pictured above:  my Sacred Animas River manifesting full throttle the White Man’s stupid attachment to monetary greed


<the following appeared in this weeks’ edition of The Durango Telegraph…

Precious Warrior Tribe of Durango,

My world-wide and local yoga and fitness students have asked my take and teachings on our now internationally acclaimed screw up of one of America’s few remaining wild rivers in my native hometown.

The white man’s track record since landing upon Turtle Island and claiming her as “his own,” has never proven to be a respectful steward – let alone a humble and conscious child of Mother (Earth) and our Father (Sky). Just ask a local Native American (I live with one) for their insights into our most recent toxic event and your perspective might be changed for the higher.

Since planting the white man’s flag and then fences and then fear-based forts before building and riding trains from which to shoot and kill buffalo beings for fun (buffalo medicine is prayer and abundance … are we capable to sense the prophetic metaphor?) en route to drilling thousands of humongous mining holes into Mother Earth with flippant concern about their toxic effects during the white man’s “westward expansion” for the sake of money proves that the white man’s spiritual ignorance has only escalated in co-efficient ratio to our Western addiction to perceived comfort.

My precious lifelong sacred river – many of my friends who used to poke fun at me since I always refer to the Animas as “Our Sacred River” are NOT poking fun at me now! – is now a fluid ribbon of toxicity that requires me as a blessed and sworn dharma protector to dig deep into my yogic/spiritual warrior quiver to reiterate my life message since 1985: The outdoors is sacred > care for it unconditionally!

Teaching: any human-made loud and/or chronic noise is usually a sign of spiritual decay, be it the sound of the “iron horse” chugging across Turtle Island or the mining cacophony of a 100 years ago or … (take a conscious breath here) to a mountain biker or runner or skier choosing to listen to an iPod instead of nature. When we superimpose noise upon nature? That’s where the crux transition from spiritual awakening to spiritual ignorance begins. In the beginning there was a harmonious sound, not noise: Om.

The natives whom still live traditional ways, yes, those who lived here on Turtle Island loooooong before us? Hard to see them, for they do not bring attention to themselves through noise. Hard to hear them, for they walk and live with grace and humbleness and at-oneness upon Mother Earth beneath Father Sky.

Silence – in meditation, in sports, in occupation, in life – is tantamount. It’s predictably pensive; over the last few years, the bear beings have been trying to tell us human beings in Durango to listen inwardly; their sudden rise in appearances was because s(om)ething big would soon need adjustment to our pathetic efforts at taking care of our Mother. Bear medicine is introspection. In Durango (and other mountain towns), bears (aka, introspection) have been making themselves obvious in our human trash piles. Yet instead of heeding their counsel (introspect our trash … get it? introspect our mine toxicity) we simply track them; count them; put their trackings in the media instead of accepting them as gurus – slayers of spiritual ignorance.

This toxic nightmare come true is a challenging parenting vehicle and guru for all of us… may we learn and rise higher.

Blessed be our sacred hamlet beneath Dibé Nitsaa.

Head bowed, spirit vowed.

– Feeble yogi Steve Ilg, native Durangoan


2 Responses to “Escalation of spiritual ignorance….an ilg published editorial”

  1. Ken Doyle says:

    Dear Steve, I feel for you and all those in Durango. NATURE is so SPECIAL and like you I am so lucky to spend all my time observing it. I find myself trying to introduce todays young people to GOOD OLD MOTHER NATURE. I hope somehow things work out for all of you. LOVE, Kendo

  2. coach says:


    Lendl must have been on the edge of his seat watching Murray come back from 2 sets down!!!

    thank you for your Metta regarding ‘my’ sacred Animas and her attempt to heal…Dewa and i going down to Her nearly daily to offer our love…meanwhile, the high country mines continue to spill toxins into her fluid beauty…

    head bowed,
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