Thirty of us gathered for two days in a converted WWII Army Building at Baker Beach on Marin Headlands, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, to renew our Wilderness First Responder Certification. NOLS/WMI (National Outdoor Leadership School/Wilderness Medicine Institute) has created, and continues to refine and update an exceptional course with amazing trainers empowering outdoor leaders with advanced first aid patient assessment, treatment and decision-making.
I have used these skills for the last seven years in all kinds of situations - on city streets, on mountainsides, deep in the Grand Canyon, even on a commercial airlines flight - to assist others who were stressed or in real distress - with confidence as a medically trained person. The compliment to my life to be able to assist others in this way has been huge.
While this training for the backcountry gives you a certain grit and confidence, you can up your Good Samaritan Quotient with any First Aid, Responder and/or CPR training. The statistics are definitive that at some time, you will likely save someone’s life because you knew what to do.
As always, I was the oldest guy in the class, yet still maintained my sense of peer with folks 20 - 30 years younger than me, passing with high marks. Whew!
According to colleague and mentor, Jon Young, the custom of a Sacred Fire where grief is processed in community is pretty universal in indigenous cultures. Life is change; love is loss. Pretty basic to the human experience. So releasing grief and processing loss to renew life and connection to life regularly is core to adapting to a changing world and feeling our strongest connection to each other - our shared suffering and our shared hope.
Friend Dawn has been tutored and sanctioned in the ritual of Sacred Fire by American Indian Tribe Lineage Holders, so she organized and facilitated a Sacred Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains in late October. Over a dozen people - including families - gathered around a fire which burned constantly (because of the Red Flag Fire Danger Warning, candles were used instead of the traditional wood fire). We gave thanks to the directional wisdoms of the Earth (East-Awakening/Spring/Air, South-Action/Summer/Fire, West-Quieting/Autumn/Earth & North-Wisdom/Winter/Water) and spent a full day and night being present to each other’s grief in a timeless way, and finding healing renewal in a safe and trusting environment.
Gathering around the fire in autumn and winter is a perfect time for a family or community to adopt the intention of acknowledging the difficulties of the past and present, compassionately listening to each other, and releasing those tears and losses into the universal fire for purification of one’s spirit and to allow for renewal. (Just exercise awareness and caution while using fire wisely and safely.)
GREEN FLASH REPORT:
On our way back home from the Sacred Fire, we stopped in the tiny coastal town of Davenport on Highway 1 just as the sun was setting. The conditions were just right and my prediction that the legendary Green Flash was about to occur came to pass.
As the setting sun touched the clear horizon line, the image of the bright yellow sun took on a Chinese Lantern shape. Each fold of the accordion-like horizontal layers peeled off the top of the sun as it descended, each becoming a brilliant green flying saucer for a brief moment before it vanished, yielding to the next peeling layer. At the end, a green eye winked at us before fizzling into the muted blue glass of the Pacific Ocean. This was an exceptional display - there were eight layers to the sun, so we saw eight Green Flashes, one after the other, splashing our spirits with their wonder.
Robert Lewis Stevenson once wrote that, “When a man sees the Green Ray, he can see into his own soul.” In the spirit of Stevenson’s declaration, I have been a worshipper of this more-common-than-believed atmospheric phenomenon for decades. Every time it feels like the first time - magical, mystical, marvelous. May you look up into the autumn-becoming-winter sky and be astonished and awed. (Just blink a lot to protect your eyes!)
- Net of Light Grandmother’s Gathering
- VIVE! Nature Wander - Thanksgiving (Nov. 23rd);
- Free Webinar: The Art of Gratitude - Honoring the Spirit of Thanksgiving (Tuesday, Nov. 26th 6:00 - 7:00pm PST)
- Introduction to Animal Tracking 4 Dummies (Morning, Nov. 30th);
- Thanksgiving Address Potluck (Mid-day, 30th);
- Introduction to Bird Language (Afternoon, Nov. 30th)
NET OF LIGHT GRANDMOTHER’S GATHERING:
On November 9th in Santa Rosa, California, a room filled with mostly women and a few men were led by visionary Sharon McErlane to honor the Sacred Feminine. Through ritual, song, dance, meditation and loving initiation we renewed this primary energy and the strength of feminine wisdom as peacekeeper and protector of life. For me as a man, this was a powerful, healing experience to be welcomed, blessed and cared for by women who blessed the Sacred Feminine within me, as it, and the Sacred Masculine, bring balance and connection into each person’s and each community’s life. These free and inclusive gatherings are spreading throughout the world to heal what has been out of balance. There may be a gathering near you. All are welcome. www.netoflight.org
VIVE! NATURE WANDER™: This month’s theme: THANKSGIVING (Saturday, November 23rd, 11:00 am - 1:00pm @ China Camp, Marin County)
“Vive - ‘Into Life’”
To move more deeply into our lives requires peering more deeply into them.
VIVE! Nature Wanders™ use a gentle, innovative and proven method of reflecting on nature through our senses, meditation, and safe, facilitated group process. Our spirits, hearts & minds clear. In clarity we see into our relationship with ourselves, others and our purpose, allowing the inner freedom to become more of who we are meant to be. Participant’s say they feel: “Lighter,” “Free,” “Peaceful.” ($20 donation requested. RSVP for location, etc. details, email: email@example.com)
FREE WEBINAR: THE ART OF GRATITUDE: HONORING THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (Tuesday, November 26th, 6:00 - 7:00pm PST)
Gratitude may be one of the oldest, unbroken customs of humanity uniting us with something greater than ourselves, which is universal.
Tune into this simple, casual reflection of the place of gratitude in our lives and communities to enliven and compliment your Thanksgiving experience.
How gratitude has sustained me during difficult times, and stories of the power of gratitude in daily, professional and governance life.
All who receive this event announcement email will also be emailed the link to this recorded event after its conclusion. You will have the opportunity to forward to your communities - through social media, etc. - this enrichment of our national holiday with its welcoming message.
REGISTER to attend live by emailing me. I will email you the link to the webinar on Monday, November 25th, the day before the webinar. Hope you can attend. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DAY-LONG OF PROGRAMS: (Saturday, November 30th @ China Camp, Marin County)
9:00am - 1:00pm
INTRODUCTION TO ANIMAL TRACKING 4 DUMMIES™: Fun for individuals & Families
Introduction to Animal Tracking 4 Dummies™ is designed as an ancient group treasure hunt for modern people, regardless of nature connection experience. Connecting with the animals through the clues they leave behind exercises our connection muscles flexed as happier, more creative, collaborative, community-oriented people. Nourishment for relationship with ourselves, each other and nature. Participants say, “Happy,” “Excited,” “Connected.” ($49. Adults/$25. Children under 12 $25. (min. Age 6). RSVP for details, etc. to email@example.com)
1:00pm - 2:00pm
LUNCH POTLUCK: THANKSGIVING ADDRESS - ROOTS OF AMERICA’S DEMOCRACY
Bring your Thanksgiving Dinner left-overs and share in a group invocation of our lunch meal with a sanctioned version of the Iroquois Thanksgiving Address for the general public. I’ll share a short summary of the Iroquois’ Great Law of Peace and its contribution to the Constitution of the United States of America. Q & A in the remaining time available. Illustrated copies of the Thanksgiving Address (booklet) will be available for $5.00. No charge for this time together. All generations welcome for this experience (no minimum age). (RSVP for details, etc. to
2:00pm - 5:00pm
INTRODUCTION TO BIRD LANGUAGE: SPEED NATURE CONNECTION AT ITS MOST POETIC
Birds constantly sound safety and threat changes in the environment. The easy-to-learn basics of Bird Language opens up new awareness of the dynamic web of life in the landscape in a way that commonly transforms a person’s sense of connection to nature and of belonging rapidly. Easy to learn through group listening and sharing observations of the changes in the avian soundscape, your - and your family’s - experience in nature will likely change forever after these few hours together. ($35. Adults/$15. Children under 12 (min. Age 6). RSVP for details, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org)
COMBO FEE FOR ALL NOVEMBER 30TH EVENTS PACKAGE: INTRO TO ANIMAL TRACKING FOR DUMMIES™; THANKSGIVING ADDRESS POTLUCK (booklet free with package); INTRO TO BIRD LANGUAGE:
($75 Adult/$25 Children under 12. RSVP to email@example.com)
- Jin Shin Jytusu (meridian acupressure) Marin Intensive (December 6 - 9)
- VIVE! Nature Wander: Winter Solstice (Saturday, December 14th)
JIN SHIN JYUTSU MERIDIAN ACUPRESSURE INTENSIVE: (December 6 - 9)
We are nature because nature made us. The same interrelationships that are macrocosmic nature are also reflected in our microcosmic physiological functioning.
Healing Arts originated in our universally shared hunter-gatherer, animal tracker ancestry. The awareness and empathy of how an animal moved and felt, and the relationships of the seasonal energies reflected in our inner sense of harmonious relationships within ourselves, with others and with nature - how we moved and felt. Healing meant assisting a person back into relationship with nature, so also with their own nature.
Jin Shin Jyutsu is a Japanese Art of Circulatory Reawakening - a refined modern (100 years old) descendant of this ancient nature connection culture wisdom. The hands placed gently on points of the body over clothing restores flow in body, mind, and spirit for more happiness, resilience and longevity.
The JIn Shin Jyutsu Intensive is two sessions per day for four consecutive days. As in a retreat, deep cleaning and re-energizing result from this deep relaxation.
Jin Shin Jytusu is also easy to learn as a self-applied, self-care practice for health, well being and resilience in daily life, while traveling, and in the wilderness. Inquire about Self-Help classes.
(For more information, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
KEYS TO NATURAL SIGHT:
Postings for “Awe-portunities”
- Ultra High/Low Tides November 24 - 30th (great for tide pooling and caution for sneaker waves!)
- Animal Migrations ( Recommend a Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Adventure for waterfowl in huge numbers)
- Rings around the Sun & Moon (Predictors of winter weather patterns - email me if you see one/any.)
HEALTH AND SAFETY NEWS:
5G (Fifth Generation of cellular, wireless technology) Updates: Scientific American magazine article (Through Dr. Mercola’s website) - 5G unsafe for health of life.
The Sacred Land Film Project documentaries by award-winning Toby McCleod highlight the tragedy of development-usurped traditional lands and the hope of persevering native people. Stream the movies and connect with the plight and resilience of native people around the world.