Archive for the ‘Supporting MSI’ Category

We Need Your Help, Spread the Word!


Mountain Spirit Institute’s Blog – Reader’s Appeal to Google News

If you like what you’ve been reading on Mountain Spirit’s blog since 2008, please help us spread the news by suggested they list us on their search site. Here’s how you can help.

Help our Non-Profit org, Suggest: - Thanks!

Since we at Mountain Spirit Institute started our blog, 64,000 people have stopped by to read our posts and see our videos. By helping us build a broader base, we’ll not only get more readership and exposure, but possible needed revenue  from advertising like-minded organizations on our site, as well as exposure to potential donors.

Started in 1998, Mountain Spirit’s mission is to facilitate one’s connection to the natural world, each other and a deeper connection to one’s self, through a wide variety of programs in the U.S. and abroad, ranging from wilderness programs to workshops.

We’ve Gone Ad Free



Never Too Late to Stop Ads

We’ve been meaning to do it, but finally got around to it today. No more ads on this blog. In the spirit of being a nonprofit (Mountain Spirit Institute is indeed a non-profit) we thought this would be the better route. As editor, the ads never showed up on my screen, but I assume they were there. It was easy to put this task on the back burner because I never saw one. I hope they weren’t advertising for hosiery or wellness pills. I assume the revenue went to, as well is should. They’re a great company.  We’ll be paying for the privilege of an ad-free blog, and hope you’ll like it. Let us know what you think. And while you’re at it, let us know if you saw any hosiery ads or the like.
R. Richards
PS: Your donations,  for this blog, or for helping to further our organizational mission is always welcome. You can donate here.

Snatam Kaur Rehearsal, Part B


Part B of Snatam Kaur, GuruGanesha Singh and Ramesh Kannan rehearsing the morning of their performance for our Mountain Spirit Institute Fundraiser, in Sunapee, NH.

Snatam Kaur Rehearsal, Part A


Snatam Kaur, GuruGanesha Singh and Ramesh Kannan rehearse the morning of their performance for our Mountain Spirit Institute Fundraiser, in Sunapee, NH.
This was their third day of rehearsals, and it seemed the energy was so high that I had to capture it, with GuruGenesha’s permission of course.
Thanks you all,  for gracing our living room with your music of the spirit and heart.

Snatam Kaur MSI Fundraiser, A Success


Snatam Kaur &....

We’ve just had an amazing Mountain Spirit Institute fund raising concert:  Snatam Kaur, Guru Ganesha Singh and Ramesh Kannan played at the Lebanon Opera House, New Hampshire, USA.

GuruGanesha Singh

Not only are we grateful for their music, but for who they are as people. We were fortunate that they made time in their schedule to come to central New Hampshire, and we responded with an enthusiastic audience, (301), and lots of willing volunteers who did everything from move gear, provide flowers, to cook wonderful meals. Thank you Snatam, GuruGanesha, Ramesh, Shanti, Sopurkh, and Japreet!

Snatam Kaur & Family/Band at Lake Sunapee/MSI

As we prepped for the fundraiser by printing brochures, prepping our booth, and coordinating volunteers, Snatam’s band rehearsed in our living room, here in Sunapee, NH, which was really tough duty for us, not.

I learned a lot about what music is meant to be, a spiritual communion – with good discussions about why Snatam and her band do what they do. Also I talked with Ramesh Kannan, and discovered that a book I’d bought in a Durango bookstore, is one of his favorites, on the treatise of the spiritual nature of making music. The book is called The Music Lesson, A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music.

Ramesh Kannan

Stay tuned for some wonderful footage, pending the band’s approval of course. Meanwhile here are some pix.  Again a BIG THANK YOU to all the volunteers, support team, Snatam’s family, band members, the Lebanon Opera House, and especially to our sponsors who made this fundraiser possible.

Randy Richards,
Mountain Spirit Institute

MSI Needs Your Support…


Mountain Spirit Institute needs your support!


Mountain Spirit Institute,, is a 501-(c)-3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping people better connect to themselves, each other and the natural world with a greater sense of joy and peace.

Richard Louv in his book “Last Child in the Woods” coined the term ‘nature deficit disorder’, which describes people’s lack of contact with the natural world, and the drastic results of what happens to individuals and society when this happens. MSI not only addresses this issue but instills a sense of place, compassion, and responsibility impelling our participants to take action towards a more holistic and sustainable lifestyle.


  • Learning about other cultures, Peru

    We have been in existence for over 11 years, offering a variety of programs, including the Kearsarge Wilderness Experience, a Peruvian/USA Folklore music exchange and tour, regular educational programs to Peru, The Art of Living shamanic studies program, a film series and author lectures plus other exspiritiential* education programs that support our mission.  (*This is a term coined by MSI to summarize our mission).

  • We give back to the local community by hosting the Sunapee SunFest and continue to offer the Sunapee High School/Outward Bound MSI Scholarship Program.
  • Our website and popular blog have a worldwide audience sharing global ideas about community, holistic lifestyles and sustainability.
  • Getting the word out

    100% financial giving by our directors to MSI as well as gifts in kind, and volunteer hours. The founder’s belief in the mission is illustrated by his loan of over $24,000 over ten years for start-up costs.  We earned our official non-profit status in 2005, but in some ways we are still a start-up.   We have conducted many successful programs over the years, and made a significant and positive impact on people’s lives in the region and beyond. Our programs have paid for themselves, showing strong administrative leadership. We’ve existed without major outside funding from individuals or grants.  In order to move on to the next stage, we are seeking donations to not only fulfill our mission but to be a sustainable organization.


Our Board of Directors has held two retreats to assess our place in the world, and to determine where our energy should be directed this year.   The MSI Board is committed to continuing its mission by creating new energy and relationships, not only within the organization, but with all who are coming in contact with us – participants, facilitators and donors alike. We are paying attention to aligning our work in a practical way for the betterment of our world.   These goals and programs are the epitome of our mission and we would be honored to continue our work with your help. Just a few of our upcoming programs are:

H.A.W.K program: Healing, Adventure, Wilderness and Kamping: a healing bereavement wilderness experience to provide a sense of community, contact and communication for teens and adults who have lost a loved one. More info here.

Snatam Kaur Fundraising Concert: featuring an artist whose ethics and message align with ours.  We will be introducing Snatam Kaur’s music to the Upper Valley/Lake Sunapee regional audience ( when she performs at the Lebanon Opera House on September 1st 2010.  Snatam’s internationally acclaimed music has been presented at yoga and personal development retreat centers throughout the world, and is the epitome of heartspace music. Learn more here. More info here.

Peru 2011: An important program, (our first was conducted in 1998), has the fundamental mission of expanding Americans’ view of the world through experiencing the compassion of the Peruvian people, and the stunning spiritual landscape of the Andes. Giving back and service are important aspects of this program. More info here.

Kearsarge Wilderness Experience and Solo: These programs serve to directly help participants realign their internal compasses in today’s busy lifestyle by finding vital time to connect with nature, with themselves and thereby be of better benefit to the world around them. More info on KWE here, and on Solo, here.


Specifically, we are seeking funds to build a solid foundation to increase our capacity to deliver more programs, and to be a truly sustainable organization. We realize these are difficult times and that there are many competing organizations seeking your support. Check out our website and blog, talk to a Board member or a former participant.   Learn more about the difference that Mountain Spirit Institute makes in the lives of individuals and communities. Your tax deductible contribution will enable us to continue to make that difference.

We need to raise $5,000.00 by AUG 15th in order to continue to offer the cultural and exspiritiential programs that distinguish us from other adventure-travel or outdoor organizations.  All those able to attend/participate in Mountain Spirit Institute events and programs will be grateful for any contribution you feel you can make, whether it is $25, $50, $100, $200 or more, toward our unmet needs.

You may contribute financially to our annual fund, by sending a tax deductable donation by mail to:

Mountain Spirit Institute
P.O. Box 626, Sunapee, NH 03782
or, to make a donation using PayPal, click here.

Thank you to all our past and present supporters of MSI. See a list of them here.

On behalf of Mountain Spirit Institute’s board of directors, thank you for considering donating to Mountain Spirit Institute.

D.R. Richards, Founder
Mountain Spirit Institute

Thanks to Our Supporters


MSI Contributors

Mountain Spirit Institute thanks all donors past and present, in part, by creating a webpage on our site dedicated to all who have donated time, financial support, gifts in kind, and talent to furthering the mission of Mountain Spirit Institute.

To all of you who have contributed to our organization, we, the board members, and on behalf of our program participants past, present and future, to whom your donations benefit, we thank you with deepest gratitude.

In Spirit of the Mountains!
Thank you
Dexter R. Richards, Founder,
Executive Director

If you, or someone you know, would like to make a tax deductible donation to MSI, you can do so on our support page.

Snatam Kaur Benefit Concert for MSI


Mountain Spirit Institute announces Benefit Concert with Snatam Kaur

Snatam Kaur

Snatam Kaur will be playing at the Lebanon, NH, USA Opera House on September 1st, 2010 for a evening of meditative music. Kaur is an internationally known recording artist, who’s music is highly soul soothing.

Say Cindy Heath, Mountain Spirit Board Member and Coordinator of the concert, “I happened to be at a Kripalu event and heard her playing for a yoga event. I had remembered her music when we had it playing at a MSI board meeting.” Adds Heath, “When I approached them to see if they’d be interested in Snatam playing under an invitation from Mountain Spirit Institute as a fundraiser concert for the organization, they eventually said yes.”

It took a while, but after the booking person looked at MSI’s website, they deemed our organization has a similar mission to Snatam’s.  Tickets for the concert will be sold through the Lebanon Opera House

Concert in Toronto

“I was first introduced to Snatam’s music by my wife, Amanda, who listened to Kaur’s music while attending meditation and yoga retreats in India during the summer of 2008,” says Randy Richards, director of Mountain Spirit.  “I have just about worn out Snatam’s CD’s, and when we heard from Cindy that she had met Snatam and there might be the possibility of a concert, we jumped at the chance.”

Read more about the upcoming Snatam Kaur/Mountain Spirit Institute Benefit Concert  at our webpage on the concert. To listen and learn more about Snatam’s music visit her website.

MSI at International Festival


MSI at Colby Sawyer College International Festival
New London, NH, USA

R. Richards tells about MSI's programs, B. Dowst in background

Mountain Spirit Institute had a booth  at Colby Sawyer College’s International Festival in New London NH, USA yesterday on Thursday March 25th. Foreign students and college staff were dressed in their traditional national clothing and served food from their country.  The Peruvian band Inka Wasi, from Boston, taught audience members how to play the zampoña, then percussion instruments. Later, the trio later played traditional folklore songs from the Andes countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina.  Mountain Spirit Institute’s director R. Richards, spoke with one of the band members about the band Chimu Inka from Cusco. MSI sponsored Chimu Inka in the fall of 2008. The two discussed about some possible collaboration with the two bands in the future, when Chimu Inka returns to the U.S.

Inka Wasi director teaching Zampoña

Many local residents came out see this popular event which has been running a number of years here in this New England college town.  MSI board members Brenda Dowst and Amanda Richards, and Randy Richards manned the booth.

The Carrolls visit at MSI's booth

Local author Dave Carroll and his wife Laurett stopped by the booth to say hi as did other Sunapee and New London residents.  Both the Carrolls were not only fans but supporters of the Chimu Inka 2008 Peruvian/USA Music Exchange tour.

New Fundraiser for MSI


Mountain Spirit is always looking for good ways to work with our friends in Peru, to give back,   also to help raise funds for our programs. Boot program fits the bill.

Handmade Fundraiser

By R. Richards
When we walked into Mariano’s boot shop in Cusco last summer we knew we were looking at high quality products. I trained as an apprentice boot maker in Austria, so I recognized the traditional European boot making techniques  when I saw them. And here they were in Cusco, Peru, in the form of high quality suede boots, custom made right in the shop. Mariano takes an outline of one’s foot, then gets to work. While we lived in Cusco we talked with him to see if we could order from the states. At an international fair we had put the boots out and they proved so popular, we decided to put them on our website. All proceeds go to the bootmaker, and to Mountain Spirit Institute to further our non-profit educational mission and programs. If you, or someone you know, would like a pair, read on and contact us.

MSI Handmade Peruvian Boots

Boots from Peru

–  Hand made from Cusco Peru
–  Unique, not mass marketed
–  Popular with the people who have ordered them so far.
–  Custom to your foot: We (or you can) outline your foot, and we send it via DHL courier   directly to Cusco where Mariano completes the order in three days and sends the boots back by DHL
– Suede leather
– Insulated
– Inlaid with traditional local handmade weavings, made on backstrap looms
– Lug Sole made by “Cat” (similar to Vibram)

Uggs Alternative

– Very comfortable
– Made to order.
– We place orders when we have nine or ten orders together.
– GENERIC SIZES OPTION: Some generic sizes are in stock and ship in 24hrs. Call for details.
-PRICES: Custom made $180.00 plus ground shipping in U.S. Price includes custom ordering and shipment from Peru by DHL. Generic sizes $140.00 plus shipping in U.S. from NH, USA
– Turn around time: 8-10 days from when order is sent from USA
-Available in New Zealand starting 8/2010

For further details or to place an order, please call 603-763-2668 or email us at