The Dandelion Effect

Feathered Pipe Foundation - Andy Vantrease

The Dandelion Effect podcast is a space for organic conversation about the magic of living a connected life. Just like the natural world around us, we are all linked through an intricate web, a never-ending ripple that spans across the globe. Here, we explore the ideas that our guests carry through the world, remember who and what inspired them along the way, and uncover the seeds that helped them blossom into their unique version of this human experience.

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"Best of Season Two" Episode
Aug 13 2022
"Best of Season Two" Episode
The Feathered Pipe Ranch is a world-renowned retreat center that hosts weeklong yoga and wellness workshops from June through September, and as of this recording, we are smack in the middle of the season. Every retreat is full of amazing people traveling from all parts of the country and even the world—yesterday I met a woman who traveled all the way from Brazil.This year feels like a true reunion of humanity. People are open, vulnerable, eager to learn and willing to lean into friendship and healing. At least that’s what I’ve experienced in speaking with guests. A real presence that leaves me optimistic for our collective futures.To celebrate midseason, we’re airing the "Best of Season Two” episode, a taster to hear pieces of all 12 episodes from our second podcast season, and invite you to go back and visit the ones that you missed over the last six months. Based on the analytics, I’m seeing that many new people are still finding and listening to season two, which is really incredible since most of the conversations really are timeless and worth checking out even while the podcast team takes the summer hiatus. The Dandelion Effect Podcast is a gentle reminder that inspiring and extraordinary people are out there doing good in the world. These conversations explore a range of topics including generational healing, veteran’s mental health, the law of attraction, food as a love language, sustainable building, ethical technology and mindfulness, energy medicine, adventure travel, and much more.Support the show
"Best of Season Two" Episode
Aug 13 2022
"Best of Season Two" Episode
The Feathered Pipe Ranch is a world-renowned retreat center that hosts weeklong yoga and wellness workshops from June through September, and as of this recording, we are smack in the middle of the season. Every retreat is full of amazing people traveling from all parts of the country and even the world—yesterday I met a woman who traveled all the way from Brazil.This year feels like a true reunion of humanity. People are open, vulnerable, eager to learn and willing to lean into friendship and healing. At least that’s what I’ve experienced in speaking with guests. A real presence that leaves me optimistic for our collective futures.To celebrate midseason, we’re airing the "Best of Season Two” episode, a taster to hear pieces of all 12 episodes from our second podcast season, and invite you to go back and visit the ones that you missed over the last six months. Based on the analytics, I’m seeing that many new people are still finding and listening to season two, which is really incredible since most of the conversations really are timeless and worth checking out even while the podcast team takes the summer hiatus. The Dandelion Effect Podcast is a gentle reminder that inspiring and extraordinary people are out there doing good in the world. These conversations explore a range of topics including generational healing, veteran’s mental health, the law of attraction, food as a love language, sustainable building, ethical technology and mindfulness, energy medicine, adventure travel, and much more.Support the show
Donna Eden: Self-Healing with Energy Medicine
May 22 2022
Donna Eden: Self-Healing with Energy Medicine
Donna Eden is a pioneer in the field of Energy Medicine, and she was born with the gift of literally being able to see the body's energies, in the forms of colors and geometrical shapes. After five specialists told her she had 9 months to 2 years to live, she healed herself from multiple sclerosis, allergies, asthma and the effects of a heart attack at age 27. She then honed her skills and learned how to accurately determine the causes of physical and psychological problems based on the state of a person’s energies, and devise highly effective treatments for her clients and students.She’s co-authored several books with her husband Dr. David Feinstein, including Energy Medicine, Energy Medicine for Women, and The Promise of Energy Psychology. Donna has taught tens of thousands of people all over the world how to engage with the healing and restorative power of their own energies, and her time teaching at the Feathered Pipe Ranch played an instrumental role in catapulting her career.Her personal story is fascinating and inspiring, and yet, she believes that each one of us is born being able to see energy and that it’s a tool that lies dormant if it’s not used. Throughout her career, she’s seen over and over again that we all have the capacity to tune into energy—what she calls “The Language of the World”—and use it for experiencing mental clarity, physical vitality and joy.In this conversation, I ask Donna to read my aura—I just couldn’t help myself!—and she shares her opinion on why so many people suffer from modern dis-ease. She also graciously walks us through four incredibly simple tools for alleviating stress and calming the nervous system. Donna admits that year 79, her age as of this interview, has been her best year yet, and you will hear it in her voice, her laugh, her tone—she is full of energy. You can practically see her smile through your ears.Donna Eden WebsiteSupport the show
Tim Sloffer: A Teacher's Guide to Lifelong Learning
May 7 2022
Tim Sloffer: A Teacher's Guide to Lifelong Learning
Tim Sloffer happened upon the Ranch last year while he was applying for a Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant from the Lilly Endowment, a program that began in 1987 as a way to help Indiana elementary and secondary educators renew their commitment to teaching. To give you an idea of the scope of this program, the foundation awarded 103 grants, each totaling $12,000 for 2022. And, what’s amazing about this grant is that teachers can apply to be covered for all kinds of experiences that will enhance the their understanding of themselves and the world at large: studying foreign language, natural resources, photography, chess, quilting, zoology—the list is endless. If you can write it up to show that it will expand and improve you as a person and as a teacher, it’s considered.With zero background in yoga, but a desire to learn how to take better care of himself, Tim Googled “wellness retreats” and found the Feathered Pipe Ranch. After looking through the summer schedule, he realized that he could spend five weeks participating in five totally different workshops covering wellness from many angles—and so the grant was written and awarded.In this conversation, we explore Tim’s upbringing in the small town of Huntertown, Indiana, the road that led him to following in his mom’s footsteps as a teacher, his journey through college as a teen parent, and the challenges and joys of raising three kids.He reflects on his time at the Ranch, what he learned from each retreat, the growth moments that invited him out of his comfort zone and the ways that he settled into the rhythm of life as a long-termer. On Tim’s last night, we presented him with a cake and celebrated the time he spent with us on Bear Creek Road, and today we get a window into how the lessons of last summer have trickled into his everyday life.Lilly Endowment FundSupport the show
Dave Morin: Seeking Balance in the Age of Technology
Apr 22 2022
Dave Morin: Seeking Balance in the Age of Technology
Dave Morin is an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, born and raised in Helena, MT. Currently, he is Co-Founder of Offline Ventures, an investing and inventing company focused on the creation of humanist technology and serving founder potential, and is Chairman of Esalen Institute, a leading center for exploring and realizing human potential through experience, education, and research.Early in his career, Dave was the 29th employee at Facebook and his first job upon moving to San Francisco was at Apple. Needless to say, he’s been on the forefront of tech innovation since the start of the internet in the 90s, and over the last couple decades has co-founded and managed a handful of ventures in this realm: Path, a company dedicated to being a source of happiness, meaning, and connection through simplicity and privacy in social networking technology; Slow Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture fund that champions long term thinking and serves a community of over 300 of the most innovative startups in the world; and Sunrise, a nonprofit focused on bringing together science, spirituality, technology, and design to revolutionize how humans experience depression.In today’s conversation, we talk about his path from a ski racer in small town Montana to an angel investor and serial entrepreneur smack in the middle of the tech capital of the country, Silicon Valley, California. Recognizing early on that his brain was different than most other kids, Dave describes his childhood as one of looking for belonging, and he found solace and stimulation at his grandfather’s house while playing on one of the earliest computer models ever made. He was also serendipitously introduced to Aikido, a Japanese martial art, through his best friend’s uncle, and that began his lifelong foray into eastern philosophy, self awareness and contemplative practices.We tackle a big topic today—mental health in the age of technology—and while this interview just scratches the surface of the immensity of this conversation, I hope you walk away with an understanding of the nuance of our current predicament, the good and bad of modern technology, the intent with which it was originally created, and the knowing that there are people like Dave out there, pouring themselves into ideas like Web3, and how to make our interactions with these tools safer, healthier and more human.Offline VenturesSunriseEsalen InstituteSupport the show (
VJ Supera: The Magic of Living Without a Map
Apr 9 2022
VJ Supera: The Magic of Living Without a Map
In the days of digital nomads, geo-tagging and endless sources of technological communication, it’s sometimes hard to believe how people traveled without knowing anything about the places they were visiting. With no blog posts or reviews to read, and no way to get in touch with friends in real-time (unless you were right there next to one another), people hitched rides, slept in bus terminals and leaned on poor translation and big hearted-strangers for their next moves.These are details that make up the stories of today’s guest VJ Supera, a wild woman of adventure, laughter and endless curiosity. VJ is the sister of Feathered Pipe Foundation founder, India Supera, and she has been traveling to the most remote corners of the world for nearly 55 years. She rarely—if ever—has taken the comfortable route. Now, at 77 years old, she’s still making her rounds, though trips have taken a different meaning than they did in the days of twenty-something wanderlust.I got to sit down with VJ in her house in Helena, Montana, where we shared a pot of chai tea in her living room lined with art and travel books. We yuck it up, as she would say, about her upbringing with bohemian parents, the role of creativity and spirituality in her life, experimentation with LSD and other drugs in the hippie era, and stories of her travels to far-off lands, dressing like a man and hitchhiking through Tibet on cargo jeeps, stumbling into a yak drive on a caravan mission to Tajikistan, and living under a tree outside of Guru Sai Baba’s ashram in India.If you’ve been to the Ranch, you may have had the pleasure of meeting her at one of VJ’s Bizarre Bazaars, where she spreads out on the lawn and sells ancient beads, rugs, fabrics, and other one-of-a-kind items from the Middle East and Central Asia. She’s a summer staple at the Feathered Pipe Ranch, and has become a very important person in my life over the years, always reminding me to take chances, find adventure and have fun. If I have half as much adventure as she has had, I’d consider this a life well-lived.Support the show
Amory Lovins: Taoism and the Art of Creating a Sustainable Future
Mar 26 2022
Amory Lovins: Taoism and the Art of Creating a Sustainable Future
Physicist Amory Lovins is Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus of Rocky Mountain Institute, an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization working to transform the global energy system to secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future.He has written more than 800 papers and 31 books, including Natural Capitalism, Reinventing Fire, and Winning the Oil Endgame. For the past 45 years, he’s advised major firms and governments in over 70 countries on clean energy—including the US Departments of Energy and Defense and a 7-year stint on the National Petroleum Council—as well as leading integrative design for superefficient buildings, factories, and vehicles. Time has named him one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 Top Global Thinkers.A Harvard and Oxford dropout, he’s taught at 10 universities, and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Scholar of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. He teaches only topics he’s never formally studied, so as to retain Beginner’s Mind—a concept we’ll get into in today’s conversation. This is a much different side of Amory Lovins than you'll find in other public interviews.In this conversation, we talk about early childhood influences and illnesses, the 15 summers he spent guiding trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire—a place that sparked his life-long interest in landscape photography and utter devotion to the natural world. I ask him what it’s been like to be a pioneer in the clean energy space, facing the almost mythical powers of the fossil fuel industries, the impending threats of climate change, and decades of scrutiny from critics and those with vested interest in the status quo.We discuss biomimicry, natural capital, and integrative design, and the laws of nature that can help us build and live much more efficiently and harmoniously—concepts he discusses using the example of his own home office in Old Snowmass, Colorado, complete with a 900-square-foot tropical passive-solar banana farm inside. Amory quotes environmentalists, writers, spiritual leaders, sacred texts, and the Taoist outlook that keeps him centered and focused in order to carry out his work in the world.RMI.orgSupport the show (
Linda Kinsey: Healing Historical Trauma
Mar 13 2022
Linda Kinsey: Healing Historical Trauma
Historical trauma is a new model in public health that suggests that populations historically subjected to long-term, mass trauma—such as slavery, the Holocaust, forced migration, and the violent colonization of Native Americans—exhibit a higher prevalence of disease even several generations after the original trauma occurred. This model is backed by research in the field of epigenetics, which studies how trauma changes our DNA and is thus passed on to future generations, making them more susceptible to certain mental and physical conditions.In understanding how to move forward and break the cycle of historical trauma, we have to ask the question: What does historical healing look like?That’s the topic of today’s conversation with Linda Kinsey, a member of the A'aninin Nation or the “White Clay People”. She is the Native Connections Director for Helena Indian Alliance, helping secure grants for suicide prevention services for Native youth ages 12-24, and she also serves with RISE: Reaching Indian Students Everywhere, to educate people on Native American history and encourage folks to learn who they are by learning where they came from.When it comes to reconciling the history of genocide of Native Americans in this country, the idea of generational trauma is just starting to creep into the vernacular and shed light on the compounding issues they face in modern society—a world in which they’re expected to bounce back from a century of intentional erasure. And Linda believes that many people don’t understand the current statistics of high suicide rates, alcoholism and substance abuse and chronic disease among native communities is because we don’t often learn about the true history of this country.In her former  long-standing role as the director of a Tribal Treatment Center in her hometown of Fort Belknap, Montana—and as a Native woman growing up on a reservation in the 1970s—Linda experienced and witnessed the consequences of historical and generational trauma, and she’s dedicated her life to healing herself and integrating her own family’s history and helping others do the same.This conversation is very special for us because Linda’s tribal family caretakes a Feathered Pipe, a relic that has been with their community for thousands of years and is a symbol of resilience, faith and connection. It’s actually because of this relic that she wanted to come visit the Feathered Pipe Ranch in 2021 for the concert with Navajo flutist R. Carlos Nakai. We talk about her feeling when visiting the Ranch and the belief that a place can preserve and protect particular energies just as pipes can hold centuries of prayers and energies, too.Linda teaches us about the importance of balance, growing up in a household of natives and non-natives, democrats and republicans, catholics and protestants. Her whole life, she’s been in the middle, which has proven to be the superpower behind her capacity to hold many experiences and emotions at once. This ability is a necessity in today’s world and perhaps a necessity that has always existed, considering the ancient wisdom teachings of the Eastern traditions and indigenous peoples everywhere.Helena Indian AllianceSupport the show (
Bob Quinn: The High Cost of Cheap Food
Feb 27 2022
Bob Quinn: The High Cost of Cheap Food
Bob Quinn is a scientist, farmer, out-of-the-box thinker and savvy businessman who has dedicated his entire career to regenerating food systems and educating the public on the connection between land and soil preservation, nutritious food, robust rural communities and human health.With a PhD in Plant Biochemistry from University of California Davis, Bob returned to his hometown of Big Sandy, Montana—a population of 600 people—where he took over the family farm and was among the first farmers in Montana to go organic. He served on the National Board of U.S. Department of Ag to create a USDA organic standard, started a grain cleaning plant, flour mill and Montana’s first wind farm.His book, Grain by Grain with Liz Carlisle, lays out the recent history of farming in the United States, how the rise of  “Big Ag” has pushed small farms out of business and turned rural communities across the country into ghost towns. In a rush to produce higher yields to keep up with the small margins of the global commodity market, farmers have drowned their soil and crops in synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that have lasting consequences for the land and the people who eat the end products.What Bob has done to organize organic systems and revive ancient grains is incredible. In 1988, he converted his entire 2,400 acre farm to organic and hasn’t looked back. Over five decades, he started several projects and businesses: Kamut International, a company specializing in organic Kamut khorasan wheat; Montana Flour and Grain, which processes his grains into flour for bakeries, pasta makers and distributors; Big Sandy Organics; and The Oil Barn, an operation that presses organically-grown safflower into cooking oil then returns the used oil to his farm to replace diesel fuel.In this conversation, he makes the case for eating ancient wheat varieties versus modern wheat, which has been continuously bred for high yields, at the detriment of nutrition, diversity and flavor. We discuss the research that his team has carried out in Italy among patients with diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and heart disease, and how switching to a diet of Kamut in place of conventionally-grown modern wheat lowered inflammation, cholesterol, cytokines and other markers that lead to chronic illness. Ancient wheat could be part of the answer for the 12-20% of people who experience symptoms of gluten sensitivity or intolerance.This talk scratches the surface of the high cost of cheap food, but my hope is that it will help you rethink our industrial agriculture system, choose organically-grown foods, experiment with ancient wheat varieties like Einkorn, farro and Kamut, and begin to understand why we can’t talk about farming without talking about human health and planetary healthy. The three are inextricably linked, and if we don’t start to make different choices, we’re just continuing the race to the bottom.Support the show
Rodney Yee: Honoring Ancestry and Exploring the Beginner's Mind
Feb 12 2022
Rodney Yee: Honoring Ancestry and Exploring the Beginner's Mind
Rodney Yee is an internationally recognized yoga teacher, co-founder of Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT), and the author of two books: Yoga: The Poetry of the Body and Moving Toward Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga with Rodney Yee. Rodney has also been featured in over 30 Yoga DVD titles and became an overnight sensation when he appeared on Oprah in 1999, selling 1 million videos the very next day. His connection with the Feathered Pipe Ranch runs deep, as he credits India Supera, Cree elder Pat Kennedy and other staff and teachers with his continued growth throughout the 15 years of summer retreats in Montana.In this conversation, Rodney talks about his experience growing up as a Chinese-American in both Oklahoma and California, his journey through gymnastics, dance, and yoga, and the epiphany of visiting Japan, where his body recognized the relief of walking through streets and dancing on stages where the majority of people shared his similar facial features. We discuss the ways that our ancestors and family history live within our tissues and the reckoning process of finding out who we are, where we came from and where we belong—a therapeutic process that can unfold and bubble up with the practices of asana, pranayama and meditation.Anyone who practices yoga in this country today can most certainly give a deep bow to Rodney, as he was paramount in helping to spread yoga across the West. He continues to teach worldwide today, expanding self-care techniques to healthcare workers, veterans, teachers and other industries.YogaShanti.comSupport the show (
Jessica Bugbee: The Way of the Female Warrior
Jan 29 2022
Jessica Bugbee: The Way of the Female Warrior
Jessica Bugbee is a U.S. Army combat veteran, wellness director at Hudson Valley National Center for Veteran Reintegration, and co-founder of TRIBE, a non-profit that teaches yoga and meditation to the active duty military community. She’s also a peer specialist in the Vet2Vet program of Ulster County, New York, and leads Women’s Warrior Writing classes, mindful hiking groups, kayaking trips and other mind-body-spirit offerings to support and empower veterans and their families.Jessica served as a combat medic and paratrooper during her seven years of active duty, and has been on a monumental healing journey since returning to the States, navigating life after the military and finding her way through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the myriad ways that trauma presents in the mind and body.In today’s conversation, we talk about her life of service, where it started and who inspired it; her experience in the Army, oftentimes as one of two or three women among 500 or more men; and what her reintegration process has looked like, the ways that her military experiences—while technically “over”—are not at all over, and which modalities and healing techniques have helped her overcome and move through anger, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and heartbreaking loneliness over the last seven years since her discharge.Now, she practices and teaches five categories of wellness and rehabilitation: nature, community, movement, breath, and storytelling. It’s these resources that inspired her to start TRIBE in 2019, along with a team of veterans, military spouse & family members, DOD personnel, and yoga teachers dedicated to showing people that their superpowers and navigational tools are within them and accessible at any moment.JessicaBugbee.orgHudson Valley National Center for Veteran ReintegrationTribe YogaSupport the show (
Chef Claudia Krevat: We are One at the Table
Jan 15 2022
Chef Claudia Krevat: We are One at the Table
Claudia is a chef, a writer, an ambassador with Hola Montana and a lover of all things culture, food and community. She was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, a tropical city on the country’s northern Caribbean Coast, where she grew up primarily with her aunt and uncle. But not long after she turned 18, she moved to Miami, pursued a degree in sociology and International Relations, met Steve, her now husband of 42 years, and worked her way through nonprofit organizations, human resource positions and chef roles, trying to find her niche in helping people and having an impact.When they moved to Montana in 1998, she had one main concern: What the heck is a  Caribbean girl going to eat in the Rocky Mountains? Luckily,  she found plantains, coconuts and lentils–the colorful varieties from Timeless Seeds grown organically right here in Montana.Discovering lentils in Montana (which was a staple food in Colombia) gave Claudia the confidence to begin recreating recipes from her childhood using local and homegrown ingredients. Through her love of fusion foods, she has built a business as a private chef, leading cooking classes, hosting pop-up dinners, catering large events, and always looking for new and exciting ways to collaborate with local farmers, creators and chefs of different backgrounds.The tagline of her business, Claudia’s Mesa, is "One World, One Table." Her work and her energy center around celebrating life and strengthening relationships—relationship to the foods we eat, the stories we exchange, the cultures that shaped us and the ones we’re continually learning more about. And the relationship with each other, as we come to the table and break bread together.**Fact Check: Colombia gained independence July 20, 1810. ClaudiasMesa.comHolaMontana.comSupport the show
Judith Hanson Lasater: Trusting the Body's Wisdom to Guide Us Home
Dec 18 2021
Judith Hanson Lasater: Trusting the Body's Wisdom to Guide Us Home
Judith Hanson Lasater is an American yoga teacher and writer who is recognized as one of the leading yoga teachers in the country and throughout the world. Judith’s resume is nothing short of impressive: Not only has she been teaching yoga for more than 50 years, but she helped found The California Yoga Teachers Association, the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco, and the Yoga Journal magazine, which is now in its 46th year of print. She’s written 11 books, has taught all over the globe and raised three children. Talk about a super woman!Judith taught was also one of the three teachers to hold the first retreat at the Feathered Pipe Ranch in 1975, a three-week yoga program, for 28 people, all inclusive for $250. And she’s returned nearly every year since, and now every summer, one week herself and one week with her daughter Lizzie Lasater, an internationally-known Restorative yoga teacher who learned from her mom.In this conversation, we talk about the right-hand turn that changed her life, her personal understanding of the word ‘spiritual,’ how the body is a storehouse for wisdom, and her favorite memory from the Feathered Pipe Ranch over the years. Judith has been brave enough to allow her intuition to carry her through life, an act that takes vulnerability, which she defines as being fully porous and present to the moment.She walks us through several micro exercises to explain topics of perspective, the neurological relationships between the tongue and the brain, and the practice of disidentifying with our thoughts.There is so much quotable wisdom in this conversation:“Perspective doesn’t affect your life—it is your life.”"The present moment is the only truth we know.”“We think life is strong and love is fragile, but really it’s the other way around. Life hangs by a thread and love holds the universe together.”JudithHansonLasater.comSupport the show (
India Supera: Walking the Path of Kindness
Sep 4 2021
India Supera: Walking the Path of Kindness
Today’s episode is brought to life from the archives, the last interview ever conducted with India Supera, the Feathered Pipe Ranch founder and visionary, who passed away in October 2019 at 73 years old. India was a force of nature and her life holds within in it some of the most exciting stories of adventure, courage, devotion and faith. India left home as a teenager for the adventure of foreign travel. After nearly dying in Pakistan, she began a spiritual quest in India and eventually found Satya Sai Baba, who is considered an avatar by millions of people. After living at Sai Baba’s ashram for two and a half years, she was brought back to the U.S. to care for her friend, Jerri Duncan. Within a year, Jerri died of cancer and left India 110 acres of land outside of Helena, MT—and a dying wish that she would help turn it into a healing center.Owning land and living in America was far from India's plan. For a year, she gave away furniture, thought about selling the land, meditated on the purpose of this inheritance, and held sweat lodge ceremonies to pray and connect with spirits, asking for guidance for the way forward. She even returned to India to call on Sai Baba’s wisdom. “Teach what you know,” he said. “Make it a place for leaders.”After making the difficult transition from penniless sadhu to administrator, India established the Feathered Pipe Ranch as a nationally known center for seminars in the field of yoga, holistic health and personal transformation.For 44 years, India Supera floated around the property at the Feathered Pipe Ranch, welcoming new guests like old family, sharing meals on the lawn, and stories in front of the stone fireplace. Stories that included tales of her travels in the 1960s and the extraordinary circumstances that led to her vision for America’s first healing center of its kind.The 2019 season, however, was different. She had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and given two weeks to two months to live. Leaving her in full preparation mode for the ultimate adventure into the unknown—the transition of her body and transcendence of her soul.Support the show (
Wilmot Collins: From Liberian Refugee to Montana Mayor
Aug 15 2021
Wilmot Collins: From Liberian Refugee to Montana Mayor
Wilmot Collins is the Mayor of Helena, Montana, and in 2017, he made headlines as the first black elected official in Montana’s state history. Born in Liberia, West Africa, he and his wife fled the country when a dangerous civil war erupted, killing 250,000 people—including two of his brothers—and displacing over a million more. After navigating immigration programs for nearly three years and a string of divinely-orchestrated events, Wilmot finally settled in the small town of Helena in 1994, where he raised his two children and has held positions with Intermountain Children’s Home, Alternative Youth Adventures, Montana Department of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs Montana and more. Wilmot has also served in the Army National Guard and Navy Reserves and is active on the boards of United Way, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance.I sat down with Mayor Collins at the Feathered Pipe Ranch to talk about his early life, growing up in Firestone, Liberia, working on his parents' chicken farm, riding motorcycles with his brothers and the story of how he met his wife at a bus stop of the local college. We shared many, many tears as he walked me through the unbelievable circumstances that he has survived, a barrage of hurdles, one after the next, that nearly defeated him on his path to freedom and reconnection with his family.I feel so lucky to have Wilmot Collins in a leadership position in Helena, the town that our Feathered Pipe Ranch community has called home for the last 46 years. Someone who sits down for an interview and says, “Ask me anything. I’m an open book.” Someone who isn’t afraid to show his heart, his emotions, his journey. That’s who I want mediating and making decisions. Because he brings his whole self and that inherently gives people permission to do the same.Support the show (
Nat Kendall: The Path to Personal Truth
Jul 31 2021
Nat Kendall: The Path to Personal Truth
Nat Kendall is a San Francisco-based Bhakti yoga teacher and musician who hosts weekly classes in the Bay Area, annual retreats and has produced numerous albums with different collaborators, most recently an acoustic collection called “My Friend."Raised in Bozeman, Montana, Nat learned guitar, keys and percussion instruments early on and attended the Musicians Institute of Los Angeles followed by the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He then moved to San Francisco at the age of 30, working as an audio producer and creative director for Pandora Internet Radio before he discovered the path of yoga and began his teaching journey with Rusty Wells and Janet Stone.This is a deeply personal conversation about truth, vulnerability, commitment to self love, and life as the ultimate practice of yogic philosophy. We talk about seeing our teachers as humans, not people who are perfected beings or enlightened masters.He openly shares insight into how his yoga practice helps him remain humble in partnership, the incredible gift of parents who always told him to 'Keep Going' no matter what project or hobby he was pursuing, and the long and winding path of how he navigated a 'Dark Night of the Soul' period in his twenties. We get plenty of laughs, though, as he recounts his time playing in punk and hip hop bands, a path that ultimately led him to using music as an expression of devotion rather than ego.You can hear the buzz of the fans in the heat of the evening, the clink of people setting down mugs of tea between sips. This audio brings you right into the main lodge of the Feathered Pipe Ranch—a place that perhaps you’ve been before or want to venture to in the future.Nat Kendall WebsiteSupport the show (
Howard Binkow: Exploring the Lost Art of Listening
Jul 17 2021
Howard Binkow: Exploring the Lost Art of Listening
Howard Binkow is an old friend of India Supera and a former Feathered Pipe Foundation Board Member. At 88 years old, his life is dedicated to the subject of listening, and he has been a listener in training for 28 years.Howard has had several careers in his lifetime: a home builder, radio host, sales person, author, publisher and currently CEO of the We Do Listen Foundation, a 501c3 that empowers children to become better listeners through a series of books, animations and songs based on the adventures of the Howard B. Wigglebottom and Wonder Kitty characters. With the help of Reverend Ana Volinski, Howard has co-created 17 children's books, which have been translated into Chinese, Korean and French and have sold over 2.5 million print copies. In today’s conversation, we focus on the two pillars of listening that he learned from author Steven Covey: “Seek first to understand before being understood” and “be present.” He walks us through his journey of chasing money to chasing meaning, a midlife crisis that led him into the woods of Michigan for a two-year isolated retreat, and eventually to the work that he does today: visiting schools, reading his books to 4-7 year olds and introducing them to the concepts of listening that he believes will help them grow into receptive, caring and balanced adults.Howard speaks from his own experience of awakening as a 60-year-old man, recognizing that his entire life, he equated listening with obedience and doing as he was told in order to escape punishment, whether at home, school or work. Now, as an apprentice to the art of listening, he says the practice has improved his relationships, finances, free time and fulfillment.We Do Listen FoundationSupport the show (
Jim Barngrover: Regenerating Our Food, Soil and Community
Jul 3 2021
Jim Barngrover: Regenerating Our Food, Soil and Community
Jim Barngrover has over four decades of experience in organic gardening, farming and marketing local and fairtrade products. In 1987, he co-founded Timeless Natural Foods, a company dedicated to alternative agriculture through annual legumes like peas and lentils. What began as a venture between four friends has put Montana on the map as America’s largest producer of lentils—and to this day Timeless is the only producer of heirloom organic lentils and specialty grains in the country.As a part time lobbyist for AERO, Alternative Energy Resources Organization, Jim was instrumental in the passage of the Montana Organic Definition Act in 1991, and was awarded AERO’s 40th Anniversary Leadership in Sustainability Award in 2014. Now as a founding board member of Helena Community Gardens, Jim focuses on the organization’s mission of developing gardens within walking distance of every neighborhood in Helena MT. In this conversation, Jim walks us through his journey from farmer’s son to ROTC student, activist, gardener, prison horticulture director, and back to farmer. In his young adult life, he moved from Wyoming to Montana in search of a more progressive existence and serendipitously stumbled into the Feathered Pipe Ranch after meeting India Supera in Missoula. Here, he felt more connected to the Earth and the land than he ever had before, and it sparked the inspiration for a life of service both for human health and environmental health. Jim speaks to the chemically-dependent industrial farming complex in America, the reasons why he farms with organic and regenerative practices and encourages others to do the same, the lessons that he’s learned from working in harmony with the land, and how lentils work to reduce erosion, build organic matter, and provide natural nitrogen fertilizer for other crops. He’s hopeful about how many young farmers are making the shift to more sustainable practices and emphasizes how much power consumers have in the fight to change our food systems.Timeless Natural Foods WebsiteSupport the show