Zen, the Sacred Drift and the Buffalo People

ZEN, THE SACRED DRIFT AND THE BUFFALO PEOPLE

August 19th, 2015; Typing here and now, in the Rapid City, South Dakota Sacred-Home-Space of Kenna Eddy, with a soft friendly feline at my feet, MIND spins…Where do I begin??? …Where do I end??? :o))) … So many beautiful experiences and intertwining threads sewn lovingly into this tapestry! Impossible to relate the enrichment and depth through the written word! Imagine the difficulty of trying to shackle the ineffable profundity of one’s experiences with words. Perhaps these words will be only a crumb, a morsel, of the totality of these experiences to chew on. So I give you a mere taste…

Constant dissolving seems to be a center piece of this two-legged’s life, and eight days ago (August 9, 2015), this dissolving brought me “smack-dab” to “Center” with the Sacred Black Hills of Turtle Island, in a territory called South Dakota! At first, I thought that it was the Zen Peacemakers Native American Bearing Witness Retreat that landed me in the Black Hills, to bear witness to the Story of the indigenous peoples of this Earth Space. Yes, this was part of the unfolding…AND…there was sooooo much more…

A beautiful being in this LIFE, Gosan Taido, prayed this, in a Sweat Lodge, on the Birdsong Peace Chamber Land in Pennsylvania, this past Spring; “…What is Zen? Simple…simple…Infinite gratitude to all things past, Infinite service to all things present and Infinite responsibility to all things Future.”

…and so, answering a visionary calling, there is now “Sacred Drifting”…blowing where Spirit Wind takes me and being of service…WITH…I might add, the incredible support of Community, Family, Loves, Sacred Beings along the WAY and Universe…ALL the Woven Glorious Golden Threads of this Sacred Tapestry. Life is a GIFT!

So, this Songbird, Jane-Honda a.k.a. the Red Pony, the inspirational poetry of David Whyte, Dharma talks, Pimsleur French lessons, music, camping gear, instruments and as much as the ol’ Pony could cart, departed from the Pennsylvania Earth-space on August 4th …heading West…

This Earth Drive is SPECTACULAR!!! The terrain through Western Pennsylvania is filled with luscious deciduous forest hugging the peaks and valleys of the Allegany Mountain Range, pristine hilly farmland, the soaring of healing Hawks and graceful Turkey Vultures, and Mighty-Mighty-Colorful Semi-Trucks carting things to and fro… I found the truckers to be quite the gentleman drivers. There appears to be a trucking culture of respect and courtesy and I only witnessed one “crazy-ass” truck driver the whole way! Now that is impressive, eh!

Destination one; Cleveland, Ohio! I stayed overnight with lovely and hospitable Uncle Bill, Auntie Lynn and the four legged handsome canine in their care…OOOO and I had the opportunity to see cousin Heather and her two adorable children, Fox and Navy… a first time connection! ;o))) What a pleasure! Our family is one of many beauteous extensions of cultures, blood, non-blood, challenges, generosity, wisdom and spirit…When I reflect on the beauty of this diverse family, gratitude warms the Heart.

August 5th, Jane-Honda-Red Pony and I headed out for the charming farming community of Three Rivers, Michigan and was welcomed with warm generosity and nurturing energies in this glorious Earth Space, by Christina Cusumano, a Spirit-Sista’ ExtraOrdinare and …ahem…an “elder in training” of the Earth Song Peace Chamber Community…Christina does not seem old enough to be an elder and yet, is wise in her being and simply looks fabulous! I honor her!

Part of the “Calling” a.k.a. “Sacred Drift” is to locate and spend time giving one-on-one Sound Journeys in the Earth Spaces where the Peace/Sound Chambers, envisioned by Mystic Native American, Joseph Rael-Beautiful Painted Arrow, have been built…Bridging…Threading…these sacred sites around the World. Christina and I worked together to manifest this, as she was secretary for the Elder Council of Chambers and held all the available addresses and contact information.

Earth Song Peace Chamber is a cozy, tranquil, intimate, nurturing Earth-chamber where sacred chanting and ceremony take place. There are dance arbors for the Sun-Moon, Drum, Long Dance and other Dances on most of the Peace Chamber lands. I was honored to give Sound Journeys to three delightful and amazing Women in the Earth Song Chamber, and ALL Sentient LIFE joined in the Song and Dance of Vibration through the open door! Exceptional!!! Vibrating…Balancing…Embracing…Listening…Spirit-Dancing…Healing…Peace-ing…

It is necessary and important to “empty” myself …”become the purified tiny hallow bone”…before giving sound journeys. Sometimes this manifests in Zazen, and other times it manifests through running upon Sacred Earth… HA!!!...and, sometimes both!!! :o))) This is what I did in Three Rivers, MI … AND … WOW!!! I ran through active producing fields of soybeans and corn and resting fields. Hmmm the wisdom of wise farmers…resting Earth interspersed with active, producing Earth! There was sun and Big Open Blue Sky, sounds of hawks and soaring hawks…Healing and Being…

The Hawks stirred a flock of Trumpeter Swans from a resting field of yellow and brown. The sounds they made were wild and frightened! These winged beings were large and white with a brownish-red tint around their long thick necks. Marvelous!

August 7th…the Red Pony a.k.a. Jane Honda and this motivated Songbird, moved off into the wee hours of the morning; 5:30am towards Sioux Falls, South Dakota; a voyage that took 14 hours of travel time across more amazing landscape. As the dawn’s early light kissed the land and sky, a veiled mist snaked around the crops, and I said aloud, “there is an adventure to be had today!” OOOOh…MY..MY…what Beauty… A couple of elegant wingeds flew before me, named Sand Hill Cranes!!! My heart jumped for joy, as I took in the sight, and remembered all the Sacred Sand Hill Crane Dances danced with the Birdsong Peace Chamber Community in Pennsylvania. Hey! Hey Tom and Kristen…I take you with me, mes cheres!

So, voyaging across Earth Spaces like this makes me giggle sometimes. We two leggeds love Love LOVE to name things, ourselves and places, and we position imaginary boundaries around Earth Spaces and call them cities or states or regions or towns or counties or territories … or MINE and YOURS. This MIND has never really comprehended this, and experiences Earth as a flow without boundaries. Driving along a super highway, across Earth, and seeing the landscape morph from region to region, in no way separates or boxes Earth in this MIND. I wonder if the Ant-Nations do this?

I had entertaining thoughts while driving this 14 hour adventure from Three Rivers Michigan, through Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and landing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; the Ant Nation and the Human Nation are mirrors of each other. ‘How so’, you say? Well, the two-leggeds are constantly building cities, roads, transporting goods across Earth and Oceanic spaces, storing food in silos and gathering resources from the depths of the Earth Mother, then hauling it up to the surface to consume. When natural or man-made destruction occurs, the two-leggeds rebuild, and so do the Ant Nations. The Ant Nations, which, by the way, is one of the most abundant life forms on Earth, build ant-cities, super-ant-highways and gather resources from the surface of the Earth and transports these resources underground. The Ant Nation has a much better “track record” when it comes to recycling and being in harmony with Mother Earth though. Heee, so that is where this MIND goes when traveling long distances…who knew? ;o))) HA!!! Ant Nations and Two-Leggeds also seem to enjoy Warfare, except Ants seem a bit cleverer. I just looked up this fascinating website on ants and such; http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150211-whats-the-most-dominant-life-form

With so many hours to practice Shikantaza and “rolling” Zazen, I enjoyed some Silence and then taking in some favorite “tunes” of a 4 hour MP-3 mix I had made. I sat…hmmm… rode the Red Pony and pondered over the paradox of the songs; Dust in the Wind by the group Kansas, Hands by Jewel and Michael Buble’s Feeling Good, to mention a few. I had the sense that doing this “pilgrimage” to the Zen Peacemaker’s Native American Bearing Witness Retreat, exactly in this way, was pertinent…fitting…appropriate...important to the Calling. I imagined what it was like for indigenous peoples to be forced Westward and eventually onto Reservations, and embodied this. Then, I imagined what it was like for the poor immigrants of Ireland, England, and other parts of Europe to move West, after given governmental permission, to settle in a very unfamiliar land, and, embodied this. I imagined what it was like for cavalrymen who “worked” under, what I understand was a tyrannical and dominating government, and I embodied this. Many two-leggeds, four-leggeds, wingeds, and Earth Spaces suffered and died as a result of the actions of the “American Government”. I remember growing up with stories of settlers moving West and needing to throw their ‘possessions’ off the Conestoga wagons to lighten the loads; of the Irish who experienced their own desolation in the great potato famine in Ireland, and finding Earth Spaces in North America to build families and livelihoods; of the Cherokee Nation being forced to move out of Tennessee towards Oklahoma and beyond in the dead of Winter, and most dying from Small Pox infected blankets; of how the Cherokee Nation broke off into two different Nations-One keeping their traditions and the other adopting a more European model of living, which included creating a unique written language, wearing European clothing and owning black slaves; of the Cheyenne Massacre; of Custer’s defeat in the Battle of the Big Horn; of the Massacre at Wounded Knee; of the poor treatment and discrimination towards the Chinese who worked the railroads; of how human beings/two-leggeds have acted out throughout our histories in attempts to dominate Earth and other Sentient Beings. AND…what is continuing to move through our World TODAY!!!

Yes, ALL of this ran through MIND as I was making the pilgrimage to Rapid City, South Dakota. We embody it all; the polluted rivers and the ones who pollute the rivers; the Earth and those who dominate her…ALL of it!

Then I took a deep breath and said aloud, the Three Tenants of the Zen Peacemakers, and felt a lightening of being/spirit, aware of the Here and Now.

  1. Not-knowing, by giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe.
  2. Bearing Witness, to the joy and the suffering of the world.
  3. Taking Loving Action that arises from first two tenants of Not-knowing and Bearing Witness.

I reveled in the beautiful lush Mountains of Minnesota and this Heart did a happy leap to see the ‘herds of Wind turbines’ dotting the Earth-scape in Minnesota and parts of South Dakota. Wow! Yes! There are ALL kinds of ‘grass-roots’ movements that bring our World and Universe into balance!!!

These days, it is incredibly easy to travel across what the Oglala Lakota Nation and other First Nations call “Turtle Island” (North America)! I love the Native American saying, “The turtle crawls the red, red Earth, going nowhere, in plenty of time.” The rest stops were filled with lovely two-leggeds, tiny two-leggeds and four-leggeds exuberant to get out of the mechanical horses and stretch their legs. ;o))) There were clean places to relieve a full bladder and fill the water bottles up, and these rest-stops had beautiful plantings, trees and wild-life placards posted. More gratitude filled this Heart!

August 7th, 7:30pm, I arrived into the gracious, generous embrace of Spirit Sista’, Karen Johnson, and her Jasper Stone B & B, located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota! What unfolded in the next few days ‘blew this MIND’!!! First of all, Sioux Falls is a beautiful treasure of a town. It has a developed artistic and musical community, a sensational breathtaking 20 mile bike trail around the city that includes the wondrous falls…thus the name of the Earth Space, Sioux Falls, a lovely little Sushi restaurant operated by a Japanese “mom and pop”, as well as other recommended culinary destinations! Ahhh, Then, there is my Spectacular Spirit Sista’, Karen Johnson! I found myself completely nurtured by her, and the space I occupied in her Gorgeous Jasper Stone B & B! Karen gifted me with maps, directions, special tea, driving recommendations to Rapid City, touching connecting conversations, and she is one of my supportive Sponsors of the ZPM Bearing Witness Retreat! Merci Beaucoup Cherie! We had a blast together! I connected with two of her guests, staying at the Jasper Stone. We held deep conversation over a delicious breakfast, and I was moved to offer them and Karen a Sound Journey! It was powerful and private, so I will not relay the details. This Great Mystery of LIFE is such a Gift and Incredibly touching!!!

August 9th, after “tearing myself away” from Karen with such warmth in my Heart-Space, there was departing towards Rapid City with recommendations for a more scenic pilgrimage from Karen, and this is some of what was experienced…

Driving along highway 44 to 18 and back to 44, taking in some of the beauty of the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservation land…Gorgeous Hilly Prairie, green, reddish and golden grasses (the kind the Buffalo loved to munch on), Horses and Horses and Horses!!! (This Horsey Gal was in HEAVEN!) …Black Angus cows…incredible cloud formations…helpful friendly Indigenous Women at a gas station, and then the spectacular Earth Spaces of “The Bad Lands”

…Holy Cow!!! … the “Bad Land” Earth Space is maaaagnificent and otherworldly…kind of like the Earth Space of Cappadocia, Turkey, just more desert-y. Stunning absolutely STUNNING!!! I carefully took a treacherous hike up one of the loose gravely formations. Upon reaching the top, I found a breathtaking Mesa where prairie grasses and wild summer flowers flourished. It all seemed like I had been transported to a prehistoric time, and I felt like the character Ayla, from the novel, Valley of the Horses! Quite the interesting sensations!

When I arrived in Rapid City, I met the generous woman and her charming family, who opened their home to me and the “stuff” while I attended the Retreat; Shawna, Chad, Addie and Brady…

…Hmmm perhaps I will back up to share THIS incredible story! Two-Legged Generous-Hearts are ever present in this Luscious LIFE, and the Roth family is EXCELLENT!!! The ZPMO sent out an e-mail a week or so before I departed Pennsylvania, suggesting “not to leave ANY valuables in the car while on the retreat land”…AHHHH I had a quick moment of reacting…well … really … “freaking out”! The entire contents of the car were “the valuables”, as I was journeying on to the Colorado “home base” after the retreat! After a few deep breaths, I took action! I sent out an e-mail to all the family and friends around the World asking if anyone knew anyone in Rapid City that could store the valuables while I was at the retreat. What followed was delightful and a huge relief! I received a handful of eager responses and chose to contact the dear friend of Dawn, the mother of one of my darling flutie students, Bailey. So, this beautiful cyber-spirit friend, Julie, grew up in Rapid City and connected me with her dear friend, Shawna! Small World … Shawna and her family know a few of the retreat participants! Life truly is a reflection of Indra’s Web/Net! Wow! http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/04/net-of-indra.html

Back to August 9th…I quickly connected with Shawna and her darling family, unloaded “Jane Honda Pony” and then departed for the Motel 6 in Rapid City where the retreat participants would meet to go on tour the next day…

THE ZEN PEACEMAKER’S FIRST NATIVE AMERICAN BEARING WITNESS RETREAT 8/10/15 – 8/15/15

More than 200 two-leggeds gathered, from all over Grandmother Earth, to bear witness to indigenous peoples and one another, in the Black Hills of “Turtle Island” (North America). This was the first Zen Peacemakers (ZPM) Bearing Witness Retreat of its kind, and as with anything newly attempted, we all got off to a bit of a rough unorganized start. With so many practitioners attending, “patients was the order of the day”. As the week progressed, there was an UNFOLDING of incredible beauty and understanding that penetrated our very beings! This Unfolding took this Songbird’s breath away! I am pretty sure that some kind of “integration, transmission and transformation” took place deep inside my being!

August 10th; three large tour buses filled with two-leggeds departed for a tour of “The Bad Lands”, Wounded Knee and the Pine Ridge Reservation residence town. My bus mate, Mary, was delightful to connect with, and wouldn’t you know it, Shishin Roshi was sitting close to me! Shishin Roshi lives in Colorado and Shuzen Sensei, teacher from my home Sanga, Soji Zen Center, in Pennsylvania, recommended that I connect with him when I land in Colorado….Heeeee…LIFE wanted us to connect sooner! INDRA’S NET, EH! Lovely Being, Shishin Roshi is, and I looked forward to Zazen in Colorado!!!

The First Stories of the Oglala Lakota (The Buffalo People), came from our tour bus guide, White Horse. White Horse is a lawyer, school bus driver, reservation councilman, father, grandfather, and ohhhh soooo much more. HA! I thought I had a full, active life! White Horse talked a lot about the complicated Reservation government and how it did and did not work with the U.S. Government, as well as sharing some of his life experiences. It was fascinating to take in! Our bus rolled through the hilly plains of South Dakota, through parts of “The Bad Lands” and then stopped at the burial site of Wounded Knee Massacre. There were incredible vibrations of sadness and suffering at this place. Colorful tobacco prayer ties graced the chain link fence around the burial mound. Graves of Native Soldiers who fought in the civil, Vietnam and World Wars surrounded the mound as well. I was inspired to take out the Raven Bear Shamanic Flute with the Buffalo Hunt engraved on it, and sing to the Ancestors! Tuffy Sierra, Indigenous-Two–Legged-ExtaOrdinaire, and Oglala Chief, spoke his first heart-touching words to all of us, on this memorable somber Earth Space.

The buses stopped, at a beautiful small college on Pine Ridge Reservation Land, to enjoy lunch…time to nourish ourselves and make more connections with retreat participants. I reveled in the vocal timbres and accents of those around me from Israel, London, California, Wisconsin, Paris…:o)))

Distances between places are expansive here, and we did not make it to the Pine Ridge Reservation resident town as planned, as we needed to fly off to the Flandreau Santee Sioux campsite in the Sacred Black Hills. Once back in Rapid City, the Red Pony, following Shishin Roshi’s Conestoga Camper, carted Mary, her partner Mark and myself through the Magnificent Black Hills to the Flandreau Santee Sioux Land, where we set up tents at dusk. OOOO EEEE Ahhh… One of the Buses broke down and many of us pitched tent at dusk or in the dark… or not at all! Now that was an interesting experience! :o)

This Songbird found her perch at the top of a hill, overlooking the grassy floral basin surrounded by pine-tree covered mountains. This was to be my home/nest for the week! There was a fine “top-o’-the-hill village” by the next day, with 5 tents colorfully splashed upon the hill, and I grew to adore the comings and goings of our “hill Hobbit residents”! Life is such a Gift!

August 11th; 5:30am; emergence from the cozy tent into the fresh crisp air and dimly glowing light of dawn; LIFE’s rebirth! The beauty of the surroundings stuns me and I stand upon Mother Earth, breathing, viewing, smelling, absorbing and allowing the Wondrous Sacred Earth Space to envelope me. This entire “skin-bag” relaxes…softens… into its natural surroundings. As Brother Sun peeks his glow slowly over the Eastern ridge, hawk-calls pierce the air, and this Songbird, inspired to join the song, plays birdsong on the small Lakota flute. What is that? A deep mellow flute is heard…later to find out these vibrations emanated from the Magnificent Indigenous Flutist, Tiokasan! A new dawn… a new day…in duet we play…Hooray!

In the days that followed our arrival upon Sacred Earth, called Black Hills (a.k.a. The Heart of Everything that IS or The Sacred Place of the Heart), over 200 precious Hearts bore witness to powerfully moving Story. Engaging in ancient oral tradition, Indigenous Elders spoke their truths and touched us all deeply with their humor, their challenges, their deep connection to, love of, reverence for Grandmother Earth, their suffering, their pain, their intelligence, their extensive world travel and experiences, and their generous, brave and beautiful hearts! Some retreat participants, from all over Earth, had space and time to share their heart-moving stories as well! Through our communal baring witness, sharing meals, participating in sacred sunrise, pipe and vibrational ceremonies around the sacred center fire, sharing in the smaller council circles, touching the brilliant stars in the night sky with many eyes, taking in the beauty of the wildflowers and the grace of Hawks, Coyote Song and soaring vultures, giving Sound Journeys to Elders and Youngers, and so much more…,we became One-Interconnected-Being of Compassion and Heart!

When it was time for us to carry what we had learned, experienced, and what is most likely continuing to unfold, out into other Earth Spaces, I felt a depth of sadness, or more to the center, a longing for the physicality of this interconnected group, in this nurturing Earth basin of the “Heart of Everything That IS”… The Black Hills! Perhaps this longing was an essence of what the indigenous peoples felt, when others first dominated the land and they were forced to move to reservations? A longing…a je ne sait quoi?

Everyday the 200 plus two-leggeds formed smaller council circles. The council circles were extremely helpful for this heart and other lovely hearts, for processing and speaking our truths, feeling the ever-changing feelings and baring witness to the incredible movement of energies through our manifestations. All of the sharing was powerful, and the vibrational disturbance, most likely cumulative, from the Wounded Knee experience to August 12, and throughout the retreat seemed to have a deep impact on us all.

I am moved to mention the affect of the sharing on August 12th. First, an eloquent Oglala Elder spoke her truth as a biologist, leaving me, and I am pretty sure, many others deeply disturbed, regarding the Uranium mining and other Earth destroying practices throughout the Black Hills. The title of this communication being, “Peace Without Justice is Tyranny”. Then a few retreat participants shared their heavy-hearted truths! The energetic vibratory waves were quite disturbed that evening…two of the dogs were disturbed and agitated, one dog bit a participant, the sweet baby in our presence was crying, a dear teenage heart was deeply affected and aided by wise beings, and the other two-leggeds seemed to hold an intensity in their physical and spiritual presence. I too felt it strongly and needed to go for a silent solitary walk into the Black Hills! The night of August 12th, Paco, a lovely lovely Heart, invited me to play flute. Again, I was called and inspired to play the Shamanic Raven Bear Flute with the Buffalo Hunt engraving. Vibrations from Native American flutes balance the masculine and feminine energies. Some kind of mysterious transformation happened that night between the vibrations that flowed from breath through this flute, from the breath-song of my talented duet partner, Morley, and from the musicians that played through the night…I was told that Gil, a Comanche with great presence, gifted the group with beautiful guitar song into the night by the fire. This Songbird was already nested for the night. We were all much LIGHTER the next day…ahhhh…vibrational healing! GOOD MEDICINE!!! Then, the next day, August 13th, Indigenous, courageous Women of New Mexico spoke their truths and lightened our hearts even more… Ophelia, met the Dali Lama and her lightness and joy was transmitted to all of us! Thank you, lovely ONE!

“NOT KNOWING IS MOST INTIMATE” Creating a Container of Gentle Compassion and Safety

I am not going to go into depth or story about what unfolded in this retreat for a few reasons; it is impossible to really know the complete scope of a Life, and second hand stories are filled with error; some of the Elders have been threatened for speaking their truths and for what their respective line of work has uncovered with the EPA and the U.S. Government. It is important to protect their sacred lives; the complication of reservation and U.S. government laws, poverty, alcoholism and child suicide are something that one needs to bare witness to, before knowing what will arise in the form of loving action. I sense that the Zen Peacemakers will be invited back to bear witness and I recommend participation for the healing of the Earth and the Healing of ALL Sentient Beings. Zen and Indigenous Practices are ONE. After the depth of sharing, and touching Grandmother Earth so powerfully, through gifted shared ceremony, I am quite sure that each one of us, who experienced this bearing witness retreat, will be moved to share our own unique “GOOD MEDICINE” with the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.

As for me, I was willing to offer my gifts (medicine) to the children of Pine Ridge Reservation and surrounding reservations, in the form of music therapies and empowerment meditations. This Heart broke over and over, each time I heard the experiential stories of the Elders loosing their little ones through suicide. The highest child suicide rate in “North America”/Turtle Island is recorded to be on the Pine Ridge Reservation. After the retreat, I began speaking with Elders that I had been connected with, who have daughters teaching in the Reservation schools. I spent a week in Rapid City attempting to arrange music therapy sessions and what I learned is that I needed a Village to help manifest this, and a Village I did not have. It seems to be a challenging complex process.

The generations of betrayal, genocide, abuse and unimaginable trauma have left the Oglala Lakota Peoples of Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations emotionally devastated and in poverty. I have heard that different organizations have offered their apologies, and well, … MORE is required to make amends! I sense the “key to the gateless gate” will be revealed through the healing of this 7th generation; the CHILDREN! This song, by the humble and strong hearted Karine Polwart, came to mind several times throughout the testimonial sharing…especially when Anger and Deep Grief arose for the injustices, and what Sentient Beings and Earth has suffered and lost, due to our actions of domination: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3syd8kF2fVI

To touch the Well of Grief, Anger, Joy or any number of those flowing seeds in our beings, takes courage and insight. Through this ‘touching’’, is how I have experienced the deep sense of compassion, and how I have come to understand our ONENESS. This, I experienced at the ZPM retreat, being together and bearing witness in “The Heart of ALL there IS”! The Alchemy of Love!

What touched me to the core, was standing next to Grandmother White Face one morning at the Sunrise Ceremony, as she slowly bent down to touch Mother Earth while honoring the Direction of the North (Earth)! Wells of tears began to flow…YES…YES…YES…no matter what form our struggle takes, touching, honoring, connecting with Our Earth Mother heals us! The Buddha was said to have touched Earth upon his awakening! I have witnessed, in Dokusan, Shuzen Sensei Harris “swear upon Mother Earth as his witness”! Countless times in my experiential Earth Walk, it has been the connection to Grandmother Earth and All Sentient Beings that have reminded me of my true nature and place in this Cosmos.

The Prayer Pipe Ceremony the last evening of our time together threaded our lives together in unimaginable ways. My whole being liquefied! I felt such a great Love vibrating all around us! I saw the Buffalo Hunt followed by a large Elephant in the flowing smoke of the sacred fire while the Shaman was singing to the Earth and Universe! I think this occurred after I offered my prayer through the prayer pipe? I do not remember. Yes, yes… sounds odd…and yet…this is what I saw… “Not knowing is most intimate”… (good Dharma to remember and good Medicine!)

In the end, I am left with deep seeded Gratitude for the preciousness of LIFE, and for the sacred opportunity to participate and connect with the Dear Hearts of this remarkable Zen Peacemakers Bearing Witness Retreat. I would like to send a Heart-Felt acknowledgement of GRATITUDE, out to my “Tribe”/Community, who made this retreat experience and voyage possible through their generous sponsorship, love and support!

Merci Beaucoup!!!

Jingo
Rakugo
Shodo and Shoki
Bets
John K.
Elise
Linda, Jamie, & Evan
Tom and Kristen
Jane M.
Lisa
Kenny
Ted
Karen J.
PaPa
Ma Judy
Shawna, Chad, Addie, Brady, Kenna, Julie, and Dawn

Merci Beaucoup Oshin, for sending me the link to the ZPM Native American Bearing Witness Retreat all those months ago! I adore your Heart and appreciate and thank you for your Bodhisattva PRACTICE and sharing your incredible LOVE of ZEN!!! XO

Merci! Merci Beaucoup to all the organizers and staff of the Zen Peacemaker’s Organization. YOU ALL ARE EXCELLENT!!!

Merci Beaucoup to the Practioners of the Laughing Tea Bowl Sangha, for embracing me with such warmth and kindness!

Merci Beaucoup (Thank YOU very much) to all the supportive hearts around the world who support the Sacred Drift. (AND to Ginger for gifting me with this poetic phrase!)

Thank YOU, Merci Beaucoup Grandmothers White Face and Delphine for the spectacular earrings! I have received numerous complements on them! Thank you to the special anonymous being who gifted me with your mala beads. I will wear them in my Zazen and sacred ceremony!

Vibratory Blessings of Peace, Love, Light, Healing and Beauty in a Deep Cyber Gassho Bow! Namaste!

Lisamarie

I would like to offer this Intimate Cyber Gift; A performance given in Taos this past April 2015! UNIMAGINED BRIDGES!!!

Taos Chamber Music Group: East; Unimagined Bridges, by Andrea Clearfield, performed by Lisamarie McGrath –Native American Flutes and Nancy Laupheimer – transverse flute, and director of the TCMG
Photography by the illustrious Leny Foster!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXcvnCrBd8I&feature=youtu.be