The front cover shows the magnificence of Jumbo Pass, which is part of the Purcell Mountains that our Retreat Center backs onto. How many of you know that the Ktunaxa Nation of the East Kootenays are claiming stewardship of this land? Recently they challenged the premier of BC, Christy Clark, with an application for a judicial review. I seldom listen to the radio, but I remember cringing as Clark told the CBC reporters that BC needs jobs so she rubber-stamped her approval. If you are as delighted as I am that the Ktunaxa are standing their ground, it would be good to support them financially and write letters of support. Please read the article on page 16 and check out their websites: www.ktunaxa.org or www.beforejumbo.com.
Nature has power beyond our comprehension and has proven once again that it is a force to be reckoned with. In just a few minutes on July 12, it released tons of soggy soil and deposited it back into the lake. I was on a distribution trip, listening to CBC. Every half hour, the announcer continued with updates. It seems to me that the media and government like to make ‘big deals’ out of minor incidents and ‘tiny deals’ out of things we really need to know about.
‘WE, THE PEOPLE’ need to question the motives of our leaders and get involved in the voting process, as we did with the HST and smart meters. Jumbo Pass needs to remain unpopulated so grizzly bears can traverse the mountains. Building a town so that rich people can ski the glaciers does not make economic sense. Neither does the Enbridge pipeline, which would cross lands prone to slides and the headwaters of three of our most productive salmon-bearing rivers. There are many websites, including the Vancouver Sun, Forest Ethics (www.forestethics.org) and the Living Oceans Society (www.livingoceans.org), that all have up-to-date details and show the proposed route. Make sure your voice is heard. The Internet makes it easy as we get to know each other’s point of view.
Nature gives humans the opportunity to grow and change. It does not ensure the outcome, but it does provide us with the spur to evolve and become better organisms. In nature, “better” means growth; it is our human nature that thinks better means “more secure.” Tragedy is often a leap in consciousness that in hindsight helps us to evolve as a group.
When China invaded Tibet in 1959, his Holiness the Dalai Lama fled from Chinese aggression into exile. In the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., he has become one of the world’s great exponents of non-violence and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Much to the dismay of the Chinese government, he is loved by many cultures around the world. His most famous quote is “The essence of all religions is love, compassion and tolerance. Kindness is my true religion. The clear proof of a person’s love of God is if that person genuinely shows love to fellow human beings.
Facing the threat of religious and cultural extinction and the rising economic power of China, the Dalai Lama relinquished the goal of independence for Tibet in favour of genuine autonomy. This Middle Way initiative is an historic opportunity to peacefully resolve the Tibet issue. He needs international support to pressure the Chinese leadership into signing the resolution, and he would like to have it done while he is still alive.
Did you know that thousands of Tibetans are still homeless, living in India in refugee camps instead of in their mountains? Recently in the news, monks have set themselves on fire in an attempt to get international attention to their plight. Canada has agreed to give Canadian visas to 1,000 refugees if we sponsor them, giving their culture a chance to survive. If you are interested in knowing more, I suggest you check www.Tibet.ca or Tibet.org.
If you want to increase your abundance, you could donate to this worthy cause as well. Tithing is so important, as it supports organizations that feed our souls. As the Bible says, we get back tenfold what we give out … on so many levels.
On page 36, I have reprinted some wise words about dana, another form of giving that Robert Beatty has written about. He was about to start his annual twelve-day silent retreat when the slide happened. It was good it happened before they settled in and he was able to transfer his participants to the Yashodara Ashram, another delightful center for personal growth near us. Instead of cooking for his group, I got to meditate while hand-watering squash, potatoes and other plants and getting to know them better.
I have learned that each time one door closes, another one opens, with something even better in store than what was envisioned before. When I was a young quilter, I spent many hours working with the fabric before I realized I had miscalculated how much material was needed, and ended up with holes in the four corners of a large pattern. I decided to get creative rather than not finish the quilt. I found some matching fabric, cut out some hearts and sewed them over the holes. When I showed the quilt to friends, they commented that they really liked the hearts and hardly noticed the rest of the quilt that I had worked on for so many hours. This taught me a lesson that is deeply imbedded in my psyche, in my cooking, and in the guidance I get from my angels to, “Slow down and allow the creative process to flow through when a mishap or change wants to happen.”
Life is changing for many of us who live in the Landing. It is a chance to grow ourselves into something new, and I am excited to see what possibilities await. Since I believe we have a collective consciousness, or collective unconsciousness, the more of us that are willing to look inside and work on areas where we are contributing to fear, polarization and secrecy, the more transformation on both personal and global levels can happen. By contrast, as long as we choose complacency over awareness, the government/corporations will make our decisions for us.
The revolution does start within … by educating ourselves. As Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” A less common quote is, “True economics stands for social justice. It promotes good for all, and does not allow the strong to amass wealth at the expense of the weakest and is indispensable for a decent life.”
One final story that has stayed in my mind as I question reality was presented by a student of Carl Jung. It proposes this theory: “A group of people have the answer to a problem if each person in the group is listened to.” Carl Jung’s student did lots of research, but the story that stuck with me was of the time he attended a county fair and noticed a side of beef being offered as a prize for the person who guessed the correct weight. Once the fair was over, he counted all the guesses and divided that number by 700, which was the number of people who had entered the draw. The average number turned out to be more accurate than that of the actual winner. Jung’s student then concluded that yes indeed, we humans as a group have the knowledge it needs to fix any problem, as long as we consider ALL input.