like looking at a sunset, can be hedonistic, because they involve one’s own emotional gratification,” explains UCLA professor of medicine Steven Cole, the senior author of the study. “The real distinction is whether your happiness is tied into purpose and meaning outside yourself.”

Bottom line: like so many things, how happy you are comes down to how you choose to live your life. We’ve rounded up the latest beta on how to show your DNA who’s boss.

1. Rise with the Sun
Most adults require seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Less than that and we’re crankier, dumber, sicker, and even fatter. But that’s no excuse to sleep in.
Read the rest of this story…

One of the best resources I’ve used over the years is the audio presentation by C.W. Metcalf, Lighten Up, available at Nightengale-Conant

NZ Alpine Club’s Nice Cover Shot

10/08/2012

New Zealand Alpine Club‘s Climber magazine, sports John Taficuk climbing the Temple Buttress at Temple Basin on the South Island at Arthur’s Pass.  What do you think?

Mixed (?) climbing on New Zealand’s South Island

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

The Ugly American Turns Beautiful

18/09/2011

Outsourced - A great source for cultural awareness

Outsourced
By R Richards
Says one movie critic about the movie Outsourced, “It does for cultural differences with humor, what ‘Crash’ did with intensity and violence.” I found it to be a wonderful treatise on the Ugly American turned good. Using the metaphor of outsourcing, Yankees are forced, through humor, to reassess the American way of life.  According to United States Government Accountability Office, about 28 percent of the U.S. population has a passport, and the main character in Outsourced is no different. But he eventually awakens with his first trip to India to learn not only about a rich country, but about himself.  See this movie.

Outsourced is a modern day comedy of cross-cultural conflict and romance. Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton) spends his days managing a customer call center in Seattle until his job, along with those of the entire office, are outsourced to India. Adding insult to injury, Todd must travel to India to train his new replacement. As he navigates through the chaos of Bombay and an office paralyzed by constant cultural misunderstandings, Todd yearns to return to the comforts of home. But it is through his team of quirky yet likable Indian call center workers, including his friendly and motivated replacement, Puro (Asif Basra), and the charming, opinionated Asha (Ayesha Dharker), that Todd realizes that he too has a lot to learn – not only about India and America, but about himself. He soon discovers that being outsourced may be the best thing that ever happened to him.

See the Trailer

Outsourced debuted with its world premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, and following a successful run at festivals around the world, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, the production company behind Outsourced, has chosen to distribute the film independently in select theaters around the US and on DVD

New Hydroponics: Urban Vegie Gardens

18/09/2011

Is the Future Hydroponics?

O’Hare Aeroponic Garden Provides Fresh Produce to Airport Eateries
From: Chicago Department of Aviation
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and HMSHost are pleased to announce the grand opening of the O’Hare Urban Garden, a cutting-edge, environmentally friendly aeroponic garden located in the mezzanine level of Terminal 3, G Concourse.
“On behalf of the City of Chicago and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we are delighted to open the world’s first airport aeroponic garden at O’Hare and invite passengers to take a few minutes to visit the calming garden and learn more about this unique and earth-friendly type of gardening,” said CDA Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. Read the rest of this story…

Editor’s Note: It seems the Juice Plus company is behind this technology, (or at least has marketing rights) and will be rolling it out to distributors sometime in the next year. While I’m not a huge fan of MLM companies, (Juice Plus says it’s not multi-level) I have been taking Juice Plus for years, so expect their Hydroponics to be something worth looking into.

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)

Your Food Supply #18: Organic Beef

21/08/2010

Meet Linda & Jeff Mannix of Durango, Colorado. They’re Texas Longhorn cattle ranchers and suppliers of good organic beef. They own The Santa Rita Ranch. According to their website, they “raise a reputation herd of full-blood, registered Texas Longhorn cattle on their Santa Rita Ranch near Durango, Colorado. They range free in lush mountain meadows in the spring, summer and fall, and are fed locally-grown hay during the winter months. Market steers are finished at the ranch on the Animas River with hay, vitamins and minerals, and nutrient-rich, local brewer’s grain”

I shot this footage at the Durango Farmer’s Market. I think you’ll like it.

MSI Director on MSI’s Forward Direction

15/08/2010

Mountain Spirit Institute Director Cindy Heath talks about MSI’s proactive attitude about new programs, and action steps we’re taking to offer more programs next year.

The Little Pika & Global Warming

03/08/2010

How Global Warming is effecting the Pika, a High Altitude Rock Dweller.
Photographer Wendy Shattil of Denver, Colorado gets great shots in the name of nature. Learn about her efforts to capture and document, on camera, endangered species for future generations.  I talk with her about the pika, a rodent in the rabbit family, who can’t go any higher as the temperatures rise in our mountain environment.

Be sure and check out her amazing images on her website.

A Children’s Yoga Adventure

17/07/2010

Snatam Kaur offers ‘Shanti the yogi’ – A yoga adventure for children in Lebanon, NH

Discover how much fun Yoga can be for your children with Snatam Kaur. Through imaginative stories, songs, mantras in motion and Yoga exercises especially for children, Snatam takes kids on a Yoga adventure. Magically woven into the adventure, Snatam conveys basic yogic principals to give kids the tools to be peaceful inside, and in their lives. Parents are welcome. Begin your child`s Yoga practice today.

Mantras for children

Wednesday, September 1st, 3:30 pm at the Carter Community Building, 1 Campbell Street, Lebanon, NH.
Cost is $10 per person. Parents, Kids’ Yoga teachers and children of all ages are welcome! Pre-registration is requested.

• Create a Fun Experience of Yoga for children
• Teach children mantras and songs for self esteem and happiness
• Teach basic yogic principals for a peaceful child and future leader of tomorrow.

A yoga adventure

The workshop is modeled after Snatam’s children’s yoga DVD “Shanti the Yogi – Mountain Adventure” and features music from Snatam’s newly released children’s album “Feeling Good Today!”  Snatam Kaur takes you on an adventure of Yoga, singing, and play with Shanti the Yogi. Snatam Kaur’s story-telling is woven through with beautiful illustrations, a Yoga and movement class and her joy-filled music. This is a children’s yoga adventure that parents are sure to love too! This is the first time that Snatam Kaur’s children’s Yoga workshop is held in New Hampshire.

Space is limited so pre-registration is requested.

To find out more or register, please contact us at Mountain Spirit Institute
Tel:  603-763-2668 or Email:  Amanda@mtnspirit.org