-a journey of heart vibration-

Ubuntu: I am because you are; you are because I am
 
It is always fascinating, sometimes baffling and continuously mystifying to me, that out of the billions of people; two leggeds, four leggeds, winggeds, rocks, plants, bodies of water, insects and all sentient beings in this EXTRAORDINARY UNIVERSE, how is it we connect with those that we connect with???  LIFE iS A GIFT!!!
 
Wing Tip of Giant South African BirdWhat a surreal experience, to climb aboard a giant bird/airplane, and 15 hours later, set foot upon unfamiliar Earth Space.  This is exactly what manifested for me in September.  The “unfamiliar” Earth Space? South Africa!!!  ….AND it was Spring!!!!
 
I was called to South Africa to participate in the Global Gathering of Peace/Sound Chambers inspired by the visionary, Native American Sage, Joseph Rael- Beautiful Painted Arrow. (Seeds of Peace Chant)
 
The seeds of this South African manifestation were planted in July of 2011 when I played Native American Flutes at the last Global Gathering held in Pennsylvania’s own Birdsong Peace Chamber!  I met Fritz and Elba Duminy, the keepers of the Wind Walker Chamber in South Africa, at the Pennsylvania gathering, and these gentle hearts were inspired to create a concert of World Music at the gathering in South Africa.  Looky what we all manifested!!!  
 
I struggle and am not exactly sure how to express the multitude of experiences and lives touched while in South Africa via verbiage.   I am aware that this beautiful tapestry has been transformed, enriched, enlightened, sobered, moved, heartened, inspired and filled with creative flow, by all that was experienced.  LIFE MOVES! LOVE MOVES!…What remains?

The Earth Space called South Africa!  

It is Spring in South Africa and the multitude of sensational winggeds/birds are building spectacular nests and singing their little hearts out…some all through the night!  The crickets carry on at a speedy tempo; much faster than the crickets in Pennsylvania or Colorado.  The billions of ants are unearthing the red red Earth and are busy toiling about.  The landscapes are varied and thirst for water, the flowering trees and bushes are popping with magnificent odiferous blooms and greenery!!!.
 
The wisteria outside my room smelled so divine that it sent me reeling from the romantic heady aroma!  MMMM!  Ah…and the BEES…..the variety and numbers of bees buzzing in the wisteria created  joyful Spring symphonic accompaniment to the birdsong!  Johannesburg is a high altitude volcanic plateau…HA! …this means they take the oxygen in during the day, just like Colorado.wink  The air was dry and the sun shone every day.  The evenings cooled off just like a dessert plain!  Sister Moon, in her sliver of crescent, hangs at a perceived angle where she grins like the Cheshire Cat of Alice in Wonderland!  The stars are unknown to these eyes…Where did the big dipper go? I think I saw the Southern Cross!wink  True to my nature, I explored, looked, smelled, listened to, tasted and touched everything I happened upon, adding it ALL to my tapestry! 
 

Walking with the Elders

Outside the Peace ChamberLIFE consistently seems to place my manifestation (Elder in training…HA!) alongside the Elders.  I have been absolutely blessed with Amazing Wise Teachers along LIFE’s journey and gratitude is left in the wake of enlightenment.   Ever since I was a wee lassie, Wise Elders have influenced and guided my life…quite profound upon reflection!  So, finding myself in South Africa, in tune with what LIFE does FOR me, I walked with the Elders of the Peace/Sound Chambers and there was transmutation of wisdom and love through our sharing, connecting, eating, various activities and council sessions.
 
Gong BathAmong the incredible nurturing and enlightening actions and events that Elba and Fritz created and arranged for this gathering, was the GONG BATH, facilitated by a calm and lovely being called Grant Smith.  A GONG BATH is a gorgeous sound journey that both relaxes and energizes.  To quote Santana “music (sound) changes our molecular structure”. smiley
 
Another transforming and beautiful collective experience, was a condensed form of Biodanza, facilitated by Elba and Fritz.  Biodanza, in a “nut shell”, is a communal and personal means of guided dance, music and movement, out of our “habit nature” and into our “true nature”; releasing our habit nature and noticing where we are stuck, and embodying the flow of our true nature in the NOW.  There was much collective wisdom shared after both of these experiences…I was incredibly touched, disturbed and moved by the Biodanza experience…AND after my own “dust” settled, Gratitude ensued.  
 
Here is an excellent website with a wonderful explanation of Biodanza.
 
I had the pleasure and opportunity to make heart connections and create amazing vibrations with Musicians, a special Poet and a Heart Centered Community throughout the gathering.  Fritz had envisioned and created a musical venue, complete with an evening of delicious traditional South African culinary delights, for the Elders of the Chambers, he and Elba’s South African Community, local Musician Friends and myself.   It was a beautiful, pulsing, vibrating, tasty, connecting energetic night of Manifesting Creativity!  WHAT FUN!  
 

Botshabelo-A place of heart, refuge, learning and loving…

There were so many moments that my heart was deeply touched in South Africa, and the experience of intertwining tapestries with over 125 glowing hearted toddlers, children and teens at the Botshabelo orphanage in South Africa, made this open heart soar like an Eagle!  When the day at Botshabelo came to a final resting point, I thought to myself…Ahhh this is why I am in South Africa…purpose, meaning, healing, connecting, loving the wee ones!  Hindsight…a great teacher! wink
As many of you know, I work with sound vibration-healing at Hospice in Pennsylvania, and in the 1990’s I worked for 2 ½ years as a music therapist with “special needs” children.  I was thrilled to re-enliven the music therapy skills and include the meditation skills that have been developed throughout my life bringing playful, mindful, healing energy to the beautiful beings at Botshabelo.  We created gorgeous expressive art to flute music, made percussive music with our bodies and created wonderful, improvised, rhythmic body music, accompanied by flute melodies.  Flowing from their beings and off the floor, the teenagers composed impressive polyrhythms!  This improvisation was spectacular!!!…I told them that we “needed to take the show on the road”!   I demonstrated and played the Polynesian Nose Flute, Several Native American flutes and the orchestral silver flute for the kids, their teachers and their caretakers.  The younger bunch helped me breath life into the Low pitched C- Grandmother- Native American flute, thus relaxing their beautiful sweet bodies.  I guided the older kids through an empowerment and relaxation meditation.  Our tapestries will forever be intertwined, as will the memories of the beauty we all created together, rest joyfully in my heart.  I made a special connection to a little boy named Gopolang.  Gopolang loves animals, as I do, and he dreams of becoming a veterinarian!  He attended 4 out of the 5 music sessions and was the first child to greet me with a loving embrace upon my arrival.  I hope that we will stay in touch via his teacher’s e-mail.smiley
The Generous Cloete Family at Botshabelo, traded a life of comfort and ease and now takes in children who have experienced unimaginable trauma and disease.  They feed, house, clothe, educate, and through the Alchemy of LOVE, help to transform their suffering. The community that is Botshabelo, one day at a time, is barely able to stay afloat with donations from the community and “governmental subsidies”.  I made a monetary donation as well as the gift of my energy, love and skills.  A wonderful way of gifting for the Holidays would be to support Botshabelo with a donation in someone’s name.  Because I have been there, I know they are legitimate, honest and heart centered in their efforts to be a “part of the solution” for the Suffering of Children in this World.  …AND the U.S. Dollar goes a very long way in South Africa!  If you feel moved to donate or know of someone who would like to help, please contact Nicole Cloete and let her know that I referred you.smiley  Nicole has given me the following options for donation.  I recommend wiring the funds and paying the fee to wire, as the post office in South Africa is unreliable.  One still needs ALL the information below to wire funds to Botshabelo.

Option 1:

banking details are as follows:
BOTSHABELO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TRUST
FIRST NATIONAL BANK 
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 62036709527
BRANCH  CODE: 250241
SWIFT ADDRESS: firnzajj

Option 2:

Posting a cheque:
It would have to be made out to 
Botshabelo Community Development Trust
P O BOX 438
MAGALIESBURG
1791
GAUTENG 
SOUTH AFRICA 
 
She writes: “People can also follow us on Facebook under my name, Nicole Cloete and am wearing a brown t-shirt and a brown cap, just to see daily posts on what's happening on the village.”
 
Nicole Cloete-Botshabelo
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
P.O. Box 438
Magaliesburg 1791
South Africa
+27 72 725 0899
 

Lions and Elephants and Sables….OH MY!!!

What would memoirs of South Africa be without the telling of the amazing beasties and birdies seen, heard and smelled? So the morning that I landed in South Africa, Fritz and Elba whisked a guest and me off to the Rino and Lion nature reserve!  The first taste of partially wild Africa! surprise  My eyes took in baby cheetahs, white rhinoceros, tawny and white majestic lions and lionesses, White and Orange Bengal Tigers (from India), a baby rhino, hippopotamus, a serval (in a cage), wild beautifully spotted dogs, herds of gnu, springbuck, red hartebeest, blesbuck, Impala, zebra, eland, waterbuck, sable antelope, gemsbok, adorable warthogs, kudu, two giraffe, one large and very serious looking cape buffalo, several ostrich, a secretary bird, marabou stork, a white stork, white egrets, weavers and quick moving mongoose…and MORE… Amazing four leggeds and wingeds!  It makes me sad to know that humans have encroached upon so much land, used so many resources, destroy Earth and beings in our wars and are responsible for devastating wildlife populations…LionAND…I am ever so grateful for those human beings who work so hard to preserve the beauty of Earth and ALL her sentient beings!  
 
It is such a SMALL SMALL WORLD; So while in Turkey, I met a lovely spirit, Alex, from South Africa, on a tour of Ephesus, and we connected in South Africa!  Alex was born in Ethiopia and is of Italian descent…the world is filled with a mixture of loveliness eh!  Alex very generously introduced me to “his” South Africa. He and his brother, Chez, took me to an Artisan Market, where I utilized my bartering skills.surprise  After the Artisan Market, the three of us set off to the Bull ElephantPilanesberg National Park Reserve.  One never knows what one will encounter in the Wilds of a National Park in Africa…it is important to stay “in the vehicle” unless you have a desire to merge with a lion or become pancaked by an Elephant!!!surprise  I was told some gruesome stories…EEWWWW!!!  We did in fact, have the opportunity to see Wild Elephants up close and personal…THRILLING!  Elephants are so Magnificent!  Their very presence and lilting gait is calming and awe inspiring!  We also saw many of the animals listed above in this wild environment…AND we came upon LIONS!   I saw a flock of Paradise Wydah birds and a pair of Southern Carmine Bee Eater birds fling through the open sky!  Gorgeous winggeds with long lofty tail feathers!  I only know what they were named, because I looked them up right away in the wonderful handbook of the Plainesberg Reserve!  surprise  I captured the image of a huge Yellowbilled Hornbill in photographs too.   The landscapes were varied types of Savannas; unique to Africa!  I really appreciated the cacti,Southern Masked Weaver various thorn bushes and thorn trees…vegetation that adapted to survive through drought and vegetation and that feeds enormous Elephants!!!  The emerging flowers on the trees and Earth smelled divine and were “eye candy” to behold.”
Southern Masked Weaver
 
I must share the story of the Southern Masked Weaver, as both Elba and Fritz delighted in telling the tale to me.  The male, a bright yellow bird with a black mask and black markings on his wings, works very hard to build a gorgeous nest for his mate.  I saw these nests delicately hanging from branches, and the hard working Masked Weaver Males, all over Acacia Bushthe place!  I even have gorgeous close up photos to share with you!  The female weaver, olive in coloration for camouflage, flies into the nest to make inspections before nesting, and if she does not like “the color of the kitchen” she tears the whole nest apart…an interesting take on “natural selection” eh! surprise
 
Executioner BirdI was told that the Puffbacked Shrike also known as the Executioner Bird, skewers insects on the thorns of the Acacia Trees and eats them when he is hungry.  This bird is a beautiful black and white delicate looking bird…and I am sharing a photo that I captured, of a Puffy Shrike! surprise
Elephant
 
My last morning in South Africa, Ian, a lovely being and excellent massage therapist and I visited the Elephant Sanctuary where we stood in the awesome presence of a couple of Gentle Giants and their humans.  We had the opportunity to brush the Elephants, walk with hand in trunk, feed them and touch their soft soft tongues.  The guide gave us a very interesting tutorial on African Elephants.  Their front feet are rounded and their back feet are oval shaped.  They walk on their toes and therefore are silent giants…I made the connection with the ballerina Elephants in Disney’s Fantasia…Ah HA!  They have six sets of teeth in a lifetime and when the last pair falls out they slowly die from starvation.  African Elephants have huge ears to keep them cool and the Lisamarie and Elephantmales and females have tusks.  The African Elephants are the largest Elephant species on Earth.  They are vegetarians and they manage to direct the thorny acacia tree branches in one direction, with the fingers on their trunk, before chomping down on a mouthful.  This way they avoid being pricked by the thorns.  Clever and adaptive eh!  Elephants are family oriented and have excellent memories.  They even travel miles to visit their ancestors!  This hominid beast (me) reveled in the gentle energetic field of these giant beasts!  What an experiential gift! 
 

Maropeng- The Cradle of Humankind World heritage Site and Sterkfontein Caves:

“Maropeng” is a Setswana word meaning “returning to the place of origin”.  Alex wisked me off one day, and we experienced the Maropeng Museum and the Sterkfontein Caves, where Paleontologists have discovered hominoids older than “Lucy”!!!! WOW!   We are talking billions of years old!!!   HMMM what is time anyway?  My cerebral cortex can’t seem to wrap itself around the concept of time???  
 
So, Africa is the Cradle of Humankind and there is something deeply profound about this…
 
The Maropeng museum is a wonderfully interactive kid friendly place, to learn about our human origins and experience what we are doing to our Earth home.  The museum exhibits also offer suggestions for being part of the solution; creating wellness and balance for our interconnected species and environment.  Enlightening, Depressing and Encouraging! Alex and I really enjoyed exploring the Sterkfontein Caves where the latest oldest hominids were found.  The caves themselves were gorgeous, cool, decorated with stalactites and stalagmites…AND there was an underground fresh water lake that was miles and miles deep…I forgot how deep? :o  The water was incredibly clear and still, and the reflection from the top of the caves gave the illusion that it was the cave that went down deep deep!  It took both Alex and I some time to realize that we were looking at a reflection in water.  HA!  What is real?  
 
After our exciting day of “going down deep” into Earth and enjoying the gorgeous landscapes around Maropeng, Alex took me to a funky, ENORMOUS, modern, indoor city called Montecasino!  We enjoyed an excellent delicious diner of INDIAN cuisine, under the painted ceiling stars. HA!  Speaking of Indian cuisine…HMMM or completely off topic…kind of…Gandhi had his first epiphany in South Africa and Satagraha (peaceful resistance) was born, when he was thrown off a train for being a “second class citizen”…It seems that the World travels have circled back around to some other kinds of Origins eh! :o  I wonder what would be experienced if the Entire Universe remembered it’s Origins? :o  Is there a beginning?  Is there an Ending?  HMMM Or simply a beautiful continuum!   surprise
 
South Africa FlagThe Apartheid Museum- Intense, encouraging, sobering, inspiring…COMPLEX…
 
I have been intrigued by the life of Nelson Mandela and his journey for a couple of decades now.  It was a special experience to learn more about this amazing Man’s life.  I did not realize how furiously angry Mandela was prior to his imprisonment, and being on a Zen journey myself, can see how transformative and beneficial his 26 years of imprisoned silence was to his awakening and to the efficacy of ending Apartheid.  
 
Here is a decent biography of Nelson Mandela
 
HMMM Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Riene Eisler……..  I have spent a good deal of time, out of curiosity and an intuitive pull to learn about human figures, Earth history, animals and plants, the science of vibration and our human movement throughout “time”.  We are all so interdependent and seem to be cycling back to the same point, on one hand, and on the other hand, there seems to be a profound awakening unfolding.  When I reflect on the very first Paleolithic hominids that grew from our Earth in Africa, the settlement of Neolithic Catal Huyuk in Turkey, the Intellectual Historic interpretation of Riane Eisler’s Chalice and the Blade, the lives of Gautauma Buddha, of Jesus, of Mohamed, of Mevlana Jalal al-din Rumi, of Walt Whitman, of Maya Angelou, of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, of Gandhi, of Dr. Martin Luther King, of Nelson Mandela, of Adyashanti, of Shuzen Sensei Harris, of Thay, of Dorothy Miller, of Max Piaseck, of Judith Underwood, of Lew Grothe, of Judy Lavezzi, of Myself, of the Myriad of interconnected beings and this movement called Life…a deep and profound sense of AWE washes over me! 

LIFE IS A GIFT…

SunsetDeepfelt gratitude to Elba, Fritz, Tom, Kristen, Vic, Ruth, Christina, Andrew, Felicity, Sammye Jo, Ian, Curt, Alex, Chez, Molly, Norman, Vaughn, Jill, Hudson, Mattz and his cuttie-pattutti daughter, Nicci, Grant,Teresa, Shlomit, Marion, Nicole, (the Cloete family) Pauline, ALL the gorgeous light beings at Botshabelo, the Wind Walker Community and the Magnificence that is SOUTH AFRICA….

 
Merci Beaucoup, for the intertwining of tapestries, the generous hearts, the love, the experiences, the transmutation of wisdom, the gifts of yourselves and the Spectacular Sunrise over New York!
 
In Peace, Love and Beauty,
 
Lisamarie