Thursday, December 10, 2009

the mexican fisherman

A friend of mine sent this story along and I thought I would share it...

The Mexican Fisherman
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”
The American then asked him why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish. The Mexican replied that he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich; you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what, senor?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Author Unknown

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chief Arvol Looking Horse on recent "sweat lodge" deaths

I wanted to address the recent incedents in Sedona, Arizona where 2 people died and a number of others were injured during a sweat lodge, but this post from really covers it all...

Chief Arvol Looking Horse on recent "sweat lodge" deaths
As Keeper of our Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, I am concerned for the 2 deaths and illnesses of the many people that participated in a sweat lodge in Sedona, Arizona that brought our sacred rite under fire in the news. I would like to clarify that this lodge and many others, are not our ceremonial way of life, because of the way they are being conducted. My prayers go out for their families and loved ones for their loss.

Our ceremonies are about life and healing, from the time this ancient ceremonial rite was given to our people, never has death been a part of our inikag¹a (life within) when conducted properly. Today the rite is interpreted as a sweat lodge, it is much more then that. So the term does not fit our real meaning of purification.

Inikag'a is the oldest ceremony brought to us by Wakan Tanka (Great Spirit). 19 generations ago, the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Oyate (people), were given seven sacred rites of healing by a Spirit Woman Pte San Win (White Buffalo Calf Woman). She brought these rites along with our sacred C'anupa (pipe) to our People, when our ancestors were suffering from a difficult time. It was also brought for the future to help us for much more difficult times to come. They were brought to help us stay connected to who we are as a traditional cultural People. The values of conduct are very strict in any of these ceremonies, because we work with spirit. The way the Creator, Wakan Tanka told us; that if we stay humble and sincere, we will keep that connection with the inyan oyate (the stone people), who we call the Grandfathers, to be able to heal our selves and loved ones. We have a "gift" of prayer and healing and have to stay humble with our Unc'i Maka (Grandmother Earth) and with one another. The inikag'a is used in all of the seven sacred rites to prepare and finish the ceremonies, along with the sacred eagle feather. The feather represents the sacred knowledge of our ancestors.

Our First Nations People have to earn the right to pour the mini wic'oni (water of life) upon the inyan oyate (the stone people) in creating Inikag'a - by going on the vision quest for four years and four years Sundance. Then you are put through a ceremony to be painted - to recognize that you have now earned that right to take care of someone's life through purification.

They should also be able to understand our sacred language, to be able to understand the messages from the Grandfathers, because they are ancient, they are our spirit ancestors. They walk and teach the values of our culture; in being humble, wise, caring and compassionate.

What has happened in the news with the make shift sauna called the sweat lodge is not our ceremonial way of life!

When you do ceremony - you can not have money on your mind. We deal with the pure sincere energy to create healing that comes from everyone in that circle of ceremony. The heart and mind must be connected. When you involve money, it changes the energy of healing. The person wants to get what they paid for; the Spirit Grandfathers will not be there, our way of life is now being exploited! You do more damage then good. No mention of monetary energy should exist in healing, not even with a can of love donations. When that energy exists, they will not even come. Only Œafter¹ the ceremony, between the person that is being healed and the Intercessor who has helped connect with the Great Spirit, the energy of money can be given out of appreciation. That exchange of energy is from the heart; it is private and does not involve the Grandfathers! Whatever gift of appreciation the person who received the help, can now give the Intercessor what ever they feel their healing is worth.

In our Prophesy of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, she told us that she would return and stand upon the earth when we are having a hard time. In 1994 this began to happen with the birth of the white buffalo, not only their nation, but many animal nations began to show their sacred color, which is white. She predicted that at this time there would be many changes upon Grandmother Earth. There would be things that we never experienced or heard of before; climate changes, earth changes, diseases, disrespect for life and one another would be shocking and there would be also many false prophets!

My Grandmother that passed the bundle to me said I would be the last Keeper if the Oyate (people) do not straighten up. The assaults upon Grandmother Earth are horrendous, the assaults toward one another was not in our culture, the assaults against our People (Oyate) have been termed as genocide, and now we are experiencing spiritual genocide!

Because of the problems that began to arise with our rebirth of being able to do our ceremonies in the open since the Freedom of Religion Act of 1978, our Elders began talking to me about the abuses they seen in our ceremonial way of life, which was once very strict. After many years of witnessing their warnings, we held a meeting to address this very issue of lack of protocol in our ceremonies. After reaching an agreement of addressing the misconduct of our ceremonies and reminding of the proper protocols, a statement was made in March 2003. Every effort was made to insure our way of life of who we are as traditional cultural People was made, because these ways are for our future and all life upon the Grandmother Earth

(Mitakuye Oyasin All my relations), so that they may have good health. Because these atrocities are being mocked and practiced all over the world, there was even a film we made called 'Spirits for Sale".

The non-native people have a right to seek help from our 'First Nation Intercessors' for good health and well-being, it is up to that Intercessor. That is a privilege for all People that we gift for being able to have good health and understand that their protocol is to have respect and appreciate what we have to share. The First Nations Intercessor has to earn that right to our ceremonial way of life in the ways I have explained.

At this time, I would like to ask all Nations upon Grandmother Earth to please respect our sacred ceremonial way of life and stop the exploitation of our Tunka Oyate (Spiritual Grandfathers).

In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no ending and no beginning!

Namah'u yo (hear my words),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Frankincense is a wonderful meditation tool that can help if you are having difficulty keeping the rampant mind at bay. Using Frankincense deepens your meditative practice and helps you to keep focused.

Frankincense is an ancient tree resin that has been used for centuries in sacred ceremonies, religious rituals, spiritual meditation and holistic medicine. It was in widespread use by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans.

Frankincense resin comes from the Boswellia tree which grows in mainly Africa. To collect the sap, the tree bark is cut and the sap is allowed to ooze out of the bark. The sap dries on the tree and is then collected.

As incense, the raw chunks of resin are directly set on a heat source, such as hot coals. Burning Frankincense is believed to affect the crown charka. It helps with meditation by deepening the breath and brining the body and mind into a harmonious state. There is a quality to the scent of burning Frankincense that seems to reach a forgotten corner of the mind. It is an exotic, yet familiar smell that can assist in promoting spiritual focus and creativity.

As a medicinal substance Frankincense was thought to cure vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and tumors. It is also used to treat skin inflammation, headaches and allergies. In China it is used to treat leprosy and gonorrhea. Frankincense is edible and can also help with digestion. Ayurvedic medicine uses Frankincense for treating arthritis.

Edible Frankincense must be pure for internal consumption. It should be translucent without any impurities. It is often chewed like gum, but it is stickier because it is a resin.

Frankincense has also been used in Aromatherapy to relieve anxiety and promote a sense of well-being. It is used to alleviate depression.

Personally, it feels as if burning Frankincense during your day helps to encourage sacredness in your life. Give it a try

In peace,

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Acknowledging Nature

We shape ourselves by the thoughts we hold in our minds. The thoughts we dwell on create the reality we live in. Holding negative thoughts shapes our world into something we fear. When we are fearful things we encounter reinforce our negative thoughts. This generates an energy field that surrounds us and encourages unwelcome situations. It is very easy to get caught in a downward spiral.

One of the drawbacks of our highly complex society is that we have become very distracted and oblivious to some of the fundamental aspects of life. We get so attached to our technological innovations that we forget the magical world that exists outside in nature. The busyness of the world fragments our mental process and creates gaps for negative thoughts to take hold.

If we are able to carve out some time to spend in the natural world we give ourselves an opportunity to bring some balance back into our lives. We are living beings on this planet, an integral part of the whole and it is essential that we cultivate this connection. By acknowledging nature we learn to sense the vital spirit that exists within all things and this enables us to restore balance and wellbeing to our lives.

wishing you much peace

Monday, August 10, 2009

10 Ways to Increase Your Stress

10 Ways to Increase Your Stress

1. Become inflexible. Demand that everyone do things your way. Don't listen to other opinions or ideas. Dismiss them as irrelevant.

2. Try to do twice as much as you can actually accomplish. Multi-task your multi-tasking. Fill your schedule and then try to fit in more things.

3. Worry about anything and everything...especially those things over which you have no control. Fret, fume and feel as if the whole world is out to get you.

4. Take things personally. Don't wait for things to bother you. Go out and look for things that will annoy you and let them get under your skin. Any mistake or problem should be taken as a personal insult.

5. Demand perfection from everyone and everything around you. Be sure to expect much more than is possible. Be as miserable as possible when things go wrong.

6. Abandon your sense of humor. Try to treat every matter as the most important thing in the world. Every minor thing should heighten your anger level.

7. Be cynical about the world. Look for events and situations that back up your view. Ignore any good news. Be pessimistic about other people's motives. Be suspicious of everyone.

8. Watch television, especially reality shows. Turn the volume up during commercials. Eat lots of junk food and drink soda.

9. Abandon your ability to change and adapt to the world around you. Be rigid in your body and mind. Don't allow anything to disturb your misery.

10. Hold your breath, don't exercise. Tighten your shoulder muscles and slouch. Frown, scowl and be sure to crease the lines your forehead.

NOTE: Please consult your personal physician before undertaking any stress-increasing activities.

WARNING: Failure to follow these guidelines can result in occasional bouts of peace, harmony and a desire to check out the relaxed breathing and movement of Zen Yoga.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The time is now

The selfish, materialistic world that we have been living in is coming apart at the seams. Sadly it is not going to simply fade away in some magical enlightenment where we all realize the wondrous magic and beauty that exists on the Earth. There are just too many people who are firmly entrenched in the materialistic world and wholly unready for any sort of spiritual evolution. We, as a species, have taken more than our share and caused too much destruction. And yet we still continue forward at an ever increasing pace. The consequence of this situation can only be further environmental destruction, social upheaval, and eventually significant, life-threatening chaos.

There are many who say that 2012 will bring the end of the world. These prophecies of doom and gloom are not correct. 2012 will, in fact, usher in a new age of wonder and harmony. It will be a time of raising consciousness to a higher level of vibration. It will be the dawn of a world where peace is a reality and not simply an excuse to make more war.

The real challenge for all of us is now...right now. We must begin to move towards this reality now. The dramatic changes that are taking place in the world today will only increase as we move closer to the galactic convergence. Those who realize the necessity of making a fundamental shift in both lifestyle and consciousness right now are going to be the ones with the greatest chance of navigating the turbulent times ahead.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

return of the sage

The wandering sage has finally returned from his travels.

It is always good to visit distant places. It gives you a whole new perspective on things. People are basically the same wherever you go. They all have hopes and dreams as well as worries and fears. The problems arise when the worries and fears outweigh the hopes and dreams.

It really feels like all of this financial pandemic crisis stuff causes a lot more stress and tension in people than is necessary. I don’t really get the sense that the mainstream media is helping at all. They seem to revel in sensationalizing all of it which only makes things worse. And while we may supposedly be in a recovery now all of the problems with population, limited resources, peak oil, climate change and economic meltdown are still escalating.

Fortunately, with the arrival of spring (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) there is the feeling of rebirth and a new wellspring of energy that is bubbling up. We need to tap into this energy and make use f it. Too often it can feel like our problems are taking over our life. When we can feel a real connection to the Earth and the energy of the natural world those problems shrink down to a more manageable size.

So, as with many of these posts, I’ll leave you with these simple words…

Remember to Breathe

Monday, April 6, 2009

Keeping Perspective

Well, a month on the beach in Australia has been a wonderful chance to put things in perspective. Zen Yoga is getting a great reception over here.

I think it is very easy to get locked into a worldview when we are going through the same motions day in and day out. Stepping out of the normal everyday pattern forces a shift in perception. Sure the same problems exist, but a change in location or situation provides an opportunity to look at things in a different way.

If you are able to implement a regular practice that allows you to get more closer in touch with your spiritual nature then you can enhance this process even more.

This type of practice is vital during times of uncertainty. The whole world may seem like it is going crazy, but if you can keep your center it is possible to navigate the difficulties without too much problem. Of course there are things that need to be dealt with. However, if you can start with breathing and movement to get the energy in your body flowing, then everything you do will become more effective.

If you already have an effective practice it may be time to take it to a new level by rededicating yourself to mindful awareness and meditation. This allows a much deeper exploration into the real purpose of life.....hint: it is not about getting more STUFF...

Back from Australia on April 15th with lots happening. Check out Eat Smart: The Zen Anti-Diet if you get a chance.

wishing everyone much peace....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mistwalkers - new poetry


There are those who spend their day

Living in a different way

Apart from all the hectic noise

Away from shows and ads and toys

Away from stores and shops and such

They have enough, they don’t need much

They touch the soul of Mother Earth

They live in peace and joy and mirth

In their hearts no room for fear

Theirs eyes are bright, their thoughts are clear

Each step they take the ground is kissed

These walkers in the sacred mist

-Aaron Hoopes 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

transformational alignment

A lot of emphasis has been put on the winter solstice of 2012 as a point of transition, but like the moon that is full three days before and three days after the actual full moon, we have already entered this significant time.

The ancient Vedic texts called this time the Kali Yuga, a time when humanity has reached the depths of selfish materialism. I don't think there is any doubt that we are seeing this unfold before our eyes daily...and yet still most people seem oblivious to the tremendous changes that are taking place.

It has been determined that on the solstice of 2012 the Earth will come into precise alignment with the galactic center. What this means exactly is up for debate. However, one thing that is becoming clear is that there are going to be significant fundamental changes to our lives and the way we live. I'm beginning to look at this time as a moment of opportunity for consicous evolution. It is there waiting for those who are ready for it while everyone else will be caught up in the fear and chaos of the changes.

Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we get our own house in order. We need to have our physical body in a healthy state - srtong, flexible and free of chemicals and poisons....and we need our mind calm, clear and able to react to whatever situations we are presented with... Most importantly, we need to open our hearts and reconnect with the Earth. For to long we have taken from her for our selfish needs without acknowledgement of the lifeforce energy she provides us. The Earth will survive for millennia to come, if the human race is to continue to have a purpose on this planet we need to get our act together.

We have passed the time for debate about whether climate change, overpopulation and depleted resources are real problems. If you think that we will soon be returning to unlimited economic growth, rampant expansion and magic technological breakthroughs that will end our dependency on fossil fuel...nevermind.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Galactic Alignment: The Transformation of Consciousness

Galactic Alignment: The Transformation of Consciousness According to Mayan, Egyptian, and Vedic Traditions by John Major Jenkins

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another step along a journey that is leading towards something quite profound. This is a book for people already familiar with the subject matter. It is a very detailed look at the evolution of consciousness that we are undergoing as we move towards 2012.
Popular culture portrays 2012 as an disaster movie. Instead, John Major Jenkins puts forth the concept that we are at an epic moment of transformation. Those who are realizing that the selfish, materialistic world we have been living in is coming to an end are the ones who are going to have the best chance to navigate the coming changes.
Something we all need to consider as we get closer and closer to 2012.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mind-Body Connection

The more we train our body the stronger and healthier it becomes. In the same manner, the more we train our mind the calmer and clearer it becomes. This practice is like sharpening the blade of a sword. The healthier the body and the calmer the mind the better we are able to focus more completely on the task at hand.

Training the body is a physical challenge. Whether it is zen yoga, tai chi, marital arts, tennis, golf swimming or is about moving the body and flowing with energy. However training the mind is a much greater challenge. There are many distractions. The practice of meditation needs to be an integral part of life even when we feel that it is not doing anything for us. The subtle changes that occur over time through the regular study of meditation are invaluable. While we may understand the concept of meditation intellectually, putting aside time to practice is often difficult. Nevertheless, the clarity of thought that meditation provides is something vital to our training that we should not be without. It brings us to a moment of zen, being fully alive in the present moment.

When we exist fully in the present moment we embody our true self. Like moving in stereo, the body and mind become a single flowing entity. By following the same rhythm, each compliments the other. We are able to react without thought or hesitation. Our reactions are perfectly appropriate depending on the situation, neither too strong nor too weak.

This is the true meaning of body and mind connection.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Living on a Changing Earth

Did you ever have a thought deep in the back of your mind that there just might, possibly be a better way of living than the way that is forced upon us by the hectic, stress-filled technological society in which we live today? Alan Watts, the renowned Zen scholar, called that thought hintegedanke, which is a German word describing something just at the edge of consciousness. It is a hint of something greater, of some special connection we have with the world around us. For most, that feeling stays in the shadows of the mind as we drink our double lattés, drive our SUVs, and live our lives between the increasingly strident commercials which bombard us day and night and hope that the financial and economic disaster somehow misses us.

What might this hintegedanke be trying to tell us?
Might it be offering to show us another way?
Might it be trying to remind us of something we have long forgotten?
Might it be presenting us with a different path to walk?

I believe that we have forgotten some very important knowledge over the past five-thousand years, knowledge we were not supposed to forget. And now we find we are on the verge of collectively destroying ourselves…again.

Millennia ago, in the vague myths of the antediluvian world, the Earth was different. People were different. They lived in harmony with the world around them, connected to it.

The Mayan calendar points to the winter solstice on December 21st 2012 as the end date of a great age. It is vital that we begin to expand our awareness and pay attention to the bigger picture.

In order to survive on this changing Earth we need be able to change with it.

It starts with an awareness of the self and the world around us. Selfishness, greed and insincerity are no longer of any value to us. We must now find a purpose that is about more than personal gain.

Are you ready?
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