Sunday, May 13, 2012

Word Press Memory Size Errors: a (hopefully) simple fix

I was very excited to have gotten my website finalized last night at around 3 a.m.   I posted the link at all my social media sites and was about to go to bed when I thought to add just one more thing.  I just wanted to add ONE MORE, but when I did I broke the back-end of my blog.  Now I can’t log onto it and, when I try, I get the error message:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 30720 bytes) in”….

My web host is Network Solutions.  I did some research and I am putting out the word for anyone else that comes across this problem.  Here is the deal; If you get an error like this then you tried to stick too much data on your Word Press site.  You need to increase the memory capacity of your hosting service in order to run the applications that are supporting your site.  You could go in to your WP-admin folder and change the PHP script there, so that you can have a capacity of 64 M.  See the following discussion for a how-to (

Word Press Fatal Error

If, however, you are running your site on Network Solutions, then you cannot do that.  You will, instead, have to create a php.ini file and upload that to the cgi-bin folder of your root directory.  I don’t know how to write the php code to execute an increase in memory.  I will be calling Network Solutions tomorrow.  If I can get them to send me the file, then I will post the code here tomorrow, otherwise I will have to keep working on it.  Once I get it, then I will post it to my blog.  Seeing as I am posting a link straight from Network Solutions, it would seem like this was a straight forward problem to source, but it wasn’t.  I am not a programmer so I am learning as I go.  Here is a link to more info about the issue.

For the meantime, I must continue using this Blogger blog for my updates.  I know, it is very sad and I am distraught enough as it is, so please don’t remind me if I talk to you personally.  On the other hand, if you know how to fix my Word Press, I will more than welcome your input.  Many Thanks!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

New Website is Complete

This blog has been migrated to .

Please come join me there.  I look forward to hearing from you!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Free One-Way Ticket To A Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

I have been thinking a lot about what things have worked for me in my life and what things have not.  Tonight, I am going to share with you one of the most amazing and magical tools that I have in my arsenal.  When you hear what it is you may think to yourself “how cliché” or “how stodgy”, but to buffer these sentiments I will share with you one of my personal experiences.

Do you believe in God?  If not, do you believe in some force that is more powerful than you?  What about the spirit or the energies?  Maybe a higher form of self or the great I AM?  What about reason?  Do you believe in reason enough that you could say you believe in the God of Reason?  The purpose for which I ask is that the tool that I want to share with you tonight is somewhat infeasible if you don’t believe in anything…. But even at that, I bet it would still work if you try.

What I am talking about tonight is prayer, the power of a simple prayer; in this case, a prayer that is repeated every night for 90 days.  First, I will share a bit of my story and then I will share the prayer. 

When I was in my early twenties, I was like the average young person in America these days.  That’s to say, I was by no means rich.  I didn’t have a career or a place of my own.  To be honest, I had only done a few years of college, but I had not completed my university studies.  I could have been further ahead at the time, but I had been too busy checking out what was happening around the good ole US of A.

I had come to a point in my life, however, where I wanted to get serious and make a future for myself.  I wanted to cultivate a profession through which I could contribute to society and the environment.  Maybe I was just growing up but, whatever the case may be, I was led to make a change in my life. 

In this same time period, my aunt and uncle gave me a book titled the Prayer of Jabez.  They said that they had prayed it for my cousins and it must have worked because my cousins were going all sort of great places with their lives.  So, I got this book and I read it.  I prayed the prayer of Jabez every night for 90 days.  I may have even prayed it in the morning too.  This is how the prayer goes:

"Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain." I Chronicles 4:10 NKJV


        By praying this I was simply asking God to enlarge my territory (expand the geographical territory of my life) and be with me as I go.  I am here to say tonight, that if you pray this prayer often and repeatedly, if you can bring yourself to believe in something when you do, then strap on your seat belt because you are in for an incredible journey.

Power of Prayer
Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

I believe that my praying this prayer in trust has everything to do with my world travels.  I saw Mt. Everest and hiked the Isla del Sol in Bolivia.  I prayed at the Tomb of Apostle John in Turkey and I rung in the New Year dancing the night away in Prague.  I have jumped off the cliffs in Rio de Janeiro and flown across the coast to reach the ground.  I have learned to make my way, on my own, through any country in the world and I am not afraid. 

Of course, I am not stupid either… there are measures of safety that I follow, but what I am saying is that this prayer came true.  It came true for me when I did not even really know what I was praying it for.  It came true in magical ways, even when I had no vision for the outcome whatsoever.  If you want your life to change in incredible ways, believe in something and try prayer, it works!

So, lately I really felt like I wanted to do something incredible with my life.  I really, really want to live a life where I am able to help people and make a positive impact on the world around me.  I figured that the most magical way for me to do this is for me to start another prayer regime, like I did with the prayer of Jabez.

I started this prayer regime on April 21st, 2012 and I am here to say, folks, that I almost immediately stumbled onto the most incredible new path for my life.  I have met people that are really changing the world.  I have met people that doing the impossible.  I have met people that are free from limits that the world tries to force on us.  I have been made aware of an entirely new venue through which I can help people.  This venue embraces my childhood dreams, my unceasing flow of creative ideas, and my relentless workaholism.  I absolutely could not be more excited to see where God ends up taking me on this prayer.  This is how it goes, and goodnight.
A Prayer for Blessed Service:
Dear God, let your will for me be known. 

Use me, oh God, as your creation. 
When a kind word needs to be spoken, use my voice. 
When a load needs to be lifted, use my back. 
When a hug needs to be given, use my arms. 
When a journey needs to be taken, use my feet. 
When a message needs to be delivered, use my mind. 
When a friend needs to be loved, use my heart.
In all things, in all ways, 
use me God, as your instrument of love, faith, peace and tranquility.
© 2002-2010 by Vicky Thompson

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Self-Publication: A Success Plan for the Indie Writer

Self-Publication: A Success Plan for the Indie Writer

Tantra, Laos, Indie Writing
Reading and writing in
Laung Praubang, Laos
To facilitate indie book-writing success, there are many things that you should do before releasing your first book.  Developing a social platform is paramount.  It is also important to have a website where you can house your books, blogs, and related multimedia creations.  It is an excellent idea to start an email subscriber list before your book release.  Readers who have subscribed to your email list may be willing to provide pre-release book reviews.  These reviews can give you ideas for last-minute book edits and they can be used in support of your Amazon portfolio. 

Twitter is an absolutely incredible way to meet top-notch writers and to increase awareness of your work and the work of writer’s you admire.  It is a good idea to release your book cover and summary before releasing the book itself.  This will help you to increase reader awareness and get your book “on the radar” prior to the book launch.

I have spent a fair bit of this weekend working on my indie writing platform.  I have been following at least five new people a day on Twitter, and making sure to engage in dialogue with at least one of them per day.  This has been very cool because I have become acquainted with some travel writers that are doing simply incredible things with their lives.  After having read and watched some of their work, I have become very excited about the potential for my own creative work through my book-writing platform. 

In particular, I am very much looking forward to creating a few video-casts for my readers.  Of my foreign friends, some very talented artists have generously expressed an interest in supporting my video-casts with their music and videography.  I have the scripting on paper already and I have the software needed to develop the final video product.  I think that video-casting through YouTube and Vimeo may someday be one of my favorite outlets for social engagement with my readers.

Freedom, Safety & the Sacred Sensual
Upcoming Book Release -
WORLD TRAVEL: Escaping the Rat Race
Earlier today I used Abobe Illustrator with a few of my travel photos in order to create a book cover.  I set up my domain name and email address with Network Solutions (my email address is  I have switched my hosting package over from my other domain name, but the changes have not finalized so I am not able to make edits to my website just yet. 
I am primarily going to run my website on Word Press.  I will develop the site myself; until I have gotten established enough in my writing to justify the expense of, perhaps, hiring a professional developer.  I am anxious to make the website changes so that I can have my work consolidated at one reliable and personal web address.  

Today, I will also sit down and make an overall plan for my writing work.   This plan will include daily goals and long-term goals.  It will also include scheduled time for things in my life that support my personal brand.  What I mean by that is, I want to make sure that I stay very active in all of the things for which I stand (ie; Environmental Stewardship, Technology, Writing, Spirituality, International Travel, Social Justice, Freedom).  These are the areas where I believe that I have the most to give, so it’s important for me to stay strong in them.

I did not come up with all of these ideas on my own. Quite to the contrary, I have the great fortune to stand on the shoulders of the giants who have come before me.  I have spent a lot of time listening to the insightful podcasts of self-publisher Joanna Penn (  Through these podcasts I have become familiar with the spectacular works of other travelers and indie writers, such as Chris Guillebeau, Alastair Humphreys, and Jane Friedman.  Joanna Penn and these other writers are hugely inspiring to me.  I am very grateful for the things I have learned from them already.

Twitter:                               LillianPierson
Facebook Author Page:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Developing a Social Platform as an Indie Writer

Developing a Social Platform as an Indie Writer

World Expo, Shanghai 2010
Self-pub information overload!  Absolute information overload!  In true Lillian style, of course I have outdone myself with over-emersion in my latest and greatest passion.  It has all really got me to thinking.  Self-publishing is a long and bold journey where I get to learn new truths about myself, as I share some of the most personal things about myself with the world.

“Branding”, we have all heard the word, but did you know that if you’re going to be an author you should brand yourself?   I have now gone and thought of all of the things for which I stand. I picked a few of them to develop into my personal “Lillian Pierson” brand.   It’s like “who is Lillian Pierson in 25 words or less?” Com’on?!?  My Brand: Environmental Stewardship, Technology, Writing, Spirituality, International Travel, Social Justice, Freedom.  Those are the things that I love, and so that is my brand.  I am definitely open to ideas for how I can title that brand, if you have any…

Here is an off-the-cuff list of things I have heard that I need to do, or have, in order to be a successful self-publisher.  A really hot website, a current blog, a strong social media presence, an editor, a cover designer, ISBN codes, a business license, a teaser, media assistance if possible, et al.  Well, guess what I found out.  That stuff costs money, and lots of it! 

I started to get stressed and anxious until I realized that this sentiment defeats the entire purpose of self-publishing.  Heck, if I can’t pay for all that stuff, I will do it myself.  Isn’t that what “indie” is all about?  I am an engineer; I should be able to handle all of it on my own.  Plus, if I do, I can write about all the tricks that I learn so that my readers can learn to do the same for themselves if they so choose.  It’s a win-win all around!

I have had a real case of information overload going on here.  I had to step back and re-evaluate.  It seems that, with the explosion of internet technology, a person really needs to develop a cognitive model with which to harness new information.  If one does not create some sort of structure and function within the stream of internet information that is available, the lack of organization could potentially render the information useless. 

Keeping in mind all that I have learned, I developed my own strategy and goals.  My mission is to help people by sharing knowledge with them that can change their lives, and consequently, change the world in which they are living.  I also want to help people who are already helping people in that way.  I want to stay focused on who I am best suited to help, and how I can help them.  This is my sole mission, and I don’t want to put any cart before that horse.

If you are going to read my work, then one thing that you will notice is that I am a spiritual gal.  I never prescribed my beliefs on to anyone else, and I seek to learn from the beliefs of others, but at my core I am a spiritual person.  This being said, I have strong faith that I will be shown what to do and when to do it.  The right people will cross my path.  The right opportunities will unfold.  I need to put forth the effort to prepare myself the best that I can, but preparation doesn’t mean stress.  It doesn’t mean competition.  It doesn’t mean force.  To me, this will be a labor of pure love and of nothing else.

Monday, April 30, 2012

A New Adventure: On the Track to Self-Publishing

So, a long rest after my Peru/Bolivia adventure, I find myself back at it again.  This time I have decided that I will finally actualize my childhood dream by authoring some non-fiction books.  My first book, or series of books, will be about the hows and whys of independent travel.  I will focus mainly on the developing world.  I am keen on this subject because I know that there are billions of people out there who want to travel, but have not done so because of a self-imposed limitation.  Most of these limitations would be eradicated if people actually knew the facts about what it is like out there and what it takes to go.  I have insight on these topics.  

Additionally, I am very excited about the idea of having my books translated and sold to readers outside of the USA.  Knowledge is power.  My heart breaks for a large portion of women around the world, who are stifled and trapped, not because of oppression but because of lack of knowledge.  I would give anything I have to make a difference for people in situations like this.  I see writing and knowledge-sharing as one vector whereby I can make a difference.

I have been studying up and doing my research, of course.  There are some absolutely incredible indie writers out there, and I have been blown away by their willingness to share helpful information through social media and pod-casts.  I have been listening to a pod-cast series that is put together by Joanna Penn (  I could not begin to name all of the interviewees that I admire the most, but I do know that I am greatly impressed by the work and character of a woman named Jane Friedman (  I read some of her blog posts and I was delighted at the helpfulness and good-manner that is embedded within everything she has to say.  I have really gotten a lot out of the work that these two ladies are doing.

I have learned that its really not as easy as just writing a book and then publishing it.  I have learned that this is only half the work.  The other half is in embracing the audience.  It is in positioning one's self and presenting one'e self so that readers are able to best receive the messages that you are trying to convey.  Cuz really, what good is it if a person has an important message, yet is unable to present it in a way where people can receive it?  None whatsoever.

In keeping with this principle, I am  rekindling my blog.  I am working with my South American friend to get my writing website designed and up.  Once I have this, then I will be transitioning this blog to that site.  I will be creating an email list, whereby I can interact with my readers in order to get information about their interests and needs.  My plan is to issue a series of mini-books for all the e-readers out there.  My first book may be a bit longer though, just because I really want to go all out and get this whole self-publishing thing calibrated in my mind.  I am thinking that it would be really fun to put together a screen-cast in preparation for the launching of the first book.  I am on the look-out for a good indie videographer in the Central Florida area.  If you know of anyone, please let me know.

I have a Twitter account and I am trying to get situated in learning how to really utilize the thing.   I have a day job of course, so I cannot do any of the social media or book writing until the evening hours.  I don't tweet or commment, or anything else, while at work.   I love my position and want to make sure I give it everything I have while I am on-the-job.  If you are on Twitter though, please find me.  If you know how to work the thing, I would definitely like some pointers please.  I have a Google+, but I have decided not to utilize this very much for the time being.  I hope to make my Facebook Page my most active forum for social media sharing, but we will see.

Twitter: LillianPierson
Facebook Fanpage:

I am very excited about this new expedition.  I am really looking forward to getting to know my readers and hearing about what is happening in their minds and lives.  I am excited to get the chance to hopefully offer some solutions, and if not, at least share some useful information.  Thank you for the chance.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Post eleven: Serendipity and fire in the sky

I had just plopped down at my regular table at The Meeting Spot in Cusco. I looked to my right and noticed that there was a man telling me that his name was Jeremy. The thought skipped across my mind “he looks like a Jeremy.” We began the normal conversation about how long we were each traveling, where we have gone, and where we were going. The conversation then diverged to the topic of employment and work. I talked all about how I tried to become an attorney and how I found the legal field wanting. He told me that he was living in Cusco and was at The Meeting Place that day in order to get some work done. He told me about how he had been a paralegal for eight years and asked me where I went to law school. I told him I am from Orlando.

As it comes to find out, he is from Orlando also! He went on to explain to me how it’s possible to be entirely free of the rat race; how he makes his living from any city in the world. He described to me a lifestyle where he does not have to answer to the man. He then went on to show me his website. I read his name “Jeremy Hillpot” and a flood of memories burst forth unto my mind. I knew this man, he had been kind to me, he had even done me a favor.

Although we had never actually met yet, we were supposed to, that much is obvious. We had both been members on There are some pretty comical details about our conversations in the past which I will not divulge in my travel blog, but it’s hilarious that I ran into this cat in Cusco. Actually, I had had a pretty rough night the night before. Something had made me sad and I had been upset. I didn’t really have anything to do and it was New Year’s Eve. Up until the time I ran into Jeremy I’de been feeling pretty down, but that all changed very quickly. Jeremy explained to me that he was having a New Year’s Eve party and a lot of couch surfers were going to attend. He is paying $100 a month to rent a huge house on the hill in Cusco. From his house we could see the fireworks in the plaza, he asked me if I would like to come.

I went to the house around 9 PM and began to fraternize with the guests. Around 11:15 PM we walked down to the Plaza de Armas to watch the fireworks. This fireworks display was unlike anything I ever could’ve imagined. It went on for an entire hour. The city wasn’t exactly putting on the fireworks, it was more like the people, and hundreds of them. Fireworks were going off everywhere. If you weren’t careful they  could even be going off in your face or on your leg. The closer it got to 12, the more fireworks went off. At 12 o’clock, so many fireworks were going off in so many different directions that it was staggering my comprehension. The next thing I realized, Jeremy was grabbing my hand and we were running into the center of the plaza along with the masses. Apparently the Peruvians have a custom of running around the plaza counterclockwise, as a practice of good luck.  There were 1000 bodies all pulsing and pushing in the same direction, screaming and laughing, running and stopping, then walking.  The fireworks were still going mad. At one point when we were all running, my foot slipped upon a puddle of booze. I fell beneath the crowd and I feared for my life. For a split second I saw myself dying by being stampled to death by a crowd of festive Peruvians who were making their way around the plaza for good luck. Just about when my visions were to become reality, Jeremy grabbed my hand and pulled me back from jaws of death. It looks like I owe a favor.


The hostel where I stayed in Cusco was only $12 a night. It wasn’t the cleanest but it was safe and the owners were nice. I had Wi-Fi so I was happy.


The taxi from San Blas to the bus station costs about $3 and takes about 15 minutes.  The bus from Cusco to Lima cost about $80 and took 24 hours.  If I had to go again, I would definitely go with lineas de Cruz del Sur.  I was supposed to have gotten a full cama seat, but these camas must have been designed for people who were 3 feet tall.  Nonetheless, I made it here happy and alive.


The handicrafts in Cusco are exquisite and somewhat expensive. If you have a budget for it, I would save some money for their purchase.


Did I mention that I ran into an internet friend in Cusco?; and that he set me free and then saved my life?


I stared straight into the eyes of serendipity on New Year’s Eve. I was greatly set free from the oppressive ideas that have been beat into my head as a Westerner. Now, the horizon I see is limitless; the only thing that can hold me back is me. Somehow I do not foresee that this will be a problem.


I wish I had bought my gifts in Bolivia, rather than in Cusco.  You will pay about 7 times as much for silver in Cusco, but the quality will be the same. 

The weather is rather rainy and cold all of the places I have travelled on this trip.  It is summer here.  When you come, brings some warm clothes, some close toed shoes, and a poncho.

I am sure there are some other great summary points, but they aren’t leaping out at me just now.  I will conclude my Peru/Bolivia travel blog here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Post ten: Gettin’ what I paid for – The trip to Machu Pichu


By the time I got to Aguas Calientes I was practically delirious with exhaustion, for I had only slept 3 hours the night before embarking on this long journey.  I was so tired and cold that I could not manage to “shop around” for a well-priced meal.  I ended up spending $40 just that night for dinner and a massage to help me recuperate.  So much for saving costs.


The bus driver was rather nice on the way out of Cusco.  I ended up taking Perurail for a 2-hour train ride followed by a 2-hour bus ride to get back to Cusco the next day.  I paid $75 for this transport and it still required quite a bit of patience. 


Overall, I spent about $200 on the trip to Machu Pichu.  By trying to save an extra $110 I ended up having to travel 16 hours instead of just 8.  I ended up having to hike in the pouring rain alone in the jungle for 3-odd hours.  I ended up paying about the same.  I would highly recommend just paying full-cost if you’re planning to go see Machu Pichu.


As I wound along the cliff and the ruins of Machu Pichu unraveled before my eyes, I realized what an incredible sight that was to see.  The Incas were clearly very intelligent and prolific.  I don’t buy into the theory that aliens made Machu Pichu, but it is clear that the Incas were privy to some very advanced and long-since-lost technologies. 

My mother passed away January 4, 2009.  That was the day after I had seen the sunrise over a hidden Maya Estella on a Honduras mountain-top.  Three long and interesting years have passed since then.  It filled my heart with joy to be able to sit alone at Machu Pichu and watch the sun rise over the mountain as I meditated on the memory of my mother.  I have been blessed with far more freedom and love than I could ever deserve.  For all the set-backs, tragedies and weird things that have happened to me, I have been compensated with an incredible richness of life experience.  The lows have been grossly over-compensated by the highs.  If I had to go today, I would go knowing that I had left no stone un-turned and that my life was far more incredible that any one person could deserve.


I spent a net $90 on the “all-inclusive” trip to Machu Pichu where other agencies were selling for $210.   When I heard this price I thought to myself, “Exactly, this is what I’m talking about.  I can do this!”  The next morning I arrived to the oficinia at 7:40 am to board my bus, but low and behold, it was not there.  After some searching, phone calls, and other efforts on my part, I finally located and boarded a bus that was supposed to be Machu Pichu-bound.

The travel agency’s owner had explained to me that he could sell me the ticket so cheaply because they would drive us instead of send us by train.  For $110, that was ok with me.  What he failed to mention was that the road didn’t go all the way to Agua Calientes (the city where one must lodge in order to see Machu Pichu in the morning).  The roads that we drove were eternally winding around plummeting cliff’s edges.  It was pouring rain and the driver was speeding.  There was two-way traffic, bicycle riders in the road, and zero visibility. 

I noticed that the roadway engineers that designed this new road must not have been too concerned about the landslides that were occurring all along the site development area, for it appears that they just dig the road out every time it gets covered over in earth.  Perhaps somehow, they did not foresee that the road would become part of the landslide itself, as it had.  I remember waking from restless dreams only to see the bus trying to pass by on one-side of the road because the other had already fallen off of the cliff into the deep chasm below.  Also, I believe the stormwater engineers must have been taking a snooze, for areas of the road were covered in rivers and waterfalls which sprung from the cliffs above.  Those were always nice to drive through because of the risk that the flood current would be just high enough to lift our van and carry it off over the cliff’s edge with the waters.  Somehow, though, once again… God was on my side and we made it to a stopping point.

Unfortunately, this stopping point was not Aguas Calientes.  Instead it was a park entrance about 8 – 10 miles from the hostel where we had reservations.  It looked as though I would be walking through the Andean jungle, just as I hoped for the chance to do while I was still in Bolivia.  The walk was only supposed to be 2 hours and there was 4 hours until dark.  With a broad smile on my face, I embarked on this amazon trail with my fellow travelers.  Somehow though, I couldn’t stand to walk so slowly, so I made the courageous decision to go it alone through the Amazon jungle bound towards Aguas Calientes.  It began to rain fairly heavily about 1 hour into the trip.  Comes to find out, the trip between the drop-off point and the town was 2-hours by train, but about 4-hours by foot.  I ended up walking alone through the jungle in the pouring rain, as fast as I could for 3 hours until I arrived at the city at nightfall.  I would have paid the $110 had I known, but isn’t hindsight always 20-20?


As I type here, in a Cusco café, barefoot with no make-up on, I realize how little so-called status means to me anymore.  I want to live a rich life, where richness is measured in how many people I can help and how much I can contribute to society and the environment.  Of course, I want to be able to support myself, but this is the floor not the ceiling.  Life can be so magical and those born in the US are so privileged.   To me, it would be really something to be able to share that privilege and freedom with people that weren’t so lucky. 


I wonder how much longer I will stay living in the USA.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Post nine:  Peru is magic – adventures in the valley of Cusco

I just looked around me and realized that I am surrounded by a roomful of monks and nuns.  While I am wondering where these people even came from, I am about to relay one of the most surrealistic experiences of my life.


Last night I had the MOST INCREDIBLE sandwich at the street corner café by my hostel.  The sandwich came complete with seasoned chicken, mushrooms, onions, sweet potatoes, squash, and curry mayonnaise.  It was probably the most delicious sandwich I have ever tasted in my life.


In this city you don’t need a driver.  You do, however, need strong legs.  There is a ton of hiking up and down stairways that will need to be done if one is to navigate this city.  The walks are always beautiful though.  As one walks one can see remnants of ancient Inca architecture.  There are lovely little cafes, incense, music, yoga/healing studios, and artesian studios; All scattered along the narrow cobblestone street-ways.


Cusco is expensive.  It’s so expensive that I am not even going to go to Machu Pichu.  It costs $190 for one day!  Anyways, hasn’t everyone already been there?  I have seen the stone work that is allegedly derived from alien origin.  It’s here in Cusco too.  As cool as it would be to see this same stone work on top of a cliff’s edge, I pretty much get the point.  I will catch Machu Pichu next go ‘round, when I am rich.


I went and saw the Church of San Blas today.  I agree with the guidebook author’s opinion.  This church does contain some of the most intricate wood carvings in the entire world.  As I observed the details of this church, it occurred to me that the man who did these carvings had sacrificed his life for God.  If he had not made such intricate carvings, then I would not have been compelled to enter the church this Sunday morning.  If I had not entered the church, then I would not have knelt before God in His sacred home.  I would not have had the incredible and genuine prayer experience that I did.  I would not have gained the clarity of heart and mind that I did.  The life’s work of one man, many, many years ago allowed me to have a beautiful spiritual experience today.  I believe that this man’s life was a life lived for great purpose.


The New Year’s Eve celebration of Cusco was unlike anything that I could have even imagined.  It was so wild and out of control that I will have to save this story for next time.


The long and seemingly endless stairway led directly to Jesus on the Hill.  With his ivory white features smiling down upon me, I felt sure that I could surmount the series of stairs that were taking every last inch of breathe from my heaving lungs.  Upon arrival, I had the chance to dance with Jesus.  If you don’t believe me, just look at the picture.  I thanked Him for the beautiful land and the beautiful people that He created, and then we moved on.  We saw the ruins of "sexy-women" in the distance, but we knew that there was a far greater adventure awaiting us on the opposing horizon.  The road turned into foothills.  The only way to the Temple of the Moon was on footpaths which lead through green grass valleys and trickling streams.  Before the sun set we reached the temple and awed at the sheerness of the cliff directly adjacent to it.  I caressed the stones of the temple, where the Incas had so careful carved their magic.  There was a ledge that seemed to scream out, “I am the site where many beautiful young women were sacrificed for the betterment of the Inca Nation”. 

This was the place. This was it.  This was the place for meditation and prayer; the place for a new era of good.  This was the place where we could open our hearts to the Great Spirit that had moved us here.  We took a few moments to practice the 5 sense Tantra mindfulness meditation. There was a hawk that appeared and took flight along the footpaths that lead toward the sky.   It was getting darker and the lights of Cusco began to shine out far below us.  My friend then led me in a meditation to ground my body into the earth.  As I felt my bones align with the stone beneath me, my closed eyes recognized a deep and cool darkness settle upon me.  The night had come and from behind closed eyes it felt as vast as the giant sky I had known just moments before.   When I opened my eyes there was a brilliance of fireworks that lit the sky from across the Cusco valley.  I was one with the earth, the sky, and my own spirit. 

There was a great power in this place, and in the center of my solar plexus.  I had come to know the great freedom that is available to me in this life.  I had come to know this land of great meaning and antiquity.  I felt blessed and complete, but it was getting dark and we were in a hidden spot of the hills above Cusco.  We needed to return before the rains came and before we could not see our way through the darkness.

We wandered a few hundred yards and I noticed a figure above us in the dark.  At first I believed it was an Indian woman in traditional dress, but I was not sure.  The figure stopped and stood very still, while we kept along our way.  As we got a little closer I noticed that it was a man in pants carrying a grocery sack in each hand.  I did not give it a second thought, for I knew that we had God on our side.  As we crossed paths with the figure though, he called out to us in the night.  “Tu hablas Español?”  There was a feeling of power that came along with the words; a feeling of some authority that obligated us to answer.  My friend said “yes”, and the figure continued on by asking us if the site was free and peaceful of people.  We said ”yes”.  Then the figure looked straight at me and asked my friend whether the woman wants ceremony.  In fact, this was the reason I came to Peru.  I wanted to meet a shaman and experience ceremony.  Nonetheless, my friend answered for me with a resounding “no”. 

The man then turned from us suddenly.  He faced the site and raised prayer hands to his chest.  He breathed out forcefully and made a gesture that indicated he was attempting to clear the site of energies.  He was shaman and he was protector of the sacred Inca site. 

He then turned straight towards my friend and I and began to move very quickly towards us.  It appeared that he was going to charge us and our natural instinct was to turn and move quickly away.   I then knew what was happening to us.  The lessons I learned of shamanism in my youth came to me quickly.  I was living a moment out of the books of Carlos Castaneda and I knew what must be done.  We had to face the shaman, we could not run.  The terror that I felt as I was fleeing quickly turned to a feeling of power.  I turned and faced the man that was charging at me in the dark.  I felt no fear; it was time for battle.  I focused my energy on this man, and held the intent of battle and repulsion.  He changed trajectory quickly and began to run.  He ran straight past us, but he did it with flight-like grace.  A few seconds later he was slithering quickly up the hillside and then back down along the footpath.  I focused on him intently as he disappeared along the path.  I did not want to let my guard down for prospect that he may return.  We eventually found the road, and decided to take the lighted path back down to Cusco.  I have realized that something very deep and magical is happening here in this land.


Where did these monks come from and why are they so loud?  I wonder if they can figure out that the bright pink earplugs in my ears indicate that I wish they would shush up?!?!