Happy New Decade! We expect to make an announcement very soon regarding an appointment that might make a big difference in our quest for clean energy and sustainability, so keep posted.
Meredith and I have been here in southern Ecuador for more than five years, and the changes have been breathtaking. For several years now, we’ve known our new home and retreat would be bigger than the two of us, and we’re mostly just cooperating with how spirit guides us. We somehow feel we’re in the right place doing the right things for the larger issue of preserving nature and creating a new paradigm of sustainability, based in this remote and beautiful outpost in the Andes.
After nearly four years of construction, Montesueños opened its doors with the Phoenix Gathering in June 2008. While the construction continues on into 2010, we been amazed at the number and quality of guests who have come here, mostly through word-of-mouth and our presentations, websites and blogs (see Links at the right).
During 2009, we hosted four major conferences, hosted some Round Table meetings and opened our B&B service. We also built and dedicated the Montesueños Towers Center for the Arts which will house Meredith’s new studio. Now that the architecture part of things is slowly winding down, Mer is excited to get back to more painting in her new studio. She also plans to teach art workshops with some on-location excursions to exotic nature sites. Meredith also just completed and unveiled a large original water color, a commission, which is really quite magical, matching the quality of the sacred environment here. The Gaudi-esque architecture of the art center castle include a meditation tower with tranquil, panoramic views of the mountains, village and valley. In all, 2009 was a productive and very, very busy year for us.
For 2010, we plan to continue our B&B service at the same low prices ($35 for a single, $25 per person for a double or twin). We are now taking applications for the rental of the Doves Nest guesthouse at $1000 per week. The guesthouse has five bedrooms, each with a private bath, modern kitchen and Internet connections. We have three more guest bedrooms in the main house—also with private baths. We have four ethernet Internet terminals, and of course, views and garden retreats everywhere. [Watch promotional video or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for reservation information]
Our conference programs for 2010 are still in formation to reflect the turbulent times we’re in. As I am sure most of you would agree, the beginnings of our new decade require maximum flexibility in planning the future. Each conference will be unique. For us, the good news is, we have created a place where kindred spirits from all over the world can gather to help bring in the new paradigm. The other news is, sometimes we will not be able to give you much advance notice about events we’ll be having here. We ask for your patience and flexibility in planning your visits, so keep checking our websites and blogs for announcements, developments and essays. But our B&B is open and we are here for most of the year. We foresee the following events happening here during early 2010:
• January 27: my seventieth birthday (see comments below)
• Feb. 1-5: closed retreat of innovators on the Ecuador Initiative for innovation
• March 5-8: Transforming the Dreamer workshop with guest presenter/facilitator Terry Tillman, a world-class transformational educator (click here for PDF)
• May 1-4: The Tao of Photography workshop with Charles Feil (gallery link)
My seventieth birthday literally kicks off a bold new path here. Just after that celebration, we will be hosting international meetings to formulate and promote clean innovations to provide Ecuador and its indigenous peoples with economic sovereignty and economic sustainability. Called the Ecuador Initiative, this long-term project would allow us to replace dirty oil and gas extraction and destructive mining, logging and farming practices with new technologies in energy, mining, agriculture and water management. All this is legally required under Ecuador’s new constitution providing for the rights of nature and of the indigenous people. I’m very excited about this project, even if I may not be here long enough to see all the results. But as I.F. Stone observed, “If you expect to see the final results of your work, you haven’t asked a big enough question.” I am certain that, with dedicated colleagues and ideas, we can create a sustainable future for humanity, and Ecuador can become a crucible for global transformation.
Between March 5th and 8th, we will be taking these efforts to its next step with an unprecedented resident retreat I’ll be co-facilitating with a leading transformational educator and friend of thirty years, Terry Tillman, “Transforming the Dreamer”. In this follow-up to the popular Awakening the Dreamer symposia offered by the Pachamama Alliance, Terry and I are planning to host a few residents at Montesueños in a three-day intensive designed to become transformational activists willing to step outside the box for sustainable solutions. If you’re interested in taking this unique workshop, let us know as soon as possible, because space may fill up quickly.
“Transforming the Dreamer” and our other 2010 programs, in Meredith’s words, “will gather together with loving intentions, in appreciation of Mother Earth, that each others’ gifts will awaken the sleeping warrior in all of us and send a wave of healing power for change in every particle of the universal dream.”
So…we hope to see you here sometime in 2010!
Brian and Meredith