The Message

(10-minute read)

Ram Dass Richard Mirabal Rabbi Zalman Schacter

Being an Elder has been my path for some time. In the beginning, the path was challenging, given the materialistic, mechanistic, profit-motivated, youth-oriented ecosystem in which you and I live-a system that has little regard for what Elders provide.

But at this time, in our country, on this planet, in our lives, in the lives of our children and communities, in the midst of the 3rd year of Covid, what Elders provide is now critically and urgently needed.

One mutual attribute among Elders is a deep spirituality that influences every aspect of their lives and teachings. Elders live their lives according to deeply instilled principles, values, and teachings. Principles, values, and teachings that are eternal and foundational.

These principles, values and teachings won't directly improve the balance sheet, but they will directly improve the quality and appreciation for one's life and the lives of others.

In many cultures, Elders are recognized because they earned the respect of their community through wisdom, harmony, and balance of their being and actions. There is a place of honor for them at the table. They are held in high regard and listened with deep respect and sincere admiration.
Being held in this way, their words have profound impact.

Initially, my path to Elderhood was realized by participating with Elders of Indigenous tribes in Mexico, British Columbia, New Mexico, and Arizona, and attending programs, sittings, and ceremonies with gurus, rabbis, and roshis. My most important teachers were Ram Dass, Richard Mirabal, and Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi.

Throughout the ages, Elders have been committed to instilling respect for the natural and the spiritual world. In addition, elders were deeply committed to sharing their knowledge, providing guidance, teaching others to respect the natural world, and learning to listen and feel the rhythms of the elements and the seasons. Those abilities strongly spoke to me, calling me forward on my Elder journey.

Today, Elders have expanded their commitment to bringing forth the fullness of what it means to be human. Because Elders realize the elements of compassion, appreciation, tolerance, forbearance, self-understand are now very much lacking. Moreover, there can be no future for mother earth without these human elements being present.


I will be 77 on April 29th, 2022. I have been blessed to live this long in good health. I am consciously using this gift to forward my learning, experience, and expression as an Elder.

My experience of being an Elder is both life-uplifting and at the same time heartbreaking. As an Elder, I am now able to receive higher wisdom. The wisdom of the ages has become far more accessible and more penetrating. This higher wisdom arrives intellectually, spiritually, and experientially. I see more. I understand more. I feel more. I appreciate more. I know less and love more. Life has become richer.

As an Elder, when I operate from this higher wisdom, it impacts who I am, how I see myself and the world. So being an Elder certainly is life-enhancing.

The heartbreak comes from seeing the many unattended fault lines and craters you now can't help but see as Elder. The hate, heartlessness, greed, righteousness, and anger cannot be sidestepped. As an Elder, I can no longer deny what is painfully apparent in our world. And as an Elder, in this seeing, I am moved to act.

The world needs what Elders provide because without the presence of Elders and what they deliver, those elements that make life worth living will disappear. Furthermore, what can counter the eco-destruction, the loathing, and indifference is what Elders offer.

Watch these two videos. And take what they are saying as you consider what you will do and who you will be in 2022.

The first video is from one of the founders of "Airbnb." Chip and I are cut from the same cloth. Our approach to bringing forth Elderhood in people is different. Nevertheless, we think the same thoughts about bringing Eldership more prominently into the world.

In the second video, I ask you to first watch without distraction. Then watch and listen with those in your circle who you believe will resonate with this video.

I know that everyone has Elder in their ancestral "DNA." So, becoming an Elder needs to be uncovered, revealed, and distinguished to be realized. Once realized, it changes who you are and how you see the world and your future in and for the world.

I am in the very early formulation stages of developing a week-long retreat for those ready to embark on becoming an Elder. Looking at the Red Mountain Resort and Spa in Ivins, Utah in the late Spring of 2022.

This location for "Becoming an Elder" is exceptional because it is located in the heart of the Colorado Plateau which has the greatest concentration of U.S. National Parks in the country. Among its nine national parks are Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa Verde, and Petrified Forest. We will be spending our time in five of these parks, one each day.

A Native American Elder and a Shaman-ka will be leading parts of the program. To become an Elder, you must go beyond the intellect and rational mind. Interested in participating, let me know then go to CONTACT.

As 2022 opens with Covid's Omicron rampant, the uncertainly and isolation it is causing, the volume of deaths it is triggering, the constant disruptions and threats it is producing, what Elders could provide would be welcome relief.

What I my wish for in 2022 - People encourage established Elders into their lives, work, and politics. Now that would change the world.

"Listen to your elders not because they are right, but because they have more experience at being wrong." - Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi