Lynne Twist


“1977 I helped create The Hunger Project which is focused on ending world hunger through the context of transformation, consciousness, and integrity. I became completely devoted to ending world hunger and not it’s a huge organization with millions of people involved and hunger has moved from being a hopeless, inevitable tragedy to something that will clearly end by the year 2030. The human family is waking up to the fact that we’re all responsible for each other.”

“So many people are living in their life starring them and there’s a lot of suffering in that kind of life. If you’re living your life in service of something bigger than yourself somehow the universe, spirit, God, the natural world, will come to support you.”

“One time I was in a meeting in the UN and I realized I had forgotten that it was snack day at my daughters’ school. Being a parent and running an organization like the Hunger Project wasn’t always easy, but you’ve got accept that you’re not gonna do everything perfectly. If you’re there, when you’re there, and you’re telling your kids the truth about who you are, your kids are going to be fine.”

“A lot of the hardest things I’ve faced in life were the greatest teachers. If you blame, shame, and point fingers, you stay stuck. If you realize that whatever’s coming that’s challenging is an opportunity for growth and development you get through it. Life gives us a lot of sandpaper to rub up against to smooth out our rough edges, but it hurts, and no one is protected from it. Some of the wealthiest people in the world can buy their way out of a lot of stuff, but they can’t buy their way out of pain and suffering. And it when it comes it will deepen you, deepen your heart and soul.”

LynneTwist-2“I thought I would be with the Hunger Project till the end, and then about 20 years after the Hunger Project began I went to Guatemala and did an all night ceremony with a shaman. I had never been in a shamanic ceremony. This was 1994. In the middle of the night the shaman had built a really big fire. We laid down with our feet towards the fire like a big wagon wheel. And the shaman who couldn’t speak English or Spanish, he spoke Mayan, told us to close our eyes and journey. I didn’t know what that meant so I was gonna take a little nap, but the shaman started drumming and I didn’t go to sleep. He started chanting and I found myself going into some sort of altered state. I felt my right arm turn into some sort of wing, and I had to extend it, there was no way I could keep it close to my body. And then my left arm started turning into a wing, and then I felt this beak on my face and I had to fly. I began to fly up above this campfire and I was looking down on these 12 people, including me, and I began to fly into the night sky to the stars. It was a glorious night and I flew in slow motion toward the stars. I felt the warmth of the sun and when I looked down I was flying over a vast forest of green that was never ending. At a certain point these disembodied faces of men with orange geometric face paint on their faces and yellow, red, and black feather crowns on their heads started to float up from the forest floor, to the canopy, all the way to me, the bird. They were mesmerizing and hypnotic. Then I heard this loud thumping and I opened my eyes, I remembered I was a human being. I sat up and saw that everyone had come out of some sort of trance. There was no medicine involved in this ceremony by the way by the way, just the drumming and the chanting and the night sky. And the shaman asked us to share our visions and everyone had become some sort of animal. When I told the shaman about my vision he said it wasn’t a normal vision, and that I was being called. Called to help the Achuar people in the amazon. I thought, ‘I can’t go to the Amazon, I’m ending world hunger!’ and he told me, ‘They won’t leave you alone till you go’.”

LynneTwist-3Of course, I didn’t listen right away and I continued with the Hunger Project. I went to Ghana and was sitting in on a board meeting there. When I was talking to the men, with their gorgeous blue black faces, these orange geometric shapes started showing up on their faces. I thought I was having a moment. I left the meeting and went to the ladies room. When I got back it started happening again and I burst into tears. I thought I was sick and went back to San Francisco. The whole way on the plane the faces kept coming, whether I had eyes open or eyes closed. I finally took a leave from the Hunger Project and went to the Amazon. We started in Quito down in the volcanoes, and then went down the eastern side of the Andes. A tiny, tiny plane took us to a river by Achuar territory. When we landed they came out of the forest with their orange geometric face paint, red, yellow, and black feather crowns with spears and our encounter began. That was the beginning of the Pachamama Alliance. It wasn’t my plan for myself, but it was my destiny.” 

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May 8, 2017