‘The Land Down Unda’ …OZ… Australia!!!

 

(Photos from left to right: Large size of koala #0072-007, then if possible stacked, red parrot on top #0089-001 then Sydney Opera House below #0400 from Sydney photos, then on the right large size Wallaby #0065).  Note: If it does not work to collage and stack the parrot and opera house between the larger koala and wallaby, is it possible to go koala, parrot, wallaby then opera house?

As I write these memoirs, I would like to acknowledge that these experiences of the Sacred Drift were held on the lands of the Aboriginal Nations, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I danced the Australian Dream Awake.  I would like to recognize their continuing connection to land, water and community and I pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

(photo from Casurina photos entitled, “9 dance as the sun sets)

Honoring those walking Mother Earth with

Wisdom-Innocence, Purpose, Integrity and JOY!!!

Our Authentic Sacred Elders.

(photo from Casurina photos entitled, “6 honouring the ancestors)

 


It may just diminish the profundity of experiences, hearts and energies integrated into my Tapestry by attempting to relay them into words, and yet, there is something to share in the storytelling of the Sacred Drift.   In 2009, life as I knew it began to dissolve, and a few years later, something unnamable invited me to jump off a cliff without a net: I had nooooo idea what was to unfold…a Journey now called The Sacred Drift.  

After a few months of dancing the Sacred Drift awake, it was brought to my attention that I was the third woman who received a vision, a calling from the Earth Mother herself, to ‘thread’ the World Sound/Peace Chambers, envisioned by Grandfather Joseph Rael-Beautiful Painted Arrow, and offer my Soul Crafts to the communities of these Chambers.  

Grandmother Jeanne White Eagle, a professional singer, was the first to initiate and thread the vibrations, and after I was advised to contact her, she sent me a splendid letter of inspiration and support.  Specifically, I was struck by Grandmother White Eagle’s sage words, “When you are in one Chamber you are in ALL Chambers.”   The depth of understanding that we are all walking-dancing-singing-Sound/Peace Chambers, BE-ing and Vibrating, resonated even stronger within my heart…the inter-connection of ALL Vibrations…ALL Sentients…ALL Dharmas.

I offer much gratitude to those who have ‘walked before’!

After initial contact with Grandmother White Eagle, and sending out an invitation to all the known Sound Chamber Elders, I received interesting and informed responses, from the second woman to thread the Sound/Peace Chambers, Grandmother Junitta Vallak - a lively, humorous, creative, fiery Aussie who manifested the Casurina Sound Chamber and surrounding ceremonial lands replete with 4 labyrinths and a Medicine Wheel, in “The Land Down Unda”… OZ … AUSTRALIA!!!  Grandmother Junitta has a voracious appetite for mystic knowledge and a plethora of interesting stories based on her experience.  Her curiosity about life is intriguing and her stories, entertaining.

(Photos: Gr. Junitta #0022-004, rainbow serpent #0116-001, silly Gr. Junitta #0024-002)

Casurina Sound Chamber and Ceremonial Land

Maldon,Victoria, Australia

Junitta Vallak

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Elder on the Mountain

…a Sacred Drifter’s exploration of a Sacred Drifter from another time…

Visiting Grandmother Junitta, an Elder on the Mountain, tangible and visible signs of her life of serving Mother Earth and sentient beings in their evolution, the expressions of her metaphorical artistry, and her travels to far off lands were palpable and stimulating to every level of my consciousness.   Grandmother has woven a beautiful tapestry through her life’s vocations.  After a lifetime of manifestation, dedication and service to the Casurina Healing Sanctuary and her artistic vocations, Grandmother Junitta now lives as a Sage on a Mountain Top outside of Foster, Victoria, Australia.  Rainbow Serpent Land!  I did not have the opportunity to experience Casurina in the flesh, and yet, the Light that was generated in that Chamber will be as visible throughout the Cosmos for millions of kalpas, as the distant stars are just now visible to we Earth Walkers!  What an honor for me to have had the opportunity to inter-be with this Wise-Woman!   

(photos of Grandmother’s art: 0097—002, 0098-002, 0099-002, 0108-001, 0124-001,

0126-001, 0129-001, 0130-001, 0131-001, 0132-001)


About the Casurina Sound Chamber and Healing Sanctuary

(photo from Casurina file: #11-Casurina Peace Chamber)

In September of 1987, a representative from Findhorn Scotland, Bev, came to experience Casurina Sound Chamber and Healing Sanctuary, and wrote the following account for UNFOLD (The Findhorn Festival Newsletter).  Grandmother Junitta graciously shared this article with me, to give me a sense of the work that was Danced Awake on this Sacred Earth Space.


“There are two things which connect us all – the colour of our blood and the divine spark of God within us all.  We are all related to each other.  The basic aim of the work I am doing is to enable us once more to come to the realization of the connectedness of all things.” –JUNITTA VALLAK


“All life forms are protected here – All Religions, Faiths, Creeds and Races are honoured – everyone’s path is respected.”  -JUNITTA VALLAK


Deep within the heart of Central Victoria is the manifestation of one woman’s willingness to put herself in with the flow of the Universe.  UNFOLD was privileged to visit with this essentially practical woman for a while and to enjoy the fruits of her labour.

From the road “Casurina” looks quite ordinary, a mud brick house plus one other unusually shaped mud brick building.  At the gate the visitor is alerted that this is no ordinary place; this is a sanctuary where all living forms are to be respected and protected.

Far off, Junitta approaches us from the Kiva, the other ‘unusually shaped mud brick building’, and we are welcomed as though we are part of her family and she is glad to see us again.  Her presence is very unassuming, undemanding – she speaks with candour and thoughtfulness, and I see that she looks tired.

For many years Junitta, an art teacher and artist in her own right, lectured on conservation and was active in conservation groups.  She was deeply concerned about the damage being done to the environment and decided to channel this concern concretely by setting up a center to teach people practical ways of caring for the land.  She looked for good land with permanent water and beautiful views.  Believing in Carl Jung’s theory of synchronicity she was drawn to Maldon and recognized her dream when she walked upon the land she now occupies.

In July, 1984, Junitta bought the property in faith, and then generated the faith that the money for the land would come – it did, through a pay-out resulting from her being retired from the Education Department for health reasons.  Then she discovered that there is a vast power source crisscrossing the land.

The Casuarina Tree, which has been dedicated to the children of Maldon and central Victoria by an Aboriginal Elder, is over a water dome, which tops an earth energy spiral.  There are now fifty ley lines traversing the land from beneath the Kiva alone, due to the energy boost on the harmonic convergence weekend, and to keep this energy grounded and building, Junitta meditates daily within the Kiva.  She believes devoutly that this earth energy is building for a purpose and cares for it as a custodian, unwilling to take time away unless someone else can be used for raising humanity’s consciousness level as well as for healing, and, from the time that the foundation for the kiva was laid, the site has been used for meditation and healing.

True to her original aim of teaching people the practical side of caring for the land, Junitta has offered seminars and weekends on alternative energy.  One such weekend in 1985 saw 200 people come through the property and ten people spoke on various aspects of conservation and energy.

Within a fortnight of that she was on a plane bound for Findhorn and the sacred sites of Britain.  She also decided to visit America, although the reason was not clear to her then.  When her friend Olga told her about a friend, an American Indian called Beautiful Painted Arrow (BPA) and his vision of Kivas, she knew then why she was going to America – to learn about Kivas, with the idea of building one on “Casurina”.  Throughout America she visited the sacred Indian sites, homing in on them by instinct and intuition.  There she practiced energy channeling to heal and raise the site’s power supply.  During this time she stayed with Beautiful Painted Arrow…where she undertook initiations in the sweat lodges, and under his direction planned the Kiva.  She learned as much as she could, savouring each moment, and wondered how she could apply it all when she arrived home.  Characteristically, BPA said to her, ‘just use guidance’…

Kiva means ‘world below’ and originally they were round and underground.  Joseph’s vision was to make them oval – 33ft x 22ft.  Whereas the originals were entered from above, the two roof openings are now used for colour healing – one skylight is painted in cool blues and green depicting the moon, and the other in warm rose pinks, golds and reds depicting the sun.  Under Beautiful Painted Arrow/Joseph’s tuition and guidance, Junitta also practices sound vibration healing.  At the foundation laying ceremony, an Aboriginal Elder came to ‘sing the ground’ and prepare the energies and then the Kiva was dedicated on the convergence weekend when the earth’s energies were receiving a boost in power.

On the day of our visit we arrived in perfect timing to join Junitta in her daily meditation.  As we entered the kiva we removed our shoes and a sense of reverence and awe filled my being as I gazed around.  Coloured light poured in from the two skylights bathing the airy interior in a harmonious glow.  The yellow ochre mud brick walls held artworks of varied spiritual significance and at the far end, my attention was caught by one depicting a floating bed of white lotus flowers.  The walls were fluently moulded into continuous seating and a Ned Kelly heater stood reassuringly at the far corner surrounded by meaningful objects including a chalice, quartz crystals, flowers and stones.  The centre of the floor radiated calm and beauty.  About twenty cushions of many shades and colours were strewn in a comfortable circle.  Within the circle was a coloured symbolic mosaic; four candles and containers of fresh flowers were placed at the four points of the compass.  In the centre of these rose a magnificent quartz crystal about eighteen inches high.  This crystal has been used in healing by the Aboriginal people, and it was placed so that its base is connected to the earth.  All of our resonances during the healing meditation were directed through it.  There was no sense of ritual; everything was intuitive and purposeful as we followed Junitta’s lead in asking for and visualizing healing, for people and places in need, progressively throughout the planet.  We focused this energy also on those in the book for absent healing and all such books wherever there was a need, believing that those needs would be met by Universal Spirit.  There was an immense sense of spiritual power and harmonious peace present….


“If you truly want to help heal the Earth, go out and buy the worst piece of land you can find and restore it.  This, however, takes strength, courage, dedication, faith, responsibility and hard work.”

-JUNITTA VALLAK, Custodian of Casurina Healing Sanctuary

(Photos from Casurina file: #1-opening the ceremony (Junitta), #12-the central mosaic,

#13-The central crystals)


Workshops, Lectures and Field Trips that were available at Casurina

Dolphin connections; The Native American Sun/Moon Dance; The Kiva, Peace Chamber for the Planet; Archetypes of spiritual healing; The 16 Chakras and their meanings; Labyrinth nights; Labyrinth pilgrimages; How to set up a healing sanctuary in 20 hard lessons; Dream Weaving and more…



(photos of webs: 0073-003, 0043-004, 0074-003, 0054-002)

The Vision, by Junitta Vallak

“Casurina Healing Sanctuary is a co-operative of people dedicated to the upliftment of humanity based on a living philosophy of the inter-connectedness of all living things regardless of colour, race, creed or species.


We hereby highly resolve to promote those principles of natural conservation by the education of an environmentally sensitive approach to living in harmony with the land.


We acknowledge the sacredness of all life and we dedicate ourselves to the promotion of healing for spirit, mind and body on the understanding that matter is energy vibrations.


Through meditation we can develop an inner awareness of our relationship to all aspects of existence.  We are dedicated to the cause to liberate the consciousness of all peoples.


The great task remaining before us, is to continue the dissemination of information to those people and groups of like-minds around the world.


We in no way seek to commercially promote ourselves, rather, we seek to attract by power of example of this philosophy expressing itself in our lives by a greater sense of joy, peace and harmony with life.


We embrace all schools of thought dedicated to the evolution of humanity and the preservation of the natural resources of this earth.

(photos from Casurina file: #18-Joseph & Olga at Casurina,  #5 Dancing the Land)

I asked Grandmother Junitta, “If there were any words of wisdom that you would leave the Earth in response to your magnificent wake, what would they be?”   The following monologue, spoken by Sir Laurence Olivier, from a 20th century musical called TIME, was her response.

(Would it be possible to have this entire writing, called TIME, done in purple or red?)

TIME

Stand before me on the sign of infinity, all you of the earth.                                         With the granting of the law of provination comes the application of change.

I will give you the key and with this knowledge, please realise comes the responsibility of sharing it.  I will show you the way.  It’s very simple.

Throughout the Universe there is order.  In the movement of the planets, in nature and in the functioning of the human mind.  A mind that is in its natural state of order is in harmony with the universe and such a mind is timeless.

Your life is an expression of your mind.  You are a creator of your own universe.  For a human being you are free to will whatever state of being you desire through the use of your thoughts and words.

There is a great power there. It can be a blessing or a curse.

It is entirely up to you for the quality of your life is brought about by the quality of your thinking – think about that.

Thoughts produce action – look at what you are thinking.  See the pettiness and the envy and the greed and the fear and all the other attributes that cause you pain and discomfort.

Realise that the one thing that you have absolute control over is your attitude. See the effect that it has on those around you.                                                                  For each life is linked to all life and your words carry with them chain reactions like a stone that is thrown into a pond.

If your thinking is in order, your words will flow directly from the heart, creating ripples of love.                         

If you truly want to change your world, my friends, you must change your thinking.  Reason is your greatest tool.   It creates an atmosphere of understanding which leads to caring which is love.

Choose your words with care. Go forth with LOVE.

 

Unexpectedly and Delightfully Drifting with an Aussie Community


My first exposure to the community in Foster, Australia unfolded the day after my two-day flight from South Africa, at an event entitled Music for the Forest at Weetaboona Forest Sanctuary!  Grandmother Junitta specifically asked me to play the Native American Flutes and Syrinx for Solo Flute by Claude Debussy, for a ceremony in a forest preserve.  What unfolded was a magnificent day of connecting with beautiful hearts, eucalyptus forest, birdsong, Aboriginal and local artistry, poetry, fluting, song circles, dance circles, and, a guided Earth Walk, replete with sensational birdsong through a wondrous path of eucalyptus trees and garden art! This is where I met the kind-hearted custodians of the Weetaboona Forest Sanctuary, Bryan Watterson and his beloved partner, Elizabeth Collins (soon to be generous nurturing hosts), and an entire community of beautiful hearts, that in the following two weeks after my arrival in Foster, I would have the opportunity to intimately inter-be with and thread our lives together.

(photos: 0101-005, 0157, 0091, 0068, 0073, 0074, 0077, 0071, 0087, 0093, 0097, 0098,0115, 0116, 0117, 0118, 0119, 0120, 0121, 0124, 0130, 0149, 0159)



During the Earth Walk at Weetaboona, where I was chanting and drumming on the Ancestral Buffalo Drum, I met an extraordinary spirit, named Tracey Standfield.  An Awesome Aussie ‘Spirit Sista’!  We spoke a bit about a Reiki (Rei-Universal Life/LoveKi-energy) Healing Retreat Center, she and her husband Wayne are going to build.  Tracey joined me in the chanting, and then she asked me if I would be willing to come and do an Earth Blessing, and so we did!  An Earth Walk and Ceremony were performed on this gorgeous Buddha Land, blessed by a soaring Hawk and an Eagle.  A deep friendship was kindled in our beautiful moments together!  I met her beloved life partner, Wayne, and on my behalf, he went searching for Koalas in the eucalypt trees by their house.  We did not see any that day and instead saw a Tiger Snake slither off into a dark corner of a shed!  Beautiful and mysterious!

(photos: 0017-005, 0023-007, 0025-005, 0034-006, 0012-007, 0067-002)



Another beautiful spirit that I met at the Ceremony for the forest, and who read my Syrinx poem so I was free to perform hidden in the woods, was an incredible artist named Lee Grenfell.  Lee invited Grandmother Junitta and I up to her land and house for a luncheon and a bit of music.  Lee plays the piano and her paintings and artwork adorn her magnificent dwelling with grace and beauty!  She gifted me with a sweet piece of Aboriginal carving.  Thank you for your nourishment, gift and stimulating company, Lee!

(photos: 0075-002, 0040-003, 0033-002)


The following few days were spent taking long magical explorations of the mountain, where Grandmother, her son Brendan, Kookaburras, Wombats, Wallabies, Kangaroos, Ancient Pre-historic Fern-trees, Eucalypt Trees, Snakes, Sheep, Cows, Indra-Spiders and their incredible Dream Catcher Webs, Yinny the Cat, Whip Birds, Parrots, Lyre Birds and other incredible songbirds reside.  I also spent time preparing for a solo flute performance (Voice of the Flute…The Mythic Flute Embodied), at the Manna Gum Community House, in the charming small town of Foster.  The performance captivated and touched the audience and beautiful embraces, tears and accolades were offered.

(photos: 0006-001, 0008-001, 0006-005, 0009-005, 0031, 0077-001, 0053-001, 0054-003, 0072-003, 0088-003, 0046-002, 0091-001, 0056, 0009-009, 0013-006, 0004-006, 0018-003, 0024-003, 0097-003, 0052, 0098-003, 0120-001, 0024-001, 0047, 0003-003, 0169, 0082-002, 0086-002, 0058-004)


The last week in Foster was spent in the nurturing, kind and generous presence of Elizabeth and Bryan and their respective adorable children and doggies.  Elizabeth and Bryan live close to the Earth Mother in reverence and respect, and have very interesting lives.  Elizabeth is a fabulous massage therapist, nurturing Mum, Partner and Friend (Spirit Sista’).  She gifted me with a relaxing massage, nourished me with healthy vegetarian cuisine and plenty of hugs, took Tracey and I out to a magnificent Light House off the Coast, and invited me to a fabulous Singing Circle that led to a private flute performance in the heart of another creative talented local’s home.  Beautiful connections, experiences … and … Accents!  love, Love LOVE the Aussie Accent!

(photos: 0125-003, 0094-003, 0115-003, 0119-004)



Bryan worked for many years as a special-needs educator and then a principal.  He has a golden gentle heart, is incredibly curious about the world and quite intelligent … and … Bryan was a fabulous tour guide.  I first experienced his knowledgeable guidance at the Weetaboona Forest Sanctuary, then at the Turtons Creek Falls where Bryan, his sweet son Jasper and I briefly explored the ancient pre-historic Fern-trees and Eucalypt forest … (I kept expecting a Velociraptor to come crashing through this forest and devour us!)… AND … last but not least, Bryan took Jasper and me to the famed Wilsons Promontory National Park!  Gorgeous!  We explored the white white sands of Squeaky Beach, where walking on the sand produces quite the squeak! ;o)) Then, we spent the rest of the afternoon at Norman Bay exploring the pristine beach, rocks and ocean, gawking at gulls, terns, fish and wee blue crabs. A fabulous place to gather lovely seashells and photos.  We even encountered a beautiful dark Stingray while wading in Oceana!  Spectacular!   Thank you Bryan and Elizabeth for your gracious hospitality and nurturing!  

(photos: 0022-009, 0038-007, 0144-001, 0018-008, 0032-007, 0036-007, 0035-007, 0038-008, 0037-008, 0040-008, 0045-006, 0056-007, 0059-006, 0068-006, 0077-005, 0084-005, 0085-005,-123-002, 0176-001)



Wilsons Promontory National Park was first reserved as a national park back in 1898. It covers 50,512 hectares including offshore islands and the Light Station. You will find fantastic beaches, cool fern gullies, great views, spectacular rock formations and abundant wildlife. Wilsons Promontory is home to more than 700 native plant species, 30 kinds of mammal--from tiny antechinuses to kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, koalas, seals & bats--and approximately 180 species of birds. Reptiles, amphibians, insects & other invertebrates are also numerous & diverse.  With its stunning coastal scenery, pristine wilderness and an abundance of native wildlife, Wilsons Promontory National Park, or 'The Prom', as it is affectionately known, is the southernmost point of mainland Australia and is a much-loved holiday destination.


So, from my experience, Australians are generous, kind and hospitable.  So eager to share their culture, unique amazing animals and country with a Sacred Drifta’!  Carol Owen and her life partner, Malcolm, are no exception.  I also met these two extraordinary fun loving and incredibly generous Aussie hearts at the Ceremony for the Forest.  After speaking together about my journeys and where I was headed after Foster, they ended up offering me a ride to Melbourne, to host me overnight, and then deliver me to the Southern Cross Train Station in Melbourne, so that I could take the 11 ½ hour day-train to Sydney and meet my beloved partner.  There are only two trains from Melbourne to Sydney - morning and night, and I desired to see the landscapes between cities.  After my time in Foster came to an end, this is indeed what Carol and Malcolm did for me.  In addition, due to severe weather and a cancelled train, they ended up happily hosting me for two nights and taking me to the Healesville Animal Sanctuary, to see Koalas and other amazing Aussie animals, with their two adorable sons, Monty and Wesley.  The following day, Carol then delivered me safely to the Southern Cross Train Station and gifted me with the train fare!!!  THANK YOU, Carol, Malcolm, Monty and Wesley for making me a part of your family and for your generous hospitality!  I think of you every time I hold the stones you gave me and see Mr. Platypus, resting on my bed! XOXO

(photos: 0109-005, 0110-003, 0113-004, 0114-003, 0118-005, 0037-006, 0047-004, 0055-005, 0074-008, 0096-006)


Aussies are entirely congenial and fun loving!  The train conductor was hilarious in her humour, a fine successful attempt to lighten up weary travelers! On the train to Sydney, I sat next to a quiet reserved Aboriginal Woman named Ruby.  I was so curious about who she was.  She shyly avoided eye contact, and so I offered her pieces of my chocolate bar.  And so, as women love to do, we shared a lovely exchange over chocolate!  In our conversation, Ruby shared about her Aboriginal people’s way of life; how and why only the men play the didgeridoo and the women play rattles and sing; what they eat (kangaroo and bush meat primarily); and a bit about the harshness of their reality in today’s world…not unlike First Nations on Turtle Island (North America); and the power of the Acknowledgement of Country!


Acknowledgment of Country is a way that people (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander not from the local area or non-indigenous) can show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the ongoing relationship of traditional owners with the land.  At every event that I performed at in Foster and before the Sydney Opera House tour, an Acknowledgement of Country and Aboriginal Peoples were given.  I was deeply touched and am inspired to do the same for the First Nations on Turtle Island.  Perhaps I can start a healthy healing trend, eh!



(Sydney photos: 00133-004, 0073, 0088-003)

Sacred Drifting in Sydney

(Sydney photos: 0041-001, 0004-007, 0031-001)

Being held in a sacred heart-space of love and nurtured by my Beloved Partner, Jason, in Sydney, was a joyful romantic romp through beauty. Drifting in Australia was the official ‘end’ of the Sacred Drift and Jason pampered me, held me in an embrace of love and in my profound state of exhaustion, listened to the affecting stories of South Africa and Australia with compassion and support.  Ahhhhh I am home in this HEART!   

(Sydney photos: 0247, 0261, 0282, 0275)

(please enlarge this photo and center it below the four above: 0239) Huge Tree!!!


HA!!! Instead of going into depth, the details of our explorations, as these memoirs are vast and wide as the Grandmother Canyon, I will list a few of the highlights of this time together in Sydney.  


Jason met me at the Central Train Station in fine romantic form, as he serenaded me on his Charango! Swoon!!!  It had been 2 ½ months since we last laid eyes, ears and … on each other. :o)))  We took a taxi to our Airbnb off Bondi Beach and greeted the two adorable felines, that we were to care for during our stay.  Jason made a savvy deal with the Aussie owner of the Airbnb, and we enjoyed caring for the kitties too!   It was delightful to see young fit surfers running barefoot through the neighborhoods of Bondi to get to the waves of the Oceana!  Don’t see those images everyday…except in Bondi!

(Sydney Photos: 0002-006, 0006-006, 0149-002, 0014, 0156-002)

Sydney photos: note these 3 need to be in the same row: 0177-002, 0178-002, 0179-002)


Jason looked for a Zen Center for us to visit and found the Sydney Zen Center.  We spent precious moments, with the welcoming Sydney Zen Center Sangha, in Zazen and for a Fusatsu ceremony!   Jason knows the WAY to this Drifta’s Heart-mind!  

(Sydney Photos: 0003-001, 0005-001, 0009-001, 0007-001, 0016-001,0010-001, 0013-001)


The Great Synagogue-Beth Yisrael "House of Israel” was a beautiful example of architectural beauty both inside and out. No photography allowed. James Hume, who had been associated with some of Sydney’s finest buildings, designed Beth Yisrael.  Jason and I enjoyed an intimate tour of this Synagogue, and we were given the honor of opening and closing the Ark.

(Sydney photos: 0100, 0098, 0097)


One can get a fantastic ‘bird’s eye view’ of Sydney Harbor and the surrounding beautiful architecture of the city from the Sydney Tower Eye, in which Jason and I enjoyed immensely…ohhhhh, and we were cornered by Aussie Santa and his Aussie Elf… up there in the sky!  HA!!!  Did you know that Santa and his Elves were actually from ‘The Land Down Unda’?

(Sydney photos: 0231, 0110, 0111)

(Sydney photos: Aussie Santa-0151, 0153)


For the Architect in my life, and because it is a magnificent world icon, we experienced an Architectural Tour and Taste of the Sydney Opera House complete with Acknowledgment of Country, and had the opportunity to hear and see the Sydney Symphony rehearsing in a visually magnificent hall with fabulous acoustics!!!   All the shows were sold out so we savored these aural and visual moments of sounding pleasure!  Danish architect Jørn Utzon designed this amazing structure adorning the Sydney Harbor, and as a result of professional politics, Utzon never saw the Sydney Opera house in its final splendor.  This made me a bit sad for him, as it is SPECTACULAR from all angles and times of day and night!   

(Sydney photos: 0006-007, 0401, 0405, 0040-002, 0064-002, 0079-001, 0080-002, 0085-002, 0096-002, 0100-002, 0110-002, 0140-001, 0143, 0145-001)


Along the lines of spectacular architecture, Jason found out that a college of business, The Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology, in Sydney, was designed by one of his favorite Architects, Frank Gehry, and we squeezed in some time one evening to take a peek!  I would want to go to this college if I were a business major!

(Sydney photos: 0328-001, 0336-001, 0236-002, 0250-002, 0245-002, 0252-001)


One day we took a train to the Blue Mountains, reveling and breathing in the beauty of Eucalypt forests as far as the eye could reach.  We hiked extensively that day and heard and saw a wild Kookaburra…they are sooooo COOL!!!  We also saw a wild Australian Turkey!  Didn’t know they had those.  There was a steep climb to a gorgeous falls with outlooks along the way, and white Cockies (Cockatoos) looking out, along the way! ;o)  

(Sydney photos: 0233-002, 0037-004, 0046-005, 0039-004, 0052-005, 0102-004, 0103-003, 0106-004, 0111-004, 0114-004, 0136-003, 0123-004, 0173-003, 0180-003, 0188-002,

0194-002, 0213-002, 0214-002, 0217-002)


Jason and I spent time going on lengthy Oceana coastal exploration walks, starting at Bondi beach.  The Ocean meets the cliffs with such orgasmic surges that it made it difficult for us to stop exploring!  Australia’s beaches, coastal cliffs and architecturally diverse dwellings along the coast, are some of the most spectacular stunning scenes I have ever experienced.  The Australians have worked very hard to restore native plants and habitats along this coastal walk.  Colorful parrots and blue faery wrens add motion, vibration, color and delight to the experience! Breathtaking!!!

(Sydney photos: 0048-001, 0182-002, 0046, 0048, 0057, 0043-001, 0249-001, 0037, 0085, 0009-003, 0035-001, 0064-001, 0073-001, 0100-001, 0111-001, 0072, 0002-004, 0004-004, 0005-005, 0010-005, 0017-003, 0038-002, 0042-003, 0046-003, 0066-003, 0068-003,

0081-002, 0123-003, 0092-003, 0101-003)


(Sydney Photos to be lined up 1st 2 on top and last 4 on the bottom: 0170-002, 0171-002, 0172-002, 0173-002, 0174-002, 0175-002)


Jason had not the opportunities to see Koalas, Wombats, Kangaroos and other unique Australian animals as I did in Foster, so we took a ferry across the harbor, salivating at the Spectacular Sydney Opera house as we passed, to the Taronga Zoological Park.  There we had the opportunity to marvel at Australia’s wondrous animal beings!  What a beautiful magical zoo it is, with open spaces to walk among many of the animals!   There were many striking lizards running free around this Park.  We also went to the Sydney Aquarium…the highlight for me was seeing a coral reef exhibit replete with colorful swimmers (fish) and a Dugong, a medium-sized sea-grass-eating marine mammal that is one of the four living species of the order of Sirenia, which include manatees.  There is a notion that sailors concocted mermaids based on seeing Dugongs.  I can imagine this to be true!  They are quite sensuous and graceful in the water.  The coral reefs due to warming oceans and the Dugongs are in danger of extinction.  We are next, eh!

(Sydney photos: 0016-007, 0028-005, 0030-006, 0030-004, 0040-004, {note: I think this one will come to you as a photo…hopefully 0027.mp4}, 0090-005, 0086-005, 0038-004, 0044-006, 0049-006, 0066-006, 0074-006, 0080-006, 0104-005, 0111-005, 0118-005, 0094-005,

0128-004, 0136-004)


Sydney has a well-organized and clean metro-system of buses and trains.  Jason became familiar with the routes before I arrived, and off we went!  Transit savvy, curious explorers!  Australia also has an effective socialized health care system, which might be why we saw so many happy healthy two-leggeds in Australia!  The service industries also pay living wages, so folks do not have to rely on tips to make a decent living!!! Jason and I delighted in the variety and deliciousness of the cuisine in OZ.  There are many cultures cohabitating in Sydney and Melbourne. The ethnic variety was delicious!   Speaking of cuisine…the famous Aussie food substance, well known around the world, is Vegemite, and Jason in particular, developed quite the taste for the B-vitamin rich, pungent, strong spread!  I quite enjoy it too, Mates.    


The most common phrases that I heard in Australia were, “G’Day Luvely, G’Day Mate, how ya gorin?”  and “No worries”…in fact almost every time I said thank you, an Aussie would reply, “No worries”.  Curious!


Australia is a magical place, with magical trees and magical animals, on land and in the sea!  I am deeply blessed and honored that I have had the opportunity and privilege to experience this land with such depth and in part with my Beloved.  Deep Gratitude to ya Luv, for your Generous Heart and Abundant Gifting! YOU ARE A GEM!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miF2IHOwJsU


Here is a fantastic essay to give you a few ‘shits and giggles’, by one of my favorite writers, Douglas Adams.

AUSTRALIA AND AUSTRALIANS (Would it be possible to use a different Font for this writing?)
The following is by Douglas Adams of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" fame.

"Australia is a very confusing place, taking up a large amount of
the bottom half of the planet.  It is recognisable from orbit because of many unusual features, including what at first looks like an enormous bite taken out of its southern edge; a wall of sheer cliffs which plunge into the girting sea.  Geologists assure us that this is simply an accident of geomorphology, but they still call it the "Great Australian Bight", proving that not only are they covering up a more frightening theory but they can't spell either.

The first of the confusing things about Australia is the status of the place.  Where other landmasses and sovereign lands are classified as continent, island or country, Australia is considered all three.
Typically, it is unique in this.

The second confusing thing about Australia is the animals.  They can be divided into three categories: Poisonous, Odd, and sheep.  It is true that of the 10 most poisonous arachnids on the planet, Australia has 9 of them. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that of the 9 most poisonous arachnids, Australia has all of them. However, there are few snakes, possibly because the spiders have killed them all.

But even the spiders won't go near the sea.  Any visitors should be
careful to check inside boots (before putting them on), under toilet
seats (before sitting down) and generally everywhere else.  A stick is very useful for this task.

The last confusing thing about Australia is the inhabitants.

A short history: Sometime around 40,000 years ago some people arrived in boats from the north.  They ate all the available food, and a lot of them died.  The ones who survived learned respect for the balance of nature, man's proper place in the scheme of things, and spiders.  They settled in and spent a lot of the intervening time making up strange stories.

Then, around 200 years ago, Europeans arrived in boats from the north. More accurately, European convicts were sent, with a few deranged people in charge.  They tried to plant their crops in autumn (failing to take account of the reversal of the seasons), ate all their food, and a lot of them died.

About then the sheep arrived, and have been treasured ever since.  It is interesting to note here that the Europeans always consider themselves vastly superior to any other race they encounter, since they can lie, cheat, steal and litigate (marks of a civilised culture they say), whereas all the Aboriginals can do is happily survive being left in the middle of a vast red-hot desert, equipped with a stick.

Eventually, the new lot of people stopped being Europeans on 'extended holiday' and became Australians.  The changes are subtle, but deep, caused by the mind-stretching expanses of nothingness and eerie quiet, where a person can sit perfectly still and look deep inside themselves to the core of their essence, their reasons for being, and the necessity of checking inside their boots every morning for fatal surprises.  They also picked up the most finely tuned sense of irony in the world, and the Aboriginal gift for making up stories.  Be warned.

There is also the matter of the beaches.  Australian beaches are simply the nicest and best in the world, although anyone actually venturing into the sea will have to contend with sharks, stinging jellyfish, stonefish (a fish which sits on the bottom of the sea, pretends to be a rock and has venomous barbs sticking out of its back that will kill just from the pain) and surfboarders.  However, watching a beach sunset is worth the risk.

As a result of all this hardship, dirt, thirst and wombats, you would
expect Australians to be a dour lot.  Instead, they are genial, jolly,
cheerful and always willing to share a kind word with a stranger.
Faced with insurmountable odds and impossible problems, they smile disarmingly and look for a stick.  Major engineering feats have been performed with sheets of corrugated iron, string and mud.

Alone of all the races on earth, they seem to be free from the 'Grass is greener on the other side of the fence' syndrome, and roundly proclaim that Australia is, in fact, the other side of that fence.
They call the land "Oz" or "Godzone" (a verbal contraction of "God's Own Country"). THE IRRITATING THING ABOUT THIS IS THEY MAY BE RIGHT.

TIPS TO SURVIVING AUSTRALIA

Don't ever put your hand down a hole for any reason WHATSOEVER.

The beer is stronger than you think, regardless of how strong you
think it is.

Always carry a stick.

Air-conditioning is imperative.

Do not attempt to use Australian slang unless you are a trained
linguist and extremely good in a fist fight.

Wear thick socks.

Take good maps.  Stopping to ask directions only works when there are people nearby

If you leave the urban areas, carry several litres of water with you
at all times, or you will die.  And don't forget a stick.

Even in the most embellished stories told by Australians, there is
always a core of truth that it is unwise to ignore.


HOW TO IDENTIFY AUSTRALIANS

They waddle when they walk due to the 53 expired petrol discount
vouchers stuffed in their wallet or purse.

They pronounce Melbourne as "Mel-bin".

They think it makes perfect sense to decorate highways with large
fibreglass bananas, prawns and sheep.

They think "Woolloomooloo" is a perfectly reasonable name for a place, that "Wagga Wagga" can be abbreviated to "Wagga", but "Woy Woy" can't be called "Woy".

Their hamburgers will contain beetroot. Apparently, it's a must-have.

They don't think it's summer until the steering wheel is too hot to
handle.

They believe that all train timetables are works of fiction.

And they all carry a stick!



The Posting of these Australian memoirs signifies the completion of the Sacred Drift!

It takes a village to Dance a Dream Awake and I would like to offer up Deep Heart-felt Gratitude to everyone and everything within Indra’s Web that made this possible:



-To ALL the Spectacular Sound Journeyers!  Thank you for your open-hearted curiosity and willingness to surrender into the unknown.  Your lives have enriched mine beyond words.  The threading of our Golden Threads and Beauty into the Cosmic Tapestry is deeply profound and the Earth Mother has called us all to this very sacred vibrational Dance!!!  YOU ARE ALL AWE-INSPIRING!!!  I bow to you in reverence and respect!

 

-The Magnificent Supportive Techie Webmeister Wizards Robert (Bob) Feenan and Lew Grothe, who have made it possible for aspects of the Sacred Drift to be shared throughout the World, and enabling INDRA’S NET to continue to weave connections for many moons after this completion!  YOU ARE EXCELLENT!

 

-Beloved Partner, Jason, to whom we both feel multitudes of Gratitude to the mysterious energies of the Sacred Drift, for drawing us into each other’s orbit.  Thank You for your sacrifices, your unconditional love and support, your responsiveness, your flexibility, your maturity, your practice and your creative renderings of my creative energies!  The Dragon’s Belly IS a beautiful place to BE!

 

To my EXCELLENT Amie, Editor and Author of my biography, once I have left the planet, Lisa!  Thank you for squeezing in so much time into your beautiful FULL Life to edit many of the memoirs for the last few years!  I feel honored and special to have such skillful assistance and be a priority!  Your compassionate non-judgmental support throughout our friendship, and listening to more of the stories than have been possible or appropriate to write, has been deeply appreciated! YOU ARE EXCELLENT AND BEAUTIFUL!!!  YOU TOUCH MY HEART WITH DEPTH!  Note: Lisa is not responsible for the ‘funny’ way I talk and she left this unique creative flow to speak for it’s self.

 

-ALL of those lovely HEARTS who have sent vibrations, prayers, incantations, funds, thoughts, smiles, love, hugs, Metta and lit candles on my behalf! And to ALL those who have embraced the Sacred Drift, this Sacred Drifta’ and gifted me along the way…too many to name…WHAT ABUNDANCE!

 

-Brandy Ginsburgh, Travel Agent ExtraOrdinaire!  Thank you for making the World Travel smoother for this Sacred Drifter and relating with so much humour and experience.  You are delightful! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

-All the Elders/Keepers/Builders of the Peace/Sound Chambers for hosting the Sacred Drift and for your dedication to ‘Dancing the Dream Awake’ and Peace throughout the Cosmos.

 

-All the Dharma Brothers, Sisters, Senseis, and Roshis in the Sangha Family that have sent me Metta and been a refuge for me!  I honor the Three Treasures! Deep Gassho Bow!

 

-To ALL my teachers throughout space and time!  Your lessons bring smiles every time Life reminds me of you!

 

-To All the Animal, Ancestral and Spirit Guides and the Source of MU, that used my conduit as a means of Dancing the Sacred Drift Awake!   I am grateful to be joyfully intact and connected to the ‘Ground of BE-ing’, after this incredibly demanding, challenging and enriching voyage!

 

-To the Earth Mother for giving us all, everything we have ever needed and more.  May we all awaken, so that the Earth Mother will continue to have the resources and beauty to nurture the next 7 generations of Sentient Beings!

 

“The Earth is very talented, she has created Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Great Beings” -Thay

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

(extra photos:  Feel free to collage all these extra photos.  I do have them in an order, but if you need to rearrange some to make this work feel free.  

  1. Please put the photos at the end of the Foster collection (the first batch), photos first.

  2. Please put the photos at the end of the Sydney collection at the end.

  3. Feel free to pick your favorite photo and enlarge it at the end of all these photo gems. :o)))  I liked how you did this for Botshabelo! :o)))

  4. BIG THANKS AND HUGS!

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Botshabelo Orphanage and School

http://www.botshabelo.org/about.html




In September of 2014, I had the special opportunity of learning about the beautiful light-children at Botshabelo Orphanage in South Africa, and offered transformational music and art therapies, and empowerment meditations to 125 children and teenagers.  ALL the children, and especially one boy, Gopolange, captured my heart, and I just knew I had to return one day! 

 

(See memoirs from 2014)
http://www.lisamariemcgrath.com/about-me/south-africa-memoirs



In October of 2017, I was given the opportunity to return to Botshabelo and bear witness to the lives of 200 children, several teachers, multitudes of canines, felines, pigs, cows and wingeds and the three surrounding poverty-stricken villages of the Sanfancise, Lesedi and Kashani peoples, on a much more intimate plane, by living and inter-being with them for two weeks.


From what I observed and experienced in only two weeks, the dichotomy of life at Botshabelo represents a microcosm of the macrocosm of human experience and development throughout time upon our Earth Mother, from the bad to the good, the ugly to the beautiful, the greedy to the generous, the distorted to clarity.  Every moment at Botshabelo was complex and challenging on many levels.  There was no available Internet at all and I don't know if I would have had time to write anyone anyhow, as each day was packed full of active experiences.  For the most part, I enjoyed the blessed opportunities to serve the light-beings at Botshabelo. There were many extraordinary and touching moments of connection and inter-being, bearing witness and insights that have been woven into my tapestry.  I will carry this Agape in my heart and in turn offer this love back to this enlightened cosmos.  I trust my service to the Botshabelo community has planted many seeds of peace, joy, awareness, loving kindness, compassion, flow and generosity.


Three of the founders and custodians of Botshabelo, Marion, Nicole and Leigh Cloete were, at the start, keen on everything I had to offer Botshabelo.  Marion Cloete had one specific request that I work with the agitated 10-14 year old boys, and so I turned to Zen and incorporated the cultivation of Zen into every moment.  The first thing was introducing the Bell of Mindfulness at mealtimes and during class time.  I would ring the Tibetan Bell at meal times to call the children to line up and prepare to enter the meal space.  I invited them to take three breaths when they heard the Bell of Mindfulness.  There were several times that I rang the bell during meals to bring to their attention back to breath, when the volume of their voices needed to be quieter and to say the Meal Gatha/Prayer.  For the most part, everyone responded well and they particularly enjoyed the Meal Gatha that I introduced to them!  During the class periods, I would quietly enter each classroom and ring the bell.  The teachers and students quickly learned to enjoy stopping and returning to their breath.  This was quite magical and adorable to witness!


Before commencing dinner, a few days into the Botshabelo voyage, I invited all the 10-14 year old boys, who were interested in exploring the Path of the Zen Warrior, to meet me at the double-house room at 7:30, after dinner.   What resulted was a chaotic room filled with garrulous excited boys.  I sat quietly in Zazen and smiled at the boys until they simmered down, and then we embarked together on a beautiful journey into the world of the Peaceful Zen Warrior.   Over the next 12 evenings, a core group of engaged committed boys and a few older girls, learned how to sit Zazen and walk Kinhin, how to inquire, look inside and follow the breath, how to bow to their Buddha Nature and the Buddha Nature of their brothers and sisters, and how to hold a respectful council circle and listen to each other.  It was a process not without complications and challenges.  I had many opportunities to practice Kshanti (patience and forbearance), as I imagined, not unlike what Zen Masters must deal with, in their respective Sanghas!  I gave several child-appropriate Dharma Talks to help them deal with the reality of their lives mindfully and transform their thoughts through inquiry. By the end of our time together, the boys and older girls responded to the Zen magnificently, and resulted in the rest of the students and teachers bowing to each other and me, by the end too!  I was feeling deeply grateful to the Buddha Ancestors for passing on the wisdom of the Tao!  It really works, if you work it!


This core group of Peace Zen Warriors agreed to continue cultivating their Zazen and after a period of time invite more of their brothers and sisters into the practice.  This way everyone will eventually benefit from the gifts of Zazen.

     

 



The Botshabelo Peaceful Zen Warriors


Paballo / Jakob
Analo
Mokubi
Thato Seboko
Lukas
Kelebogile (R)
Boago
George
Letlhogornolo / Jakob
Kabelo
Sadna
Martha
Omphemetse
Orabile
Kyle
Nunusi
Tshiamo
Gift
Dan
Gopolange

 



Samu…Work Practice… IS realization IS worship. Every weekday between 4 and 4:30pm there was supposed to be a communal litter pick up.  I was dismayed to observe some children eat lollipops and then proceed to throw the wrappers on the ground.  As a game, many boys were breaking glass bottles with their rubber tops.   The local villagers do not have ‘trash pick-up’ like most of the world, and so, there were bottles and cans and plastic, littering the Botshabelo Earth spaces! There was always a need for the daily work practice.  From my observations, this practice was unsupervised and most of the kids just hung around or goofed around.  I took the opportunity to “BE” the Dharma lesson…be the example I wish to see in the world, and I quietly and mindfully picked up trash for 30 minutes most days and some of the children decided to join me.  When I talked, it revolved around loving the Earth Mother, as she loves us, and how important it is to be mindful caretakers of the land.  I hope some of these seeds germinate and are cultivated!


Another activity that I offered, that seemed to impact the teachers, the kiddos and their caregivers (the older girls) and myself, was the Blessing Ceremony with Bread and Honey, where we all circled up at the Hopi labyrinth on the land, and later in an open field in front of the ‘double house’, to feed each other blessings with bread and honey. This was fun, uniting and sticky, and my two lovely assistants in stickiness, Sadna and Martha, were incredibly helpful!!!  Thank you ladies!


Throughout the two weeks of Sacred Drifting with the Beautiful Hearts at Botshabelo, I also offered Art and Music Therapies, Rock Painting, Dance and Singing in the Kresh (akin to kindergarten) and a deeply touching Sympathetic-Nervous-System Embracing exercise for the Babies with 8 older girls helping me to facilitate this exercise.


I must say that it was such an amazing pleasure to work with the 1st grade class and their teacher.  These little ones really know how to dance and sing and even more impressively, to listen.  They did so well in the painting class that I showed up in their classroom the last full day of my time at Botshabelo and offered them a musical-art game that required some excellent listening skills.  We all had a great time and created beautiful art.  I gifted this class with crayons and paper so they could continue enjoying the game.


Wherever I am on the Earth, I find it essential to take time most days to touch the Earth Mother, and being at Botshabelo was no exception. One day I decided to explore the land around the Hopi labyrinth and a handful of boys joined me.  The spring birdsong was spectacular and prevalent throughout the day!  Blessings of the Wingeds!  We gazed at as many delicate South African flowers as we came upon.  The boys were keen on finding them first and pointing them out, so I could photograph them.  We gathered enormous pinecones from the foot of a giant pine tree.  We played on the rocks and drank in the smells of the air and the sounds of the birds. Then, all of the sudden the boys grew silent and continued to walk quite reverently.  I looked around and we were walking on sacred burial grounds of their ancestors.  Two of the boys kneeled in front of a grave and appeared to be praying to the grandparents buried beneath their small bodies.  I was deeply moved, being aware that many of the children at Botshabelo were severely abused and orphaned, standing on the ground where most of their Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles who had perished from AIDS were buried, and feeling the impact of this burial ground and the demeanor of these boys in those moments.  After several minutes of silent reverence, I started chanting and the boys joined in and then we headed back to Botshabelo to ready ourselves for dinner. I felt strangely altered by this experience.


On another day, I stepped out on this very path to do another Earth Touching.  This time there was only one boy, Lucas, and a couple of dogs that silently followed me up to the Labyrinth. Lucas is a very special boy, who is deeply connected to the Earth Mother and pays very close attention to everything.  He showed me how to find this really cool insect that burrows in the ground and we reveled in the beauty of the views from the Labyrinth.  I bore witness to the gentle heart of this boy while another boy attacked him that very morning.   Lucas simply held his angry brother really close to him and took the blows, until I separated them.  I grabbed the other boy and held him tight while talking to him gently.  Eventually, I let him free and attended to Lucas, whose heart was beating as fast as a small bird’s.  We were present together to his beating heart. Lucas was a core participant in the Zen Warrior sessions, and he gave us a great example for a Dharma talk that night; how to care for our seed of anger and how to be compassionate in the face of anger.


Sharing all the meals, of creamed grains, soya gravy, and sometimes beets and cabbage, with the children and offering a fresh new Meal-Gatha (Prayer), along with ringing ‘the Tibetan Bell of Mindfulness, seemed to bring us all together in solidarity and trust. Something that I, the children, the kitchen angels and the aids (older students) delighted in.  At each meal, I spent time at a different table, asking the children questions about themselves and interacting with them.  After two days of sharing mealtime together, various children approached me and excitedly invited me to sit with them at their respective tables.  They were keen to interact and ask me questions about my life too!  Love the innocent curiosity of a child’s mind!


Each weekday morning, after breakfast, the children were gathered into their respective groups and were required to run less than a ½ mile and then re-gather in front of their classrooms for ‘brain-gym’ (some stretching and fine motor movements with the fingers).  I joined them and observed that most of the children were not participating and instead gathering in little groups to do their own thing.  So I approached Teacher-Alice, who was attempting to lead the ‘brain-gym’, and offered to guide them through Qi Gong Mind-Body Centering exercises before they entered their respective classrooms, and she said, “Absolutely!”  “Please do!”  So, the next morning, and for the
following two weeks, I instructed the teachers to gather all the students into a large circle, and I quietly sat Zazen under a tree in the middle of the school yard, until the students had gathered quietly enough in a circle, and then, I lead the exercises in focused silence!  It was tremendously successful, in that the 200 students enjoyed the playful Qi Gong, and responded well to being invited to observe and imitate, instead of having demands to “be quiet and do what you are told,” placed on them.  My playful methodology was appreciated and the teachers and students expressed their gratitude with accolades and hugs.

 



It was amazing to embrace my Spirit-Boy, Gopolange, again, and talk about his aspirations.   We have a deep connection that cannot be shared via words.  I feel so maternal with this boy. Gopolange was the first being who greeted me so joyfully in 2014.  He participated in all 6 of the music/art therapy classes that I gave, and was the last being who tearfully said goodbye to me in 2014.  Nicole Cloete helped us communicate over the last few years and our connection in October of 2017 was just as strong if not stronger.  Gopolange, if you ever have the opportunity to read this memoir, I want you know that your beautiful gift to me made it through Australia undetected, and is sitting on my Altar in Colorado.  I treasure your gift and smile upon it every time before meditating.  It was so hard to leave you again…Know that I love you dearly and I will be sending you vibrations of Light, Love, Peace and Beauty!  May you Dance your beautiful Dreams Awake!


BIG LOVE, HUGS and DEEP RESPECTFUL GASSHO BOWS TO YOU ALL, BOTSHABELO
TRIBE!  THANK YOU FOR YOUR AMAZING ENERGIES, THE GORGEOUS SEND OFF OF
DANCE AND SONG (I WILL HOLD THOSE VIBRATIONS IN MY HEART TO THE MOON
AND BACK-THROUGHOUT ETERNITY), AND THANK YOU FOR SHOWING ME HOW TO
DANCE AND SING THE COOL DJ ZINC SONG!  …UBUNTU! …NAMASTE!


I could write volumes and volumes about my experiences at Botshabelo. There were so many transformational, challenging and touching conversations, heart-connections and situations, which make it impossible to choose what to write and what not to write, without creating a three-inch novel.   Like I stated in the beginning, Botshabelo is a place of complexity, as is each and every one of us. I will leave you with these photos, which will speak a thousand words.

If you would like to donate to Botshabelo to help provide food for these incredible children, Nicole Cloete 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: Option 2:
Banking details are as follows: Posting a cheque made out to:

BOTSHABELO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TRUST     
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 62036709527
BRANCH  CODE: 250241
SWIFT ADDRESS: firnzajj

Botshabelo Community Development Trust   
P O BOX 438
MAGALIESBURG
1791
GAUTENG
SOUTH AFRICA

 

 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
     
     
     
     
   
     
     
     
 
   

Isle of Skye Peace Chamber

Isle of Skye

Ocean & Scotty Graham

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Honoring those walking Mother Earth with

Wisdom-Innocence, Purpose and Integrity…

Our Sacred Elders.

March of 2017, I was gifted with the blessed opportunity to be with two very special Elders, Ocean and Scotty Graham, who have and continue to dedicate their energies to the teachings of Grandfather Joseph Rael-Beautiful Painted Arrow.  They are longtime participants of the Dance, the builders of the Isle of Skye Sound/Peace Chamber, and holders of Ceremony.   

In 1990 Ocean “put out a prayer regarding Earth healing” and was called to dance the first Drum Dance in the UK, organized by Lindsay Sutton, a student of Joseph Rael’s and co-author of Tracks of Dancing Light by Joseph Rael.  This first Drum Dance is where Ocean met the Chief of the Drum Dance, Grandfather Joseph Rael-Beautiful Painted Arrow!  The trajectory of her life path at this point became clearer.      

Read more: Isle of Skye

SOUTH AFRICA IS FOR THE BIRDS

Bateleur Raptor Rescue Center

Guardian, Custodian and Founder- Lorna Stanton

     

Within the South African Skies and Earth-spaces, amazing aerial and grounded artists can be heard and seen!  Wingeds, Birds and Raptors – by any name I reveled in their majestic graceful presence and sounds in all of the South African communities that were weaved into the tapestry of the Sacred Drift.

A divine Spirit Sister, Janine Chauveau, whom I connected deeply with in 2014 and has been vicariously Sacred Drifting with me ever since, offered to host me in her South African home for a few days in October of 2017.  One of the opportunities Janine gifted me with was meeting an extraordinary woman, Lorna Stanton, who rescues Raptors from all over South Africa and cares for them at the Bateleur Raptor Rescue Center, which she founded.

 

There are some Bodhisattva Beings that quietly and humbly do their important compassionate work for the Earth Mother and Sentient Beings, and Lorna is one of those Bodhisattvas.   She sometimes needs to travel immense distances to pick up distressed, abused and injured Raptors and takes them to her sanctuary, Bateleur Raptor Rescue Center, for rehabilitation.  Lorna, with love, dedication and determination runs the Raptor Rescue solely at her own expense and whatever donations come her way.  Some of the magnificent Wingeds are injured beyond releasing back into the wild and Lorna cares for them compassionately.  

 

During my time spent with Lorna, Janine, adorable rescue canines and the magnificent owls, eagles and hawks, we held ceremony together, utilizing the power of vibration through the Shamanic Native American Flutes, Voice and Ancestral Buffalo Drum, while Lorna saged the perimeter of the Sanctuary.  The shift in the energies of the Wingeds was magical.  It was as if they were letting me know that they appreciated Lorna’s care and affection, and the vibrations that they were receiving.  WOW!  

 

Bateleur Raptor Rescue Center

The center has been situated in the northeastern suburbs of Johannesburg for more than 20 years.   It is not open to the general public.

Birds of prey frequently require rescuing in the wild as our fast expanding human population is destroying their natural habitat.

In particular, the larger Eagles and Owls are regularly and actively persecuted by South Africa’s farming and rural communities.  

Several hundred of these and other raptors need rescuing annually, because they are poisoned, shot, stoned, orphaned or involved in collisions with vehicles, power lines and fences.

 

     

  

 

If you feel inspired to aid Lorna in the work that she

does with the Wingeds, donations would be gratefully

accepted and are much needed.  American Dollars go

really far in South Africa! It’s simple, just use her

PayPal account, send Lorna an e-mail to let her know

you are donating and know that all your information

is kept confidential with paypal

paypal.me/Eaglelady

Lorna Stanton- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

A week after inter-being with Lorna, Janine and Beings at the Raptor Rescue, Lorna, Janine and I entered into Sound Journey together in the Wind Walker Peace Chamber, to benefit all the Sentient Beings of the Earth, Oceans and Skies, sending Metta out in all 10 directions, also, with intentions of restoring wholesomeness to the Wind Walker land, as well.   It was quite the powerful and touching Sound Journey!  Lots of Loving Kindness!

I must relay a bit about the special moments spent with my Delightfully Divine Spirit Sister, Janine!  Janine is such a generous Woman!!!   She was the first one to respond to the South African Sacred Drift invitation, being sure to ensure our time together!  When I received no response from the Elders and Community of the Wind Walker Peace Chamber, Janine was so willing to pick me up from and drop me off at the airport, take me to Botshabelo and deliver me wherever I needed to be. In the end, a dear man named Curt offered to deliver me to all the above and Janine and I concentrated on our friendship.  :o)))  Janine nourished me with food, playtime with her Bearded Dragon and Doggie, laughter, sharing, her time, love and compassion!  She drove me all around Johannesburg and surrounding places, so I could gather art supplies and other materials for my time at the Botshabelo Orphanage … AND … Janine, understanding that I love Love LOVE Indian cuisine, took me to an Indian restaurant and allowed me to gift her with a Durban specialty, only to be found in South Africa…Bunny Chow!  She thought I would absolutely devour this delicious dish of vegetable curry stuffed in the hollow of a half a loaf of bread…and she was ‘right on the money’!!!  Deeeeeelish!!!  Thank you Beautiful, for the magical time spent together!  I LOVE YOU…YOU ARE EXCELLENT!!!

       

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soundwater Peace Chamber Community

A PEACE CHAMBER IN THE MAKING AND SACRED WATERS

Edinburgh, Scotland

Elders/Keepers/Builders: Jacqui Munday and Martin Fisher

+019-6866-0580
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In Early April, 2017, I boarded a train from Inverness to Edinburgh, Scotland, breathing in the wild and magnificent Scottish landscapes, feeling a sense of peace and awe as the train gently rocked back and forth, swiftly rumbling along the tracks. I was headed to the third destination on this Sacred Drift: The Soundwater Peace Chamber Community.

 

Read more: SoundWater

Birdsong Sound/Peace Chamber

Sweat Lodge and Dance Land

Pennsylvania

Elders: Tom and Kristen Bissinger

601 County Park Rd

Pottstown PA 19465

(610) 469-9029

http://www.birdsongpeacechamber.com/

Pennsylvania spring birdsong is experienced as diverse melodious choirs of delight, enlivening the dark of the early morning and throughout the day, with colors and dense textures of sound. These sonorous experiences held my rapt attention and were treasured during the 30+ years of living in Pennsylvania. Being a flute player, played by the flute, I rather connect deeply to the songs and characteristics of birds, not unlike what Beethoven was said to have experienced. How apropos that I ‘grew up’ in the Pennsylvania Birdsong Sound Chamber Community, and that the Chamber was named Birdsong!!!

I first came to know the Birdsong Community in the early 1990’s, when a Sage-Woman in my life, Jane Moore, took me to a Sweat Lodge on this land. This is where I first connected to Ancestral roots and an incredible, wise, creative community. For twenty four years I have experienced the gifts…no…treasures, of sweating, dancing the land, working, building and maintaining the land, performing, recording, giving a gong-bath, participating in ceremony and cultural experiences, fluting and chanting in the Birdsong Sound Chamber. These transforming experiences, along with weathering the challenges, and sharing in the joys of this amazing life with the Birdsong Community, have been deeply nourishing, and have guided me into a realm of maturity, that most two-leggeds, do not have the opportunity to do so. Gratitude ensues…

Read more: Birdsong Sound/Peace Chamber