2019 Spirit Fest Presenters
Charles Eisenstein (Friday and Saturday)
Writer, Speaker, Futurist, Sacred Activist
Born in 1967, Charles Eisenstein graduated from Yale University with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, where he continued to question and search for truth but increasingly felt bewildered and unsatisfied by what he saw as the state of the present world. He learned Chinese and became a translator in Taiwan where he spent most of his 20’s while he educated himself in Eastern spiritual traditions. Other avenues of employment only furthered a sense a realization that our world, as it is, was in a period of crisis. Eventually feeling ‘I can not make myself do it anymore’, he tried a number of jobs and stayed at home caring for his young sons.
Still searching and asking questions, the answer began to take form in his first book The Ascent of Humanity.
Charles states, ‘my books and other work come from a deep, inspired source, but that source is not me! It is more like I’m connecting to a field of knowledge, or a story that wants to be told.’
In his most recent book Climate-A New Story he outlines the present predicament and probes deeper into the causes and ramifications, especially covering water and forests. He believes that adjusting levels of atmospheric gases will not resolve the climate crisis, and that it is not a mere ‘problem’ that can be solved from the currently dominant worldview. He suggests inhabiting a new Story of the People and a new (and ancient) relationship to the rest of life. He advocates that this is a time of transition from a ‘story of separation’ to a ‘New Story of Connection and Inter-being.’
Christie Strickland (Sunday)
Teacher, Facilitator, Rites of Passage Guide, Sacred Activist
Christie has been facilitating groups for as long as she can remember. From her childhood elementary school playground to university classrooms to social justice work to earth activism rooted in deep ecology - her radar has always been tuned into groups. Christie spent 15 years as an adjunct faculty member at Naropa University teaching experiential courses in group facilitation and leadership for the psychology departments, masters in fine arts in performance and environmental leadership programs. Through these experiences, along with studying with Joanna Macy and with Matrixworks Leadership, she honed her craft as a facilitator and developed a deep trust in the creative, life-giving power of community - under the right conditions. She helps groups to create life-giving conditions, built on the premise and principles of living systems. Christie also provides mediation and has been recently facilitating a group of politically right and left people who are working on developing strategies for healthy, inclusive political dialogue. What helps (all!) human beings, indeed all life, to thrive? What if we used that as a guiding question as we built our organizations, architecture, food systems, social systems and political systems? How could it be that we have not used this as a north star all along? Through years of hospice work, she developed a deep appreciation for grief, loss, and love as we navigate these uncertain times on the planet, this collective rite of passage.
Spirit Brothers (Saturday)
Bobby Ponchito Jimenez is a flutist of Huichol Indian and Mexican descent who hails from Olathe. His soothing music has been enjoyed by many on the Western Slope for years. Venues include The Ute Museum, Gateway Resort, Sherbino Theater in Ridgway among others. For Bobby and those fortunate to hear his musical gift, the beautiful and melodic sounds from the flute can be a great healer. John Randolph provides guitar and percussion accompaniment to Bobby’s flute. John makes his home in Ridgway and for many years he has been active in hosting music by and for locals in Ridgway. He has performed at The True Grit and The Sherbino Theater in Ridgway. John’s focus is Presence in his music. You can experience a sample of their music here: