September 28, 2013

Feature Article: Boundless Thunder

submitted by Amara Charles Back
 Dedicated to Dianne Nightbird Regan and those who shall carry the legacy of Thunder Strikes into the future. Photo:Kelly Clampitt

The words of certain people ring through our spirits long after they have crossed over into the Great Round. And as Thunder Strikes now makes this Great Journey, his voice, his words, his presence, and his boundless heart shall continue his quest through the heavens. He was a beloved Twisted Hairs Nagual of the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path of Turtle Island, Pioneer of the Quodoushka teachings, and my great teacher and friend.

Whenever someone needed a friendly jolt from depression, he’d often say:

‘Depression is natural. Your Natural Self is telling you you need to go inwards to think about about what you’re doing. So go inside and see what needs to be seen. And Then:

Get Busy. Stay Busy. And do something creative for others. That’s it. If you do this, it’s impossible to stay depressed. ‘

And for me, it was impossible to stay depressed when I was with him, for his profound perceptions came like thundering bolts of relentless inspiration for us to take responsibility for everything we do, to free think, and do what matters.

Whenever I was in his presence, especially in the last few years, even though he lived, breathed and laughed as a warrior, at times it felt like you were sitting beside a wise grandmother. You could feel the soft glow in his eyes that seemed to be peering into something beyond what I could see. He had a way of unscrambling your doubts,  setting matters straight and then challenging you to question everything. And always, he always urged you to to stretch for ‘The More’. You could count on that.

One night, years ago when I was in his living room watching a movie into the wee hours of the morning, barely able to stay awake, I started to lean over on the couch for a little nap. He laughed and said, ‘Wake up! Time to go home.’ He was wide awake and he didn’t care for people falling asleep in his presence.

Through the years, in his sometimes defiant stories and usually irreverent humor, he passionately cajoled people to discover the meaning of ‘The Razor’s Edge’, ‘Benevolent Compassion’, ‘Staffs of Power’ a ‘Path with Heart’, becoming a ‘Magnetic Attracting Thought Space’ transcending ‘Circles of Loss’ and ‘Harnessing the Light’, to name just a few of his brilliant thought spaces that shall live through the lives of many.

Everyone I know who met him, and even those who met him only through his teachings, has their own personal kaleidoscope filled with gems illuminated by his magnetic mind. And I know he’s counting on us to continue walking into Dharma, entering the Fifth World with dignity, discipline and sincere love for Self, Life and Others.

Now, whenever I hear Thunder Striking, I shall gaze into the places inside me that are asleep to my highest potential. I will confront my own complacency and seek to harness the light of my being for the greatest good of the people. Most of all, I will smile inside remembering the magical, mystical gateways you, Thunder Strikes inspired me, and so many others to boldly walk through, seeking to discover who we truly are.

I am very happy you lived to see the Quodoushka teachings spread far and wide around the world. Thanks for daring us to walk in beauty.  I am certain your remarkable teachings shall continue to generate more health, hope, happiness, harmony and humor in the body, minds and spirits of those who have loved you for always, since always, even as now.

Farewell and Blessings on your journey.

p.s. If you’d like to honor Thunder Strikes memory, (and see an incredible Mirihangi concert in tribute to his, and his wife Dianne Nightbirds’ Dream of sharing the voices of the of the Eight Great Powers) You can donate, or purchase tickets here.

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dear Amara,

thank you for your beautiful way of putting it in words. I only have known him since 2010 and can feel what you are talking about. and of cause there is much more I can not image because I never was that close to him.
all the best
big hug
Karsten, Germany, Bad Belzig


Thank you so much for this wonderful article Amara! This is the first I’ve heard of Thunder Strikes’ passing, and I must admit that on a personal level I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to sit in his presence in recent times to experience him before he passed. Your article, wonderfully written, brings back great memories from when I was experiencing his teachings in person. I will always hold him and the Sweet Medicine teachings in the highest regards as they helped develop such powerful core understandings and experiences in my being. I so honor him for his ice-breaking boldness in bringing these teachings out in such a Beauty Way. Blessings to you also for continuing to bring this knowledge to us in your beautiful way!
Gary Hendrickson

Stacy Freeman says


Love the way you write, I felt the sadness the joy and the profound affect Swift had on you and me and others , thank you!!!
Thinking of you,
Black Quail

shyena says

Thank you amara, he was a great Man & Teacher we will all miss him.. & live the teachings he taught us with love & Vigor

kelly clampitt says

Great article and really does do him “justice”….like he would say…”it just is” He had a big heart and a crusty exterior…here is one more saying “hungry educated tupuli”