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Learning From Tribes Around The World, By Raw Food Festival Founder Happy Oasis - Articles Surfing
This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Raw Food Summit which can be found at http://rawsummitarchives.com. In this excerpt, Happy Oasis shares on living with tribes around the world and the insights she's gleaned from these experiences.
Raw Food Summit Excerpt with Happy Oasis, the founder of The Raw Spirit Festival.
Kevin: Today, I have another incredible guest on the line. She has traveled all around the world, living with tribal societies and learned their healing techniques and most recently has been organizing a yearly raw event for like-minded people like you to gather and share the message which is called the Raw Spirit Fest. So today, I'd like to welcome Happy. Happy, how are you?
Happy: I am content beyond measure.
Kevin: Well, that is an awesome way to start this call. Let's start by talking about who you are and let's just give a little bit background and then we'll get right into the details of what we want to talk about today.
Happy: Alright. Well, I'm the founder, the chief visionary officer of the Raw Spirit Festival which is the biggest raw, vegan, organic, eco-sustainable solution world peace festival on the planet.
Kevin: Wow. Listen, when we talked before this call when we you had mentioned you had been out traveling to different cultures in Southeast Asia, is that correct?
Happy: Well, throughout Asia, Central America, and Canada and about 30 countries I've lived in.
Kevin: Okay. And you have done some research and you've lived with some Tribes. Why don't you start and just kind of tell us some of the things that you've done and some of the distinctions that you've gotten and I'll ask you questions as we go.
Happy: For more than 10 years, I was adopted by a variety of tribes in Asia and as an adventure anthropologist living up high in the Himalayas, in the swamplands of Bangladesh, in the hinterlands of Thailand, in Burma and on the islands of Malaysia and Thailand and many other countries and in Australia and because I was so young and so keen to learn their ways, they basically adopted me.
I would live with them for months on end and learn their languages. One of the things that I learned from the Yogis who lived up high in the Himalayas is the power of water. Yogis advocate using water as their primary medicine not only as an enema but if somebody has a skin ailment or from disease skin or an insect bite or a cut, the prescribed technique is to put that body part under the bubbling- near-freezing- water for as long as the person can stand it repeatedly through the course of the day and it's considered most powerful to do this at sunrise and sunset because there's something about the interplay of solar radiation at those times that accentuates the power of very cold water and in fact, one of the practices that I do is baptism every morning if I can and every evening and throughout America, we can do this in around the planet, when we're traveling we seek out the relatively pristine streams wherever we're traveling and bathe in them instead of going to the motel aid or going to a public shower and it cleans the body, mind, and spirit and I'd love to ask you, when is the last time you watched the sunrise?
Kevin: It was a couple of days ago. We were away and I watched the sunrise.
Happy: Isn't that beautiful?
Happy: Because I was thinking it's summer right now and it's such an important spiritual practice that the tribal people who I lived with did this every day. The word soul actually means sun as in solar radiation and a person who has a lot of soul has a lot of sunshine in their heart and the word sole as in only,had also come from the word sun because it was considered the only source of life and the one to who we give reverence.
An important part is getting back into the tribal way of thinking is to sleep alfresco on the earth to feel the rhythm of the body called the earth, to feel the magnetic radiation, to feel the love emanating from the earth and its daily nightly rhythm.
One other aspect of a natural way of living is to embrace the night, to embrace the darkness and to revere and to commune with the starlight and starlight could be our most overlooked nutritional deficiency. Another aspect of tribal living is vigorous exercise. Tribal people exercise at least two hours a day with sweat, with a racing heart, with deep-end, vigorous and loud respirations, and so all of these is part of the raw vegan lifestyle; stretching, growing a garden, growing sprouts as a beginning to a garden.
As we're hitchhiking, we can eat wild food and so it's really important as part of a daily sacrament to touch, to sniff and to gently ingest at least one wild plant wherever we are to literally get in touch with our ambiance, to literally let ourselves on a sunny little level commune with the ambiance, with the soil that's right beneath our feet.
Kevin: So when you went to these areas, I mean how old were you and how did you get invited or how did you present yourself to these different cultures?
Happy: Well, I received a scholarship to study at Hobart Matriculation College in Tasmania when I was 16 and 17 and while I was there, part of the program was a work program to go out into the professional force and so I joined the Tasmanian Forest Service and I was the only apprentice there who was not part aboriginal.
The aboriginal leaders welcomed me into their forest service family and so I learned a lot of the ways from them and then I felt so at home with them, more than I had in fact in the English culture of Tasmania that I realized that there's an enormous vast world of wisdom and since I was 12 years old, I had been cognizant of the fact that certain aspects of Christianity might have certain limitations at least on my mindset and I was seeking out wisdom.
My path, I call it adventure anthropology but it was actually the path of someone who was just thirsting and hungering for wisdom and so I went from tribe to tribe seeking out better ways in doing ways that are more, we call today eco-sustainable and more gentle and simple loving kindness and humor and spontaneity.
I would stay with one tribe and I would think, 'This is it. I'm never leaving.' And then they will become victims of genocide. For example, I was in Bangladesh and the tribes that I was just leaving just to re - supply were attacked by the Bengali government.
There was another tribe I lived with on the border of Thailand and when I left their refugee camp one day, I came back the next day and they have been burnt to the ground and so had all of my friends with it, so I've been in one experience after another.
The Moken people who I lived with became virtual servants of the Thai Forest Service. The Thai Forest Service would pay the teenage girls for an entire day of sweeping the forest clean because it's a jungle. They would get paid two bags of potato chips, the very small ones and they had to do it. They didn't really have a choice.
They were also setup on reservations and they became the tourist attraction so they had to stay on this island and the Forest Service had them build certain buildings that they thought the tourists would like to see them in and then they were no longer allowed to go in their sailing canoes from island to island and experience their free lifestyle because before that, they used to go all the way to India almost every year through the Andaman Sea to fish and hunt and they have a very easy, beautiful, adventurous lifestyle.
What's happening in a lot of the developing countries, and there's a reason why it's called developing because it's developing into what we've developed into. That the tribal people are going through the same thing that our tribal people, our native people went through a hundred to two hundred years ago.
Kevin: Let's pick a tribe and whatever one that you're closest to or you were closest to, you know what is the daily activity? What do they eat? You said that everyone sleeps on the ground. I mean, what's the activity? What do they do? What do they hunt? I mean, it's so fascinating to me and I need to know.
Happy: Alright. Well, one of the people I lived with was the Khasi people and they're pineapple farmers and so we would collect herbs everyday. They live deep in the forest and then they have this conical huts entirely comprised of mud and they were the cleanest mud huts imaginable. Everything was tidy. They had very few possessions, almost none. They have one little treasure chest full of their very few earthly possessions like an outfit of intricate lacy beauty each and otherwise, they wear very little and they live in a very simple life, in a very simple way and we would collect herbs early in the morning. We would offer prayers to the sunshine.
Kevin: What are the prayers about?
Happy: One translation could be which I have been saying for many years, 'Oh divine sun, bearer of all life, giver of all beings, may you live forever, and may we live forever, at one with you so that we can make it homewards to you eternally. Oh, divine sun, bearer of all life, giver of all beings.' We would go up our little moles and it reminds me of the people who are like squirrels, like birds, like mountain lions, all these people they have different tribes, they happen to be different species live by the same religion. Let's say it's the religion of the sun, the religion of a natural rhythm, the breathing of day and night and fully feeling the breath of the season, living as close to the mother earth as possible and really feeling as if we are sleeping on the breasts of a mother every night.
A lot of these people I live with never wore shoes. They smile a lot. They radiate a smile like sunshine and not just in their eyes or in their smile but their whole body. They tend to be very affectionate, a lot of hugging, a lot of touching, a lot of massage, foot massage.
Part of our community here_ the Happy Oasis Raw Retreat which is a long-term raw vegetarian community of about 6 to 10 people at any given time. We've adopted these tribal ways of having a lot of freedom to do whatever we like. There's no guru here. Everybody is self-actualizing continuously and sharing.
There's just a lot of affection verbally, encouragement, communion, becoming intimate as much as we can, not necessarily as much physically as a group but more in a way of the heart through communication because communication because communication comes from the root of communion - commune and I realize that the only true communication is that in which our speaking and our listening results in this feeling of oneness.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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