Feathered Pipe Roots - A Mystical Intersection of People, Place & Spirit
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Feathered Pipe Roots: A Mystical Intersection of People, Place & Spirit

The fabric of the Feathered Pipe is woven of a profusion of radiant threads of place, people, and spirit – all intersecting in sometimes unexpected ways, creating a wellspring that fostered and continues to nurture prescient souls in the communities of yoga, meditation, and personal growth. Beginning as the Holistic Life Foundation in the early 70s, Feathered Pipe Roots traces the other-worldly history and interwoven tapestry of one of America’s oldest and most revered institutions in the world of  yoga.

India Supera: Miracles & Crazy Wisdom

During the Nixon years I decided that living in America might bring about bad karma, and I could not cope with the ramifications of an event like Vietnam. So I decided to travel and find a spiritual teacher, to retreat to a cave someplace like in the Himalayas, and pray until the world changed (possibly a long wait). READ MORE

Guiding Light: Liam O’Gallagher & Bob Rheem

More than three-quarters of a century ago, a young and adventurous Liam O’Gallagher, who played a pivotal role inspiring Feathered Pipe’s evolution over the past 45 years, took a chance and hitchhiked from his home in the Bay Area out into the Mojave Desert to pay an unexpected visit to the writer, Aldous Huxley. He knocked on the door and was welcomed in by Mr. Huxley’s wife. READ MORE

Genesis 1972: Feathered Pipe Visions

During the first summer I spent at the ranch in 1972, when Jermain Duncan was still alive and before we found out how sick she was, we took a trip to California. During that trip, I actually visited the ranch that future Feathered Pipe presenter Dr. Andrew Weil later bought. READ MORE

Visionary: William “Golden” Staniger

We were living in San Francisco and had planned to get a place in Arizona to do a summer workshop. We decided one day to go and listen to Dr. Chaudhuri of the Institute for Asian Studies speak at a nearby church in Pacific Heights, San Francisco. We were sitting on the front porch steps of the church after the lectures, when William Staniger, later Golden, recognized me from our time in India together. READ MORE

Solid Gold: Tom Ryan & Heidi Goldman

Heidi was meant to be house sitting for Ike and Judith Lasater when they came up to teach our first yoga workshop in 1975, but had gone off to physical therapy school back east leaving Tom Ryan, her then boyfriend, to house sit. When Ike and Judith arrived home in California, they called and said they had just met the most amazing man, Tom Ryan. READ MORE

Feed Your Mind: Laughing Water

Laughing Water, who was still known at the time as Paul Superak, was originally brought to the Ranch by Judith and Ike Lasater, as LW and she had been roommates in college. He came as the cook for the first real workshop in 1975, which featured Judith Lasater, Gisele Fitch, and Felicity Hall who is now known as Felicity Green. READ MORE

Summer of ’75: Our Beginning

Today I want to talk about our humble beginnings in 1975. We started the summer with just the group of us, Laughing Water, Tom Ryan, Heidi Goldman, William Staniger (later Golden), Janice Paulsen and myself who had big ideas, little money and no work. READ MORE

VJ Supera: Hard Travel, Sweet Memories & Sisterly Bonds

India Supera’s older sister VJ opens up about her life of wild adventure, travel-inspired service and the eternal bond of two sisters from California who were raised to cross boundaries and seek their own answers. Her life exemplifies a mantra we could all learn from, "The basics of a good adventure: Seek out the unknown. Come alive again." READ MORE

Tom Ryan: “More Than A Job, It Was A Love Affair”

With sun beaming through floor-to-ceiling windows of his treehouse-inspired abode overlooking the Feathered Pipe property, long-time Feathered Pipe Ranch caretaker Tom Ryan reminisces about memorable Montana winters, unshakeable determination and mishaps turned magic in this mysterious circle of life. READ MORE

Jeannette Hermann: Synchronicity & Unwavering Dedication to Service

Jeannette Hermann was a member of the founding group at the Feathered Pipe Ranch, following her curiosity to the Helena after a vision quest and a “chance” meeting in Red Lodge, Montana. Now splitting her time between a boat in Paris and a desert house in Tuscan, Arizona, Jeannette reflects on the electric energy of the pre-retreat days at the Feathered Pipe, her love of India Supera, and unwavering dedication to service. READ MORE

Zipporah Dobyns: The Stars Above

Our first big workshop was 44 people with Zipporah Dobyns, the astrologer. I went to the old airport to pick people up, and I was late. The Helena airport was so small they used to just put the baggage out on the tarmac and the parking lot was a cow pasture across the road, except for the 8 cars that could park in front of the airport. READ MORE

Tuffy Ananda: Protecting the Self or Valuing the Whole

Many years ago, I had a black cat named Tuffy Ananda. All our cats continually killed birds, mice, squirrels, and other small animals...Now, many years later, I’m asking myself: are we like Tuffy Ananda? Do our actions flow from an instinct to kill each other, or can we begin to think and act in ways that spread good will, good thoughts and non-fear? READ MORE

Paul and Gail Wilson: Fertile Ground for Family, Food & Fellowship

On a fleeting fall day, Paul and Gail Wilson reminisce about the very early years at the Feathered Pipe Ranch, when they milked goats by candlelight (oops—fire hazard!) and grew vegetables according to the moon cycles. The two open up about their connection to the land, their extended Ranch family and the memories that bring them joy and laughter after all this time. READ MORE

Howard Levin: A Life of Service, Friendship & Hippie Dreams

Amy Stephan and Andy Vantrease sat down with longtime ranch manager Howard Levin in his one bedroom cabin, just past the Lake Tipi on the Feathered Pipe Ranch in Helena, Montana. After quieting the Hindi tunes and shifting seats—away from the armchair that “wasn’t for sitting”—the questions begin. READ MORE

Lilias Folan & Marti Glenn: Holding the Light in the Midst of Darkness

"First Lady of Yoga" Lilias Folan and Marti Glenn, a powerful and dynamic duo who led retreats at the Feathered Pipe Ranch for 25 years, reflect on the gift of friendship with India Supera, the importance of creating space for women to show up as their full selves, and the lessons that continue to teach them to this day. READ MORE

Jananne Lovett: The Ultimate Earth Mother

Whenever I think about Jananne nothing but love comes up in my heart and head. Our experiences together will always live in my memory. We did a cruise in 1984 called “Into the Arms of the Goddess” which we nicknamed “Into the Armpits of the Goddess” because everything that could go wrong went wrong. READ MORE

John Schumacher: A Lifetime of Yoga and Self-Discovery

Dear Friend John Schumacher reflects on his journey with BKS Iyengar, memories of teaching at the Feathered Pipe Ranch and the aspects of yoga and a lifetime of self-discovery. The Feathered Pipe was honored to host John along with Patricia Walden for a week-long retreat that became an annual reunion-like gathering of Iyengar yogis and yoginis for nearly 20 years. READ MORE

Dean Lerner: Gone to Feathered Pipe Ranch

"Gone to Feathered Pipe Ranch. Back in a week." was the message on the answering machine of George Purvis, an Iyengar yoga teacher based in Dallas, Texas. That was the first time I had heard of the Ranch.  Two months later, I found myself sitting in a welcoming circle with 17 other yoga practitioners, all with more experience than me...  READ MORE

Karma Tensum: An Affirmation of Our Inherent Goodness

Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation's Karma Tensum's life is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a potent example of the role that education—of the heart and mind—plays in our individual and collective liberation. Here, he shares passionately about his life experiences, spiritual beliefs and his hope for the future. READ MORE

Erich Schiffmann: “I am here only to be truly helpful.”

Erich Schiffmann, author of "YOGA: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness", is one of the most respected mentors and yoga teachers in America. The Feathered Pipe has been honored to host Erich's "Love-fest" at the Ranch for more than 20 years. Here, Erich talks about his 42-year career as a yoga teacher, his personal evolution with the world, and the prayer he brings with him wherever he goes. READ MORE

R. Carlos Nakai: Finding & Sharing Your Soul’s Music

Feathered Pipe's dear friend R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. Here, R. Carlos speaks about music as a form of self-expression, sharing art as a catalyst for personal growth, and how teaching at the Feathered Pipe Ranch informed his life's direction and mission. READ MORE

India Supera: Go Ride a Bike, Plant a Garden & Live Simply

India Supera gave her final interview in July 2019 at a cabin down the road from the Ranch. Tucked into the comforts of her bed, with her two cats sitting watch, India reflected on her childhood, her first travels to Mexico, near-death encounters, and how she believes the Feathered Pipe Ranch has succeeded in its mission to elevate consciousness. READ MORE

Crystal Water: Walking the Path in My Own Shoes

Crystal Water, daughter of India Supera and Laughing Water and a loving mom to Ilan, Luna and Zia, reflects on her upbringing on this land, her understanding of the Feathered Pipe’s magic, and the lessons she continues to learn from her mom even after she’s passed. READ MORE

Our Dearest India: A Life Very Well Lived

India Supera, 73, completed her earthly life in Helena, Montana surrounded by her loving family on October 29, 2019. After receiving a terminal diagnosis with bile duct cancer in July, she said she was filled with nothing but gratitude for the full life she lived and wouldn’t change a thing. READ MORE