Articles tagged with: relationships

Rafting the Main Salmon River

Our Aire Super Puma Raft

Six Spectacular Days with a Primitive Tribe

Rafting the Main Salmon River held a prominent place on my bucket list for years. It turns out, I had it there for good reason. This past summer, my wife, Mary, and I finally made that trip and spent six sunny days surrounded by beautiful scenery, thrilling rapids, and learning the special customs of a unique and friendly tribe.

Our Aire Super Puma Raft

Our Aire Super Puma Raft

Trip Details

On this run, the clear waters of the Main Salmon River, plunge deep into Idaho’s 2.4 million acre River of No Return Wilderness, “the largest contiguous federally managed wilderness in the United States outside of Alaska.” This area contains parts of three mountain ranges, a 6,000-foot-deep canyon, almost no roads or stores, and far more wildlife than people, including bears, mountain lions, wolves, and rattlesnakes. The 80 miles of river we covered holds countless rapids, vast white sand beaches, and canyons lined with steep granite cliffs.

As to logistics, I was a bit flabbergasted when I learned it would cost $475 to have our truck shuttled to the takeout, 80 miles downriver. Then I mapped the driving route and found that because of the vast wilderness area, it was a nine hour, 409 mile drive, with many miles on exceptionally rugged and remote roads. I decided maybe the $475 was quite a bargain.

Way of Life on the River

With that background info out of the way, we can get onto the part about life on the river with a primitive tribe. I better clarify things a bit here, because the tribe wasn’t really that primitive. In fact, they looked a lot like normal people. They just had some interesting, primitive customs that we had to adapt to. Our group consisted of 15 people in seven rafts. Many of these were serious outdoors people that had rafted together for 25 or so years. Three of them had spent their careers working for the US Forest Service.  Their interesting customs included:

  • They pooped in ammo cans and peed in the river. Actually, the forest service requires people to do this, otherwise this tribe might not have followed this custom. These requirements force tribal members to become pretty uninhibited about their bodily functions, often continuing a conversation while nonchalantly urinating into the river.
  • Most tribal members slept on the beach, tent-less, amongst the spiders and snakes. We did notice that after a rattlesnake encounter, two of the tribe members started sleeping in a tent, like Mary and I.
  • Upon finding a rattlesnake that made threatening gestures in the poop can vicinity, tribe members eliminated the rattlesnake. For safety’s sake, this actually made a lot of sense. I may have even taken part in this.

    Tribal Members on a Big Beach

    Tribal Members on a Big Beach

  • Once at a campsite for the day, male tribe members spent a lot of time sitting in, arranging, and adjusting their rafts and gear, while the female tribe members drank intoxicating beverages and focused much of  their time on food preparation. This sort of behavior seems common to many tribes, although many primitive tribal males might focus on carving weapons rather than fiddling with rafting gear. Something that surprised me about this particular tribe was the quality and the elaborateness of meals and intoxicating beverages they prepared. It seemed to me as if the tribe had developed such a strong bond that they strived to honor each other with outstanding meals, including appetizers, side dishes, desserts, and a drink of the day. My wife and I found ourselves enjoying this custom immensely and will try to better honor tribe members during the next trip, with more elaborate gourmet food and unusual drink.
  • On the river, tribal members watched out for one another, waiting at the bottom of a rapids, ready to assist if another member needed help. Then, they generously complimented each other on river-running prowess, after avoiding the majority of boulders in a particularly challenging set of rapids. When tribal members smashed their boats into boulders, others politely pretended not to notice. I appreciated that.
  • Cooking and cleaning was accomplished without electronic appliances or devices. This also applied to communication. Rather than using texting, email, or even phone calls, people actually spoke to one another, telling jokes and breaking into spontaneous laughter.
  • On certain nights, tribal members would have celebrations and ceremonies that included dressing up, dancing, birthdays, and river stories around the campfire. They did use an electronic device (iPod and speakers), rather than traditional drums, on the dance night.

What Set this Trip Apart

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

On a Lower Salmon River trip we took, Mary, our daughter, Heather, and I had only each other, and Mary and I do most of our wilderness trips alone. On our Main Salmon River trip, the tribe is what really stood out. We had been a bit apprehensive about joining a group of people we didn’t know, but they turned out to be a very nice and welcoming bunch of people, with some fun customs.

One of the retired rangers told me that they had been more than a bit apprehensive about letting a raft join their group, without actually knowing the skill level of the people that would be running the rapids. I absolutely understand that, because it could be life-threatening having unskilled people on a remote wilderness whitewater trip. He assured me that after the first set of rapids, the group knew we were perfectly competent to run the river. That was nice to hear.

As we fell into the rhythm of sunny days on the river, we became tanner and more relaxed, increasingly feeling like part of the tribe. We also grew in our river-running confidence and competence. Reading rapids on the fly, and sliding effortlessly past boulders became second nature.  I had initially thought that six days sounded like a long trip, but the days streamed by and were over before I knew it. On the way home, I started thinking about our next rafting destination.

Mary & Curt

Simple Meditation

Simple Meditation: A Spiritual Connection for Transforming Your Life

by Curt Remington

Introduction

Simple Meditation- front cover
Simple Meditation- front cover

 Have you ever felt as if there should be more to life? A deeper meaning or greater purpose? Less stress? More happiness? Maybe more of a spiritual connection?

I’ll bet you’ve even had moments when you experienced this spiritual connection, times when you were fully involved in what you were doing, blissfully happy and thinking of nothing else. Maybe you were sitting on a beach listening to waves roll into shore. Or you may have been in the mountains, gazing in awe at a spectacular view. Maybe you were looking into a crib, watching your baby sleep.

Wherever you were, it was a moment when your thoughts got out of the way, so you could experience that deeper, inner part of you, the spiritual part that is naturally calmer, wiser, and happier, the part that understands all things are connected.

In the pages of this book, you’ll find the information and tools you need to experience more of that spiritual part of you, the part that can let thoughts go and be fully in the present.

Tuning into the details of nature is a wonderful way to let go of other thoughts and to start meditating. You could sit calmly in the woods, listening to the birds sing or the wind blow through the trees. Spending this time in nature puts you in a healthy environment, connected to the energy of a beautiful place.

Such escapes to nature kept me sane during the 1990s, while I worked seventy-hour weeks running a real estate appraisal business. Eventually, I started to learn and develop meditation techniques that went even further than connecting with nature, and I could do them without leaving the comfort of home.

Although we spend our days rooted in the physical world that we can see, we are part of a vast field of quantum energy that we can’t see. The chapter on spiritual connections provides insight into those unseen, heavenly aspects of our universe that affect our lives every day. By understanding and working with the spiritual realm, we can improve the quality of our lives on earth.

Many of the exercises in the following chapters use the power of visualization to tap into this unseen energy, using it to access information or to release blocks to your emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. One of the easiest ways to release these blocks is through an exercise that runs more energy through your system, keeping it clean like a mountain stream.Relationships are a key factor in the quality of our lives. Meditation can help you let go of anger, resentment, and fear, blocks to great relationships. Not only will this improve your relationships, but improving those relationships will make it much easier to meditate.

Chapter 9, on walkabouts and vision quests, suggests a trip into nature to tie this all together. Your trip doesn’t have to be a rugged wilderness outing. It could simply be a weekend dedicated to following some simple steps to connect with nature, meditate, review your life, and use the tools you’ll learn in this book to examine your life’s purpose. It can be a powerful and life-changing experience.

Throughout this book, I will also share some of my own experiences in my quest to find my purpose in life. I have not always been an avid meditator, at least not officially. Much of what held me back was a set of preconceived notions about meditation―what it is and what it isn’t. If I’d understood the vast variety of techniques, the benefits, and the bliss of meditating, I would have started much sooner.

The exercises in this book are so simple and effective that you will start seeing results quickly, even if you’ve avoided formal meditation until now. Don’t wait any longer. As you read this book, take the time to try the meditation exercises that you’ll find throughout the chapters.

Welcome to an important next step on your spiritual journey.

Simple Meditation- back cover
Simple Meditation- back cover

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

 1 – The Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How 15

Very Simple Meditation Exercise 16

 2 – Connecting with Nature 25

Tune into Nature Meditation 33

Nature Photo Visualization Meditation 34

 3 – Spiritual Connections 41

Relaxation Exercise 50

•     Past Life Meditation 51

 4 – We’re Connected to One Another Too 67

Connected to Others Meditation 75

Cooling-Down Visualization Meditation 81

Releasing Perfect Pictures 85

Improving Relationships Meditation  89

 5 – Grounding and Neutrality 91

Grounding Meditation 97

Grounding Your Environment 98

Staying Neutral Exercise 100

  6 – Running Your Energies 105

Exercise for Running Your Energies 107

Reading and Releasing Energies 109

Powerful Being of Light Visualization 111

 7 – Energy Healing 115

Performing the Healing 117

Simplified Healing 118

Healing Visualizations 120

 8 – Getting Answers 127

Connecting with Your Higher Self 129

Contacting Spirit Guides 131

Reading & Releasing Energy with a Rose 134

 9 – Walkabout or Vision Quest 141

Inspirational Venturing Out Exercise 145

Finding Your Path Meditation 151

10 – Transform Your Life 165

        Transform Your Life Meditation 169

Bibliography 175

Index 179

About the Author 185

Praise for Simple Meditation

“Curt Remington has written an inspiring book that goes far beyond the joyous benefits of meditation alone. Simple Meditation: A Spiritual Connection for Transforming Your Life will assist you in experiencing the direct divine connection that is your birthright—right here, right now—within your everyday reality. The insights offered in this beautiful and transformative book will propel you onward and upward on your path!” ~Annie Burnside, author of Soul to Soul Parenting

 

“Curt, your nature photography is absolutely stunning and your meditations simply wonderful. How lovely that you have combined all of this beauty with your personal journey and translated it into book form to help others. You are a gift to the world. I cannot wait for your new book to come out. Wishing you and your readers so much love, peace, joy, beauty and Spirit all around. Namaste.” ~Lori Boatman, author of  Reannce and the Fifth Dimension

 

“Brilliant insights about blending the spiritual practices of life with heart, nature and the sciences. Provides matter of fact, simple steps to improve you health and happiness. Awesome!” ~Joy Gilfelen, president of Uniting Creatives and producer of Flipping the Joy Switch dvd

 

“You are an excellent writer, the best I’ve had all year. It was a great pleasure to work on your manuscript.” ~Arlene Prunkl, PenUltimate Editorial Services

“Through meditation, you can learn to think more clearly, work more efficiently and let go of stress. Whatever form your practice takes, let it be a part of your daily life. It is time well spent and the rewards are limitless.” ~Dawn Groves, author of Meditation for Busy People

 

“As Curt describes in this book, a vision quest trip can be a life-changing experience.” ~Darcy Ottey, executive director of  Rite of Passage Journeys

Simple Meditation is now available through your local bookstore or online at a variety of sources, including Meditation Resources,  and Amazon. It is also available as a Kindle eBook for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry or your computer.

Managing or Letting Go of Anger

Fight or Flight Response

by Curt Remington

Battling Blacktail Bucks

Battling Blacktail Bucks

As an emotion, anger may have been useful for our caveman ancestors, as it triggered our “fight or flight” response, pumping adrenaline into our blood and readying our bodies for action.

In modern society this response is very rarely needed and causes all sorts of  troubles. The “fight or flight” response cuts blood flow to our central organs and brain, causing health problems and difficulty thinking clearly. Anger also damages relationships and can lead to terrible, impulsive decisions. These show up in the news all the time. Most of us aren’t going to go on a rampage, but many of us could still use work on reducing anger in our lives. I know I could.

One of the most important steps for reducing anger is changing the thinking that leads to it. If things or people aren’t the way we’d like them to be, we get angry, thinking that somehow that may get them to change. This rarely works, and often it backfires. According to the Law of Attraction, “that which you resist persists.” I have seen this countless times. Getting angry or fighting something just brings more of it into our lives.

Another worthwhile strategy is to try and see the other person’s point of view. Last night, I had a great opportunity to practice this, during the drive into town for a meeting. The host had stressed the importance of arriving on time, so I left the house a few minutes early. Our drive to town is on a winding road along a lake, with not one passing zone the entire distance. People usually drive about 45 mph, most of the way, but the car in front of me drove erratically, hovering around 30 mph, then suddenly hitting their brakes and slowing to less than 20. This happened repeatedly, as more cars backed up behind us and I glanced again at the clock. Years ago, before meditating, I would have been furious. Instead, I practiced some meditation techniques, kept my distance and looked for a reason someone would drive like that, other than to make me mad. It came to me that they must have terrible night vision and were worried about all the deer along our road. Instead of getting angry, I felt some sympathy for them. As soon as we reached town, they pulled onto the first side street, fully in the oncoming lane. I wished them well and still made it to the meeting on time.

More Tips for Managing or Letting Go of Anger

  • Meditate – Stress is a big block to good relationships. It makes it harder to think, feel and communicate.
  • Learn to compromise, or to accept things and people the way they are. Getting mad at the weather, the economy, the other driver or your lost keys won’t change them anyway.
  •  Have a sense of humor. It’s hard to be mad when you’re laughing.
  • Deal with irritations assertively (not aggressively) before anger builds.
  • Relax, take a few deep breaths and think before saying something you’ll regret. Walking away and coming back later is even better.
  • Forgive. Holding onto anger just makes you miserable and doesn’t prove anything.
  • Exercise – This is another great way to release stress.

Meditating on My Own Anger

 I confess, I still sometimes hold onto anger, even though I know that I shouldn’t. I’ve been mad at someone that treated me terribly and never showed remorse. My anger is punishing me much more than its punishing them. Last week, I decided to meditate on this and use a technique for releasing some of that anger.

In  meditating on it, I saw images that represented me pushing down and holding in all that anger rather than using outwardly forms of expression like yelling, swearing and fighting, which I’ve used in this past. None of those are good choices. Then I saw a better alternative, releasing that anger deep into the earth, using a technique we learned in clairvoyant training. The earth easily neutralizes this anger energy and returns it to where it belongs. This meditation helped my mood improve for days. For a serious issue, you may want to use it repeatedly.

Letting Go of Anger Meditation:

If you’re mad, meditating is more difficult to do. All those angry thoughts keep popping in, making it hard to relax. Instead of fighting the anger, and those thoughts, use this technique to run the anger and flush it out of your body and energy system.

Once your sitting comfortably, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Imagine a grounding cord that extends from the base of your spine (first chakra) to the center of the earth. You can visualize this cord as a rope, fiber-optic cable, tree root or whatever else comes to you. Quantum energy responds to thought, so when you visualize this, you are actually creating a cord of quantum energy. This cord will help your body feel more secure, and it gives you a place to release negative energies, like anger.

With your grounding in place, imagine a big ball of red energy, representing anger, over your head. Let it pour down through the top of your head (seventh chakra) and run through your body. Go ahead and feel some anger while you run this. Visualize the red energy as it moves through your body and out through your grounding cord. The red seems to match anger energy and carries it along and out of you. Let the red energy run until you no longer feel mad, and its job is done. Then, shift from red to another color, like blue or gold. Run this color to renew yourself and to replace that anger energy you let go of. When you’re done, take a few more deep breaths, stretch and get on with your day. After doing this, I find myself to be feeling much better. I hope you will too.

Mountain Lions

Mountain Lions

  

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