Thursday, February 19, 2009

Every Action Creates an Impact

I truly believe in the concept that every thought, action, or reaction creates an impact.  An impact not only to our individual self, but to those around us, and extending out to the universe.  When I started Samadhi Life the vision of the pebble being dropped in a placid pool of water radiates the waves outward in a concentric motion. 

So, with that in mind, I started to contemplate what do I want to create in the world.  What wave or motion, or energy for that matter, do I want to affect in my life.  What came to me was "living inspired".  Choosing to live inspired has become my mantra of sorts.  It allows me to make choices in the moment of what I want to create in the world...sounds simple, but at times it is really challenging.  Say for instance, your teenager is screaming at you because she's had a bad day and she doesn't want to get off the computer after hours on MySpace.  I have a choice here.  I could scream back.  I could ignore her.  I could send her love and appreciation.  I could send her to her room.  I could ask her what's going on for her.  It is all about choice.  Here's to Choosing Living Inspired! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Year of the Metal Ox

Happy New Year! I am told that this year, 2009, is the year of the Ox. Having been born in 1961, I am an Ox in the Chinese Zodiac...this is MY year! I started working with Pamela Ticoulat, a dear friend and Feng Shui expert, several months ago. She helped with the design of Samadhi Life's office space and conference center. There were many "fixes" or cures that we did to ensure our company's success, and to create a beautiful and inspired place of work.

These cures came in the form of ceremony, prayer, intention, ritual and applying physical elements to move the energy and to create sacred space. Well, our physical space is complete, our web site is now launched (, and we have a new year. When I thought about the year of the Ox, I was excited about the prospects and held the impression that "everything would go my way" and this is "my year", general thoughts of relief. 

When sharing this with Pamela she explained that coming into my year on the 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac, doesn't actually mean it will be smooth sailing. My first thought was, "oh no, I don't want to go through another year like last year!" She further explained that when we enter into our own year it means this is a year of intensity. Great. I thought that was last year when I was breathing life into Samadhi Life...that was undeniably a year of intensity. So I sat with this and started to realize I don't need to panic about this. I needed to realize that I have a huge responsibility to choose to think powerful thoughts, to choose to create powerful actions and to choose to set powerful intention, for myself, for my family, for my company, and for all my relations. And since the intensity of the Year of the Ox is here for me, I choose Living Inspired.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Spain – Journeying Back in Time to our Roots- November 2-December 6, 2006

Dear Family and Friends,

We are absolutely on our last leg of our journey. Today, we fly from Madrid to England on and then we fly to New York on the 10th to visit family and friends on the east coast, then on to Dallas to visit family December 24th, and finally we fly into San Francisco on the first of January.

To get to our most up to date info go to our blog site at:
or check our web site at:

Visiting Spain was a journeying back in time to our roots for all of us, just in different ways. For Matt and Kate, they were born in Spain and were able to return to the places of their birth, for me (Gabriel), it was a chance to visit the places that ancient Jews played out the historical drama of their times and this gave me the opportunity to reflect about those events and my Jewish roots.

Barcelona, the City of Antonio Gaudi
I was very impressed with Barcelona. Ironically, as we drove toward Barcelona, we first came upon the industrial areas surrounding the city, and it was ugly and depressing, a huge difference from the beautiful landscape of southern France. Huge structures belching smoke and debris scattered all over, Icasiana and I looked at each other, asking with our expressions, “What is this?” But once we went into the city of Barcelona, it was like a jewel. The subway left us off at an avenue that was very wide, with the sidewalks also very wide, the width of a city street. There was a very spacious feeling on the sidewalks and as we walked it felt so comfortable. There was no frenetic energy that I always notice in New York City, rather a relaxed and uplifting feeling. The streets in many of the areas of the city are laid out in a hexagonal arrangement that allows for much more room at the intersection, and makes the streets feel much safer and easier to maneuver. There are also bike lanes throughout the city. They planned this city with a lot of intention and intelligence.

This city is very proud of Antonio Gaudi and it is a showcase of his work. He is recognized all over, designs of his buildings are on postcards, paintings and books throughout the city. All kinds of souvenirs are available of his creations as well.

Artful Marriage of Form and Function
My friends who knew me as a furniture maker would be surprised to hear me say how much I loved Gaudi’s work. This day in Barcelona was an awakening to the genius of this amazing man. His work is based upon natural principles of nature, and the forms in the natural world, especially sea life. He married form and function in a brilliant way. His buildings are like symphonic songs, many elements playing their own part, all part of the larger cohesive whole. They are a celebration of what is possible for humans to be able to build and live in. It felt so good to be inside these buildings. I could only imagine how the people who commissioned Gaudi, or were privileged enough to live in one of his creations felt about their home. How did Gaudi’s creation affect them? It would seem to be very powerful all these years later, even after his works were turned into museums.

Ingenuity Sans Plans
Gaudi made very few drawings for planning. He was on site every day and made the creations as he went along, sometimes to the chagrin of the laborers and artisans working for him. There is not a single straight line in most of them. He also introduced new concepts into building as no one else had done before him. One of his innovations was inventing ingenious ventilation systems. Each and every room had ventilation. The outside rooms had ventilation from outdoors, the inner areas had ventilation from room to room, or ventilation from his inner courtyards which he was famous for. These inner courtyards were superb in allowing light and air flow into these rooms. They were all masked in clever wood carvings which added to the depth of the woodworking.

Gaudi's Batllo residence

We visited 4 of his creations. The Batllo house, the Mila House (La Pedrera), the Sacred Family Temple, and Guell Park. We’ll put some pictures on the web for eye candy, give yourself a treat and do a search on the web and look at some of these incredible buildings. They may shock and inspire you.

Going to be with my dying Uncle
As we were heading to Madrid we made plans for me (Gabriel) to fly back to New York for a few days. I had been talking with my mother, and my uncle was in trouble. His health had been compromised since July when he had quadruple bypass surgery. He and his wife, my aunt Phyllis, had been afraid because his father, my grandfather had died at the exact same age of a heart attack. She had even refused to have a 50th anniversary party because that’s what the grandparents had done and soon after he had died. My uncle Elliot survived the quadruple bypass surgery and was recovering when it was discovered that he had cancer. As the months went by he got weaker and weaker. When my mother told me that he seemed to be slipping away I felt compelled to see him while I could still talk to him. Icasiana encouraged me to make the trip because it was hard for me to leave my family in a foreign country.

My desire in seeing my uncle was to express my appreciation to him for the times he had taken me places when I was a child. They were things I still remembered and meant a lot to me. They were places related to sporting events; that was a love of his and of mine. He’s the one that gave me a baseball mitt that I cherished when I was about eight years old. I wanted to thank him and tell him that I loved him. I also had a desire to help him in his transition if that’s what was happening. I had to see him and feel for myself what was going on.

As I flew on the plane I remembered my childhood with him and the last 25 years that I helped him lead our family Seder at Passover each year. That was something special we had shared, I remembered my grandfather, his father, each time because the melodies of the songs and prayers we chanted are what we had both learned from him. Now I was very glad that he had been able to make it to our wedding because that had been so special to my family.

Being back in New York was surreal. I thought I might have some difficulty in customs as I had been away from the country for almost 11 months, but no, it was very smooth. Riding through familiar surroundings and being able to speak my native tongue while using American dollars was eerie, it was as if I had never been away. It was also strange not being with my family who were in Spain.

When I went to see my uncle it was a shock because the last time I had seen him, about a year ago, he had looked as I always knew him. Now he had significantly changed and he looked feeble. I could see the cancer had been sucking the life force out of him. It reminded me of how my father looked as he lay dying. He was very joyful to see me though, so I sat with him and expressed my appreciation for him being in my life and for the gifts he had given me. That part was sweet. It was also very difficult because he was not ready to face his dying. Speaking about death was off limits because it was too terrifying to confront. I told him that we all die, we just don’t know when; and when death comes close the expanse of our life opens up to us, and that’s a good time to express our love and appreciation to our loved ones. I asked him if he was afraid and he at first he denied it, but then admitted he was afraid. I had told my family in New York as I was coming in that I wanted to face the truth, to allow truth be our companion in the room.

When death comes close, a sacred doorway opens where we can commune in a very profound way; we have the privilege to touch hearts and souls. Making small talk in the midst of this profound time seems such a lost chance. When truth is not spoken I find the atmosphere suffocating. This robs not only the one dying of this opportunity, but of the loved ones close by.

On the second day that I visited my uncle I did some healing work on him and I saw he was going into a trance state. He was crossing over into the spirit world. This I knew is not a part of his usual experience in this life. When he opened his eyes he asked me if I had received a cookie. I didn’t hear him clearly and didn’t understand and asked him to say it again, and he thought about it a moment and then looked embarrassed and started stammering. Then I realized what was happening. He had been with a group of people and some were giving out cookies to those gathered and he had gotten one and had asked if I had received one. It was a dream, or a vision, or an event on the other side. At this point I talked to him about crossing over to the other side and that it was okay. It was not something to fear, this was part of his preparation and he could go to the other side and receive help for healing and for assistance. He could expect to see people who loved him, his father and mother on the other side, and possibly my father. They would all be ready to help him and he could let go of the fear and trust that he would be assisted and protected. And then I told him, “Just look for the light and go to the light.” When I finished he told me, “Okay, that’s enough philosophy for today.” I was relieved to have been able to speak this way because I felt it was so important to speak this way in the midst of an environment of denial, and I had been very careful to be gentle and respectful of his beliefs and his space.

I went to see him the following two days but he was asleep the next time, and soon to be asleep the last time. It was time to return to my family in Spain, they had been staying in Madrid during this time and I had missed being with them. I hadn’t called anyone else except family while in New York, there would be time for that; as we would be back at the completion of our year’s journey in a short 4 weeks.

Ironically I did see Eric Offner, who lives just a few minutes from my mother’s home. He is a friend who has inspired me so much over the years. He is about the age of my father, he is accomplished in the world, he was known as the foremost patent lawyer in the world, but his life has always been about pursuing the deeper qualities and meaning of living. He is such an honoring person and is one of the sincerely nicest people I have ever known. When we left on this journey I had not been sure if I would see him again. He had been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs from asbestos poisoning. He had been encouraged to take chemotherapy and refused. He had been encouraged to take a series of other drugs and he threw them away. He had pursued a series of treatments that included ozone therapy sessions, and a supplement developed by Tom, his housemate. When I went to see him I was stunned to see that he had fully recovered and had regained his strength. It was such a polarity, to confront the possibility of my uncle dying and at the same time to see that my dear friend had recovered from an imminently fatal situation.

Returning to Madrid and meeting up with my family at the airport was very emotional. We were very happy to be reunited. After a day of downtime from jet lag and resetting, we all drove out of Madrid to the south of Spain (Andalusia) to visit the cities of Toledo, Granada, Cordoba, and Seville, first stop Toledo.

Sadly, one week after I returned from New York] my uncle died. While I did not return for the funeral I was grateful that I had been with him while he was still alive.

Going Back in History through the Cities of Andalusia, Spain
In many of the cities of Andalusia, the southwestern region of Spain, we visited the old cities and saw the parts of the cities where the Jews had been segregated and locked in that section by gates. This has been a prominent theme through many cities and countries we visited throughout Europe. I had heard about this type of persecution and segregation, but seeing it for myself it sunk in much deeper. In all the cities we saw, we would see the historical evidence of Jews living in segregation, within walls, and later exiled and murdered. Oh, what they had to endure.

Toldot (Toledo) – Generations of Jews
We met a man named Samuel at the Jewish Information center in Toledo, and he told me some very interesting historical bits about the city. First of all, it was first inhabited by the Jews and then came Christians and then Arabs and then Christians again. Part of how you know that the Jews came first is that the word Toledo comes from the word Toldot in Hebrew which means generations. When it was first inhabited by the Jews, underneath each home is a Mikva at the top of the town is a natural spring and there was a very large synagogue at the top and from the spring the water went to every house through a series of channels. The Mikva is a ceremonial, ritualistic bathing, not with soap, so the water went from house to house to house. And most of the Mikvot (plural of Mikva) are still underneath the homes.

Samuel told me that the information center is there for the purpose of assisting Jewish people who come back to the city seeking to find where their ancestors lived. He said there are people who have come who still have the deed for their ancestor’s property, and the keys that still work for the old gates from the time dating back to before 1492. This was the time when the Jews were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition by order of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

Traveling through so many countries this past year we have gotten quite a history lesson. Throughout the world are the stories of brutal murders, conquests, and people living in repressive conditions throughout history. Sadly, if we think about it, not much has changed throughout the ages. Now, let me share some history of Spain prior to the Inquisition.

The Moors came into power in Europe in 711 AD. They built elegant infrastructures with respect to water management and agriculture, as well as masterful buildings. The palace at Alhambra in Granada is one of the most stunning architectural works of art we have ever seen. It is the jewel of the city (pictures will be posted on the web, please check them out).

Alhambra palace, a ceiling detail

We saw the Mezquita Mosque in Cordoba, also a very beautiful work of architecture. The Moor’s power waned in the 1200’s or so and the Christians returned to power and expelled the Moors as well as the Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. Amongst centuries of fighting there was a period of relative peace and harmony amongst the 3 major religions of Christian, Muslim, and Jews in the 1200’s in Cordoba. Cordoba is a city that was the largest and most influential city in all of Europe in Medieval times. We went to a museum there, called the Colharra; it is dedicated to documenting this special period of history. Alfonso X was a Catholic King who dedicated his time of leadership to promoting peace and tolerance among all peoples and allowed the different religions to coexist in peace. He instituted universities where all three religions could study together. He made both Latin and Arabic part of the studies. Unfortunately he was removed from office by the Pope in 1282. But it clearly shows what one man can do to affect peace.

The Jewish quarter has a museum dedicated to teaching about the history of the Jews in the area, acknowledging the persecution and atrocities. What is unique about Cordoba is that in the Jewish area they have a small square with a statue of a very well known and accomplished Jewish man, Maimonides. It is the only city or town I remember seeing that honored a Jewish man in this way. (Maimonides (March 30, 1135 –December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. He was one of the few medieval Jewish philosophers who also influenced the non-Jewish world. His works on Jewish law and ethics were opposed during his lifetime, posthumously he was acknowledged to be one of the foremost rabbinical philosophers in Jewish history. Today, his works and his views are considered a cornerstone of Orthodox Jewish thought and study.)

Belmonte, Portugal – An Amazing Story about the Jewish People
We visited the town of Belmonte, Portugal after we withstood a huge storm on our way to and back from Fatima, Portugal (known as the Lourdes of Portugal). The story of Belmonte is quite remarkable.

After the Spanish Inquisition of 1492 when the Jews were all expelled from killed Spain or killed, many took refuge in neighboring countries. Jews came to Portugal and lived in safety for a number of years after making an agreement with the King of Portugal. They were given sanctuary after paying a lot of money for the privilege. Within a few years, the son of the king took the throne and married the daughter of the king of Spain. Soon after the agreement with the Jews was overturned, and they were no longer safe nor able to practice their traditions. They were ordered to leave or convert to Christianity. Many of them chose to convert, except not really. They pretended to convert to Christianity while in secret they continued to practice Judaism, at the risk of being killed if they were caught. Amazingly, this practice began at the end of the 15th century and continues to this day. This community of secret Jews was not even discovered until the 20th century, in the 1920’s, over 400 years later.

This community of Jews in Belmonte continued in secret until they were discovered by the outside world in the 20th century. During this time they had no contact with Jews from the rest of the world, but they maintained their practice. Certain things were lost or changed because of this. For instance, the holidays of Christmas and Chanukah occur at very similar times of the year. The Jewish holiday of Chanukah celebrates their fight to maintain their way of life against the oppression and persecution of the Romans. Candles are lit to commemorate the nearly empty oil lamp that miraculously stayed lit for 8 days. For the Jews of Belmonte, the actual story of this holiday was forgotten and instead became known as a celebration for the birth of the baby Moses, similar to the celebration of the birth of baby Jesus for Christians.

The synogogue in Belmonte, Portugal, the community of Jews who practiced in secret for over 400 years

On the day we came to Belmonte, it was Shabbat, the holy day when Jews let go of worldly affairs, go to temple and pray. So we were able to go to the temple and pray with this community. It was surreal to be at the temple this day and hear the prayers that sounded like Portuguese, and to know what had happened during these centuries, their determination that enabled them to be able to pray here today.

Learning about my Jewish roots has been a prominent theme of our trip. To see and feel the shadows of the persecution of the Jews over the centuries in the places we’ve seen (from Roman times to medieval Europe through to the horrors of the Nazi holocaust), sensing the memories in the land and feeling the vibrations in the stones has been horrifying. For me it is juxtaposed with the horror of the present day situation in Israel that I continually reflect about. Thank Goodness the Jews have a homeland today in lieu of what they have endured. I understand more about the fear that they have lived with, but not really, I have not been through it. I continue the journey and search to understand as I can. As my understanding of my roots deepens, let me pass the baton to Icasiana to tell the story of Matt and Kate reconnecting with their roots, and Icasiana’s reconnecting with her past here in Spain.

Planting the Placenta Brings Grounding
While we were in England with our new friends Sally and Sergio, we had written how we assisted them in planting the placenta of their daughter Ariana, nearly 8 years after her birth. Several days later, we spoke to Sally and she had said what a change she and Sergio had observed in their daughter. They felt that now she was much more grounded and stable in her life. After hearing this, Kate said to me, “Mom, maybe I’m not as grounded as I could be since you never planted my placenta after I was born.” Kate had noticed how quickly the change came over Ariana, being more grounded in her body and in the earth after the short ceremony. Kate then asked me if we could possibly do a ceremony for her while in Spain. Knowing that the hospital disposed of Kate’s placenta as “biohazardous” waste, we would have to be creative in a symbolic ceremony for Kate.

Hospital of the Air – Madrid Spain
Kate was born in downtown Madrid at the Hospital Del Aire (“of the air”) which was a Spanish Air Force hospital. I remember vividly the many trips to this hospital in the center of town on Calle Arturio Soria. The night I went into labor, I was a bit apprehensive as she was my first born and I was pretty unfamiliar with the Spanish language. All the doctors and nurses spoke Spanish only, and I just had a few words memorized that was in the genre of medical terms – this turned out to be a bit “dangerous.” As the nurses were in my face yelling “empujar” (to push), I was trying to be brave and practice my La Maze breathing which seemed so inadequate for the pain I was experiencing. As Kate’s head dropped into the birthing canal, her head or some part of her body was banging against my spine. I was having the most severe back labor. During each push, the nurse would squeeze my hand and say “si, empujar”. Finally, I told them in the best Spanish I could remember, “I have pain in my back, please give me a shot.” What I expected was a small injection in the lower back, an epidural. What I received was a gas mask being forced onto my face, which knocked me out immediately. I didn’t have time, or clarity of mind to resist this act. I was cut, Kate was pulled out with metal forceps (this hospital still practiced some very old and harsh techniques for birthing) and then whisked her off to be cleaned, weighed and whatever “tests” are performed on newborns.

Lack of Connection in Those Precious First Moments
I didn’t get to hold Kate or feed her for at least a couple of hours as I was still totally knocked out from the medication. I remember the Spanish nurse bringing her into the room and changing her diaper and then she finally placed Kate on my chest for her first feeding. To me it seemed like an eternity to wait to see my new baby. I believe part of Kate’s feeling of being a bit “flighty” or “ungrounded” is that she didn’t have the immediate feeling of connection with me and nor being cuddled and nurtured immediately after her traumatic birth. This insight was just revealed as I type her birth story. There is such a contrast in unconscious birthing and conscious birthing. I feel sad that I didn’t insist on a more conscious birth. But as we all know, we can’t change the past, we go forward and assist others by sharing what we’ve learned along the way.

Kate, Matt, Elijah and I came off the metro at the Arturio Soria stop. We asked people as we got to street level if they knew where Hospital Del Aire was. Two different people pointed to different locations, north and south, on the street. Finally a little old lady said it was to our south, so we headed down the street. As we were walking I felt sad that Gabriel would not be able to join us but I knew he was where he needed to be in New York with his uncle. I was sad he wasn’t able to be with us. Kate had asked for a very simple ceremony before we left the hotel. She wanted to burn some sage and incense and to say a prayer, no more. After about 30 minutes of brisk walking I was beginning to wonder if the little old lady knew what she was talking about. Just as I was thinking about turning around we saw the hospital. The gates were closed and it was all locked up. It appeared to be in disrepair, it looked abandoned. Kate and I were shocked and disappointed. I knocked on the gate and a military guard appeared. I asked him if the hospital was closed and he said yes, it had been closed for 2 years. I told him that my daughter Kate had been born there 13 years ago and we wanted to see the hospital again. (Well, I believe that is what I spoke to him in Spanish). He said for security reasons we couldn’t come in through the gate.

Ceremony on the Street
Kate found a nice area just outside the hospital on the street that had a grassy area with a big evergreen tree on it. We all sat down and formed a circle. Kate was acutely aware there were people walking by and wanted to keep the ceremony quick and quiet. I totally respected this desire of hers and granted her wish. We lit the sage and brushed it over each other, clearing the space for our ceremony. Matt lit the incense and we sank deeply in the ground. It was quite powerful. I then thanked God for Kate’s birth and the return to her birthplace as a sign of rebirthing in a more grounded manner. Short, simple and sweet.

Revisit to Matt’s Birthplace
After the experience I had had with Kate’s birth in that hospital I did not want to give birth there again. When I was pregnant with Matt the following year I demanded that the US Military send me down to the US Naval Base in Rota, Spain for his birth. I did not want to relive the archaic medical practices, nor be misunderstood because of my inability to speak the language. My request was granted and 3 weeks before Matt was born I was flown to the south of Spain, on the coast near Puerto Santa Maria and Cadiz, a beautiful and inviting place. Matt’s birth was a totally different experience, but a lot of fear was to come after his birth. It was a Sunday afternoon and I walked across one street to the hospital from the family housing. The doctor was an amiable Naval Officer, all dressed in white, and working in a very clean and bright room. This was a huge departure from Kate’s birth as I recall being hooked up to a fetal monitor and nearly gagging smelling the cigarette smoke as the doctors and nurses puffed on their cigarettes just outside of my room! Matt was born, with little difficulty just 3 hours after I walked into the hospital. I remember pushing just two or three times and it was announced that Matt’s head was crowning. I was overjoyed. It was so wonderful to be present and aware during his birth. Of course, though, the Apgar testing that is performed in hospitals took precedence over my feeding or nurturing my little newborn. Fortunately, within minutes Matt was in my arms trying to breastfeed.

A Case of Severe Jaundice
A couple of days later, during a routine doctor’s appointment, they informed me that Matt had a severe case of jaundice and that he must be placed under bilirubin lights that would assist in his healing. I felt devastated as they told me I could not breast feed him for the days he was under the lights. They even said I couldn’t touch him. I held my ground and absolutely demanded that I get to hold him outside of the lights and to place my hands through the incubator while he slept to give him c. A few days later, I felt further traumatized as the doctors said that if comfort. Matt’s condition didn’t improve overnight, they would need to medivac (helicopter transport) him to Germany for a blood transfusion. I was filled with fear as I remembered hearing of several incidences of people receiving blood transfusions and then acquiring the AIDS virus. As soon as I heard this I started praying and was guided to call my mother in the States and ask her to start a prayer vigil. She immediately started to pray and had requested that her church pray for Matt. The following morning, the doctors were surprised but delighted that Matt’s bilirubin count had dramatically decreased and there was no need for blood transfusions. This was when I really started trusting the power of prayer. It was a blessing that Matt and I were released from the hospital the next day!

Denied Access, Again!
Returning to the hospital on the Naval Base, 12 years later proved to be impossible. Matt and I walked to the military check-in gate while Gabriel parked the van. I took our American passports and was determined to get on to the base. Well, as fate would have it, the base had been turned back over to the Spaniards and only a few Americans remained. The entry guards were Spanish, and they said for security reasons, we would not be allowed on the base. I explained to them that I had lived on base and that my son was born at the hospital, but my request was not be granted. As Matt and I walked back to the van, he remarked that he felt bad that he had been born at a US military base. I asked why and he said because of the ongoing war we have been conducting in the middle-east. I understood his sentiment. I believe by just going there and being in the area that Matt was born assisted him in his rebirthing. We spent some time in the south of Spain and Matt has vowed to return there when he is an adult.

Access Granted for Spanish Lessons
My very favorite Spanish teacher, Rafael de los Rios, taught at the University of Maryland when I took classes at Torrejon Air Base in Spain many years ago, still lives in Madrid. While Gabriel went to New York, I was fortunate enough to reach him and we set up a dinner with him and his wife. It was as if the 12 years of not speaking had vanished and we had just finished class and we had met for dinner afterward. It was wonderful. He is nearly 80 years old, but is as spry and sharp as he ever was, or so it seemed. Rafael had a huge crush on baby-Katie when she was born and for the 18 months we lived in Spain afterward. He was so charmed to see her again, now almost a young lady. He also recalled the time he spent on the floor playing with her and her toys, and how he had remembered Matt as such a tiny little baby as well. It seemed Elijah picked up on the family connection and in no time was sitting on Rafael’s lap and playing too. Rafael took time to hold Spanish classes for us in our hotel room. It was fantastic. Kate and Matt said they learned more Spanish from him then they did their whole year at school. He truly makes learning fun and has so many funny stories to share to assist us in our learning. Fortunately, our final Spanish lesson was the day that Gabriel returned so he had the pleasure of meeting Rafael and participating for a few minutes in our class before he crashed from jet-lag and fell fast asleep in our classroom. It was a great privilege to see Rafael again and we promised it wouldn’t be another 12 years before we saw him again.

Reconnecting with Gayle
The most incredible teacher I have ever had in my life (besides my children), also taught me at the University of Maryland, her name is Gayle Allard. When we met, we had an immediate connection as I was pregnant at the time with Kate while taking her history and economics’ classes and she was a devoted mother to five children. One single birth and two sets of twins! I marveled at her ability to teach class in such a fun and energetic manner, to take care of her kids and to run her household while writing for Reuters, The Economist and other prestigious publications! Fortunately, we have seen each other over the past twelve years, but much too infrequently. The last time we saw each other was seven years ago when she was working on her PhD at the University of California at Davis, while commuting back to her home in Madrid!

Google Assists Reunion
It’s a funny story of how we reunited. As soon as we arrived in Madrid we drove to our old home in a suburb of Madrid called Los Berrocales Del Jarama. Amazingly through the myriad of new freeways and by-ways, we arrived at our old home without a problem. I had been calling Gayle and even her father, John Allard, who lives in California to track down Gayle. I was beginning to wonder if Gayle had to go to the States or something was amiss. Gayle’s house was just two blocks from my old home, so I left a note for her. As it turns out, thanks to the power of Google, I tracked down her e-mail address and phone number from the Institute she teaches at in Madrid. When I called her office, they informed me that she wouldn’t be back to work until December! I was devastated. A big part of going back to Spain was to visit with Gayle and her family. As I surrendered to this new news we received an e-mail back from Gayle. As it turns out, she is traveling around the world as well! She took all five of her children (now ages 16 to 20) and her father on a 3-month cruise around the world. It’s an amazing program called “Semester at Sea” ( She teaches while at the same time her kids go to school on the ship, when they debark in a country, they explore the culture and then spend time in class discussing what they’ve learned about the cultures they visit. I told Gabriel, maybe we should check it out and he could be the Doc on board, surely from the 600+ people that travel including 400 students, they must need chiropractic adjustments! We thought about it for a few minutes and then realized we both get seasick, even on the smoothest of waterways. I would, however, recommend this program to those interested in seeing the world in a different manner.

A Thanksgiving Blessing

here we are with the Allard family

As fate would have it, we were in the south of Spain when their ship came into Cadiz (a southern Spain port). We actually extended our time in the south, and delayed our trip to Portugal so we could meet them for a couple of hours. It was Thanksgiving day and I felt so grateful for this time with Gayle, her father John, and her children Elisabeth who is attending UC Berkeley, her sons Pepe and John who will both be going to California colleges this coming year, and her twin 16 year olds, Christian and Victoria. All of her kids are amazing, so unique in their own right, but also very connected as a family – it was wonderful being with them and having Kate and Matt spend time with their kids. Not only did we have a sweet reunion, they assisted us in selling our VW van to a neighbor friend, Gaston Guille who is an incredible man. He’s outfitting the van to be a “Public Relations” van for his 10-year old son Martin who is a wake boarder, number 5 in the world! He showed us a picture of what they are planning to paint on the outside of the van and it’s fantastic. We were blessed to meet Gaston and his wonderful family on our very last days in Spain.

After a quick trip to Portugal we decided to meet up with Gayle at their home in Madrid before they flew back to port to sail from Cadiz to Ft. Lauderdale Florida. We spent a couple of days with them in their home and it was a lovely reunion. I also have a warm sense that with three of her five children at California universities, we’ll be able to see them more often!

The Final Segment to our Journey Around the World
We are very clear this is the end of our journey, we are ready to come home. We are all very excited about returning to the United States and spending time with our families in New York and Texas.

We hope to be in touch with you soon, or see you soon, thanks for being with us,
with love, from Icasiana, Gabriel, Kate, Matt, and Elijah,
your traveling and now returning adventurers.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Italy 2- Rome, Tuscany, Assisi, Venice, and Mr. Schauberger

Dear Family and Friends,
We are currently in Spain, visiting sacred sites, friends of Icasiana and the places where Kate and Matt were born. We will be in Spain until the first of December after short jaunts to Morocco and Portugal. It is hard to believe we are on the last leg of our trip. We will spend the last 5 weeks scurrying to squeeze the most out of the end of our journey. We will fly from London on December 10th to New York to visit Gabriel’s family and to celebrate Chanukah, then on to Maine to visit Icasiana’s sister and mother, and then on to Dallas to visit Icasiana’s family and to celebrate Christmas. We arrive back into San Francisco on January 1, 2007 after an amazing year of travel and transformation. To get to our most up to date info go to our blog site at: or check our web site at:

Before we tell you about what happened the rest of the time in Italy I want to start with what happened at the end.

Meeting with the grandson of genius inventor Viktor Schauberger
As we left Venice, a wonderful synchronicity occurred. I (Gabriel) had been in contact with Joerg Schauberger, the grandson of Viktor Schauberger. Many of my friends have heard me talk about Viktor Schauberger. He was a genius who made his mark in the earlier half of the 20th century, and what a mark it was, except it was mostly unnoticed. He prophesized the impending ecological (crisis leading to the devastation of the earth’s systems (pollution of water, air and even the aspect of global warming) back then. He developed principles and methods of working with nature instead of against it, to heal the planet. His ideas were way ahead of his time, and possibly ahead of our time still. If his principles and understandings and inventions were utilized today I believe they could change the destructive course we are on.

Synchronicity Plays a Key Role in Our Meeting

Joerg Schauberger. His shirt was designed around 1949. The slogan means "Make the Earth green again", or part of their larger vision, "Make the Earth fertile again"

Joerg Schauberger is the head of the PKS institute (Pythagoras Kepler System) in Bad Ischl, Austria. PKS was founded by Joerg's father, Walter, Viktor's son, around 1970. I would have loved to have seen Vienna, but I was especially compelled to visit this institute and learn more about this man, and how his ideas were being carried on and developed today. I had emailed Joerg earlier in the summer, but our journey was veering away from Northern and Eastern Europe, and now as we prepared to leave Italy, we were looking at the end of the trip, with not enough time to finish our “plans” for Spain and Portugal. We were preparing to take overnight trains to and from Austria, and then rent a car and drive, to spend a few hours at the institute. Then we received an email from Joerg that he would be at a seminar in Italy during the time we wanted to visit him in Austria. As this synchronicity unfolded, when Icasiana and I returned from Venice to the town of Padova, where we had left the van, we set out to find Joerg at his seminar. Amazingly, it was only 10 miles away from where we were. We were honored with being able to meet Joerg Schauberger at his hotel, and he graciously met with us the next morning and shared his life as a Schauberger, and where he intended to take the principles he had grown up with and learned from his grandfather Viktor and his father Walter Schauberger.

How Our World Could Be
I had a number or questions to ask him and was very glad that Icasiana was with me, she has such a gift of bringing out of people what is inside of them. Let me explain some of the principles of Viktor Schauberger that have made such an impression on me and have propelled me to learn more about them and then see how they can be applied in our world today.

First of all, his work is based upon the view that nature is to be studied and then copied, let us work with nature, not against nature. He was a forester in the still primeval (virgin) forests of Austria. He studied the way that the natural cycles of life manifested, and how healthy forests were so vital for the replenishment of water supplies, in the springs, wells, and rivers. He discovered how rivers intrinsically kept themselves vital and alive. For example, he noticed that salmon were able to swim upstream in the streams, and that trout could be still in the water and maintain their position in a fast flowing river. How is this possible? He discovered that there are levitational forces that allow the fish to swim upstream or maintain their position while being still. This phenomenon is dependant upon the temperature, energy and motion of the water. When he poured warm water upstream of the fish, they would flow downstream and would no longer be able to levitate and maintain their position. I found these discoveries fascinating and intrigued about their implications, so I wanted to learn more.

The Egg Shape of Life
Viktor Schauberger developed many applications for his profound principles. The egg shape is what biological life has created as the perfect form. And he utilizes this principle for example in building compost in this shape as well as using this form to contain water as well as other innovations. Another principle is that life creates energy through an implosive process. At present, our systems of energy creation for electricity and cars, etc. is done through an explosive process. This creates tremendous heat in the environment (adding to global warming), as well as being a highly polluting process. His implosive process of energy creation is envisioned as a non-polluting, cooling one. During his lifetime, Viktor developed machines that worked on creating energy through an implosive processes. In the books I have read, it is suggested that he did build a prototype during the war, but it was destroyed as a result of events of the war. It seems to me that implosive technology is what the future could be for safe, cool and clean forms of energy.

Mystic in the Man
Not only was Viktor an amazing revolutionary, I believe he was a mystic who was able to travel within to the energy behind the forms of life. He was able to delve into the inner nature of water and understand it at a profound level. His insight showed him that the way water moves is crucial for its health. He saw that as water moves in a spiral, vortex motion it increases its vitality, it raises its frequency, it takes on life energy. When the flow of water is interfered with, it may not be able to move in its natural vortical motion, and now, instead of its motion increasing its vitality, it decreases its capacity to carry life. These are my beliefs too as a healer and chiropractor that the spiral motion is the basis of life, of all living forms vis a vis the spiral of DNA. This is why rivers that are put into canals become sick. Amazingly, Schauberger found that when a river is polluted, if it can be allowed to move in its natural way unhindered, it will restore its health and vitality – it would clean its waters. This is an amazing finding that has huge ramifications for how we manage and care for our rivers and waterways; they can be revitalized and brought back to health, as well as lessen the threats of flooding.

Joerg’s Commitment to his Family’s Legacy
Joerg has decided to devote his energy to developing his grandfather’s ideas about water. Water is the basis of life, essential for our survival. Every living species needs access to good, healthy, clean, and vital water. Based upon the principle that water is made more vital by flowing in a vortex motion, he is developing and making products that will create this motion of the water for plumbing in the house, showers, for ponds and rivers to help clean them up. He has also consulting with academics and other governmental bodies in Austria to assist in the management of waterways and farming with instruments that promote life (copper and brass for farm implements, i.e. plows) instead of diminishing soil fertility like steel does.

Joerg was able to clear up a number of questions I had and point out a number of things that I hadn’t been aware of and had never thought of. For example, I had read from Viktor that when he put warm water upstream of the fish, they would not be able to swim upstream or maintain their position in the water as mentioned earlier. I had assumed that this occurred when the warm water flowed to where the fish were. What Joerg elucidated was that actually this phenomenon occurred as soon as the warm water was put in the stream; it did not wait until the water flowed to where the fish were. This seems to indicate that it was not the warm water itself, but a disruption of the energetic dynamic of the water.

There’s a Celebrity in my own Family
Joerg told us a funny story about how he started working with his grandfather’s revolutionary work. He had been working as a radio show host interviewing celebrities. He got to thinking about it, and asked himself why he would be doing this, promoting these celebrities when his own grandfather was a celebrity himself, and bigger than they were for that matter. Why not promote and develop what was his legacy? The irony is that Viktor Schauberger’s work is so revolutionary and so profound, yet so little is known by the world today. Joerg is on a mission to change this.

I believe his ideas should be incorporated into public policy and research. He was a naturalist before the term was invented. He was an ecologist way before Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, and he was green before anyone knew what it was, and Viktor spoke about water and the whole Earth as living organisms long before J. Lovelock or R. Sheldrake published their books on the Gaia-Theory. I would like to see this revolutionary man’s ideas understood by people of the world and utilized for the common good. I encourage you to learn more about Schauberger’s work. His philosophies and processes are elucidated in several books written by Callum Coates that I would recommend. Especially the book: “Living Energies” by Callum Coates. Also, “Living Water” by Mr Olof Alexandersson
You can check these web sites about Viktor Schauberger: (contact info for PKS institute and Joerg Schauberger). Also:
or: (his books and websites) (books about him and a brief bio)

Now let’s get back to what happened before this meeting with Mr. Schauberger.

Sans Children, Well Almost

As we left Damanhur, we (the parents) were alone without the older kids. We had taken a leap and entrusted them with our new friend Joan Kolari (from Marin County in California) who lives at Damanhur. We were excited for them because they wanted to stay at Damanhur, and that desire suggested to us they were ready to stretch and learn about themselves in a whole new way.

Well, we were ready to stretch ourselves and enjoy a little honeymoon, albeit with our little baby, Elijah. First though we had to experience the frustration of getting lost and getting stuck in a major traffic jam through Torino (site of the recent winter Olympics). Yes I (Gabriel) was getting very frustrated and convinced that the road signs had all been neglected to be put up on this part of the roads which was leading to my making all wrong turns. It was amusing after awhile as we joked that all roads led to Roma. Well it seemed that way anyway.

New Friends, Ancient Sites and Remarkable Roma

After fits and starts we started to settle into life on the road with the three of us. Well we just had a grand old time. We first went to Rome. We had the good fortune to be hosted by new friends Stefano and Francesca who we were introduced to (through email!) by my old friend John Fusco. They took us in like long lost friends and made us feel so welcome, they even gave us their master bedroom and made us meals and everything. Icasiana especially loved the espresso coffee and the long talks – two of her favorite things. We also had the privilege of spending time with Francesa’s mother, Maria Louisa. She’s a Reiki Master and clairvoyant (sensitive) who we all connected with, especially Elijah and Icasiana felt a strong bond, as if they knew each other before – what a surprise! We considered giving up the rest of the trip and staying here, all right – just kidding.

We took the train into Rome and left the van at their home, we did not want to drive into Rome since we had heard horror stories of theft, vandalism, and maniacal drivers. We walked through the streets and enjoyed the sights and the street theater in some of the plazas. We visited the famous St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel of Michelangelo in the Vatican City, I found myself wondering about the affect of the Church through the ages, of their ways of control and suppression of the people. Icasiana had told me that her uncle, Uncle Jose had studied to become a Jesuit priest. He was sent to the Vatican for his ordination. He was so disgusted and disillusioned by the opulence and wealth of the Church amid the poverty and oppression of the people, that he left Italy and the order, never to return, and never to become a priest.

Coliseum – Power to Incite Repulsion
I was fascinated to see the Coliseum and it did not disappoint us in its capacity to incite feelings of horror and revulsion in us. The ancient games played out here where the gladiators would fight to the death, and where gladiators killed thousands of animals for sport. And in between these events, the slaves and other sundry sorts were fed to the lions, including Christians, all for the viewing pleasure of the spectators in the Coliseum. All of this viewing was paid for by the Senators, key influential politicians of the day as a way to obtain popularity, some things never change. As soon as we got there, both Icasiana and I were sick to our stomachs, and Elijah didn’t stop crying until we left. It sure was fun.

Ancient Etruscan Tombs
While in the area of Rome, Stefano and Francesca took us to the Etruscan ruins. Etruscans were the people that inhabited Italy prior to the Romans or the Italics. Their ancient tombs were similar to the Egyptians; so much of their life was spent erecting these massive underground, stone edifices for their and their descendents’ burials. We visited several of these tombs and found their structures quite amazing. They, like the Egyptians, believed their work in the afterlife was even more important than their current life.

Tuscany Jewels and Jewish History Repeated
After enjoying being with our new friends in Rome we finally pulled away and headed out to Tuscany, to see Siena, San Gimignano, Vinci, and Assisi. Siena had an amazing plaza in the shape of a clam shell. I loved being in the plaza, where all the people came to congregate, partake in meals, and meet friends. While in Sienna we also had the opportunity to visit the ancient Jewish section of town. Here, like in many of the other places we have traveled, the Jews were sequestered into a very small area of town, with walls and gates erected to “keep them in their place.” The synagogue was in excellent condition. We met a nice woman from the United States, Linda Paul, who interpreted the Hebrew in the temple for us. She also mentioned a place we must see when we visit Portugal, Belmonte (beautiful mountain), that holds a very unique history of the Jews. At the Synagogue in Sienna they had a beautiful carved antique chair known as “Elijah’s chair”, a. We thought, “how perfect?”, we’d place our little Elijah on the chair to see how it fit him. He screamed, cried and wriggled himself until we took him off, and then Linda shared with us that this is the chair that Jewish babies are circumcised in. Oh.

We then traveled on to Assisi. Birthplace of St. Francis.

St. Francis of Assisi
I (Icasiana) have a strong connection to the village of Assisi; this was a place I definitely wanted/needed to visit. As I have an affinity with Mother Mary, I also feel an affinity for St. Francis. Maybe it is because of his special connection with the animals and with nature; what has made such a strong impression on me is his huge heart and his deep conviction in his beliefs.

We arrived in the area of Assisi and quickly found a nice campsite. After dinner we drove up to the town of Assisi. It’s a medieval walled city perched on a mountain. To get there you pass through the road that winds back and forth until you reach the peak. Along the pathways are several churches, monasteries and commercial areas, all neat and well-kept. We arrived at the Chapel of St. Francesco when it was dark, and closed, but the outside lights were shining onto the church and the courtyard below in a very soft and inviting manner. Gabriel and I were both drawn to the church. There are actually two churches, one built on top of the other, but both accessible and used today for services. I found out the next day that the one below had much more of a pull for me, something very special. Both churches were built starting two years after St. Francis’s death. The church below contained the crypt of St. Francis and crypts for four of his very close disciples. We had also learned about the life of St. Francis. He was a son of a wealthy Italian merchant and a beautiful French woman. His father was very disappointed with his son who had his own ideas for his life and had no intention of following in his footsteps to the merchant trade. Francis believed in a different life, so spiritual and so different than his father that when Francis was young his father locked him up in chains under their stairwell. His mother who loved her son and wanted him to live his own life would free him from his shackles. It turns out that Francis denounced his family’s fortune to follow his calling. After his vision with Jesus he met with the Pope and was able to form a very severe and austere order of priests and nuns; the Franciscan Order. These people took a vow of poverty, chastity and charity.

detail inside of the San Francescan church in Assisi

The Message is Love
The following day, while praying in the crypt where St. Francis was buried, I was instructed to visit the small church, just outside of town, where Francis as a young man was visited by Jesus through a crucifix hanging in the church. I was very excited and anticipated some message or vision that would be shown to me while at this Church. Gabriel, my trusted sidekick, took Elijah into the courtyard to schmooze with the pilgrims and visiting people, while I went into the church to meditate. The first message was a simple one, a message directly for me. Jesus told me that I don’t have to come to churches, or sacred sites, or energy spots to have a connection with the divine. I just need to take a moment; still the mind and I will connect to the universal force that is the Creator. I laugh every time I hear this message as I KNOW this to be true, but I tend to do things my own way, even if they are at times more difficult. I’m happy to admit, though, that since that last message, I have been taking the time every day to make this special connection. The second message was for all of us. This was a message about our remembering. Jesus told me how Creator has sent so many messengers, prophets, messiahs and special people to help remind us of our own divinity and our direct connection with the Creator. He even said that most people have mis-interpreted the message of his own suffering and the crucifixion by focusing more on the form than the message. The message, he said, is to remind us of our own power and our capacity to love. Jesus took the form of a man so he could live among us and share God’s message of love. Instead of receiving his simple message, it instead incited fear and resistance among the ruling elite and the religious leaders of the time. In seeking to maintain control over the people, the leaders ignored his message and instead ordered him killed.

In the moments during his suffering and his imminent death, Jesus continued to forgive his tormenters and prayed for their own healing. The compassion he showed demonstrated his love for humankind and his love for our Creator. His main message to me is that focusing on the form of his death and dying, and praying to an image of him crucified on the cross is missing the purpose of his mission, his mission is to spread the message of love. That was the Word, and the Word is love.

. How are we spreading this message? Is it through our work, our artistry, our voices, our parenting, our friendships, our deeds? Whatever or however we demonstrate this message, it all supports the message of Samadhi (connectedness) to our universe, our Creator and each other.

Separation and Disconnection – Our Own Cross to Bear
Our suffering, our own “dying on the cross” comes from the feeling of disconnection. Our purpose here on earth may not be clear, our reason for being is not known, and our separation from Creator is immense. All of these moments, or possibly lifetimes, are rooted in fear, not love. If we can only re-member who we are and how we were created in the image of God, our suffering will end. I was elated to be reminded of this message. As I emerged from the church I could hear Elijah’s sweet voice, laughing and cooing –he makes friends with everyone. It helps to have a small child reminding us of our connection to all beings.

Leonardo’s Hometown of Vinci
Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo daVinci was not what we expected. The museum there was very disappointing. We had driven a long way to get to Vinci and thought there would have been a lot more to see. Unfortunately, many of his drawings were on display at the Uffizia Museum in Firenze (Florence). We had waited in the line to get in to the Museum while in Firenze, but our friend Jim Vecchi arrived to meet us and so we decided to spend time with him and his friend Kat instead of waiting in line. When we returned from lunch, we waited in the line again. Just a few minutes before we reached the ticket office, the guards told us that the museum was closed due to a death – well, that was our best interpretation of what was spoken to us in rapid Italian. A bit disappointed, we left Florence to continue our journey.

Our time in Tuscany was short, but oh so sweet.

Venetian Magic
I (Icasiana) had always wanted to go to Venice. My fantasy was to ride a Gondola through the canals with my beloved. I didn’t have a “beloved” at that time so I was sure glad Gabriel decided to marry me and take me to Venice. On our second night at sunset, Gabriel and I had our ride. It was so wonderful, better than what I had imagined it to be. The lights reflecting on the water was magical. As we moved through the water, the rhythm of the boat, and the gentle gliding of the gondolier’s oar left me feeling blissful as I held the hand of my beloved Gabriel. I closed my eyes and reveled in the moment. It was delightful, I will treasure those moments for a lifetime.

The Meaning of “Geto” (pronounced Jeto)
In Venice we were able to visit the Jewish quarters. We spent an entire afternoon in the museum and three of the five synagogues in the Jewish section of Venice. Surprisingly, they were in a more central area of the city. Usually Jews were segregated in the outskirts of a city beginning in the 1200’s of Europe. In Venice, the area where they lived had been the ironworks foundries which were called the geto. The word ghetto comes from this adaptation of the word geto and is the first time in history it was used. The Jewish people had three gates that allowed their passage during the day but they had to wear a yellow hat when out of their Ghetto area At night the gates were shut and locked up, like a prison with guards to ensure they didn’t venture out. As we now know, Hitler was not the first to institute this kind of segregation and persecution; it was practiced in medieval times throughout many areas of Europe that we visited, not to mention ancient Egypt. We saw it here in Italy in towns such as Siena and Venice, we saw it in Greece, (Gabriel’s grandparents lived in the Jewish ghetto of Janina), we heard about it in Portugal, and we would see it later on the trip to Spain, in Segovia.

Synagogues Visited
There were two Sephardic and three Ashkenazi synagogues in Venice. We visited one of the Sephardic and two of the Ashkenazi. They were surprisingly quite ornate. Previously, when I first went to temple with Gabriel I remarked how plain the temple is (coming from a Catholic background, it seemed odd). He had told me that synagogues were plain by intent. There was no worshiping of idols. This was the way of the Jewish people to not be ostentatious in the building of their sacred places. Very different from the churches and cathedrals we had visited. Well, I suppose the Venetian Jews thought differently because these synagogues were quite elaborate and ornate. The marble and the carvings were fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed our time in the ghetto, learning about the Jews of this area. Again, though, all the Jews were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. Out of the hundreds sent, only 6 people returned. Today there is a very small community of 500 Jews in Venice.

That's all for now. We'll write again from Spain. Love to all.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Italy 1 Damanhur – City of Light – October 2-10, 2006

Dear Family and Friends,
We leave Italy today on our way to Spain. We will be in Spain for 30 days and then return to England for the return flight back to New York on December 10th. Oh my goodness, we are seeing the end of our trip now. To get to our most up to date info go to our blog site at: or check our web site at: In the next blog we’ll fill you in on our jaunt through Italy, to Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice, and Assisi; and our meeting with the grandson of Viktor Schauberger, Joerg.

Imagine what could happen if a man remembered all of his lives, past and future. How might he live if he were among us? What might this man choose to do with his life to make it special? What might this man do to make an impact in the world? What tools might he have at his disposal if he remembered technologies from the distant past that had been lost to us through time, like the library at Alexandria? What knowledge of tools might he have if he could remember the future capacities that man will develop in time? What could someone do if they had this kind of memory, knowledge and vision? Would they be recognized as a genius, or would they be ridiculed and dismissed?
What if this person were to have the memory of a future where life on the planet as we know it ended? This could not be just any ordinary man from that other time for he must have had a vision that could not come to fruition in that time. Yet the course of history had been written, and humanity had destroyed itself, a destruction that caused the planet to be uninhabitable. What could he do with his vision, knowledge and desire? What might he do if he were able to come back in time in order to change the course of history?
What if he chose to come and live in the past, before a certain bifurcation point, and attempt to change the course of history this way? How might he do that? What would be the way to change the course of history? Would it be to build a community that could forge a different way? And what kind of community could be created that could realize this dream and avert a future of destruction as he remembers? What kind of society would one create if it meant creating a world that we could continue to live in? Where would it start and how would it be structured?
And this man knew that the path for the individual is searching for one’s own inner divine self. He believed that humans could become masters of their own destiny, so he started by teaching spiritual principles and attracted people who wanted to be a part of his research and vision. These people would have to be willing to work together to create a living sustainable society, where there would be beauty, prosperity, peace, and harmony. And it would all have to be centered upon spiritual values. It would be a community that would champion renewable energies, organic foods, and a respect for the natural ecosystems of life, with an understanding that the world was not made only for human beings, but for animals, plants, and all other forms of life that have the right to exist. With this understanding then, create a community that will live and create harmonious relationships and honorable interactions with all living beings, in this world and beyond.
The people who would come would have to be very determined and fiercely loyal. They would be regular people but with a sincere passion to serve a larger vision. They would have to embrace working on their own healing, but submit their will to the good of the community. It would demand a tremendous capacity to work, long and sustained hours to build and create a vision so demanding and huge. These people would start out as normal but they would become special by working so hard for a vision they would come to believe in.
The community would have to create businesses in order to sustain itself economically. Yes, let this community develop sound economic systems, businesses that can offer services and products to the local communities. And let them develop a viable currency to further define their sovereignty and create prosperity for the communities, not the banks.
It would have to create an infrastructure based on ecological principles, and it would be a community that would interact with the outside world and not be isolated like many previous communities had practiced. It would have to create a school to teach its own people about advanced principles of healing and about life, and it would have to create a university to teach people from the world who would want to learn about what was behind the creation of this astonishing temple and the community that could build it. And of course, it would have a school for its own children based upon these same principles.
This community could become an example to the world of what is possible and maybe it could become the seed to inspire others to shift the course of future history.

What would happen if people who were inspired by this man’s vision came together and believed his story and wanted to be a part of it? What could they do if they were gripped by the same urgency he felt and were willing to work together to make his vision a reality on this earth?
How would they do it? Where would they start? What would a community look like who would attempt something like this? Would they start with creating rituals throughout the year that tied them into the seasons and bound them to each other, events that would ignite and awaken them? Or would they start with living in households and learning how to get along while they managed the day to day chores? In this way they would mirror for each other the aspects of their personalities that needed integration and healing. Maybe they would start by studying spiritual principles and how to apply them to their daily life? Maybe the man of vision who remembered would search the earth to find a certain place that would be special enough for his experiment and research? Some place that he could tap into special energies of the earth, certain frequencies of consciousness that would assist the people in waking up and communicating with other beings of this earth and beyond. Maybe he would find a place that was so unique that it would have similarities to the sacred city of Tibet, Lhasa. Then he would instruct his people, who had not been trained to build, to undertake the building of an underground temple that would be built by hand. Why underground? Because that is where the 4 specific energy lines of communication flowed into the area from around the world, the only other place in the world like it that shares these 4 synchronic lines flowing together is the aforementioned Lhasa. This temple would come to be called the 8th wonder of the world. Yes a wondrous temple, a temple that could be a vehicle to continue advanced research in these principles to be lived in action. A temple so rich in beauty, so large in the breadth of its wisdom transmitted. Let the temple be filled with the history of mankind to remind the people of man’s history so as to remember and not forget how the path had been trodden so they could remember what had already occurred and what was at stake now.
And let this temple be filled with art of the most magnificent splendor, exquisite works of beauty, and stained glass mosaics depicting the great civilizations of history. And let it illustrate for people to see the great spiritual masters of history who have been revered and followed in their time and beyond, and whose connection to spirit still reverberates today. Let these giants of spirit adorn the halls of one of the temples to help us remember the many valid paths toward spiritual enlightenment.
Let this temple be a place where research into esoteric physics can be carried out, where research in time travel can be carried out, to explore and help us retrieve our historic knowledge and wisdom. Let the temple be a place where ritual and ceremony can be conducted to help the people remember their path and celebrate it with joy. Let this temple be called the Temple of Humankind. And let “The Temples of Humankind be a planetary antenna through which . . . the doors of space and time are opened.”* And this will be especially so at the seasonal equinoxes and solstices.
And let us build an outdoor temple with an amphitheatre to witness the rituals that connect us with the cycles of nature. And let the people study how to receive guidance from the spirit world, akin to the oracles of ancient Greece of Delphi.
And let us set aside an area of the forest to acknowledge our special relationship with the plant, animal and spirits of nature. This area will be known as sacred and must be entered in a holy way so we can develop these special relationships that otherwise would be as they are in so many places in the world today, places devoid of the nature spirits who have moved away because they are not respected and honored.
Let this community create together, live together, create ritual together, play the game of life together and raise the vibration and frequency of the planet.

Imagined, Now Real – This Place is Called Damanhur
After 30 years all of this has been done. This has come true at Damanhur, in Northern Italy. The man of vision is called Falco (Falcon) and he is the leader of this amazing community. The fulfillment of his vision and the manifestation of many dreams continue as people work together and develop their own visions. They work incredibly long hours, sustaining an intensity that is a marvel. A vacation is an odd concept as they continue pushing on—building and creating masterpieces of artwork in varied mediums, continuing the work on the temple (that is only 12% completed at this time), meeting weekly to learn about esoteric physics (a study that is far more advanced than quantum physics). The living in community and growing in community continues to expand. They live together in houses of 10-24 people and share the chores and expenses. Others chose to live outside of these homes called nucleos as they may live with their own family or as individuals…the choice is theirs. Things constantly change as experiments unfold and adjustments are made over and over. Research is continuing all the time and their life is rich in spirit, hard in work, and strong in purpose.
Damanhur is not isolated, they are very active with the global world as well as in the local community: Damanhur cooperates with communities all over the world through an organization called GEN (Global Eco-Villages Network) to share the uniqueness of their visions for creating a better world by pioneering a new society. They have become active in local politics, even forming their own political party. They formed a Red Cross and firefighter volunteer group to assist the local community and they formed a volunteer group to assist communities around the world who have been besieged by natural disasters.

Our Family Arrives into this Mysterious and Astonishing Community We came into this magical yet grounded and unique community as a family. I was returning for the second time after 5 years, the rest of our family was coming for the first time. The amphitheater was fully finished now, and they had acquired the old Olivetti typewriter factory and converted it into a multipurpose facility in a very short time of six months. It now houses part of their school, a health food store (where they sell many of their own organic farming products) and cafe, a museum of their history, art studios, an art gallery of Falco’s selfica paintings, meeting rooms, and a place to buy selfica jewelry, books, clothes and other products created by their citizens.
I wanted to say a little bit about the selfica. First of all, selfica is an ancient science and art first practiced in Atlantis. It is based on the basic form of life, the spiral. The largest application of selfica on the planet is actually built within the temples of humankind and is used to amplify and direct the energies within the temple. Selfica are also used in jewelry and in the paintings that Falco creates. These paintings are displayed at the art gallery in the Damanhur Crea building. They are said to promote dreams and provoke deep visceral responses because of the intelligent beings they are. As Falco says about them, the paintings “are prepared with appropriate alchemical substances.”
When I went into the gallery of Falco’s selfica paintings I remembered a profound experience I had 5 years ago. I had stood amidst the paintings and had felt wings in the back of my body, and felt the sensations of these wings being touched. I had felt an interaction with the entities of the selfica. In seeing them this time, I did not feel wings this time, but I did feel them as alive. They are described as living beings and I have experienced them that way. I am still very moved by seeing his paintings of today.
They also create selfica jewelry. Kate had interviewed one of the makers of the jewelry at Damanhur, Suricato, and she wrote this about it, “Selfic is a technology that is very old which Falco brought to Damanhur. The beginning of this technology started in Atlantis, and then moved to the ancient Egyptians, which then moved on to the Arabic, and then to the Celtics. In order to make Selfic jewelry, you have to use the materials that conduct energy; the materials that you are able to use are gold, silver, brass, and copper.
In order to make the jewelry you have to mix whatever material you want with the Selfica to create the structure that is possible to recall intelligent energy. The main form is a spiral; the structure is based on this spiral form because it is the form of life. Each different form has a specific kind of energy and function. The form and the structure of the jewelry create the positive or correct energy to be received into the body.”

The Kids – Spreading Their Wings
A wonderful thing happened as our time approached to leave Damanhur. Matt said he wanted to stay at Damanhur instead of traveling through the rest of Italy with us. Soon after that Kate joined Matt in expressing her desire to stay behind as well. At first we were unsure; would our 12 and 13 year old kids be okay with being away from us for 20 days? And were we okay with what might happen with them? As we considered this request of theirs we realized the gift this would be for them, and for us. We had been staying at the home of an American woman, Joan, she is the amazing one who befriended us and offered to take care of the kids while we continued our journey through Italy. Their decision to stay at Damanhur signaled a big shift for them. They had been traumatized by the slow death of their father 2 ½ years before and their hearts had been closed to things of a spiritual nature, but we saw them begin to flourish in this community. The healing that comes from the opening of the heart cannot be measured, but it can surely be felt. When we checked in with them as we continued our journey, not only were they okay with staying at Damanhur, but they were thriving in such a beautiful way, which has been very gratifying for us to witness the spreading of their wings.
We all feel deeply touched and transformed by the time we have spent at Damanhur and with the amazing people of Damanhur. We were able to participate in a few of the rituals and to be a part of the alchemical process. We feel aligned with the spiritual principles and each one of us has committed to be points of light around the world as Damanhurian Spiritual People.
We encourage you to find out more about Damanhur and the important work they are doing. They have recently published a phenomenal book with spectacular pictures of the temples of humankind. The book was made possible by the help of our friends Michael Honack and Wendy Grace. It should be available on their web site.
Look at the Damanhur web site at:

*(As described in the Damanhur Guide, written by Adam and Gabrielle Dejamour).

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

France 3- Captivated by the Pristine Pyrenees and Blossoming of the Children Sept. 5-Sept. 26, 2006

Dear Family and Friends,
As we prepare to leave France, let me give a quick overview of where we have been in France. After arriving on the ferry in Roscoff, we made our way to Carnac in the south of Brittany for about 10 days (written about in our France 1 blog). Then we headed to Mont St. Michel, a spectacular church built on a small island surrounded by the tides coming in and out, known as the largest or most spectacular change of tide in the world. And it is all situated on a site of very powerful earth energy. Then we headed to the Normandy coast that Icasiana wrote about in France 2. On our way to Chartres and Paris we stopped in Lemans and saw the Cathedral there. The Lemans Cathedral is the most beautiful and magnificent masterpiece that I (Gabriel) saw of all the churches and buildings we have seen. Of course it too is built on a place of powerful earth energy as all the old churches are. After stationing ourselves in Chartres, we visited the cathedral there but were not able to walk the labyrinth that is only open on Friday. Then we went to Paris on Sunday, a low traffic day, to see the Eiffel tower, and visit the Lourve and Musee D’Orsay museums. Back in Chartres we headed to the south of France, proceeding slowly and visiting dolmens and other ancient sites along the way. Through the rain we reached the Pyrenees and stayed there a luscious week. There we walked along the Compestella route and went to Lourdes. From the Pyrenees in the Southwest of France we have proceeded east to Annecy to then enter Switzerland through Geneva. Here’s the inner story of our last 2 weeks in France.
To get to our most up to date info go to our blog site at: or check our web site at:

Magical France – Power Over Us

Majestic views, magical stones, magnificent food, and very kind people. We just don’t want to leave France. The transformative events that have occurred with our family have been powerful and have shifted us at the very core. We made the conscious decision to take each day slowly and follow spirit; to allow that which will unfold instead of making a steadfast itinerary to follow … This slow dance has brought us through many small towns and small campsites throughout northern France. Our van does not like to go over 60 mph, so we are required to drive at a slower pace, and it has suited us very well. We are able to go through the country roads, soak up the beauty of the majestic fields, take pictures, and glide through the druid forests and feel how alive it is here. Yesterday, Gabriel, Elijah and I went to Le Mans Cathedral. It was stunning. Over the years from 1080 to 1400 there were 7 major reconstructions of this megalithic cathedral that kept adding to its glory and surprisingly to its beauty. What an amazing masterpiece. Kate and Matt had asked to stay at the campsite since they wanted to work on the gift they were creating for Elijah’s first birthday. It’s a totem stick. They found the lovely piece of wood at Le Menhir De La Roche in Gorron – a perfect stick found near the sacred stones. We believe Elijah will be able to reconnect to the energy of the land by touching his totem. Gabriel took them to the store and they bought a rasp and sanding paper to shape it and create a smooth finish. They have been collecting special pieces to add to the stick, crystals, feathers, stones, acorns, and other magical pieces that will catch Elijah’s eyes. We’re all contributing small precious items to complement it.

Chartres – Labyrinth Dead End
We are now headed toward Chartres, Paris, eventually to the south of France in the Pyrenees to the town of Oloran, and wherever else we are led to stop. Gabriel had been to Chartres many years ago and marveled at the labyrinth at the Cathedral in Chartres. He was not able to walk the labyrinth his first time there, so we look forward to all walking its magical path. I have never had the opportunity to walk on a labyrinth before. I have a sense that it will be transformative to walk through it in a meditative trance and be led, led closer to God. Well, as fate would have it, the only day the labyrinth is open is on Fridays. Unfortunately we arrived into town on Sunday and didn’t want to wait another six days to walk around the labyrinth. Se la vie!

Driving through the Rain to the Pyrenees
Yesterday was a difficult day. (This is Gabriel at the writing board again). We were driving from our campsite in Limoges, France and heading south to the Pyrenees, to the town of Toulouse. It was to be about a 4 hour drive to Toulouse, and when we started out it began raining. It continued to rain the whole day. This van we have is not particularly easy to drive in good conditions, but in a continual rain, it is very difficult and stressful. The defroster works, albeit the defroster is me wiping a towel across the windshield, every 45 seconds. There are leaks that come in various places that include under my feet and under my wife’s feet. The wind was blowing something fierce and at times throwing our not very sea worthy vehicle port and starboard. We finally arrive in Toulouse about 4 hours later, but we’ve arrived at rush hour and it is a big city. The traffic is horrendous and getting through and around the city is not so easy. Icasiana wants to stay in Toulouse and I want to get out. Usually I will consider her desires and discuss it together, but in this situation, I’m driving, so we’re leaving. As we continue we look at a campsite, but it looks like a ghetto campsite, very high security with metal fences and sliding gates – probably maximum security. It did not feel very good so we left and continued looking for a place to stay. This brought back memories of a rainy night in Greece when all the motels we looked at were full and we ultimately stayed in the van, but that van was not designed for sleeping. That was a memorable and most difficult night, and I will spare you any more details. I think I said that last time. I decide to park the van nearby where there is a creek and a pond so my wife can cook dinner and then proceed through the outskirts of the city when rush hour congestion is finished. While Icasiana cooks, I take the baby for a walk. While in the van he is fussing and squirming around, as soon as I take him outside, he quiets down and focuses on what’s around. He is entranced and happy, and it is raining. We sit together and watch the water by the pond, marveling together. When we return to the van, Matt and Kate are still inside. Here is Daddy and baby outside in the rain, while the young buck and buckette are inside. What’s wrong with this picture? They remedy the situation and go outside to play basketball together. Icasiana finishes cooking and the kids are still playing, so we eat together. The meal is wonderful, salmon with rice and soup. Have I mentioned how good the food is in France, how fresh and wholesome and how deliciously my wife cooks it all up? Anyway, when I finish I go to get the kids, and Matt is in a funk. Kate is happy. She already had her funk in the morning, after which I assigned her a writing assignment about “what is more important, human relationships or the things that we own”. When she wrote that assignment, she had a very emotional response and a healing. She gained a significant insight into herself and her attachment to material things that left her feeling uplifted. Later in the day it would be Matt’s turn to receive his bitter medicine. We call it this because it is bitter to face these kinds of things, but it is medicine that helps us to heal and grow.

Basketball and Another Life Lesson
Matt and Kate had been playing basketball and Matt had gotten very discouraged when he didn’t play as well as he would have liked, to the point that he was distraught. He didn’t want to come back for dinner because the voices in his head were telling him how worthless he was. Aah, the tricks that our mind plays on us when we don’t feel good about ourselves. We had a talk, and he was not ready to shift. We all let him be where he was without pushing him. He was able to shift on his own later after being with his little brother Elijah, and seeing how much Elijah loved him unconditionally. By the time the kids got back to the van to eat dinner and we had driven off again, it had taken much longer than planned and now it was dark. Now the driving became treacherous for me. We looked at a couple of motels and they were all booked up. So we continued. We finally got out of the city area, but there were no places to stay anymore. So we kept driving into the teeth of the rain, me barely able to see the road and other cars. At one point, there had been an accident and traffic was closed to one lane. As we drove through I was about to defrost the window and didn’t see the gendarme (policeman) who was directing the traffic and was right in the road in front of me. When I finally did see him I reacted intensely and was able to steer away from him safely and into the lane to the right without incident. I had been going slowly so it was not a sudden or severe turn, but it was upsetting to my passengers, especially my wife who has asked to remain nameless for this part of the story. As the evening drive continued, the stress level seemed to increase in the car, and the comments for safe driving directed towards me seemed to increase and to my ears sounded very shrill. My wife was not feeling safe while I was feeling unfairly questioned, harshly spoken to, and getting more than a bit perturbed. I was feeling less tolerant than usual, and was not appreciating her helpful comments. At first I thought my wife was reliving a past life and thought she was speaking to someone other than her present husband. After one comment that was particularly irksome to this writer, I told my wife, “Why don’t you drive?” She didn’t particularly appreciate that suggestion. We were able to clear it in the middle of the night upon my prompting and come back to a loving space. Well you know, we humans do struggle sometimes. Everyone got a chance to have their turn on this day including me. Very soon, the next day, I was shown that I needed to be a little more humble about receiving recommendations when I clipped a parked car when I was parking next to it, as my wife was telling me to watch out for that car. The damage was very slight, there were no dents and their car could be buffed out. Fortunately this lesson was more of a whisper than a loud shout. Life can be very humbling. As it turned out, after all the rain, and the continued rain and the lateness, we treated ourselves to a motel room for the night for only the second time in two months. We have been camping during this time. Earlier in the journey we were in motel rooms every night, now it was out of the ordinary and a treat. We woke up the next morning to a beautiful sunny day and could revel in the fact that we had arrived in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains.

Ascending on the Pyrenees
That sunny morning quickly turned, and it rained on us for a total of three days. Boy were we wet. A highlight was going to the Laundromat and watching our clothes drying in the dryer. Life is different on the road, in a van, with three kids. What was I thinking? No, you know I’m just kidding. Aren’t I dear?

When it did finally clear, it was majestic. The air was so fresh, the colors of the grass and trees and mountains were so brilliant, it was like everything was glowing. We had been introduced to friends of Kim’s (from Hereford in England), Harriet, her husband Jean Jacques and their two daughters, Alice and Matilda. They took us hiking along the Aspe River, which runs along the pilgrimage route called the Santiago Compestella Route. We shared a wonderful day together and over this time developed a nice rapport. Jean Jacques has a strong affinity and appreciation for the natural world and when he told us of his connection with the pixies (or nature spirits as we know them), the momentum really picked up and we felt right at home.

Lourdes – A Vision to Behold
We were very excited to visit Lourdes, the sight where Mother Mary appeared to a young girl named Bernadette who was removing her shoes to cross over the river. She became St. Bernadette after Mother Mary had appeared to her several times, the first being when she was 14 years old in 1861. The site is a grotto next to the river, where a natural spring sprung up after Mother Mary appeared and still provides pristine water for those who come to Lourdes. The day broke with wetness on the ground, and a pure clearness that had the sun shining through the wetness leaving everything aglow. The drive over was gorgeous with the Pyrenees mountains rising in the background and the Gave Pau (river that flows from the Pyrenees) following us along. We took our time meandering on the country roads and letting the day build. We made a stop at a dolmen along the way, it was a stunning time of the day, crystal clear all around, and of course, like all of the stone places, it was on a place where strong earth currents are present. As we looked and saw the dolmen and felt around it, I was struck with the idea that they were much more than a burial site as they have been described. What I was receiving was that they are portals between this world and the spirit world, and that instead of their importance being as burial sites, they are places of transition for those dying. These stone sites are built on places of power, where the spirits are more accessible, and where it is easier to connect to the other side. This would be an important insight in light of what was to come later in the day. For that I will give the computer pen over to Icasiana.

Stones Help in Preparation
As we left the Dolmen site, I (Icasiana) heard a voice tell me clearly that much would be revealed while we are at Lourdes. It was Mother Mary’s voice, kind and reassuring, but very clear that my life’s work would be shown to me at the Grotto of Lourdes. I had been to Lourdes 12 years before – Kate was a baby at the time. I was so excited to return to Lourdes with my family this time. I wanted to be fully prepared to receive any messages about my path. I didn’t mention anything to Gabriel about what I had heard at the Dolmen, I just wanted to see what unfolded at Lourdes.

Lourdes – the Faithful and the Faith-sellers
Lourdes is a bit of a dichotomy. On one hand, it’s an extremely holy site, not only because Mother Mary appeared to Bernadette several times there, or that it embodies such delicious natural beauty – a backdrop of the majestic Pyrenees mountains blanketed with green grass and evergreen trees, but it also rests in line with some very powerful earth energy lines. On the other hand, it’s a bizarre tourist trap. Many star hotels from one to five stars, restaurants flashing neon signs of their special meals. Souvenir shops selling everything from cheap plastic Mother Mary bottles for the holy water, to Rosary Beads the size of Texas, and every other religious doodad you can think of. Coming through that part of Lourdes I close my eyes and walk past the stalls very quickly to get to the Grotto.

Final Preparation Through Prayer
Throughout the day, I had been consciously breathing deeply to clear my body. I even, to Kate’s dismay, played the OM sounds of the Dalai Lama. She wanted to hear George Harrison, but I knew the Dalai Lama chanting was what I needed. Before we went in, we said a prayer, burned sage and set our intention for the visit to this holy site. As I was walking down the pathway, past the shops and hotels, I started feeling such a connection to all the people I came in contact with. I was pushing Elijah on his Pram (stroller) and people would smile and nod, or say Bon Jour. I would return the pleasantry, but it was deeper than that. Each person I connected with eye contact, I had a strange sense that I knew them. I felt a great preparation by God and a physical connectedness to spirit and to all other beings.

Enveloped by Sadness
As soon as we arrived into the square, I am struck with deep sadness and sorrow and I start crying as I watch the people and hear the music that is guiding a procession of people with maladies, and their caretakers. First I see the infirmed people on stretchers, being wheeled at the front of the procession, then in wheelchairs and other small blue carts, some kind of wheel chair from the hospital, there were hundreds of people, both with illness and nurses and caretakers as well as priests and nuns, supporting these people in their desire for a healing. There were people from many countries, France, Italy, America, Portugal, Africa and many others that I couldn’t see their name tags with the country noted. Many come on a pilgrimage; others come as individuals seeking a healing. It is said there are spontaneous healings that occur – people leaving their crutches or wheel chairs after going through the procession, or being touched by the holy water from the Grotto. I didn’t personally witness any, but I did see some amazing lightness come from people’s faces as they walked through the procession and touched the wet stones of the Grotto which has holy water streaming down from it.

I believe my sadness came from a deep knowing of being with someone so very ill and feeling the desperation for getting well in the caretakers and the infirmed. The desire to be healed, the desperation to be healed – this feeling was so strong at this site, it overwhelmed me. Some of these people looked like they were literally on their death beds their faces appeared twisted and desperate and filled with pain. I wondered if they were expecting a physical healing, or if they would find peace in their hearts to let go of this physical world and transition into the spirit world of eternity. The kids, looked at me quizzically, but then realized they’d seen me many times in this state, and just walked beside me while I pushed Elijah. Gabriel, who totally supports me, was there to hug me when I needed one, or place his healing hands on me so I could go deeper into the trance.

Our First Walk through the Grotto
The line to walk through the Grotto was extremely long, and the guides hurry the pilgrims along the pathway. There are many helpers along the way who assist people to go to the front of the line if they are in wheel chairs. Well, when they saw us pushing Elijah on the pram, they asked us to follow them. This kind man made a path through the hundreds of people by asking them to move aside as we went to the front of the line. At first I was pretty pleased by getting to the front of the line, but then I realized that as you walk along the stones, there are many crevices and chasms in the stones that have amazing energy emanating from them, and those we missed as we moved quickly by. When I turned the corner where the Grotto is, I was nearly knocked over, I felt very dizzy and spacey. The energy was immense and intense. I had been here before, 12 years earlier, but never like this – I was a tourist then, today I was on a mission.

My Affinity of Mother Mary
I have had an affinity for Mother Mary my entire life. Even through the years that I left the Catholic Church, I always held a special place in my heart for Mother Mary. In the past few years she has come to me through her voice and images. I look forward to her voice and the messages she gives me – I trust her implicitly as she reflects the voice of God, in the feminine form. I had a strong feeling that once I walked through the Grotto and was able to still my mind and body, I would be hearing from her. Well, it took about an hour of sitting; I needed to breast feed Elijah, drink lots of water, breathe deeply, receive an adjustment from Gabriel, and then finally, I reached a place of stillness.

Messages from Above, Beyond, and Through the Veil
The first image I saw was a large oval table with several people sitting at it. The people in transcended form and sitting in the seats of prominence were Mother Mary, St. Francis of Assisi and Padre Pio, Mother Mary was in the center. There were also six “human” beings present, that I recognized, including me and Gabriel. We were being told about our life’s work and what we need to learn before we could continue. I was shown a man in Italy namely “Oberto” that would be able to provide us information and training on death and dying, while assisting those making the transition. He would teach us what happens to the body before and after death, what the transitions are, and how these stages need to be cared for and honored and how to hold space for the passage into the spirit world. The next scene was at a conference that I was speaking at about my experiences of assisting those who had made the transition. In this scene I was speaking to hundreds of people, caretakers, healers, medical personnel and sick people. I was telling the story of our preparation before Mark’s passage, Kate and Matt’s father. (I have written this account called “Mark’s Passage” which can be accessed from a link on our website at, go to the travel update on France 3). Gabriel spoke next about the passage of his father and how he was able to hold space for his family and for his father during his transition. Our work was traveling around the world, speaking about the transition and teaching people how to hold sacred space for the person making their passage in an honoring way.

After my trance, I asked Gabriel about the person named Oberto. He said that there is a man at Damanhur, one of the places we are planning to visit in Italy that has studied the transition of life, and has written a book on death and dying. His name is Oberto Auraldi. We will see if we can study with him on the subject of death and dying and will be grateful for whatever insights he can provide us on this important work of shifting from being afraid of dying and avoiding it to honoring the process and holding space for those making the transition.

Blossoming of the Children
One key part of this trip that must be told is the transformation of Matt and Kate. Icasiana and I dealt with a lot of resistance and upset, especially in the beginning of the journey. They both expressed their extreme displeasure, many times, (and at especially irritating moments) about being forced to go on this trip and being taken away from their friends. In addition to this displeasure often directed our way, we were dealing with old patterns of hurtful ways of communicating and acting out, and disrespect toward their parents (or parental guardian as I am often reminded by Kate as to what I am). I’m sure many parents in America, and probably Britain, can relate to what I am referring to.

Matt started calling me “Dad”, on his own choosing. That was a turning point. This said to me that he was trusting me to guide him and that he accepted me in the role of father. And he calls me dad even when he’s pissed off about how I may be challenging him.

Matt’s breakthrough was expressed by him in a recent writing that moved many of our friends to tears because of his amazing revelations and emotional honesty. We are continually amazed at his insights and willingness to keep exploring this terrain. We still also deal with hurtful behavior, and go through conflict as we call him out to look at his actions. Later, he has often come forward and acknowledged how he needs to work on these areas. He keeps healing and inspiring even as he is still a 12 year old, acting like a 12 year old, learning how to deal with frustrations that are a part of life. Kate recently had a major breakthrough herself. It was not as dramatic as what Matt’s looked like, but it was a profound shift for her in her being willing to wake up to patterns she has been controlled by that have been destructive to her and hurtful to those around her. Her path to recovery has been slower as she has been in severe shock since her father died over 2 years ago. She has been angry and sad under the surface, and her confidence and stability has been shattered. Her willingness to reflect about her shattered confidence and why she is so influenced by others was a profound awakening for her. It came after she and I had a long talk about her taking responsibility for her actions and realizing she is the creator of her life. When she acknowledged her fears, a doorway opened for her and she has shifted from resisting to trying to do her best. As this journey has continued, Icasiana and I have marveled at how the children have been willing to be vulnerable and confront what has been difficult to confront. As deep healing has occurred, there has been a joy and a harmony in the family that is so cherished. Did I mention that there have been many confrontations and challenges in this area along the way? There still are, but the level that we function at has risen and risen. This one-year journey has been such a blessing in so many ways, and in family relations it has been huge. We continue to thank creator for the abundance and the opportunity to be on this amazing journey into our souls.

Leaving the Pyrenees and onto Damanhur in Italy
We were so glad we had gone out of our way to come to the Pyrenees. It has been pristine, magical, and inspiring. We had been taken to the ancient Compestella pilgrimage route, we had made a wonderful connection with Harriet and Jean Jacque’s family, and we had felt inspired by being in the presence of the mountains, rivers and valleys. Driving back to the east of France was a bit of a let down. Now we saw a lot of trash along the roadsides, many industrial complexes, and a bit rougher. We were now leaving France feeling so grateful for our time here. We were crossing the south of France through Montpelier, and then up to Annecy, to then head into Switzerland, the land of the Alps. After Switzerland we will head to Italy to see Florence, Rome, Venice, Tuscany, Assisi, and of course Turin the nearby city to Damanhur. I (Gabriel) had visited Damanhur once 5 years ago and had been so inspired by what Damanhur embodies through their vision and demonstration of what is possible to create in this world. Check out their web site They are guided by spiritual principles, not religious doctrine. They are forward thinking and presence oriented, creating artistic masterpieces, all in the service of the divine. Damanhur is a model of a sustainable eco-society; it is a group of people working to inspire the creation of a better future.

Matt’s 12th Birthday
Matt recently turned 12 on this trip. I am so proud of how he has had an expansive awakening, an igniting of the essence of him that I had seen in him when he was first born. He had been shrouded in judgment and shame by his father’s perceptions of him. The change in Matt has been remarkable in the past 2 years since his father died when he was nine. He has had a positive male role model in Gabriel, which has made his journey to healing so much faster and deeper. We will be in Spain by November, Matt’s birthplace (as well as Kate’s). It will be wonderful to remember this place and the time of his birth. Matt was born at Rota, at the US Naval Hospital near Santa Maria (the place where Columbus’s voyage began). We celebrated Matt’s birthday with toasts and prayers. Matt spoke of the changes in his life and what he hopes for the future. Truly powerful medicine for all of us.

Thanks to all of you who took time to write to Matt. He has been reading all the e-mails and has been encouraged by the support he has received. God bless you all.
Bon Soirre.

Letter to Elijah on his 1st Birthday
Dear Elijah,
Just the idea of writing to you on your first year I find myself feeling so emotional. I am in awe of the spirit of you, little boy. I am in awe of how you move through life, of your pure heart and how you are so full of joy and passion. You express yourself very clearly, it is very easy to know what you want. It is amazing to see how you are a magnet for good things, of drawing people’s heart open as they come into your presence. There is a sweetness about you, you have a deep awareness of what goes on around you and an ability to relate to people on a soul level.

You express total joy and you just are. When you look at me, it is with total presence. Whatever you do it is with total presence. Your soul whispers to me of your future- as a person connected to creator and your soul’s purpose.

There are certain tendencies you have that have shown themselves already. If we are inside you may be crying, as soon as we go outside the crying stops. You express such rapture when you are in the natural world. Your whole being comes alive, you will be shaking your body and moving in rhythm and dancing on your daddy’s shoulders as you revel in feeling and connecting with the life around you.

You show yourself also to have quite a natural passion for music. If I am playing the piano you become quite insistent about getting your chance to join in. You reach for the keys and push me aside. I can only laugh and marvel at what is so obvious.

This journey is not what we thought it was going to be. Icasiana and I thought we were going to visit sacred sites around the world. Actually we’re just the custodians to take you to these sites so that you can be fed by these mysterious places of power and wisdom. We thought we were taking you on this trip, it’s turned out that you have been taking us. It has been such a joy to carry you around to all these places and have you sing your sweet songs into my ear.

You are whole, there is no break in your connection with the creator. Everything about you is luminous. I feel so honored to be able to be in the role of father to you. I’m willing to be the booster rocker for you, to help you get out of the atmosphere till you can guide your own life. I believe you will go much further than I can imagine.

Being father to you has been the crowning of this life for me, it has caused me to live through my heart and I feel my soul pulsing through my life. My hope for you is that your connection with source is maintained and that you are able to grow with that intact. My dream for you is not about what job or profession you have, or about what you may accomplish, my dream for you is that you continue to live through your heart, that you touch all living beings from your soul, and that you have the freedom to explore as your spirit directs you. May your life be soul directed.

I just want you to know that you just being you gives me such joy.

Your loving father, Gabriel