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Hungarian rhapsody

Delegates to the Peace in Education Conference, in Budapest, Hungary, hold hands and stand in a circle. Photo by Todd Lucier, Special to

Delegates to the Peace in Education Conference, in Budapest, Hungary, hold hands and stand in a circle. Photo by Todd Lucier, Special to

A South River woman returned to her roots this past week as part of a conference held in Eastern Europe.

Further details are included in the following news release issued today by Todd Lucier and Northern Edge Algonquin:

Martha Lucier returned to the homeland of her family this week where this week she played an important role in opening the Peace in Education conference in Budapest.

Martha and Todd Lucier, with two of their children, Emily, 21, and Tim, 13, are in Budapest, Hungary, where this week Martha helped open the tenth International Spirit of Learning conference.

The Spirit of Learning has been held semi-annually for the past four years and has moved around the world.

In 2000, Martha and Todd attended the inaugural international gathering at Findhorn, Scotland where the duo helped develop and orchestrate a closing ceremony for over 200 delegates.

“It is sometimes challenging to get in front of over a hundred people and guide them to participate in an opening or closing experience, but my decade of training in shamanism and experiences teaching at the Edge have prepared me well to handle such an experience,” says Martha.

“Also I know how important these experiences are in helping people who want to make a difference in the world, so it really doesn’t matter if its one person or 200.”

Coming to Budapest to share in the conference has been extra special for Martha, whose grandfather emigrated from Hungary in the 1930’s.

Martha and her family have already had an opportunity to travel in the countryside with a Hungarian relative to visit the home villages where her family roots originated. They have also visited a number of sights and gone on a cruise on the Danube.

The family plans on staying in Hungary for a number of days after the conference to continue learning more about this part of eastern Europe.

Northern Edge Algonquin, the couple's nature retreat, 20 km east of South River on the Edge of Algonquin Park, has been in the news quite a bit over the past few years.

With extensive coverage in the NY Times, for their canoe trips and in Macleans Magazine for their spiritual retreats, many people in the Almaguin Highlands are not aware of the couples esteem in international circles.

A few years ago, Todd was a key presenter in Brazil at a gathering for the International Year of Ecotourism.

“Not only do we get invited to travel to take part in a variety of conferences, people travel from across Canada and sometimes internationally to take part in the shamanic learning retreats and medicine for the earth trainings as well as canoe trips in Algonquin Park.”

On Saturday, Nov. 20, Northern Edge Algonquin is hosting an introduction to shamanism (one day program) just for people in the Almaguin Highlands so they can have a taste of some of the shamanism teachings that Martha has traveled the world to teach and learn about for over 12 years.

In January leaders and those who aspire to lead are invited to a one day Leadership Within Symposium on January 15th. Each event is an opportunity to learn to look within for answers to challenges faced by individuals and organizations.

Both one day events will be facilitated by Martha Lucier at the nature retreat east of South River.

Lucier adds, “We all have power to make a difference in the world. My main task is to inspire people who want to make a difference, to be the change they want to see in the world as Ghandi invited people to do.”

To learn more about the upcoming Introduction to Shamanism Workshop or Leadership Within Symposium, visit the Blue Canoe or call 386-1595.