Update! Picnic at Raintree – May 21st, 2017


A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat (1884)

We are super excited to visit Raintree next Sunday! Nine people have committed to going on this picnic, which is the biggest group size we were willing to organize for this adventure. We will be providing sandwiches (if you’d like a vegetarian sandwich, let Andreas know ahead of Sunday), and a 4-pack of canned wine. We will also bring blankets, utensils, and all the accouterments for picnicking.

Here are the pertinent details:

  • 9:15 am: Meet at Santa Fe Station, Top Floor of North Parking Garage
  • 9:30 am: Caravan to North Loop Trailhead 
    • Located at the saddle of Deer Creek Rd (NV-158)
    • Detailed driving instructions at bottom of post
  • Including lunch, the hike should take no more than 4 hours total.

We encourage you to bring a side – fresh fruit, potato salad, dessert, beverages, etc. Let Andreas know what you plan on bringing so we don’t have people bringing the same stuff, and so we can cover any gaps for a square meal!

We also want you to bring sturdy shoes, sunblock, sunglasses, and plenty of water to account for a 6 mile hike. Andreas will have a first aid kit, but you are welcome to bring additional supplies.

Finally, we ask that you bring a positive attitude and an awareness for the environment. The Spring Mountains are a wonderful and pristine escape from this crazy city life. Let’s keep it that way by packing out anything we bring in, and by avoiding glass bottles.

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Much love,

Andreas and Diana


Detailed Driving Instructions:

  • Take 95 N 6.5 miles from Santa Fe Station to Kyle Canyon Rd (NV-157)
  • Turn left and continue for 17.5 miles
  • Turn right onto Deer Creek Rd (NV-158)
  • Continue 4.8 miles. Trailhead is on the left
  • 36°18’32.5″N 115°36’42.3″W


Join us for Picnic Under Raintree – May 21st, 2017.

The UCO is organizing its first hike and picnic of 2017! Come and join us as we hike into the Spring Mountains and into the bristlecone pine grottos, home of the famous 3,000 year old “Raintree.” Once we arrive at the site, we will unload a picnic and have some laughs. 1/3 mile further is Mummy Springs – a natural mountain spring with a lush meadow and stunning vistas of the valleys and ranges north of the Spring Mountains.

RSVP on our facebook page!



“The Raintree” photo courtesy of vegas360.com

The hike to Raintree is moderate, to moderately strenuous. Total mileage is about 6 miles to and from our destination, with a total elevation gain of 1,400 ft. We encourage anyone to join in the fun with the caveat that there is a decent amount of physical exercise and stress involved. Hiking shoes, sun hats, sunglasses, sunblock, and plenty of water are all essential items each picnicker needs on this event. More detailed information on the hike can be found by visiting this website, and scrolling down to “Mummy Springs.”


Beefcake, the official Unizen Dog, looks out into the Spring Mountain Range at Mummy Springs

Unizen hikes are a chance for our community to come together and enjoy some fresh air. Our philosophy is to respect and admire the natural beauty; to utilize the day for conscious living; and to enjoy good eats and a few laughs. Anyone able to complete this hike is welcome to join us. Anyone unsure of their abilities can either challenge themselves, or join us next time for a more leisurely excursion.

RSVP on our facebook page!

Mummy Spr & WHC Lp Elev

Possible loop route. Photo courtesy of hikedescriptions.blogspot.com


Fauna growing near Mummy Springs




Unizens Get Out of the City

Chris and Andreas decided to get out of Las Vegas and explore the Sheep Mountains, located directly north of the Las Vegas Valley. The Sheep Mountains are a part of the Desert National Wildlife Reserve, the biggest NWR in the United States outside of Alaska. With a few thousand feet in elevation change, the fauna and atmosphere change. Snow, 100 foot tall douglas firs, and vistas of Nevada are unknown to the city-dwellers.

“Get out of the city” is a recommended activity suggested by Volume I – Gratitude, a booklet published and distributed by the UCO. To learn more about this publication, visit our store, or view/download a digital version for free here.

Local Hero, Entrepreneur, and Amateur Astronaut, Andreas Sparkuhl, Decides to Get off His Ass.


Andreas Sparkuhl in Rhyolite, NV

After roughly 7 years of half-dedicated thought, Andreas Sparkuhl, Founder and President of the Universal Citizens Organization (UCO), has decided to get off his ass, and put a little more work into his company. “It’s been a long time coming. There’s a lot of work to do, and as an entrepreneur, it’s important to get that work done,” Sparkuhl said. “The past few years have been great. I’ve done a lot of thinking, and now those thoughts are ready to turn into something tangible.”

Sparkuhl founded the UCO in 2013. The concept of the company is to provide a common cultural platform for people to identify with, and subsequently, connect, create, and learn new skill sets that lead to an improved lifestyle. “To me, American culture has devolved into a entitlement-based culture. We are living in the age of the ‘Participation Trophy’ and I think a lot of people don’t like the direction that we are headed. My goal is to create a space where people of a common vein – a value-first vein – can collaborate. It’s all about meaningful experiences, and meaningful relationships.”

Membership for the UCO is nebulous. There are no barriers to join, and participation with the UCO is optional for its members, according to Sparkuhl. “Anyone can be a ‘Unizen,’ it’s not a private club, it’s an invitation. A Unizen is anyone who wants to grab life by the horns and give meaningful experiences a chance. It’s anyone who is tired of complacency, and wants to leverage their free will into something special. I’m just trying to give people something to reference, and a gathering hall so that you don’t feel like it’s a solo-ride. There are a lot of people like us that want this kind of lifestyle.”

Volume I – Gratitude is now available for readers to view. “Yeah, it’s still a very rough draft. I hope that it will always be a draft, that the finished version will never be achieved, because life is always changing, and so should the literature.” Gratitude is a 48 page booklet with ideas on paradigms for grateful living. It includes 20 activities that promote this grateful attitude. “Anyone can do the things listed in Gratitude. It’s really common-sense stuff.” Gratitude is available for digital download here, or a physical copy can be purchased on the Unizen Store here for $1.

Sparkuhl expects more developments and events to be revealed this Spring as he really puts his ass in motion. “Hopefully we will be having a lot of fun these next few weeks. I really hope so, because this work is going to kick my ass.”

UCO Bonfire

It’s an ancient thing, getting together and talking around a fire. It’s way better than everyone watching a movie or being on their phones. It’s refreshing. We should do this more often.

UCO Bonfire

We will be doing it again, Unizen. Our first of many to come – UCO Bonfires debuted last week. We had a deep connection to the elements around us, and were able to experience life in the present. The value of ‘Presence’ has been the topic of many conversations this month (both on our blog and in person). It is truly an underestimated concept in our day and age. But it wasn’t all metaphysics and philosophy. We laughed, we ate, and we roasted marshmallows for our Reese’s s’mores!

View more photos of the bonfire on our Facebook page. And don’t forget to give us a thumb’s up!


Also, keep an eye out for our next bonfire, and do join us! Visit our Calendar of Events for more info.

Siddhartha the Novel

Book cover courtesy of Barns & Noble

“We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.”

Siddhartha by Herman Hess is an incredible story of a man living in India during the time of the Gautama Buddha. The novel follows the man’s journey of insight, self-discovery and enlightenment. It is hardly a novel, because the book is a very light read and under 100 pages. Despite hitting upon very profound and timeless concepts, the prose is simple and clear.

Siddhartha was first published in 1922 in German. The continued success and relevance of the novel for over 90 years is a clear token of its limitless potential to inform and guide the reader in any age at any age. Please take the 3 hours necessary to learn this story, and carry it with you until you achieve Nirvana!

Buy the book on Amazon, here, or read it for free online at the Gutenberg project.

Enlightened Consciousness of Facebook

success and inspiration

This is a typical post from the very inspiring facebook page, Enlightened Consciousness. I encourage you to like their page and receive a dose of wisdom once a day in your newsreel. For those of you who don’t have a facebook, or aren’t convinced yet, here are a few more posts that might get you thinking:

my religion is kindness


osho quote


silence is beauty


stillness and chaos



iphone battery life


Not too bad, eh? Guess what: All these posts were from TODAY AND YESTERDAY ONLY. That’s right, whoever is behind this page has a lot of wisdom and media to share, so check it out!

<<Enlightened Conscioussness>>

enlightened consciousness logo


Your Brain is Not You

JANUARY 31st, 2014

There is not much to say, except this video is AMAZING. Please take a moment to hear what Jill Bolte Taylor has to share. Oh, and yes, that’s a human brain she’s holding.

This video was found on a clever little list: The 20 most popular TED Talks. If you haven’t seen at least 3 of the videos on that list, you’ve got some catching up to do!


I discovered this:

We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.

That’s a quote by Alan Watts. Incredibly useful thoughts to supplement the above TED Talk.

Goldspike Hot Springs Hike

JANUARY 20th, 2014

I didn’t know that there are springs so close to town. I might just come here all the time.

We went to the Goldspike Hot Springs! It was a great hike with lots of obstacles, but a great reward in the end: The gang in the spring

We had a dip in very agreeable water – at 90+ degrees on a 60 degree day, we couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Our muscles were soothed by the warm underground waters, and we hiked back to the car refreshed and invigorated! Thanks to our Unizens who came along for the journey: David, Diana, Andreas, Jackie, Donnie and Stephen!

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

JANUARY 17th, 2014

Spend less time worrying who’s right, more time deciding what’s right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.

Kaboom. That’s about as legit as it gets. It’s a small excerpt from an excellent grouping of sentences written by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. and provided for here. The words take no more than 2 minutes read, and – if truly understood – will stay with you for a lifetime!


Mr. Brown courtesy of davidkiyokawa.com