The first time I saw a grizzly bear, I thought it was a live teddy bear, and I broke free from my Mother's grasp and ran to pat it in Yellowstone Park. People in the campground backed away in fear as the bear slowly ambled through the grounds. I felt no fear. It was a teddy bear to me. My Mother said she gained all her white hair that day. Of course, the grizzly paid me no heed, for I was fearless, loving and foolish. It just kept walking. I loved Yellowstone because of the bears, the geysers and the energy!
That scene was a long time ago, and when I finally returned later with three others passing through on a roadtrip in the 2,000's, forest fires had ravaged much of Yellowstone, and we saw black stumps and charred forests everywhere. The park and energies were eerie, and it was the time of the Full Moon (see photo).
We stayed at the prestigious Old Faithful Inn, an amazing place with 65 foot ceilings, railings made of lodgepole pine, and a massive, roaring rhyolite fireplace. We all became quite drunk which helps to explain why I bought this t-shirt. My partner won't wear it, nor will I. It's too... something...maybe too shiny? In any event, all the tee-shirts on this blog are FOR SALE for the right price. Make me an offer I can't refuse.
Technorati Tags:Yellowstone Park, grizzlybears,Old Faithful Inn, vintage tee shirts
Posted by kuanyin333 at 8:39 PM
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Tibet Tee-Shirt Tells Its Version of the Trip
This is a special edition tee-shirt made in Kathmandu, Nepal after returning from the arduous journey for which the documentary, "Journey Inside Tibet" was produced in 1998. I made this tee-shirt as a batch of 10 for those of us that perserved and were the primary leaders of this journey. The stars of the film are the renowned flautist Paul Horn and the (now deceased) Lama Tenzin, the former Tibetan Buiddhist Lama of the Dharma Center of Maui, Hawaii. Twenty-eight people made the pilgrimage to Tibet from their respective homes in Hawaii, Arizona, California and Canada to the forbidding, rugged land of Tibet where the air is thin and two miles above sea level. It was an epic journey, and one which resulted in the documentary being very successful with many awards and also playing on PBS for several years.
Here is some of the back story about the pilgrimage to Tibet:
Three sides of Tibet are formed with the highest mountains in the world. Tibet has long been known as the Roof of the World, and it's capital city, Lhasa, sits at 12,000 feet. Since most of our group were coming from homes at sea-level, these oxygen-deprived heights were challenging to many of our group, and some got extremely ill with altitude sickness. How did we get to Tibet? By none other than the most challenging route: overland by bus. At one point we called one of the buses in our two-bus convoy, the Hospital Bus, because nearly one half of our group were suffering with altitude sickness.
When we made it to the 18, 500 feet elevation, there were only a few there to celebrate the highest point we achieved on the trip. The prayer flags blew wildly because the winds were gusty, and thirteen of us hardy souls de-boarded the bus to dance around like drunken sailors. We celebrated because of the challenge to get this far was a miracle!
Paul Horn was chosen as the musician because he was well-known for pioneering the playing of sacred music in temples: the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Pyramid in Egypt to name a few. Thus the Potala Palace was a perfect capstone for his career and a dream come true for him, an opportunity he had longed for years to accomplish.
Lama Tenzin hadn't seen his family in nearly forty years, and he knew he had to see them. As it turned out, his intuition was right because after returning home to Maui, he later became ill with cancer and died. However, while in Tibet, he was overjoyed at reuniting with his family, and his homecoming was lovingly documented in the film directed by Tom Vendetti. Lama Tenzin had left his homeland travelling by foot over hazardous mountain passes when still a boy after the Chinese had invaded Tibet. This was the first time he had been back since that fateful time.
The Tibetans believe their race to have descended from a monkey-saint and a she-demon, whose children became human from eating a diet of grain. Early kings descended from the sky on rope and returned the same way. Until the 10th century, the Tibetans were a warlike people, and the shamanistic Bon religion was the only game in town. Then in the 7th century, Buddhism was introduced into the country, and the character of the people began to undergo a drastic change. Tibet became a nation of spiritual seekers instead of warriors. Monasteries were built, and with 6,000 flourishing monasteries, the land was teeming with spiritual warriors...until the Chinese invasion that is. The larger of these monasteries were like villages, housing thousands of monks. This is being recreated in Nepal today, and I have witnessed these new monasteries built to hold this legacy.
I had brought along with me sacred waters which people from all over the world had sent me for a sacred waters ceremony. Outside Shigatze, I found the right place, and three of us performed the ceremony for the regeneration of Tibet's precious rivers and water supplies. It was a memorable day, and one that will be remembered when the river pollution is finally reversed and once again the River of Living Light flows through this land, this primal country.
Technorati Tags:Potala Palace, Tibet,storytelling blog, Paul Horn
Posted by kuanyin333 at 9:27 PM
Monday, October 09, 2006
Egyptian T-Shirt Talks Story
It was early morning. It was cold. Our group walked quietly to the Great Pyramid of Giza before it was officially open to the public, and we waited impatiently outside for the guard to let us in. Inside we were to perform an initiation ceremony in the "Pit" (the lowest accessible part of the Great Pyramid allowed to tourists) with the famous presenters from the tour group and a well-known Egyptian guide leading this ceremony. My stomach was queasy, but I didn't know why. I just knew that my stomach always "knows" something is important and to pay attention. I (usually) listen to my gut. It speaks truth. My gut was telling me to not go in. And yet, I had come so far, and were I to back-out now and not participate, many of my fellow group members would be disappointed that I had abandoned them. So I shuffled ahead with the group into the stinky urine-drenched pyramid and crawled on my belly down a long tight tunnel to the opening that is called The Pit.
It was with many years of hindsight and other people weighing in with their information that I have finally understood why I became so ill that morning. Apparently, the Pit is the absolutely worst place to conduct a spiritual ceremony as the energy there equates to "pea green" (which is very, very bad), or so said one famous Sedona spiritual teacher. Another wise being said that the Great Pyramid is not the best place for a ceremony as everything gets magnified there, both good and bad. The people conducting the ceremony were obviously out of their depth and not knowledgeable enough to do so.
I am a sensitive empath/intuitive, and as such, I have to be very careful and discerning and keep my boundaries up. The combination of the Pit, the powers of the Great Pyramid, the other participants, the stagnant air inside the pyramid, the location of the initiation ritual in the Pit, and certain "darker" energies within the group consciousness, and who knows what else combined to make me become violently ill for the next four days. My stomach had warned me, but I didn't listen to it as I usually do. I ended up vomiting in BOTH the sacred Queen and King's Chambers....something I was very embarrassed about. After barely backing it back to my nearby hotel room, I laid in delirium for the next four days. Finally my partner summoned a doctor to my hotel room at the Mena House, and I was given a shot and antibiotics.
During the four days of hallucinating from whatever had come over me inside the pyramid during the ceremony, I kept re-living the same imagery over and over. I didn't know if this was a past life of mine or a thought form I picked-up-on which had been magnified during the ceremony or a collective group memory which I had tuned into. I still don't know for sure. All I know is that I kept seeing a boxcar rounding up Jews to be hauled away to Auschwitz. I heard the screams. I felt the horror and disbelief. I smelt the foul odor and stench of piss and fecal matter as there were no bathrooms on the boxcar. I saw certain of the presenters playing a role. One famous jewelry maker of our group turned into a mean-looking Nazi guard. An unmarried couple in our group became a husband & wife crying softly and consoling each other and saying their goodbyes as soon they would be separated. The leader of the group (a famous writer/publisher) took on the role of leader in the boxcar: calming and quieting the others with her power. It was as if I was witnessing a slice of hellish time repeating over and over like the movie The Groundhog Day.
The t-shirt above was purchased on this trip and remains a memory of the painful Cairo journey. Not only did I get sick, I witnessed a group of powerful, dysfunctional "presenters" hired by the touring company battle one another for power and control. At one point I was asked to spy on them by the owner of the company and report back to her...which I flatly refused to do.
This journey has left such a bad taste in my mouth that when I return to Egypt again as I have been told I will by many psychics (and also by my gut), that I plan to return with only trusted friends who are wise, aware and clear. Needless to say, I won't make a journey to The Pit.
Technorati Tags:storytelling blog, Egypt,Great Pyramid, tee-shirts talk story
Posted by kuanyin333 at 4:54 PM