Paul Sivert’s prayer for those who sacrifice so much to defend the liberty we enjoy…

May the Great Spirit send you the forces of nature to protect you and all you do for so many others. You shall be guided by the Infinite Divine in your thoughts and actions to champion freedom for all. Blessed soldiers, may you return to your family unharmed and sound. God smiles on your endeavors and the peace you have found.

I sit on a rock on the side of a path looking down at Machu Picchu and the splendor takes my breath away. It is late afternoon and the sun has set. Long gray/black shadows begin to cover the sacred site. Soon darkness will consume this treasure of the Inka, their mountain retreat, a place of respite, ceremony and mystery. Then I see it: a man’s face in the area between the temples and the residences. I look over to Huayna Picchu, the peak that borders, and I look at the face I saw earlier there as it just smiles. I am seeing faces in the mountains, the landscapes; nature is alive. I look again at the face in the grass. It is an opening into Pachamama, the earth. I want to go inside but I do not. I think I need permission and it is just a little scary. I will journey there later. Anyway, the teacher is calling us to do something else. Opportunity.

I sit on a sofa, my eyes closed, listening to the drumming, letting it penetrate into my mind and body so my spirit can be freed. There is the shadowy face of Machu Picchu and slowly I enter the dark void of nothingness and drop. My intent is to find peace. I see an old man with short gray hair, gray skin, no clothes, and I recognize him as a teacher. I tell him my purpose for being there and he just smiles and nods and fades away. I am standing facing a sheet of glass looking at trees, huge, dark, wet trees with every limb, branch, twig, holding a ribbon of pure white snow. The contrast poignant – black versus white. The tree has become a vessel, a container to hold the snow; there is such beauty and I am overwhelmed by the presence of peace. The glass dissolves. Fulfillment.

Remember peace; it resides inside of you.