“When we look into the heart of a flower, we see clouds, sunshine, minerals, time, the earth, and everything else in the cosmos in it. Without clouds, there could be no rain, and there would be no flower. Without time, the flower could not bloom. In fact, the flower is made entirely of non-flower elements; it has no independent, individual existence. It ‘inter-is’ with everything else in the universe.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Our longtime friend Rodney Yee reminded us about this potent Thich Nhat Hanh insight during his Dandelion Effect Podcast interview with Andy Vantrease this past week. He mentioned it in the context of his discussion about the search for ‘liberation’ through yoga and the practice’s capacity to help us drop the fiction that ALL is somehow not always present with us in any given moment. Including our history, our dreams, and all our imaginings about the future.
We are thankful that Rodney took time to share so many highlights from the rich mosaic of his journey: how yoga’s wisdom informed an understanding of his dharma, the imperative of cultivating a beginner’s mind, the role of ancestral culture in our human identity, and what it means to strive to be “as wildly present as possible.
We smiled, too, at the colorful recollections of his adventures with India Supera, Cree elder Pat Kennedy, and so many of ‘the originals’ who kept the place endlessly interesting and humming in its earliest days. He describes the Ranch as “an incredible vortex…for Native American [spiritual practices], meditations from the Himalayas to meditations from India, all that sort of converging together in this amazing testimony to the human spirit of love.” We expect you’ll relish listening to our moving interview with this marvelous, consequential teacher as much as we did.
Crazy Wisdom: Our 47-Year Path to Summer 2022
The Feathered Pipe Foundation’s path to 2022 began well over four decades ago with a vision experienced by India while participating in one of the first sweatlodges on this sacred land. That miraculous fact — and Thich Nhat Hanh’s wisdom — reminds us that the Feathered Pipe, like the flower, has no independent, individual existence. Its heart is the vibrant sum of an infinite assortment of elements: the land itself, everyone who came before us as its stewards, and the thousands of souls who have experienced the Ranch’s treasures. Then, of course, there are all those who will come after us. History and imagination dodge and weave all around us, pouring themselves into the Vitamix blender that creates present moment Feathered Pipe reality. On many days, we stand in gob-smacked awe at the wondrous ride we find ourselves on with all of you.
Although it remains very much winter at the still-hibernating Ranch, we’re sensing the familiar, deep stirring that arrives each February. With the spring equinox only a little over a month away, we are preparing for the promise of an incredible season ahead that begins during a waxing crescent moon on the very first day of June. In other words: soon!
We do hope you’ll join us at the Ranch this coming season. Please remember that the deadline for the first round of applications for our scholarship program is 28 February; we will notify first-round applicants about scholarship decisions by mid-March. We will continue to review applications as they arrive after that allocate any remaining funds. It won’t go without saying, again, just how grateful we are to the many big-hearted donors who made it possible for us to substantially expand scholarships this year. You all are the bee’s knees.
Here’s to all of us doing our best to stay wildly present.
With love and affection,
President, Feathered Pipe Foundation