Calling forth the spiral nature of life,
we stand closer to the sacred flow
that carries the soul onward in its evolutionary path.
In the visionary experience of the soul there is no death,
only transformation, only an impulse
that belongs to the origins of creation.
As I pause and listen to the heart and presence of our Pachakuti Mesa Tradition community, I am amazed by the co-creative influences of self, spirit, and soul. Our ayllu has recently experienced the passing of a beloved brother, friend, teacher, and sacred medicine carrier. Reverend Gary Langston’s sudden death has affected us all. Like the removal of a sacred arte from our communal altar ground, Red Bear’s swift departure from this plane of existence has left a hole in the ceque body of our ayllu. One of the most honourable things to do is to cherish the emptiness, the space where there is no more, and not be too quick to fill it. Grief is a natural and deeply loving way to honour the departed soul, because we know deep down that nothing, or no one, can ever fill that place. No two sentient life forms are the same. When one leaves us to continue their soul evolutionary journey, we feel it. We know it. We live it. We experience it. The departure creates a ripple in the fabric of the community, in the great web of life that unites and makes us whole.
The Pachakuti Mesa Tradition community is weaved together with beauty, love, and sacred relationship. Its strength and wisdom grow day by day. With every communal breath it remembers who it is, its purpose, its destiny. The vivid compassion of the PMT community is a sight to behold. Gary knew this intimately. He lived his life in service to the whole.
I had the luxury and pleasure to be in sacred ceremony with Red Bear on more than one occasion. In a recent gathering at Mount Shasta, one of my fondest memories is witnessing Gary be the light-bearer. During the all-night mesada, which was held in total darkness, he would hold his small red light when someone needed it. It was like magic. It was as if he was everywhere. He stood joyfully shining a light. What I was most astounded with was his stamina, resilience, and boundless love. The next day I had thanked him, “Thank you Gary, for so lovingly shining a light on us all night long”. He smiled at me, eyes glowing from a humble heart, and simply said, “It was my pleasure”.
Gary also said things to me that weekend that I will not soon forget. His words, filled with wisdom and vision, had a profound effect on me. He had the courage and love to hold up a pristine mirror so I could see who I AM. His words are still alive within me, like a bequest that came directly from the sacred light of my soul.
Truth is, Gary is not gone for me. In fact, his presence is just as strong, steadfast, and loving as it was that night in the mesada. The veils were parted during the ceremony, and Red Bear Who Sees All Worlds taught me that spirit and matter co-exist in the most impeccable and delightful ways. He taught me to see him, in all his expressions. This lesson was so natural that I did not realize it had sunk in and become a part of me. When the veils are parted, magic happens.
To Gary’s spouse, our beloved Carol
We are with you. We sustain you. We adore you.
Thank you for your courage to navigate the waters of change that have suddenly taken you on a different path. Our collective heart holds you close, and will carry you wherever your soul needs to go. We laugh, cry, dance, and surf with you, dear Carol. Thank you for being a living testament of Gary’s love, for the continuous sustaining of your relationship with a man who has contributed so much to life, this community, and beyond.
To beloved Gary
Your bright spirit resides with the Shining Ones. You smile on this community and tell us that you have not left us, not one bit. You say that you are more present now than ever. You hold secrets that make your enigmatic smile grow wider. Thank you for teaching us. Thank you for forging a light pathway directly to the hanaqpacha and into the blissful expanse of the hananpacha. You have paved the way for us, have left a trail of beauty for us to follow. No, you are not gone. You are more present now than ever. You tell us how beautiful the view is from where you are. You tell us what we are doing is real, and that every single ritual, offering, and act of loving kindness make a difference. You whisper in our hearts; “Take care of one another. Our community expands much farther than the kaypacha. I can see you from here, and if you soften your gaze and think of me, you will see me too. We are Shining Ones. Remember. Remember. Remember”.
Gary Langston, Red Bear Who Sees All Worlds, we love you.
Red Bear by Bonnie Smith ©2017
Shining One painting created in honor of Gary by Sue Yost ©2017
About the Author
Yola Dunne is an author, martial artist, and sanctioned teacher of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition of Cross-Cultural Shamanism. She is well versed in offering earth-honoring ceremonies as taught by don Oscar Miro-Quesada, a respected altomesayoq (medicine man) from Peru. She lives in Chelsea, Québec, where she serves her community by writing, teaching, and managing a private healing practice.
Yola has a profound love for writing. She is the author of a poetry book Hymns to the Beloved, A Call for Sacred Love (2011), Remember Me – A Novel (2017), and the proud mama of Loving Mother Earth Press.
For more information about Yola and her work please visit yoladunne.com