Join EarthWalks in Chaco Canyon this May 22-23, 2015

Chaco Canyon is a spectacular ancient Native American Anasazi Pueblo site in New Mexico where silence of the high desert, warm sunshine and an infinity of sparkling stars welcome visitors.  EarthWalks will journey there for two nights camping May 22-23, 2015 with a wonderful Pueblo friend as our guide.  This is her ancestral homeland and heartland. Bea is an artist of the soul as well as grandmother, drum maker, potter and weaver.   She will help history and tradition come alive through walks, talks and time alone in the silence and spirit of this special place.  For more information, click on the Contact link above.  Happy Trails!

Great Chaco Kiva with time lapse of sky

Casa Rinconada the Great Kiva at Chaco

Happy New Year from New Mexico

Feliz Ano Nuevo from New Mexico!  This is New Year 2015 and this is a totally new blog.  Please visit the pages listed above including the slide show of all the events and activities of EarthWalks over the years.  Thanks to those who made this site possible as well as those who have been “EarthWalkers” over the years.  Here’s to many more in the years to come.

If you are not a blog subscriber and would like to be, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.  I promise not to overwhelm you but would love to send out a few thoughts and resources from time to time related to multi cultural health and healing principles in the American Southwest and Mexico. If you are interested in creating a special EarthWalks, contact me, Douglas Conwell, at  Thanks for letting others know who might be interested in EarthWalks and related information.

I spent my New Year’s eve at a favorite placs in this part of the planet, Bodhi Manda Zen Center Although not a Buddhist, I am a meditator and welcome the opportunity Bodhi extends to us all on this special evening as well as throughout the year.  May you have a wonderful 2015 filled with wonder, gratitude and the simple gifts of love and friendship. Here’s a few photos from the event:

Bodhi Justin 2014 IMG_0701 IMG_0695 IMG_0699























Convergence at the Rio Grande

RiogranderivermapI stand on the beach at Boca Chica, Texas listening to gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Bravo/Rio Grande is nearby, after making it’s nearly 2,000 mile journey from the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  This is my first time here.  I am from Colorado where I’ve camped near the origins of the Rio.  And I’ve lived near the Rio Grande most of my life in Texas and New Mexico.  It is a special moment to be here for the first time–a convergence of both the Rio and my own.

The river serves as a Rio Grande at Gulf of Mexiconatural border between the US and Mexico – but Mexican friends tell me that over the years immigrants have not crossed the “border.”  Rather, the artificial border crossed their homeland. Since the mid–20th century, heavy water consumption of farms and cities along with many large dams on the river has left only 20% of its natural discharge to flow to the Gulf. Near the river’s mouth is an important agricultural region. The Rio Grande is one of 19 Great Waters recognized by America’s Great Waters Coalition. The Rio Grande’s watershed covers 182,200 square miles (472,000 km2).

For me, this is a moment of prayer and thanksgiving to All that brings waters of life to the Rio Grande and around the world.  I offer some of the water I have gathered from oceans, holy springs and other rivers.  Then I fill my empty bottle with this water.  The prayers will continue wherever I go, a wonderful circle and cycle.

If you would like to create a special EarthWalks journey for yourself, family, friends or business groups, contact us in Santa Fe, NM at

Ancient Native America

Full-Moon-over-CanyonNot your average tour in the American Southwest, EarthWalks has taken a turn in the road to be at Canyon de Chelley, Arizona for this full moon. Yesterday I was perched high on a sandstone ledge, sun setting in the west and moon rising in the east and playing flute softly to the Spirit of the land. I have had the pleasure of meeting perhaps the youngest National Parks and Monument ranger who is from the Canyon area and well grounded in his traditions and history. He will lead a hike into the Canyon tomorrow. November is Native American Heritage month…what a great place to celebrate the culture and contributions of the First Peoples of the nation.

To create your own special journey and pilgrimage in the American Southwest, contact Picture yourself above!

Full Moon, Canyon de Chelley

canyon-chelly spider rockSpider Rock at Canyon de Chelley, Arizona…an awesome sight at any time of the year, day or night.  EarthWalks will be traveling to this spectacular red rock canyon on Full Moon, November 6 2014.  We will journey through this part of the Southwest not on a typical “tour” but as pilgrims on sacred travel.  From Santa Fe, New Mexico we take a spectacular route around the Jemez Mountain Range, cross the Chama River near Abiqui (the home of the late artist Georgia O’Keefe) and Ghost Ranch.  We will be under the gaze of Tsi Ping mountain (known to the Spanish as Pedernal), a site sacred to Native Americans in the area.  Here is a photo:

DSC02377It is said that some Dine or Navajo people believe this is the home of Changing Woman, the mythical figure who was responsible for many transitions in life, including the seasons:

On past Chaco Canyon, then driving close to the mythical Shiprock, a volcanic feature that resembles not a ship but rather a huge bird with outstretched wings…relating to the Dine/Navajo legend about this spectacular feature. Below is a photo of this great winged messenger:

Shiprock.snodgrass3Then it’s on to Canyon de Chelley for walks and talk with Dine Parks and Monument Rangers.  Stay tuned for a “broadcast” from the Canyon on Full Moon!  In the meantime, contact EarthWalks if you would like to create a journey in the American Southwest for you, friends, family or business group.

Living in Harmony with Nature

4897240360_f6b69095e5_zCraig Childs, author of “The Secret Knowledge of Water,” has written another book called “Soul of Nowhere.” It is worth a read. Here in the Southwest US we come face to face with the bare Soul. The wind, sun, bare beautiful bones of the earth. Here is a passage from Craig’s book:
“This is the place (Native American desert location) where every disparate thread of life is gathered to a single point….This is a thing that humankind has always quietly wished for, a way of living that does not obstruct the path of nature, or even more, is not at all different from it. We want an enduring relationship with our surrounding world….What is here is a necessity that comes before food and shelter: the barest need of life, to be awakened.”

Earth Walks, based in Santa Fe,  New Mexico can help you create this kind of experience in the American Southwest. Contact us at to explore where your inner journey can take you.

Grand Canyon; Emerald Mile

13756There is a book definitely worth reading.  It’s called “The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of Grand Canyon” by Keviin Fedarko.

The first portion of “The Emerald Mile” focuses on the Spanish conquistadores’ discovery and history of the Colorado River, starting in Utah and highlighting the Grand Canyon portion. He outlines the efforts to protect and preserve the Canyon against forces of dam development. Fedarko finishes with telling the legend of the illegal  “speed run” by the Emerald Mile river raft that still holds the all-time speed record on the 277-mile stretch of river from Glen Canyon to the Grand Wash Cliffs during  the historic 1983 flood. It’s fast and engaging reading, much like the speed run, also giving a vivid picture of history, environmental conflict and the monumental building of the Glen Canyon dam.  The Grand Canyon is our “national cathedral” and deserves all the protection from tourist overflights to other threats we can give it.

Here’s a book review

Contact EarthWalks to create your own special journey in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Southwest.  Whether one person or a group of family, friends or business colleagues, EarthWalks will help design an eco-tour experience that will be memorable and inspiring.

2 day Earth Walks, Ghost Ranch NM

Come join a special two day Spirit of Place: an Earth Walks gathering at Ghost Ranch Wednesday and Thursday, September 17-18, 2014. Participants have the option of staying on the Ranch or another location of their choosing. The experience will be woven together with humor, quiet time on the land, active learning and the inner sacred dimension.

On Wednesday we will be joined by a group of Tesuque Pueblo elders who will share their earth-centered traditions and values through conversation and  “talking with the clay”  as we create pottery. On Thursday we travel to a little known but highly significant ancient pueblo site high atop a mesa with commanding views of the area. The area is off limits to the general public but our group has special access by permission. (This involves a short hike down a switch back trail. Please be aware of this if you have any serious physical limitations.)

The gathering includes dawn ceremonies and several optional evening videos…and the best darn popcorn on either side of the Rio Grande!

If you are interested, contact us at

Amazing Mayan Pyramid Experience

mayan-ruins_ss_001_596x334On a recent Earth Walks visit to the Post Classic Mayan site of Maypan, a most amazing occurrence:  I was prompted to walk up to the top of the largest pyramid from the west side.  Stopping to quiet myself, I asked from which side should I begin my diagonal ascent.  Diagonal, because years ago I learned from the writings of a Mexican anthropologist that the ancient priests ascended in a diagonal fashion going up one side, then descending the opposite side in the opposite diagonal.  When these two patterns are then placed together, they form a diamond, the symbol on the back of the rattlesnake, one of the main cosmological symbols of the Mayan culture.  It has been said this forms a DNA pattern as well.

So, up slowly and prayerfully I go.  About halfway up, a bright flash of light in my eyes.  Looking down, I find a tiny silver fish that had come off someone’s bracelet or necklace.  The fish symbol was highlighted in an exhibit in the Mayapan entrance as being another of the main cosmological symbols.  I just “happened” to be there at that time of day, with the sun at exactly the right angle and at exactly the right step along the way for the reflection to meet my eye.  I consider it a great blessing, as well as the meditation that came to me on top.  In the meditation I recalled a talk given some time ago:  “It is said that the continuation of the human race is largely due to the quality of forgiveness.”  From the top of the pyramid to my heart and from my heart to the heart of all.  May we live in compassion, peace and harmony.

Contact Earth Walks:, if you would like to create your own special journey in the American Southwest or some areas of Mexico.

New Research on Mesa Verde, Colorado

Mesa-Verde-National-Park-Cliff-Palace-2This may be of interest to you. I have been to Mesa Verde numerous times, once leading the Institute of Noetic Sciences on an EarthWalks tour of the Southwest area.  This research makes some inner sense to me.  If you or a group you know would like to create an EarthWalks journey, please let me know at
Mesa Verde
From the Journal of Archaeological Science, April 2014
| Abstract