AUM 2008 in the Rockies

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Safety guidelines for AUM 2008

Snow in the mountains in July Safety first!
In the mountains, safety is the first priority. Always be on the lookout for situations, actions, or inner states that seem to be dangerous. It is better to be cautious than bold. If you go hiking, leave a note on our hike board saying who is going, where you are headed, and when you are expected back. If anyone in your party seems to be acting unsafely (running ahead of the others, going off the trail, ignoring weather, leaving equipment), stop, talk to them, and consider what to do. Cell phones may not work in many parts of camp or in the nearby mountains, as cell phone coverage is spotty.

Bear warning sign

Nature is vast and powerful
Nature in the Rockies is driven by powerful, quickly changing forces. The ground may be loose from rain; snow in early summer is usually wet and unstable. Wildlife is unpredictable, and there are bears locally. Hypothermia is a common occurrence at any time of year, even on a short hike. When a person is under physical stress, judgement is impaired. Respect the forces of nature: even if you are an experienced hiker, the mountains should be approached with caution and mindfulness. Be aware of the shifting conditions of temperature, weather, and trail.

Inner nature is also vast and powerful. The inner and higher consciousness can be the leader in all things, including physical activities. The Divine Shakti and the supermind have powers of which we are barely aware. Tap into inner and higher resources and open to intuition while engaging in activities at AUM 2008.

Waterfall in the Rockies Expect the unexpected
The Colorado wilderness is in a state of constant flux. Be aware of the environment, and expect the unexpected (rain or snow on a sunny day, for example). The mountains are a perfect place to practice opening the consciousness to what is all around -- the sights, the smells, the sounds. Stop frequently to sharpen your perception: What is happening? Is it getting cloudy? Is it getting colder? Is a wind coming up?

In a place of such beauty and grandeur, unexpected things happen in the inner being as well. Be open to your own state -- physical, emotional, and mental. You may experience strong feelings from being in nature, or be swept away by a sense of greatness and ananda. Even as you benefit from these, remember: Safety first.
Picnic We're all in this together
A group can be much stronger than an individual, but only with conscious effort. Pay attention to others, noting if they are getting fatigued, taking unnecessary risks, or making poor decisions. Anticipate the needs of the group. On hikes, sign in and out for yourself and those who are with you.

Collectively we add facets and strengths to one another. Inner elements combine at gatherings such as AUM to produce a new, larger whole. Be open to these new aspects of experience and environment.
Hikers on the trail Hiking rules
  • Always leave word on the hike board on who is going, where you are headed, and when you are expected back.
  • Keep the group together. Running ahead often leads to anxiety and bad decisions.
  • The strongest person should take up the rear.
  • Hike at the pace of the weakest person.
  • Be aware of the environment and willing to change plans if necessary.
  • Be safe rather than push on to an unrealistic goal.
  • Always stay on the trail.
  • If a person is injured, stop and think.
Glacier Creek Hazards
Many serious accidents have occurred on snow and ice fields in the summer. Stay back from the edge of steep snow slopes or cornices and avoid sliding on snow and ice unless you are experienced and properly equipped. Remember, mountain climbing is a technical sport requiring extensive training, skill, conditioning, and proper equipment. Do not attempt rock climbs or scrambling up steep slopes that are beyond your ability and experience. Waterfalls can be deceptively dangerous. And, although they appear small, streams are especially hazardous in spring when the water is high and turbulent. Beware of thunderstorms. Got off ridges or peaks and avoid exposed lone objects such as a large rock tree or telephone line. If riding horseback, got off and away from your horse. (This advice from

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