Zak Flying Around Transcription

JEREMY [narration]:
Hi everyone and welcome to the In The Shoes Of podcast where I make it my goal to see life as much as possible from someone else's point of view; just like we all have a unique heartbeat, every single one of us sees life only from our own perspective. Think about it. Can you see and process life exactly as Elon Musk sees and processes life? The answer is you can't, and it applies to every living conscious being here on this pale blue dot.
What up everybody? My name is Jeremy Nickel. This episode of In The Shoes Of, I am interviewing Zak Flying Around, in beautiful Los Angeles at Wilacre Park,  a place where many of the esteemed go to discuss amazing matters of I don't really know, but anyway, it was really cool, really nice, beautiful, and Zak Flying Around is a stone mover. "What is this stone mover?" you may ask. Well, I guess you're going to have to listen to find out, now, won't you? On with the show! Let me try that again - on with the show!


JEREMY :
The first question, though, before we get into the meat of the things. Can I ask you what type of sandals those are?


ZAK :
Oh, it says, "Rainbow" on them.


JEREMY :
I like them. Can I take a picture of them? 


ZAK :
Yes.


JEREMY :
Perfect. 


ZAK :
I think I found them at the beach.

 
JEREMY :
Oh, that's awesome. Okay.


ZAK :
Santa Monica. They do look pretty leathery, though. I think they are leather.


JEREMY :
All right. Got the picture there. I'm going to jump into this. Usually, I start off with a few, different, other questions, but I'm really--something that's really been on my mind and what you've kind of alluded to is, you found out exactly what you were born to do, what your what kind of, like, life mission is, for lack of a better word? Maybe you can correct me on that. And, if you can explain to me and to everyone listening, what it is - what is your mission here on Earth? What were you born to do?


ZAK :
Okay so, my inclination was to move stones. So, all I know is that lately, I've been thinking about it, within the last five years or longer, about how my first memory in life was--actually, my first memory in life was standing on the beach in Port Hueneme, which is not too far from here. I think I was two years old, standing on the beach in Port Hueneme and looking towards the Channel Islands--well, one of the Channel Islands in particular. This is a completely true story. It was my first conscious memory in this life. And, I was down at the beach because I was searching for little stones. And I remember wanting to go across that island. It looks so peaceful, I could see the reflection of its highest mountain. Or one of its highest mountains - its eastern-facing mountain, in the reflection of the still water. See, that's how it is when you are a child, you don't know things. So, I was wondering why the mountain--there's a mountain way over there in the distance. It was kind of partially obscured by fog a little bit, but you could see it. You can make it out. But then you could see the mountain in its reflection in this perfectly still--it was the morning, right as the Sun was coming up so that's... I'm just painting this picture for you. That's what it was. And I was two years old so what year was it? 1965? I don't know, because I'm 53 now. So anyway, I remember wanting to go to that island and look for stones. And then, there's a story about how I left, my father went off to work - he was in the Navy. And then I went off and I ran away from home. I was only two years old. A neighbor found me, with no clothes on because I had lost my diaper, and she put her women's panties on me.


JEREMY :
[laughs] Really?


ZAK :
And called the base police. And then the base police found my mother and my mother took me back to the house. But anyway, that's the story that I could tell people about how early I wanted to be a wanderer, and so anyway, getting back to this thing about the stones. You wanted to know why I feel that I was meant to be a stone mover?


JEREMY [narration]:
Just letting you know that it's going to take a little bit of time. It takes a little bit of time getting around to the full story from Zak Flying Around. But the wait is well worth it, so, hang in there with me.


ZAK :
When you're a child, I don't know if you remember it, but you had this compulsion to pick up stones and throw them. You and your brother, or you and your friend, would throw them for hours. You don't know why, you just knew that you just had to keep throwing those stones. And so, I guess it's probably an instance long, long ago, our earliest ancestors were roaming the Earth and everywhere they went they brought stones. This is what I was told. And I was trying to understand what that meant, but we were definitely roamers.


JEREMY [narration] :
Alright so, I did a little bit more research into this and I found that Zak Flying Around was probably talking about Homo habilis, the species from eastern and southern Africa who lived around 1.4-2.4 million years ago. I got this from HumanOrigins.si.edu. Disclaimer: I didn't totally fact-check everything but, you know, I don't know. I'll provide the full link, of course, in the blog. And then I looked also at ToLweb.org, and they have some information there about how that species used rocks as a defense... Probably, I think. I'd have to read the article again. Anyway, on with show.


ZAK :
We're talking about our Neanderthal ancestors, I guess, or early ancestors that came out of Africa, and we didn't need stones for our defense at some point because we had spears and bows and arrows, and we kept carrying stones anyway because it had become kind of a spiritual endeavor. We realized that was the whole point all along. Some people believe that we were given this gift of consciousness and we were assisted by the earlier sentient beings that were here way before we were here, and some tribes, some of the Indians, or some of the people around the world, refer to them as the "stone beings." You've heard that before. You've heard people say it, talking about the stone beings.


JEREMY [narration]:
Alright so, I couldn't really find too much information on this topic online. So, if anyone has any additional information or can provide some additional insight, please let me know - JNickel@InTheShoesOf.Org.


JEREMY :
Yeah, maybe elaborate on that, because I'm not really familiar.


ZAK :
Well all I know is just--by hanging out with Indians my whole life--I've heard people talk about the stone beings and they're the oldest beings that were here before any of this life existed. Anyway, this is all something that I thought formulated later. All I knew when I was younger was that I was in love with stones, just like any young person I suppose. I don't know if you remember, but when you were playing and you came inside, and your mom cooking and you, just this young child, maybe three or four years old, and you had some stones to show her, these little rocks that you brought in from when you were down in a meadow not far away, or out in the backyard. And she wanted you to get those off the counter. Or your dad said, “Get those off the table, we're trying to eat dinner." Very innocent. And here's the reason why I do this - because I started moving stones when I was a younger man-


JEREMY :
About how old were you?


ZAK :
Right around the time, just before I went up to Alaska, I suppose.


JEREMY :
I didn't know you went to Alaska. Wow.


ZAK :
Yeah, I've been a wanderer most of my life. I've been a hitchhiker, and a hiker, and then walking along coastlines I suppose.


JEREMY :
And a wandering child at the age of two. That's when you when you started all of it! Yeah, okay.


ZAK :
I mean, whenever it was possible, but the reality is I had to go to high school and, you know, I had to have a work life, had to have a career, and I was married for a long time, and I've owned a couple of businesses - a couple of small businesses.


JEREMY :
In Alaska or?


ZAK :
No, in California.


JEREMY :
Oh okay.


ZAK :
I don't know, I was the handyman. I was a carpenter for a lot longer than it was anything else, but I've done other things. So anyway, I'm a stone mover because I started moving stones and I couldn't stop. I pick up a stone. You're walking along a trail or an on a street or in a neighborhood or somewhere, and you see this little stone. It's an ugly little stone and you pick it up. Just like, everyone does it and you take it home and you don't know why you. You seem to identify with it - it's the ugly things that we seem to identify with. And you put it somewhere. Long ago, you would have put it in your little medicine pouch or the pouches that you would carry along your side or, you know, we were tribal people - and it was just a little, tiny stone so it wasn't taxing you physically to carry it. You just carried it with you everywhere you went for a few years until you got tired of it or until--the old saying was, or the old thought was that 'until it was ready' to be given back to the world.


JEREMY :
Ah, okay.


ZAK :
It wanted to be given back to the wilderness, or being given back to the Great Spirit, or the Great Spirit of God or the Spirit of God ,you know, whatever we call our God.


JEREMY :
So how has that affected you spiritually when--with regard to moving stones, do you think that has uplifted you or given you kind of a sense of purpose?


JEREMY [narration]:
Notice that when Zak Flying Around talks about prayer it's different from the way we normally think of prayer, especially from the perspective of a Muslim or a Christian. 


ZAK :
Yeah so, it's funny but the old timers... We're talking about a prayer that is so old, it predates anything. I mean, it's not--I don't know if it's the oldest prayer of man, but it's one of the oldest prayers of men. The idea used to be that you could put your little thoughts on a stone and then give that stone back to the world. And why was that? Well, we were wanderers and so we had to be relatively free and uplifted and not be burdened and not be weighed down. And so, the idea that you'd be free of you of some of these heavy thoughts, just your anxieties and fear, and also your appreciation too. That can weigh you down and prevent you from going forward in life. Like I said, long ago we were wanderers and we were exploring the world. I think that's true.


JEREMY [narration]:
I'm sure not everyone will agree with me here, but I find Zak's uncertainty about things and his complete lack of basically any absolute statements to be extraordinarily refreshing. In a day and age, especially it seems like in the States, where confidence is key, even if you don't know shit, you know, I just love that. So, I mean, I understand you have to have confidence in certain situations and all that but, you know, it’s okay not to know everything because, you know what? We don't know everything. And if you think you do, then... Okay, I'll stop there. I'll stop.


ZAK :
And so, we would just entrust all this extra baggage to the Great Mystery. You know, we felt there was this thing that was alive that was outside of us that was watching over us, or it was the compassion of the universe. And it actually was a living, feeling, thinking entity. And so, we would just kind of like, release all this extra stuff that was in our head and set it down. So, in other words, we were putting our prayers on a little stone and giving it to God. And then don't worry you're going to find another stone, because we always do.


JEREMY :
You're talking just metaphorically. You put it, "I'm putting like my anxieties and worries in the stone" or "my prayer into this stone." Or would they actually physically etch it onto the stone?


ZAK :
I don't know, but at some point, it was just... We knew that our prayers are powerful and the energy of the fact that we were carrying the stone - it was vibrating or we were sharing a higher vibration or I don't know -  I'm not a New Ager but I tend to talk along these terms because I hang out with them occasionally, over the years, quite a bit. So, I end up talking like them, but what I'm saying is: you put your payers on a little stone, set it down, walk away, and be free of this extra stuff that was preventing you from going forward. And so, this is just some stuff we've shared in conversations all my life, from hanging out with lot of Indians, around a fire, or after some sort of a gathering has taken place, or during a special prayer gathering. These are just some things that we talk about, and it just seems to come naturally to our minds. It's almost as if we haven't lost that innate memory. But like I said, it's one of the oldest prayers of man. This prayer existed before those Asiatic tribes came to America. Anyway, this prayer tradition is much older than the 40,000 years that have existed in America of human beings having come here and discovered two beautiful, huge, vast continents. At some point, it became a bonafide spiritual practice and every tribe had their little stone mover.


JEREMY :
So, was this stone mover in the tribe - is it almost like a shaman?


ZAK :
No, no, not at all actually. 


JEREMY :
Oh okay. 


ZAK :
I am not a shaman or a medicine person or a holy man. I don't really claim to be one in any way whatsoever. A stone mover is a little bit like a holy man, so I could say that, but I can't say that I'm a shaman. I don't have powers. I don't have knowledge. I don't have powers to heal people. No, a stone mover is simply a mailman.


JEREMY :
Oh okay.


ZAK :
I'm just a deliverer; I just deliver other people's prayers for them because, long ago you'd have a stone and you wanted to give it back but you can't remember where you found it. So, you want to put it up high somewhere, or you want it in some sacred place. So, you go for a walk into the wilderness, you know, half a day or a day -  the weather is warm, it's springtime or it's summertime or it's the end of the summer, and you want to deliver your stone. Once a year you'd deliver your stone and, don't worry, you're going to find another one, and you're giving your prayers to God - your appreciation, your happiness, your love. And you want to put it in a sacred place- it's quiet and there's not a whole lot of people because there's a lot of clamor and noise and a little negativity where we see a lot of people. So, we used to deliver our stones away out some place, maybe on an ocean, on a cliff overlooking the ocean, or someplace quiet. It's every place--everyone's different, but it's just some quiet place away from people. And on a hill, or up on a mountain, I tend to be someone who likes to deliver things said the top of mountains because I have this ego that I haven't quite gotten rid of. I haven't gotten quite rid of all my ego yet. But I've gotten rid of a lot of it.


JEREMY :
That's great; that's commendable. 


ZAK :
So anyway, every year or every couple of years, you give your stone back to the world. And so, that's a beautiful religion, isn't it? That's a beautiful belief system.


JEREMY [narration]:
What do you think? Do you think it's a beautiful religion? A beautiful way to think? Let me know your thoughts. You can comment on the blog at InTheShoesOf.Org, or feel free just to send me a personal e-mail at JNickel@InTheShoesOf.Org. 


ZAK :
And so, at the end, you feel like you're connecting to this little prayer web, because that's what you're creating. You're creating a prayer web, or a spider web, or a dream catcher, that is composed of all of your thoughts and memories and your prayers. You know, it might be long--your tribe might move 200 miles this way in the next 10 years and you won't even remember where you put these stones, but no matter how much time or distance is transcended between you and that prayer stone, it's always yours. And you have a connection to like a string - like the string theory of quantum physics. You're always connected to that stone and to that line of communication with the Great Spirit, or the line of communication with God. So anyway, that's what we used to believe. If you could establish lines of communication with God by putting stones in sacred places throughout your life, and when you get my age, I'm 53 - of course, I'm kind of a stone mover so I've got at least a hundred personal stones that I placed in wilderness, or about that many - you don't abuse it. It's not something you should really abuse at all. You just know that when your stone is ready to deliver, that wait for the warm season to come and you'll know where--you'll either know where to put it, or you'll go hiking and you'll find a place to put it. Now, long ago it wasn't that safe to go do it, because you might not come back... To go into the wilderness, a lot of times it wasn't really that safe. It's kind of a dangerous thing, so there was always some young person who had kind of a spiritual inclination, and you would give it to him and he would deliver it for you. Or she, you know. I'm not a sexist. And so, that's how stone movers came about. We were just - they were just delivery people.


JEREMY :
Yeah, okay.


ZAK :
And that's all I really know, and that's all that was really explained to me. Some of the additional information that I know has come to me in dreams, I suppose. 


JEREMY :
Hm, okay.


ZAK :
And that's how I find other places to put other people sounds too. They give me a stone and I might have it for a little while - I just wait for the inspiration, or maybe a dream or something, to tell me where to put it.


JEREMY :
Have you ever had anybody just randomly come up...? Because I'm assuming that's people that you know, and you've spoken about the stones already and they say, "Here, I have this stone" and they need you to place it somewhere, or have you ever experienced somebody just randomly coming up like "I just feel like they need to give you this stone for you to place-"


ZAK :
That's happened a few times and it's really unusual. It's unusual, but it's--and you never know who it is. You might think it might be some sort of a psychic lady or something, no. No, you don't know who it is. It is just anybody - could be a truck driver, or some child with cerebral palsy, or something--like it's so deep in our consciousness, way back - it's completely forgotten, don't get me wrong - but it's so back there that it can come out. It can come out sometimes, some freak occurrence. I mean, I have been known to go into - they'll kick me out because they think I'm a weirdo - but I'll go into a convalescent home where these folks are, you know, 70 or 80 years old or 90, and all I have to say is that my name is Zak I'm here to get your stone. Does anyone have a stone for me? I'm a stone mover. They don't know what a stone mover means, but they just know that somebody there has come to--because they're in the recreation room or they're watching TV and then all of a sudden, I'm showing up and they said, "Yeah, I have a stone. Wait a second, let me roll over to my bed over here. I'll pull it out my dresser drawer and I'll give it to you." Or another person, a Jewish lady might say, "Oh I've got a stone, but it's at my house and I have to call my sons and daughters. I hope they haven't thrown away all my stuff." Anyway, these things happen, and I go into a little elementary school. You can't go into a kindergarten because they'll just make fun of you. No, I'm talking about the little preschool places, where the kids are three years old. "Hi, my name is Zak Flying Around. Does anybody have any stones for me?" and they're all, like, running. They're all jumping up and down for joy. "Yes, I've got to stone for you! Come back tomorrow! Yeah, I'll go home and get it. I know exactly where it is under my pillow," or somewhere they put it. So, in other words, I think when you're very young and when you're very old, you remember what this is.


JEREMY :
Yeah. And are you carrying stones right now?


ZAK :
Well, I have a stone that someone gave me the other day. I'm going to deliver it.


JEREMY :
Wow. I don't know if it's wrong to do so, but can you show it to us?


ZAK :
Well I probably shouldn't, because it's a personal thing I suppose. It's her personal stuff and she gave it to me.


JEREMY :
I respect that.


ZAK :
I have a feeling I already know where I'm going to take it. In fact, I told her where I think I would like to put it. But it's always a mystery. It's always a mystery. Out beyond, away somewhere, and then I'll discover that it really wanted me to take it somewhere else. I got the dream to do it as a child. And so, I can stop doing it any time. It's just what I want to do right now. I ignored it for years. I wanted to do it, but I couldn't. And now that I'm free now, because I was divorced less than ten years ago now, and my son is in college. He's going to Cal Poly. I'm still young and I'm still strong and I've got the motivation and the will to do it. So, I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it.


JEREMY :
Yeah, that's really cool. I'm going to... See, you have me interested now, I'm like, "I want to find my stone!" You know, but I think that has to be a natural type of thing too, right?


ZAK :
This is just how we used do it. But it has to be an ugly stone, believe it or not.


JEREMY :
It has to be an ugly stone?
They believe that the ugly stones are God's favorite stone because, even in the Bible, you know, as far as Christians, they say that the meek shall inherit the Earth. There's lots of references to that notion about how there's beauty in all things, particularly in the things that don't look beautiful. There can be more beauty, in fact, there probably is more beauty in the things that are not beautiful, because things are not beautiful have taken on--have chosen that path out of some sort of faith, really.


JEREMY :
Yeah, and it's so needed in this day and age.


ZAK :
This is what was told to me and I completely agree with it. It confirms my dreams. Our prayer stones were always just these common stones, nothing pretty about them. They weren't crystals or they weren't bright colors. And my job really has been to simply take your stone and I find a sacred place. It might take me a while but I'll find it. I'll find a place and usually - it's pretty easy though - I'll find a place and I put it down on the ground and I walk away. So, it's just being a mailman; it's just delivering other people's things to other buildings, that's all it is. I'm not some sort of a superman or have any kind of superpowers or anything like that. But, this is my special gift; I can be of service to others because it's all about being of service to others. I want to be of service to others and this is all I can do.


JEREMY :
We talked about human consciousness and we talked about how we've evolved, you know, we came down from the trees and now we have this new level of self-awareness that we've been dealing with, really, not too long and coming to terms with it. But we have all these things going on in the world, too, that are obviously not good. You know, like war and famine and what have you, all the typical things. How do you think--well I guess my question is twofold. One is: what do you think is the next level of consciousness, the next level... How do we need to evolve from here? And how can this help with that getting to that state?


ZAK :
Yeah. So, I'm not a wise person, I don't really know. I will leave it to the elders to answer these questions, but I can speculate on it.

 
JEREMY :
We'll take your speculation!


ZAK :
Yeah, you might want to take this camera and go talk to some elders. My favorite elders right now happened to be some Paiute elders up at Walker Lake or up in Pyramid Lake. I call them the Ghost Dancer elders, but that's not what they call themselves. I just like to them call that because they kind of descend from that particular spiritual tradition. It goes pretty far back actually. I think that type of round dancing goes back... I don't know how long, thousands of years. Indians in America are doing a couple of different kinds of prayers right now. You know, they’ve been doing the tobacco prayer for about 9000 years.


JEREMY :
Tobacco prayer? I didn't even know that was a thing.


ZAK :
I don't really do the tobacco prayer, although I understand why it's really important. And then we have Indians who are doing the sweat lodge ceremony. That's a prayer tradition; the sweat lodge prayer is super old.


JEREMY :
Does that involved use of like, where is it--there are traditions that involve like peyote too? Is that correct?


ZAK :
Yeah that's probably a prayer that goes back some thousands of years. There's a few tribes that like to experiment with the substances, the plants that that are very powerful and give you visions. I don't really mess with that stuff. I don't mess with it because it's just--I could tell you that my mom's tribe doesn't really- it's not been part of their prayer tradition for a long time, for forever maybe. I don't know . She's from Montana, she's from a place called Rocky Boy. In fact, she lives up there now. But I was advised not to use drugs or alcohol by my parents so - I know it sounds kind of unusual, you can believe this. I'm 53, I've never been a user of drugs or alcohol. I tried it a few times. In 1985, I tried it, I hated it. Once in a great while, someone put a glass of wine in front of me and I'll just take a sip, but I just don't like it, it makes me sick. I think I'm one of those people that's completely allergic to alcohol, and I'm a lightweight in general. Drugs just don't help me. I think I was supposed to do this - what I'm doing now. 


JEREMY :
I like that. Yeah. 


ZAK :
But yeah, there's different kinds of prayers that Indians are doing. There's lots of different kinds of prayer traditions that they're doing. My favorite prayer tradition that the Indians have been keeping alive for a very long time and nobody knows how old it is, it's a circle prayer. It's the pow-wow.


JEREMY :
Oh yeah!


ZAK :
The making a circle, or they're making and creating a whirlwind of energy. That's what that circle dance is, you know, it seems to be clockwise - I've seen some dancers go counterclockwise. And so anyway, I've been going to those for years and years. I don't know, maybe 30 years or so, 35 years. And so, I enjoy going to those.


JEREMY :
Yeah. 


ZAK :
But like I said I'm a little bit different. You know, I’ll go to a pow-wow and I'll tell people--this is how it's been for me forever. I'll share with people who get up the courage and tell them that I'm a mover of stones. And a lot of the Indians nowadays, you know, they don't remember what that is. They'll ask me what that is. A lot of Indians now are Christians. 


JEREMY :
Oh really?


ZAK :
They are praying to Middle Eastern God on the other side of the planet that was brought here by their invaders. And so, I knew--that's one of the earliest things that I also learned and I don't know why, but it must have been taught to me by my parents, that that's not something that I want to do. I'm not going to do that.


JEREMY [narration]:
At this point in the conversation, I did try and ask Zak Flying Around what he thought about the attempted genocide; when the invaders from Europe came over and had that crazy idea of manifest destiny in their minds and, of course, the resulting bloodbath and all of that. But I really couldn't get a solid answer, which is fine; he really wanted to stay focused on his message which is about stone moving, and that's totally cool. No problem at all, but I do think it's something that should be acknowledged and, you know, I would love to have somebody give me their perspective on Native American culture today, and how it relates to what happened a long--well, not so long ago actually in the grand scheme of things.


ZAK :
At times--sorry, we got away from that question--but you're wondering why it would be a good idea, or it would be a thought, that we could bring back some of these old prayer traditions or try to understand elemental things that may have been part of our past, right? So, I think that it's important because we better try anything ,you know? When you start getting the dream to move stones when you are a child, it's like your parents are sad. They don't want you to do that. It's like, they discourage you from doing that because they know that you're going to have a hard life, you might leave the village some day and not come back. Anyway, that's probably what it was like, or that's what it was like when you announced to your parents that you wanted to deliver other people stones. 


JEREMY :
Kind of like, it's like, "Are you sure you want to do that?"


ZAK :
Yeah, because you probably might not come back. There were a lot of predators a long time ago and lots of other dangers. We didn't have paths that were created, you know.


JEREMY :
Yeah, good point.

 
ZAK :
Nowadays I'll announce to people and they completely ignore me. They're a little annoyed. I'm one of those crazy people, you know, that they have to walk by on their way to work. They got off the subway, they got off whatever they call it here in L.A., and then they had to walk through all these people who are without homes.


JEREMY [narration]:
Talk about being unashamedly himself. That's pretty rad folks, don't you think?


ZAK :
And a little bit mentally unsound, or going through various mental difficulties, psychotic or in some sort of some state of psychosis - and they might think that I'm one of those people, you know? Because I walked up to somebody, I give them my card, "Hey I'm a stone mover and, if you ever need a stone delivered, just give me a call. I'll meet you someplace, in a Starbucks, give me the stone. You won't have to talk to me, I won't talk to you because I tend to annoy people. Just give me your stone and I'll deliver it to the wilderness and that's all I really want."


JEREMY :
Yeah. Well, that's amazing.


ZAK :
And people think that's a little strange. Well. it is a little strange, but it's what I do. It's what I do and I've been doing it for a long time now and I've never charged money.


JEREMY :
Oh wow.


ZAK :
Now I look for supporters, but if someone gives me a stone, I won't ask for money and I won't even bring it up. It's just my way and it's just something that was taught to me by other Indians, to do your spiritual practice and to share with other people, you don't ask for money. You might tell people that you need some support in some way, but it's not contingent on you being able to do what you do or to share it with other people.


JEREMY :
And have you had people come back to you and say, "Hey this has had a really cool impact or great impact on my life."


ZAK :
I can tell you how it has made me feel. You know how drugs make you feel like you're elevated and on top of the world, or operating on a high frequency or vibration, not to talk like a New Ager again. But when you have been delivering stones for a little while, when you personally have a few stones you've been delivering, it's just something that you do, you know. We do lots of things in our lives. This is just one of the things that you could consider your spiritual food, or you can consider it your spiritual spice, you know, like it's a little salt and pepper that adds to what it is you're already doing. But for me, it's been my primary practice. When you feel like you have created this dream catcher or this spider web for your life and it just kind of like, lifts you up, it brings you a little bit closer to the light of God.


JEREMY :
Wow. That's pretty potent.


ZAK :
It just kind of increases your faith in God in a way that is solid like a rock. And so, that's my story. That's what I do. I can talk about it for a long time though.


JEREMY [narration]:
Alright, in the next part, Zak is going to tell us a little bit about his recent journey and how he met with some elders. It's really cool.


ZAK :
So about five years ago, I was invited to a ceremony on the day of a solar eclipse in 2012. I didn't know why, I just thought it was going to be a round dance. But this man had it in his mind that I have got to go. So, I went. I went and he knew what he was talking about because he had close relations with these elders at the time. His name was Ryan. I went there and I met the chairman of the tribe and he found out that I was a stone mover, just like Ryan knew I was a stone mover. And he said, "Well you've got to come to the summit, you have to come. Do whatever you can to make it." And it was only a few days away, so I went back into town, it was in Fernley, I camped out in Fernley, and went back up to that reservation, Pyramid Lake, and there it was, in a round dance on the day of the solar eclipse. And during the solar eclipse of 2012, May 20th, 2012, they had a ceremony there. I won't talk too much about it because it was too special. It was too special; it's something that could only probably share with someone off-camera. But anyway, it was a very special day, very, very special day. Some very mystical things happened during the course of that ceremony. And the elders who were there that day, three particular elders, asked everyone to do what they do for a year. It turns out, everyone who showed up for that event, for that ceremony, were prayer people of some kind, and I happened to have been one of those prayer people. And I looked around and I thought, "These people are singing songs I've never heard before. They're singing these ancient songs that I've never heard before and everybody around here seems to be some sort of holy person. And I'm leaving because I don't belong here." But I didn't leave. I didn't leave. And at the end of the ceremony, everyone was asked to do what they do for a year or longer. The option would be to do it for four years, if you wanted to do it for longer than a year. It was 2012 by the way, I don't know if you remember, it was a special year and there was a lot of hoopla and a lot of people were making claims and a lot of people were saying certain things and the Indians were telling everybody to just be calm. You know that saying?


JEREMY :
Oh yeah, "Stay calm and-" yeah.


ZAK :
Yeah. Well anyway, the Indians is we're just saying, "Stay calm; the world's not going to end, but this might be an opportunity for us to put our prayers together, put all of our practices and ways of praying together and see if we can make something happen." So that's why we were invited. We were told to go out into the world and do what we do for a year. Being a stone mover, there was no way I could say no. I had been waiting for someone to ask me to do this. What I did for the next four years was epic. Incredible. And it's not something that you are empowered to choose independently, you have to be asked to do this by somebody who is really, like a powerful elder-type medicine person. And those were the people who were there that day. Well, they asked everybody to do this. And so, I immediately--it took me a few minutes, but then I realized I had to do it and I did it and I did it for four years. I did a special type of stone moving that involves moving stones from sacred place to sacred place, so I wasn't accepting stones that belong to him or you to deliver. I was delivering stones that belonged to wilderness. I was taking stones that already belonged to God and they have been given to God at some point through the ages. Who knows, I don't know. But I was going from sacred place to sacred place and I happen to be someone who likes to go to mountain tops. So, I went to the highest peaks in America, or on the west coast, west part of America, moving stones from one peak to another for four years. That's what he did for four years and I finished in May. In May of last year, I finished.

 
JEREMY :
That is amazing, really?


ZAK :
Yeah. I went completely broke, I went through all of my money. At one point, I was so broke I was appealing to some of my spiritual supporters who I had known in the past. They were helping me a little bit along the way. But I also had a gas can, sometimes I had a sign, sometimes I was collecting cans and bottles. I was just asking random people to help me with gas money so I could make it to the next mountain - it was all about getting to the next mountain. 


JEREMY :
Yeah. Gotcha.

 
ZAK :
In year two, I ran out of money so I resorted to just doing whatever I could - getting a little bit of money. I mean, I was not averse to standing in front of a lumber yard and getting a day's work or a couple day's work. I had no money whatsoever and I wasn't really used to that, by the way, because I'm used to having--I was used to having a little bit of money throughout my life, so it was hard but it was something I was prepared for. And I knew that I had to do it because I was already 48 when I was asked that. And that's probably not something that you should choose to do when you're already that age. A stone mover is usually someone who is young and strong, you know, in their 20s or 30s. But I guess that there was nobody else to ask. There are no more stone movers, we're all gone. 


JEREMY :
Do you have any regrets about doing it? 


ZAK :
No. I had the time of my life; in fact, when it ended in May of last year I was a little bit sad, I  cried a little bit because it was over. I was really glad, but I was in the wilderness for four years. But that's good, we're done. I think we're done, are we?


JEREMY [narration]:
At this point in time we have to swap out the memory card in the camera. Yes, we were filming this and I will have that up at some point in time on YouTube and who knows where else. And yeah, so that's why it seems like all of a sudden, we're just done. But we're not! Oh no, we are not done. So, continue. Let's continue. 


JEREMY :
We're done? Okay. Yeah, if you want to be done - oh, if I can ask you just one more question, though. This is like something, in fact, I'd like to get this one on camera too. 


ZAK :
So, I'm just hoping that I'm doing the right thing by sharing this with people in this way, because this is what I decided to do. I don't--so I'm in uncharted territory. I've never actually conducted an interview of this kind - talking about what it is I do. You know, the first three years that I did it, it was actually a secret. That's how sacred it was. I didn't tell anybody. In year four, I decided to start telling people - I don't want this prayer tradition to die out. I want other people to do it.

 
JEREMY :
Well, and I respect it. I want you to know that, and I want you to know that if you told me, "You know what, Jeremy, I decided I don't want this at all out there." I would delete it. 


ZAK :
We'll give it a try.


JEREMY :
Okay cool, you let me know and I can run everything by you before I publish it, the audio and the video, so we can get your final word on that to make sure that you're comfortable with whatever it is that I put out. So, I just want you to be comfortable because I respect it, you know, especially when it comes to these sacred traditions. It's a really cool thing. So, I want you to be comfortable knowing that I'm going to take care of it for you and be respectful of it. 


JEREMY [narration]:
This is something that's very near and dear to Zak's heart and he hasn't shared this with the world. And this is his chosen medium for getting it out to the world. And because of that, I want to show the greatest respect for what is being talked about here. This is his gig, right? So here I'm just trying to assuage them a little bit and letting him know that I do respect it. So how cool, right? I really dig that. 


JEREMY :
Alright, cool. Well Zak Flying Around, I appreciate all of your time here. I just have one more question for you. I want you to imagine that you're walking along this path, however, there are no people on this path whatsoever, and all of a sudden out of nowhere - and you have to use your imagination here this is unrealistic - but all of a sudden, someone from another planet, you just know that this person is from another planet, appears. And for some reason, you understand them too; they speak an interesting form of English. And they ask you--well, they tell you first, "I'm here just for 10 minutes and I need to know what life is here. What does it mean? How do you yourself-" and it's only you, he or she is only asking you, no one else. You're kind of representing, I guess, humanity like, how you see and perceive life on this planet. What would you tell them? 


ZAK :
I'd say, "Welcome, welcome to this planet. How long are you staying? I happen to be someone who is a little bit closer to the Earth than some of these average folks here, and my beliefs are very unsophisticated, and I feel like I'm a little bit closer to this Mother Earth and - in this world, we breathe air that's very clean and we drink water that's very clean and we live under the light of one sun. The sun comes out during the day. At night, it disappears on the horizon over there. And they say that it goes to the other side of the world, which is true because we know these things. We're not dumb and we have science here in this world and we figured out a lot of different things. We are observant of the stone prayer. And I happen to be someone who delivers stone prayers for those who still believe in it. And I'm hoping it'll come back. And do you do the stone prayer?" So anyway, it's just like, I'm sharing this with the world now. And so, you're welcome to contact ZakFlyingAround@Yahoo.com.


JEREMY :
ZakFlyingAround@Yahoo.com. Okay, excellent. That's perfect. Thank you, Zak, seriously. Zak Flying Around, thank you so much for sharing your time and your knowledge. I know that you say you're not a wise man but I feel like you have wisdom to impart still to the world, so thank you so much. 


JEREMY [narration]:
Hey, thank you so much for checking out this episode of In The Shoes Of. If you like or don't like the podcast, feel free to leave a review or reach out to me. My email is JNickel@InTheShoesOf.Org. I'm Jeremy Nickel, the host and producer of the show. Until the next time, see you later.