I'm bringing you this report live from the Raw Spirit Festival taking place this weekend in Sedona, Arizona (www.RawSpirit.com
). The festival brings together thousands of participants, over a hundred raw foods vendors and dozens of top-notch speakers, authors and artists who have so far delivered an unforgettable experience in raw living foods and high-vibration living. Organized by the delightful visionary Happy Oasis (yes, that's her real name), the festival has grown ten times in size over last year's festival, bringing the attendee count to well over 2,500 (and probably closer to 3,000). For a festival focused on raw living foods nutrition -- which was barely a blip on the radar of mainstream America just two years ago -- this is phenomenal growth. Raw foods is going mainstream!
So aside from the obvious things like stuffing your face with raw cacao and goji berries, what else is there to see and do at this festival? First off, the people here are incredible. From open-hearted meditation masters to everyday consumers looking for answers for improving their lives, you'll find the people here to be amazingly open-minded, generous and enthusiastic. (Thank you to all the many people who introduced yourselves to me. I love your feedback and compliments!) Far from being what one of my friends called a "hippy fest," I found the Raw Spirit Festival to be a Happy Fest! Where else can you find a tent entirely dedicated to the activity of hugging? Where else can you see outrageously masterful musicians rapping out improvisational mind-bending music that's good enough to be the headline soundtrack for a major motion picture? On top of this, you also get to immerse yourself in an endless stream of raw foods
chocolate, raw nut mixes, high-vibration salads, raw food bars, massage booths, hemp clothing, and fermented living foods!
Amid all the incredible activities I've already mentioned, you can watch raw
foods preparation demonstrations, listen to top authors speak about living foods nutrition, and enjoy a complimentary dinner plate featuring a unique and delicious raw sprout dish made with a spirulina superfoods dressing. I ate it up with a big purple smile! (Don't worry, the spirulina
rinses right off your lips... but you look hilarious while eating it!)
The musical highlight of the day was, in my opinion, the mind-blowing performance of Scott Huckabay (www.scotthuckabay.com
) who somehow manages to transform one guitar, two hands, two feet and one exotic mind into a symphony of reverberating rhythms and riffs that transport you beyond the realm of mere mortal music. (The musical demo on his website is but a small taste compared to what he did live today...) Other musical performances featured top vocalists, indigenous instruments and percussion that rocked this small gently valley in Sedona, Arizona.
Speakers today included Dr. Len Horowitz, Viktoras Kulvinskas and Victoria Boutenko. As the sun set, I took the stage for a few minutes and decided to help the audience warm themselves from the evening chills with a group laughing exercise, after which I introduced David Wolfe from Sunfood Nutrition (www.SunFood.com
) who spoke on secrets of Stonehenge and ways in which we can transform human understanding in mere moments if we are courageous enough to cast off old ways of looking at the world.
Christian Bates and his partner product formulation partner were there with their supremely good raw food
bar, the WildBar
), and John Schott was at the show introducing an awesome new line of amazing raw foods tortillas (www.SacredSymbiosis.com
). Made with irish moss and loaded with raw superfood ingredients, these tortillas are the answer for those folks who want to eat healthier, but miss tortillas or breads. These raw tortillas manage to stay soft and pliable -- even when they're completely dried -- due to their use of irish moss (an ocean grown superfood loaded with trace minerals and anti-cancer polysaccharides). They can ship these all over the world because they contain no moisture and therefore have a long shelf life. They're super delicious, too! Watch for an upcoming video interview with the charismatic John Schott, the founder of this innovative new raw foods company.
It was also great to see Brigitte Mars, a raw herbalist and prolific author based in Boulder, Colorado (www.brigittemars.com
). Brigitte offers some outstanding books, including The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine
, which you can find on her website. See more of her books here: http://www.brigittemars.com/framefiles/books...
Although Dr. Gabriel Cousens isn't personally at the event this weekend, his Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center
is represented here (www.TreeofLife.nu
). If you're looking for a miraculous transformation with a raw foods lifestyle, check out his retreat located in Southern Arizona. Thousands of people have gone there and experienced amazing healings from diseases like diabetes and cancer.
Speaking of miraculous transformations, don't miss the upcoming movie and DVD, Raw for 30 Days
) created by Mark Perlmutter and about to be shown at a film festival
in 2008. This upcoming film is already making waves, and a companion DVD, available now, is called Raw For Life
. In it, you'll find interviews with Dr. Cousens, Tony Robbins, Gary Null and even myself! Disk 2 of this film featured Woody Harrelson, Michael Beckwith, David Wolfe and many other exceptional speakers and health pioneers. You can order the movie right now at www.rawfor30days.com
My good friend Alex the Raw Guru from Empowered Foods was also present at the event today (www.EmpoweredFoods.com
). I found him dishing out huge portions of delicious citrus-and-spouts living foods salads featuring a new product he's working on that delivers dried sprouts in a salad shaker container that you can easily add to all sorts of dishes. I hope to bring you more details on that new product in the near future. You can read my previous article about this company's incredible "empowered chocolate" products here: http://www.NaturalNews.com/021885.html
(They're simply the best-tasting chocolate superfood bars I've ever tasted...)
Steve Adler was also present with his own incredibly delicious chocolate products (www.Naturaw.com
), and I got the chance to have a great conversation with Seth, the co-founder of Living Nutz (www.livingnutz.com
) about how the Almond Board of California is destroying the future of almonds grown in America, forcing companies like his to source their almonds from other countries where they still respect raw, living foods and don't try to pasteurize everything. To read the full story on the bizarre almond situation in California (and the willful destruction of the raw almond industry by the ABC), read my report: http://www.NaturalNews.com/021776.html
Eric Lancaster from EM American (www.emamerica.com
) was also present, displaying his "effective microorganisms" products that produce exceptional results in treating soils for gardening and enhancing personal health when used around the house. I also met representatives from the Amazon Herb Company (www.AmazonHerbs.net
) who greeted me with Shipibo Treasure Tea and an assortment of new Liquizon products made of concentrated rainforest herbal liquids encapsulated in veggie caps.
Overall, the festival has already been a wonderful journey of food, fun, healing and artistry, and it's only beginning! Tomorrow will see probably twice as many people at the event, along with yet more musical performances, spiritual teachers and raw foods speakers. I'll do my best to keep reporting on the event throughout the weekend, assuming I'm not high on raw cacao and passed out in a hammock somewhere, wired on hemp protein and maca root...
What else to expect...
Unlike many festivals, this event actually has really clean restrooms with -- and this is remarkable -- Dr. Bronner's soaps at the hand washing stations! (Yeah for Dr. Bronner's soap!) But not everything is perfect here. Parking is a nightmare, and they've got attendees driving all over Sedona to park in one of fourteen different parking lots reserved at banks, churches and retail stores. It's kind of like a treasure hunt of some sort. After parking, you get picked up by a shuttle which ferries you to the event doors. People brave enough to park along the main roads near the event are seeing their cars towed away -- an experience that definitely does not contribute to happy spiritual existence.
Dinner was two hours late (but still worth the wait!), and the festival grounds get dangerously dark after hours, so bring a flashlight if you come next year. But despite these expected growing pains and organizational challenges, I think the Raw Spirit Festival is worth whatever it takes to get here. The food, the people and the vibe are all exceptional, and there's no question that I'm coming back next year for the 2008 festival. You may want to mark it on your own calendar too, even if you're from far away. I've met people here from Australia, Sweden, Peru, Canada, Germany, Japan and many other countries. It's worth coming to from anywhere on the planet; especially if you have an interest in being part of the fast-growing movement to save this planet through sustainable living and mass spiritual awakening.
Of course, you could also come just for the chocolate, and you wouldn't be disappointed. But there's much more to see and experience here at the Raw Spirit Festival. You may learn a new secret about nutrition, discover a new living foods recipe, learn a new chi-gong ritual, meet an inspiring artist or discover an author or speaker who shows you how to look at the world in a constructive new way. If you didn't make it this year, keep it in mind for next year: Raw Spirit Festival 2008, www.RawSpirit.com