The contributions that you make can go to a variety of areas. Each year for our retreats, through crowd-funding and our personal contributions, we bring someone who normally couldn't afford to go, a single-mom, a US military veteran, a person in need of healing and transformation, and we cover the cost of their trip, plus a little stipend, if possible. These journeys have had a tremendously powerful impact. Below are some stories about how your generosity helped to change someone's life!
Some people just love the work that we do and want to contribute financially so that we may continue this path of healing and helping others. We are very grateful for your offering and show of support.
To make a contribution please click on this PayPal link paypal.me/samanayo. A PayPal account is not necessary to contribute.
Thank you for your kindness!
Over Halloween weekend in 2016 in a sacred gathering in Atlanta, Gray had a vision to connect the Q'ero tribe of Peru with the Water Protectors and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Feeling deeply for the situation at Standing Rock, the vision was to raise funds and purchase 1000 munay bracelets, beads of strength and protection and power and love, from the Q'ero paqos of Peru that we have been working with for years. To bring them to Standing Rock and disburse them to the Water Protectors and Tribal Council, to show our solidarity as a people, as all connected to the earth and the ways of nature.
In 24 hours we raised one third of the funds and the rest came in over the remainder of the week. As communications continued in Peru, within a week the bracelets were awaiting us in Miami. The beads came from three Q'ero shamans and their families and gave them an opportunity to let go of their own differences, their own jealousies and fear and come together with a message of support for their native Brothers and Sisters in the north. We left Florida after Thanksgiving and arrived in Bismarck on the cold, stormy night of December 3rd. Along the way, with your contributions, we picked up supplies ito distribute at the camps. We bought more items in the morning and then headed out to the Oceti Sakawan camp along with our brother Reuben, who was fliming the event.
It was amazing. It was the weekend that the Veterans were starting to pour in. The media attention increased. The shooting of water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures had occurred just weeks before. The weather was perfect, cold, but sunny with clear skies. People were everywhere. The camp was incredibly well organized with specific areas for the variety of services whether it be media, food, veterans, first aid, and the slew of clothing and supplies available for winter conditions.
We knew from the beginning that a hand delivery of the bracelets to the Tribal Chief and Council would not occur so we packaged 144 in a beautiful sacred Q'ero cloth, along with a note from us, pictures of the shamans in Peru with the bracelets and their own personal messages and mailed them. We have no idea how or if they were received but we sent them. With the remaining ones we passed them out to people at the camp. Handed them out to people who felt such gratitude and thanks. Some cried. Some said it made their day. One veteran said he couldn't believe the love he felt from all of this as we tied a bracelet around his wrist. Some came back to us, asking to repeat the story of the Q'ero and the bracelets and where they are from etc. It was great fun. We met amazing people. people who had been on the front lines during the periods of violence. People who had left their jobs, their homes and families and been their for months to support the indigenous tribal family.
We were in the circle holding hands with thousands in the camp when the word came through that the pipeline was being halted. We didn't know it it was real or not and we enjoyed hearing the screams of jpy as the news spread around the circle. Your contributions brought tears of gratitude and thanks and appreciation by many who received them. Additionally, with your support we were able to bring firewood, propane, food, sleeping bags and more as the camp huddled in for winter.
Although the camp burned and the drilling continued in February 2017, the spirit of what was created at Standing Rock has helped spark political, environmental and social action around the world.
Erika is a single Mom that we brought to Hawaii for our March 2016 retreat via group funding and our personal contribution. She had such a powerful journey. Here is her note of appreciation. Thank you to all who helped support her for this transformative journey!
I cannot thank you enough for your support in sending me to Hawaii for such an incredibly healing retreat. Because of you, I was able to take a week to myself, to get sick, to relax into a beautiful healing network of new friends, and to start to learn how to ask for what I need to be truly healthy. Victoria and Gray created an amazing community of people who were all empowered to seek out our highest selves, and to help each other to do the same. Never before have I witnessed near strangers come together in a such a powerful and beautiful way.
I am so grateful for the gift of this week in Hawaii with these people. Beyond the natural beauty of the place, the fiery energy of the island, the mysterious and powerful healing ability of my favorite shamanic duo, it was the cradle of community that I was truly seeking, and found, for one week on the Big Island of Hawaii. I have returned to my “normal” life renewed, refreshed, rested, and inspired to support others, especially my children, as a mirror and reflection of the love and energy that I was a part of in Hawaii. I easily see now how this is the way to heal the world, one cleaned out, trusting soul at a time.
And YES, I got to swim with the dolphins. WOW!!! No words. Blessings to you all, and thank you again. I hope that you all find a way to experience the peace and healing that I found on this retreat.
In love and gratitude,
Erika Willett Kosina
And a note from Erika almost a year later:
I can't believe it has been almost a year since I was in Hawaii with you. My life has really turned around--I got a new job in May that has been perfect for me, and connected with a man who I think might be the love of my life, in October. Wow!!!!! Life is good:-)
Kathryne is the military veteran that was supported in coming to Peru with us. Here is her note of thanks and appreciation for her new perspective on life.
To everyone who contributed to my journey,
I offer you my deepest gratitude and appreciation for this amazing gift. For the first time in my life, I was fully able to receive the love and support being offered to me, without the guilt and shame of the inability to provide for myself or contribute as much to others' lives in my current situation. In the past, I would not have allowed myself to receive so much without having anything to offer in return. I realize this has kept me from many opportunities, and that without properly nourishing my own soul and allowing myself to receive fully, I have not been able to truly give to anyone or anything. Because of your generosity, I awakened to a deeper experience of love and acceptance for myself and others.
With the support of everyone involved in this journey, I was able to heal much of the trauma I experienced. The healing work I did with Gray and Victoria allowed me to feel a sense of total relaxation in my body and mind which lasted for days, and that I still experience from time to time, even a month after completing the journey. I have never felt this particular way, even after years of healing work and therapy. I actually experience positive thoughts coming into my mind without having to "work on it" or listen to recordings of affirmations.
I have had acne every day since I was nine years old. It has been so severe in the past I required laser treatments and medications. By the end of the journey my skin was completely clear. This may seem inconsequential to some, but it was a huge eye-opener for me. I had given up on the idea that it is possible for me to experience clear skin, and it has affected my self-esteem in the past. These are just a few of the experiences I had on the journey, but I wanted to share, so that you could know some of the impact your gift has had. Things are still unfolding as I integrate all that I have learned while in Peru. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.