Tyrol, Austria

Tyrol, Austria

Traveling to Austria for the first time triggered teachings I learned from Paul Raphael, Odawa Peacemaker.  He told me that before he traveled he would visit with his elders and tell them about the trip he was going on and the intention behind it.  He would ask for their blessing and prayers for his journey.  Sometimes they asked questions, looking for clarity and defining the mission.  This has become known as the Anchoring Principle.  It refines my purpose, supports my intention and empowers my best self to show up on the journey.

In this case, I talked with two elders in my community, and asked them for a message.  I would be traveling to another nature based community in Austria, I told them, what message should I carry from this community to theirs ?  “Geez, Mark, ask me an easy question would you ?”, Hank, the eldest at 84, said.  Then his gaze focused, looking me straight in the eye, “ Tell them to watch over the children, like a tree protecting the up and coming saplings” I was rivoted, my heart quickened.  “ Tell them to go the edge.  Stand on the shoulders of what we have done, there is no choice but to take risks.  Support the children to do that”.

Ok, done.  “Thank you, I’ll tell you what happened when I get back.” I was inspired by his conviction.

The other, Cara, told me this story: “Be like the Moon.  I read a story recently where an elder on the edge of the village told passersby, Be like the moon.  One day a child asked him ‘why do you always say that ?’.  ‘People complain about the rain, too wet, too cold, People complain about the sun, too hot, too dry.  Nobody ever complains about the moon, so Be like the Moon’.

“Thank you” I said, feeling blessed.

These are the first words I spoke in Austria. I shared this at the first moment I stood up to speak at the workshop, entitled “Peacemaking”.  It was my turn to introduce myself to 100 europeans from several different countries.  “ I am here with the blessing of my family and I have a message from two elders in my community for you”.  I felt a formal conduct enter my being.  Words of love and connection came through me offering a message of peace from one side of the world to another.  My gratitude to Paul Raphael and his elders for conducting themselves in this way and sharing them with me.

Next Post:

Story of the Day – Part Two: The Sacred Mountains Blessing

3 replies
  1. Zelig Golden
    Zelig Golden says:

    Fantastic – I love this practice and I will definitely try this on my upcoming travels out east …. I might just ask you what to say!

    It also reminds me of a tradition we have in the Jewish community. When a friend, loved one, or community members travels to a distant place, it is customary to give them some money, even if just a dollar, to carry for you to that land and give as an offering to a charity or person in need.

    I’ve been told this practice provides protection for the traveler because then she is on a sacred mission of service, and it creates a connection for the person left behind who can make this offering from a distance….

    good stuff


  2. Susanne
    Susanne says:

    I was there in Austria that day. I heard you, Mark, speak these words. And I can confirm: It was a very touching moment and the two messages you brought with you are still in my heart.

    Love from

  3. Dan Hansche
    Dan Hansche says:

    Here I’ve been dogging “having to write a blog” for my green wedding contest and I read this with four days to go? My goodness -you make me want to share my story with the world every day just in case they might yield something great as I just did reading yours. Thanks.

    Here’s to blogs after all!



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