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Happy 2012

Many people ask me of the prophecies they half hear and misremember, or that they get fed by the press eager to sell stories about the end of the world in 2012. A major cycle in the Mayan calender comes to an end on the 21st of December 2012, the Winter Solstice. BUT, and this is the important part, a NEW CYCLE starts, and it is up to us whether we want to part of this new cycle or not. Can we stand up and take responsibility, not just for ourselves and our actions, but the actions of those around us, our governments, our communities? Can we embrace change? Can we agree that by working together we can make a real difference? Looking back over the past year, the rising up of multitudes in the Middle East, I cant help but feel that we can. Sadly, on the 1st of January I find myself flying with a Bahraini. I ask him how he spent his new year and he looks at me sadly. "Yesterday the government shot a 15 year old boy dead in my street." He says. "Today we buried him. Thousands came to the funeral of the martyr, but the West ignores us." What could I say to this? How can we offer hope to people when we stand by and allow this sort of thing to happen? A Buddhist once taught me a beautiful meditation in which we first visualise ourselves surrounded by love and light, then we visualise our friends surrounded by love and light. And then, the tricky part, we visualise our enemies surrounded by love and light. My prayer for this year is that enough people will realise that they need to change what they are doing and that we can truly make the world a better place to live in.
Deep peace and love to you all.

Samhain Gathering, October 31st 2011

This year we are blessed with the presence of the elder Delfin from the Secoya people of Ecuador, together with Luke, who is his grandson in law, interpreter and so much more. We are also blessed with the presence of the founder of Native Spirit Foundation, Freddy of the Mapuche people in Chile.
After some deliberation we arrive at the idea that it is not going to be possible to charge for any of the activities. This is despite the quite considerable cost of transport (flights as well as petrol in the Uk and visa applications), the cost of renting the hall, and all the other many costs that soon add up. Asking Spirit for direction we are aware that the only way forwards is for us to ask a donation instead, so we do this. At the end of the 2 days we add up what has been received and find it more than ample to pay for what was needed. What a joy. Amongst the donations we receive is one from a lady coming from Dartmoor. She has not heard of what we are doing but her spirits have asked her to come and to give us some money. She stays and takes part after a most generous donation.
We set up a table of mind body spirit items, as a type of shop, only with no prices as people should be able to give and receive freely. The table grows over the days and at the ending we realise there is much much more there than we first put out- people are so generous we are overwhelmed.

I wanted to talk about what actually happened but I dont think I can yet, it is all still too fresh. Walking through Savernake forest with Delfin, luke and Freddy is a joy, showing them some of the sacred sites we have here that are still in use and that are returning to use after years of dust. I shall save this for another time....

 An old prophecy says:
"When the Condor of the South meets the Eagle of the North, the warriors of the rain-bow will be born. When the tears from these birds are merged, the warriors of light will be born."

On 30th and 31st October 2011, as part of the 5th Native Spirit Festival, a delegation of indigenous elders will be visiting Avebury to join and share with us.

... Details are still being worked out and finalised (communication from the Amazon takes times :)), however we have the village hall on the High Street booked, so this is where we will be running workshops, Q&A sessions from. As and when Adam and I have details confirmed we will post them here on this page to keep everone up to date.

Here are the details on who's coming and some information about them. It is a great honour to be hosting them and welcoming them into our spirital centre and community.

====== ***======

Delfin Payaguaje is a Secoya grandfather and a traditional elder, the son of Fernando Payaguaje, one of the greatest spiritual masters the Secoya People have ever known. Delfin is a 78 years old- shaman in his community.

Delfin will be accompanied by the Minister of Education and Culture for the Secoya people, Luke Weiss. Luke is an American who has lived with the Secoya for close to 20 years and who speaks the language and understands the culture, He has the unique and priviledged experience of being a bridge between the worlds.

Here's a youtube link showing Delfins ordinary day:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG-pQTBL6kw

The Secoya people (also known as Angotero, Encabellao) are an indigenous ethnic group living in the Ecuadorian Amazon or The Oriente region of Ecuador (est. population 297 (1987 Vickers)), and in Peru (est. population 144 (1982 SIL)). They speak the Secoya language, part of the Western Tucanoan group. They share territory along the Shushufindi, Aguarico, and Cuyabeno river with the Siona people, with whom they are sometimes considered a single population.

The Siona people are organized politically through the Secoya Indigenous Organization of Ecuador. They have been involved in a conflict with Occidental Petroleum over oil drilling in Block 15 of Ecuador. The Secoya people are fighting to protect their rainforest home against logging and oil exploration, including legal battles against Chevron in the United States Supreme Court.

Also visiting is Freddy Treuquil, from the Mapuche in southern Patagonia. Freddy is one of the founding members of the Native Spirit Organistion.


For more details:
adamxhearn@gmail.com
natascha.kenyon@btinternet.com
www.nativespiritfoundation.org

 
 
 
 
 
 

Sonia and Disappear fear

It has been a long time since I have updated this, but lots and lots of things have happened over the past few months. We are now starting a film screening in Avebury of indigenous films, to raise money for October when a group if indigenous elders from the Americas will come to share time with us in sacred space. The first screening will be on the 18th of June and it would be lovely to see you all there.

I am in Washington at the moment, during what the Americans call Memorial weekend. On a previous visit I have been in to the Vientnam memorial and I was struck by the fact that there was no mention of the thousands of civilians who lost their lives, no mention of the North Vietnamese deaths or the Vietcong deaths. It seems to be a very one-sided memorial to a conflict, and it saddens me to think that the only lives that are considered worthy to be remembered are those of the American GIs. What a shame that we even have to HAVE such a thing as a memorial day, to remember those that died in conflicts that perhaps could have been avoided through better diplomacy. I mean no disrespect to the brave men and women who died, it is most definitely not there where  blame lies, but in the blood stained hands of politicians greedy for power and blinded to the damage done by their commands. I remember a Vietnamese boy being laughed at by an American for eating an orange whole without peeling it, and thinking that there seems to be no concept in much of the Western world about the damage we have done in other nations. Vietnam was bombed and sprayed with defoliating chemicals like agent orange. People's way of life in developing nations are so removed from our own that peeling the orange first would have been unthinkable to the Vietnamese boy. I take this opportunity to wish PEACE and LOVE to the people of Vietnam as well as to those who remember the fallen over this weekend.

SO, on the flight a wonderful lady sat in front of me- it was Sonia Rutstein, a singer songwriter and activist who is truly delightful. Believe me, and if you have some spare cash, get her albums, as I am sure you will be
as delighted as I was. She also has a project spreading peace and love around the world called "Guitars for peace" making sure that people around th world in underprivileged settings have the possibility to make music, to create bridges between people through the power of song.
Thank you for what you do Sonia, deep peace and love to you.


 

Avebury Samhain with indigenous elders

A few notes on Samhain, visit of indigenous elders to Avebury

I greet the elders and we chat briefly before I set off to a druid ceremony run by Morgane with some of them. It is bitterly cold and I am a bit concerned that some of them have no coats and are wearing thin trousers that surely cannot be enough. I am cold even with my coat on, and after a while I head back to the house for some blankets- I had asked them if they were cold but they kept saying they were fine- Gail brought out an armful of blankets and they all dutifully wrapped up and admitted they were a little chilly! When the mead was passed round they were delighted that it was alcoholic as they said it would help them with the cold so I began to suspect that they may be being more polite than I had thought and that we needed to make sure they were ok as they would not tell us straight out!
We got back to the house and ate:
conversations I picked up/translated:
where does the drinking water from the taps came from?- curious as they may have experienced taps but drinking water is very valued in so many cultures and so undervalued here

Some of them have held high positions as spiritual advisors for their people- the Mayan elder who is/ was a marriage counsellor for his people using Mayan astrology to determine when and if couple should be together, who used to be a male midwife
The teacher who was the last survivor of the clandestine indigenous nightschools prior to 1931 Basilio Quispe (84 year old Aymara) where students caught attending were punished by loss of a finger or the tongue. His son Juan Ramiro plays the charango.

The Mayan elders offer a ceremony of their own, a call to the four directions, to the heart of the sky and the heart of the earth, accompanied by a small flute and a drum. We stand in circle bearing white candles, surrounding an altar firepan filled with what looks like salt but I believe was special tree resin, bread and a number of lit candles. They call to their ancestors, to our ancestors and say their blessings and prayers-that this be the first gathering of many, that the union of our ancestors be mirrored manyfold in the future. They open the space up for us all to add our prayers and songs to the ceremony and we dance and clap together once we have offered up our white candles to the fire.

Victor Lem- wore a black leather jacket- Mayan- part of the ceremony and speaker for his Mayan community Pocomchí, of Guatemala, speaks of energy and environmental harmony to which man and planet have to arrive
Ernestina the older of the ladies is the granddaughter of a Kuna revolutionary, and works with young people, officiating rites to try and transmit the knowldege left by her predecessors: take care of mother earth and the beings that share it with us. A highlight for me is helping her up the stairs and into bed, wrapping her up and tucking her in as she is clearly exhausted.

Mexico

Independence day in Mexico, rather than stay in the city, I take a bus to Cholula, the site of the worlds largest pyramid, which is barely discernable now beneath the basilica of the Virgen de los Remedios. Curiously she is depicted on a snake which comes to life and slithers down the pyramid on the solstices, a direct connection to Quetzalcoatl.

The skies open, and in the pouring rain by the healing pyramid of Tepoztlan, a young Mexican stops to make music with us. We get wet, but inside our souls we are warm.
I find myself rattling and calling to the ancient spirits in the company of a Buddhist who in turn chants and rings his bells. There is no single way, this seems clear, and the clarity shines in the rain.
For the 'grito' the shout of freedom, we join in, packed in the crowds of Cholulas zocalo, VIVA MEXICO, VIVA ZAPATA
Everyone seems to celebrate and there is a genuine feeling of unity. Things may be bad, but from where we stand today we can see that things have improved over the last 200 years. My hope for Mexico is that the poor, the disenfranchised, the indigenous masses that stand ignored mistreated and humiliated; that these may find their power and grasp their own internal freedom. We make the change we want, one step at a time, one thought at a time.
Peace and Love

Bangkok and Sydney

I have been away for sometime, traveling down to Australia via Bangkok. Bangkok must be one of my favorite places in the world, Krung Thep the city of Angels, filled with contrasts. This time I went to Wat Traimit, the temple of the Golden Buddha. The whole temple has changed beyond recognition, a new building stands tall, housing the Golden Buddha on the fourth and final floor. It all seems cleaner somehow, streamlined.
The old temple had a number of slot machines in the entrance, with garish Buddhas inside that would read you your fortune for a few baht whilst lighting up with fairground lights. I remember feeling that it was a shame they were there as they made it all seem less magical and mythical, but somehow I missed them in the new temple.   The Buddha itself is perhaps not the most imposing you can see, but it is a beautiful metaphor for us all. Some time ago, the old temple was to be renovated and a crane was brought in to move the large cement buddha. When the crane lifted the Buddha, to everyones horror it cracked. They left the Buddha standing on the ground overnight, as the light was fading, and returned the next morning to inspect the damage. Through the cracks in the Buddha, a monk noticed a glimmering. It turned out that at some point in the long distant past the Golden Buddha was covered in cement to protect it from invaders. Maybe the original monks who did this were all killed and the secret died with them, but until the cement buddha broke, nobody had any idea that a solid gold buddha lay hidden beneath. The metaphor of course is that we all have a golden buddha inside us, and that no matter how bad things seem in our life, this is just the cement- shining through from within we have a golden being.

I got down to Sydney and slept through the day. Disappointed to miss daylight, I got up around 7pm and went down to reception, where I met a golden being. Ljuba, at least i think thats how her name was written, spent more than an hour talking to me in reception. The following day on departure she handed me a gift for my daughter which she had bought that morning. It came with a note explaining that it was to help restore my faith in humanity. Ljuba saw me in a very low state, jetlagged, lonely, and far from home, and she did exactly what she had intended to do. She restored my faith in humanity.
Now  am back in the UK and I send out thoughts of peace and love to the other side of the world, to Ljuba and her family and to all the other golden beings that inhabit our planet. Peace and Love.

Nevada desert

14th February 2010

I have the great fortune of being in Nevada for a few days, staying in the Hilton in Las Vegas. Before coming here I manage to convince myself that I will go in to a few casinos and place some bets, just for the fun of it, but as soon as I arrive I see that this is just a no go area for me. The energy inside the casinos is rank, dirty and stilted. So much dashed hope and last chances, so many people convinced that they will walk away rich, walking away dejected and poor. The lobby lights and the noise of the countless one-armed bandits dazzles me and disorientates. I cannot stay in the city.
The people with me seem surprised when i explain that I will be heading out into the desert. Nobody wants to come along so I rent a car and head off alone to the Valley of Fire national park.
Its funny but I knew I had to go no matter how many obstacles are placed in my path. Im not comfortable driving alone, but there is no question about going, so I ask about car rentals in the hotel. Being valentines day of course they have nothing in my price range, but I find a cheap deal online and head to the airport where I get upgraded to a large red SUV pickup truck. Dont ask me the make as these things mean nothing to me, but the colour seemed apt for going to the Valley of Fire. They have no map for me but point me north for the Valley of Fire and despite my trepidation I set off.
The drive takes me through vast expanses devoid of pretty much anything. Small scrublike bushes grow, but I see little trace of animal life, yet I feel like I am being called. Suddenly it is there before me. The majestic rocks errupt onto the landscape a violent red colour, and I see that this is a place of deep spiritual power.
My first stop is at Atlatl rock, where a crude metal staircase helps those less able to access  3000 year old petroglyphs. According to the Pueblo people, these were carved by Spirits at a time when spirit and man cohabited the planet. I wonder what spirit would make of the  staircase.
I decide to circle the rock and head into some of the canyons behind. There are no trails here, no people and the only noise I hear is the sound of the birds, the fast movements of lizards startled on the ground ahead of me, and the wind rustling in the bushes. The deeper I head into the canyons, the greener it becomes, and the ground becomes damp underfoot. The walls are replete with caves and I meander through, past coyote and bighorn droppings until i can go no further. Here I stop, and take out my rattle.
I call to the Spirits of place to beg forgiveness if my presence and way of working offends them. I know it is alien to these parts but it is authentic to me. The birds reply with messages of encouragement. I call to my own ancestor spirits to join me, to rejoice in the raw beauty of the place, and I feel cleansed.
Some time later in the day I come across even more petroglyphs, on a well trod trail. I rattle and sing to the ancestral spirits that carved on the rocks, and ask them for help in understanding the meanings behind what they carved. Groups of tourists pass and stare as I chant and rattle. They quiet briefly but as soon as I am out of sight they revert back to noise. Loud and brash they cut through the air. It seems I am in the minority in seeing and treating this as a sacred site, to be respected. So, they come and sit with me, and I feel them around me. They lead me to the symbol of infinity carved again and again in a line, next to two horned figures. They tell me we are all the same, we all come from the same place and we all go to the same place, and that they are happy I am there.
I stop for lunch and a biker comes up to me. Do you want me to draw you a map? he asks. He sits and draws me a map, tells me where to go for sunset. Before leaving he turns to me and tells me his name is Michael. As he walks away I wonder if he was really there or not.
As the sun begins to lower in the sky I climb higher and higher up through the rocks, carrying my guitar, drum and rattle with me. I reach giddy heights where I am forced to cling on carefully as the wind howls round me. Finally I reach the summit, the cave where I am meant to be.
I drum to power, calling in the directions, asking for a blessing and for the ancestors,both mine and of the land, to come and witness my work. The drum surprises me as it carries so far. In the distance I see small figures looking up trying to locate the source of the sound. I sit and dedicate my music to the sacred site. I play and am joined by an eagle, which comes close and shrieks its story, which becomes mine. We play and sing together till darkness sets. I close my circle and work my way down the hills, confident that I will be ok going down as they are truly with me now, and I am blessed. 

In Bangkok, the city with so many names, it is easy to get lost, to slip in between worlds and discover something we did not even know we had lost. The scenic Bangkok Noi reveals hidden wonders at every turn of the canal, spectacular temples replete with saffron garbed monks- we revel in the sound of their chanting.
My favourite name for Bangkok is Krung Thep, city of Angels, as it always feels to me as if the sense of divine is palpable in parts of it.
My pilgrimage here takes me not to any of the major temples, but to a street shrine of the Hindu God Ganesh that I have visited for years. It is curious how there are always so many offerings here as well as people praying. It is unlikely that they are Hindus as the Hindu population of Thailand is tiny, but from conversations with fellow pilgrims it seems that they too realise that God may come in many shapes and sizes but is ultimately the same.
We place an offering of flowers and chocolate at the shrine and light incense sticks as we chant to Ganesh
OM GUM GANAPATA YEI NAMAHA

Apparently this mantra is meant to help remove obstacles from our lives, and indeed our journey back to Europe is remarkably stress free.
Thailand has offered a golden opportunity to recharge and prepare for the coming challenges of 2010. With sincere gratitude to the land of smiles, we say
Santiphap Le kwamra

Sydney Botanical Gardens

Its been a while since I've updated this, mainly because I have been floored by the flu. I'm much better now and am back on my travels around the world. This time I have had the wonderful opportunity to play guitar in the botanical gardens next to Sydney harbour in Australia. My audience comprised mainly of grey headed flying foxes, giant furry bats that congregate in their hundreds in the trees where I stopped to play. I was in the Cadi Jam Ora part of the gardens, the exhibit marking the first encounters between the aboriginal people of Australia and the colonizers. The Sydney harbour basin has always been a sacred site to the largely displaced aboriginals, and it seemed fitting to sit and play in the small area dedicated to their history and culture. Other than the digeridoos for sale in the gift shops, in all likelihood imported from Bali and sold as genuine articles for exhorbitant prices,  there was little sign of the aboriginal people anywhere else I went.  Looking at the botanical gardens website I see it is now possible to take a 'tour' with an aboriginal guide. Definitey worth considering for the next trip.
So my music was heard by the spirits of place, the ancestor spirits of both colonizer and colonized, the trees and plant spirits, and the sea, ever present, quiet and yet imposing.

I am writing this because on the 26th of October I am due to operate on BA 065 to Nairobi and will of course be visiting Nyumbani Orphanage. I already have 3 suitcases of clothes to take down with me as well as an envelope with some money, but was hoping some of you might be willing to contribute to the Nyumbani fund. I  guarantee any monies sent through me will go directly to Nyumbani orphanage and am more than willing to provide individual receipts as always should you require them.

The latest news from Nyumbani is:

More than 400 people currently live in our village, over 350 children and 50 'grandparents'. Solar powered boreholes have been set up making the village self sustainable for water. Crop and animal farming is developing well but there are real challenges to be faced in making this community truly self-sustainable. An extensive building programme has started, which not only helps to expand our sustainability project but has also provided 300 local jobs to the surrounding villages, helping to spread wealth and goodwill.A family of 4 children were found by social services, living off little more than wild berries They have been recently relocated to the village ad are settling in well.

Kenya is experiencing severe water shortages with the ongoing drought. Both the village and Nyumbani orphanage have own boreholes so have managed ok, but the outreach project Lea Toto has been affected-it is common to see people queuing for hours for their gallon of water. There has also been an increase in food prices as a direct result of the drought.

Of the 105 children living at Nyumbani, 100 are currently on anti-retroviral medication  (ARVs) and they seem to be responding well to this. Following the tragic passing of Sammy last year who became drug resistant there is a real fear that more children could develop resistance, and there are not enough funds to increase the variety of ARVs for the children ( currently there are 3 different types of medication the children are given).

For more information please go to www.nyumbani.org
or in Spanish http://amigosdenyumbani.blogspot.com/


The bank account details for Nyumbani are listed below for those of you who would like to make a donation. Alternatively, cheques can be  made out in my name and sent to

Adam Hearn
8 Alma Terrace
Calne
SN11 0HN
Wiltshire

Any cheques I receive will be cashed, and together with any cash I get given, will be delivered so long as I receive them before the 26th October- if sending me a cheque please let me know in case it does not arrive so i can give them the money anyway and pay it into my account when i get back. I can guarantee every penny will get there (and then some) and am happy to provide receipts!

My own nyumbani account:

Account details for Nyumbani in the UK:
sort code: 40-52-40 Account: 00012571 Name: Nyumbani UK Limited
charity number 1072191

In Spain
NOMBRE DEL TITULAR/CUENTA CORRIENTE:Amigos de Nyumbani
IBAN: ES67 2095 0577 8091 0882 0005
BIC: BASKES28XXX (NO SE PARA QuE SIRVE, JUST IN CASE)
 
EL NOMBRE DE LA CAJA DE AHORROS ES : BILBAO BIZKAIA KUTXA
 

Thank you all for your support in really making a difference. If you have the time and  would like to go and visit Nyumbani please do let me know as it would be lovely to share tips, photos and memories!
If you are making a donation on a regular basis then please let me know as my aim is still to sign up 1000 people this year, in order to provide a substantial difference to a load of kids who deserve a chance, and its nice to have a record of how many more I need to achieve this aim!
Bestwishes,

Adam


4th of October, second public healing performance, this time spontaneous. I visit the village of Romainmôtier-Envy, Switzerland, and its 11th century monastery.
This time I am moved to sit and play my guitar. I play, sing and find my voice is joined by a chorus of others- the voices of my friends who are with me, but also, interestingly, the voices of strangers who happen to come inside. People come up to us afterwards, each thanking us for a moving experience. One lady tells us she was moved to tears at one point, a man asks us to come to his wedding to provide healing voices of peace and love in the chapel as his marriage takes place. We are all moved by something bigger than us. It is at this point, sitting outside the monastery in the sunshine, that I realise I need to do this. If this feels like it might be the right thing for you then I would urge you to take up your instruments and be part of a music and healing revolution in your own sacred sites. I look forward to making healing music with you.

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