Archive for October, 2010

Zero Limits – Ho ‘Oponopono



Zero Limits

Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients–without ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate’s chart and then look within himself to see how he created that person’s illness. As he improved himself, the patient improved.

When I first heard this story, I thought it was an urban legend. How could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could even the best self-improvement master cure the criminally insane?

It didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t logical, so I dismissed the story.

However, I heard it again a year later. I heard that the therapist had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho ‘oponopono. I had never heard of it, yet I couldn’t let it leave my mind. If the story was at all true, I had to know more. (more…)

Mt. Washington’s Summit, Ykes!


As we approached the last few feet of the Tuckerman’s Trail, at the summit of Mt. Washington. we took the last steps… to what? A parking lot filled with camera toting, Lay’s Potato Chip bag eating, heavy handed, and heavy set “summiteers”.

They had just driven up the highest peak in the land.
And they were taking pictures of us, the hikers, as if we were wildlife…maybe we were.

I’m a native of New Hampshire, and after all these years, had forgotten to avoid the White Mountains in the summer. I’ve been living in other parts of the world and usually come back to New Hampshire during the off seasons.  So, when Amanda and I decided to climb to the Northeast’s highest summit on a midweek day last August, I vaguely warned Amanda about a crowded summit. But nothing prepared either of us for the sheer numberof poeple. While I’m the first to share the mountains with others, and gladly give way on the trails, the element of an auto-road raises the stakes of tolerance.

The day started and ended nicely, it was the middle part that was challenging. As we headed up Lion’s Head Trail, we passed a few people here and there.  It was Amanda’s first time on a bigger peak in the Northeastern US,  and she enjoyed getting a sense of the mountain, feeling the “mountain spirit” which each unique to each mountain. The Inca have a word for it, “Los Apus”, the “Mountain Spirits” which reside in and on every mountain, or in essence, are the mountain. Mountains are either maculine or feminine, and have certain traits, such as strength, or flexability or love, or supporting compassion for example.  Amanda was getting a feel for what she felt as the female, but big,  loving energy of Mt. Washington, whose indigenous name is *Agiocochook (or Agiochook), and Waumbeket Methna meaning “The place of the Great Spirit”; “The place of the Concealed One.” (and in one other reference also named, Kodaak wadso).  (*Referred to by Emerson as well, in his journals).

When one quiets the mind, and tunes into the surrounding natural environment, the place and natural features will speak to one. But because of our incessant need for mind chatter, and our worried lives, we rarely tune into the pulse of nature, as exemplified by our summit experience.

The Summiteers

Amanda has been reading Postcards from Ed, a collection of letters and postcards from Edward Abby, which we both highly recommend. Our suggestion, dismantle the road, and the cog railway while they’re at it.

Note: Stay tuned for another post featuring “Ingram’s Law”: A law based on Gresham’s Law of economics, in which Ingram  applied the same principles  to recreational management in our national and state parks and other public lands.

MSI Adds Rock Climbing to Programs


Rock Climbing is not new to the founder and other staff at Mountain Spirit Institute, but it’s new to MSI. R. Richards was a rock camp instructor for Outward Bound’s Semester Course  in Joshua Tree, CA, a staff trainer, and guide for Alpine Ascents in Seattle. He has been an individual member of American Mountain Guides Association since 1984, (which doesn’t connote certification), and MSI staffer Craig Cimmons has taught rock climbing for years in Vermont, and ran the Outdoor Program at Green Mountain College.  Bob Stremba runs the Outdoor Pursuits program at Fort Lewis College, and has been a long-time rock climber and outdoor instructor.

From MSI's Webpage on Rock Climbing

“I always thought it would be cost prohibitive to include insurance for rock climbing as part of our Worldwide Outfitters and Guides Association coverage, but I was wrong,” says founder Randy Richards, adding, “We should have added it years ago, and feel like we really want to take advantage of what we have to offer.”  Cimmons,  Stremba,  and Richards all place a high importance on not only safety but a comfortable learning environment.  “With years of teaching rock climbing, and many students with whom we’ve shared our skills, we feel we want to continue to get out on the rock!” says Richards.

MSI includes rock climbing not simply as an outdoor adventure activity, but uses the climbing as a metaphor for life.  The facilitators set the tone for participants to take a look at how they problem solve on the rock, and see what correlations they might make in how they solve problems in their daily life. Trust and team-building are also important elements of rock climbing.

Your Food Supply #27


As our 2010 blog series on “Your Food Supply” starts wrapping up, we present an interview with an intern at Hardwick Vermont Farmer’s Market. She had quite an interesting perspective on the health of Vermont’s village centers vs. those in the western U.S.  Check out her perspective…