From Foreword by Peter
of themselves joyously, and patched
together ersatz religious practices
and ceremonies to make life together
|In the spirit of the one-world
family, friends, acquaintances,
people on the road were living
together. There was a magic to
it, and I found a group of people
that became my new family.
At the start of one of the communes, a group took
the idea of the buffalo providing for the plains
people. To this they added New to create a name.
The New Buffalo was to be a new way of providing
for the people.
-- From the Introduction
On arriving at New Buffalo; “The
pull of the magic is great. Here we are,
after only three days, in the Southwest. I’m
amazed and just like always, enchanted more than
I can say. Our path is surely good.” --Pg.
- At New Buffalo are Chuck, Tahiti, and Larry,
a quiet blond-haired fellow who has been here
three years and is an excellent fellow. These
three lead wonderful quiet prayers in the evening
that start with “Heavenly Father God.” Steve
who has been here the longest, says a fine prayer
often at dinner that sounds about this way, “Bless
all the people on the road, and bless our parents.
Help us past our petty bickering to see the good
we can do together.” Pg 13
- We are here together, glad to have work. We
are all discussing the agriculture
scene. By next spring, I would certainly like
to be part of an effort producing some food.
Heavenly Father God, bless our lives and prosper
us and all our brothers and sisters who work for
a good life for all people. Pg. 14
- Electric band was really good in this fine big
house with lots of Anglos, Chicanos and a few
Indians from Taos Pueblo. Rick Klein was at the
party. I am told he put up the original $50,000
that got Buffalo off the ground. Pg. 15
- Everyone now is on the circle cleanup schedule.
The large kiva underground room, our neo-ancient
temple, is where we have Circle – hold hands
and pray before dinner…. Commune living
is like a crash course in living with people – how
to get along. Now communes are housing and feeding
people and are basically places where all people
can come together. Pg. 18
- Ears of corn dry over our heads. We sit on pillows
and rugs in our dirt house. In the dim light I
can make out the Buffalo skull on the wall. But
it’s the oneness, the love felt, which is
hard to convey. Pg. 20
- Pepe is just so welcoming and genuinely excited
to see just about anyone. Pg. 22
- Heavenly Father, my brothers and sisters: In
the renewed fight in South Asia, many people shall
die or be maimed and wounded. Bless these all.
May they somehow find some comfort in their suffering.
Here we live in peace. I hope soon that all men
will be able to live in peace. Pg. 24
- About 10 people, bringing a big salad, came
up from the Hog Farm to celebrate Tahiti’s
birthday. Fifty people here for dinner. Ten kids
sitting around the table. Pg. 27
- New Buffalo is looking very good. Every room
is occupied and well kept. The fields green, pastures
lush, work areas clean and tools all put away.
Twenty-nine of us all together here; a small commune;
only people that we are close with – a very
and Jason, recent--family love.
snoring in the circle – I can understand
the uptightness. I could go sleep up at
the open-air barn and be away from these
distractions; that is the trick, I believe.
We each find our place with Mother Earth
and use the big houses as centers of the
people’s culture – for the
service of the people. My thought is complex,
though, for I like a tight family and
quiet. Look within us to solve the problem.
God bless our open house and have my brothers
and sisters feel very good. Pg 45
- Written by Camille: There is good family love
here-sometimes it is totally diffused, but at
a scene like last night, the Buffalo’s had
so much love from each other that it grew and
engulfed all the 300 people in our home. Pg. 52
- July 5, 1972: Stars are out. “Heavenly
Father, let me accomplish the tasks I set before
myself.” A good way, I believe. I have my
health. What must I do in return? Be disciplined.
In time will come joy. “Thank you for whatever
that I have, this sure knowledge of what I must
do.” I am pleased with the setting, the
people, the land, and houses. I look within myself
and when I can do more, then my life will change
some more again, and the communes in which I live
will be at that much higher a level. “Bless
my mind that I may write humorously – tell
the tale well – so people can know the magic
and can taste our life together.”--Pg. 56
- Joe cooked excellent cornbread muffins. Many
people sitting around the table. It continues
to rain and blow. I love the rain. It’s
cozy here, sheltered in the earth with our broad
- Guest writer: Saturday night, a medicine meeting
took place on Lama Mountain. I was fortunate enough
to have a place within the Lodge~Praise the Lord!
I prayed for this place and the people. I feel
as though I received many blessings.--Pg. 63
– worked hard all day. Donald, who arrived
yesterday on his Harley, gave us some help. We
work because it is a commune job, and we work
for the commune – great trust, faith, and
spirit. --Pg. 64
- Ray writes on leaving: I would like to say,
from within my heart, that Buffalo the Family
has been a great blessing to me and I hope that
I may always be close to the people here. I love
you, everyone and may the Spirit guide and bless
you with the answer to your prayers. Peace on
the Earth, Goodwill to Men.--Pg. 73
- We had a picnic today at Garcia Park at about
11,000 feet in the mountains. This is our family –16
people and a good size – I rather like it.
Louisa whispers in my ear that she is not entirely
happy though. “What a revolution,” says
- Potatoes are stacked about 5 deep on shelves
made of chicken wire. The carrots are in a bin
with sand. Fine family we have here, as we get
ready to survive the winter.--Pg 81
- The meeting finally started about 10pm with
perhaps 15 people. Like a mirage, the white teepee,
pitched right in the courtyard, glowed in the
heart of the pueblo from its fire; the drum beat
all night long.--Pg. 83
- I am swearing off tobacco and liquor. They don’t
do anything good for me. Not that I consume that
much, but it hurts when I do.
- It’s a biblical scene here in our mud
and straw compound that could have existed 2000
years ago. And the love is no less genuine. Jason
got a bunch of presents, and he and Sandy opened
some of them in here with me. Pepe up first thing,
to get back to preparing the feast. About 25 people
are here. I sure am hungry.--Pg. 95
- Paul Rotman has been a great help to me and
I’m glad he is here. He has the same concern
as I do, to see that the woodpile is high. Today
he has taken the truck to Eagle’s Nest Lumber
Mill to buy mill ends. We have decided we shouldn’t
risk the deep snow in the forest. Through good
and bad, we stick together.--Pg. 97
- I just read about it, these last few weeks;
the United States government, once again, devastated
parts of North Vietnam with the most massive bombing
yet. The bombs weigh 500 lbs. apiece. What a terrible
beating these people take from the country I live
in. It is no wish of mine that they be beaten.
Think; what if we dropped a similar value of refrigerators
and generators and everything poor people can
use? That might do more good. They never think
to try that.--Pg. 98
- In the evening, a group of 10 young people came
to our home. They all are part of a private school
near Dallas, Texas, and are taking a course on
alternative lifestyles. As part of the course,
they have a house where a different group of people
live together each month.--Pg. 103
- We certainly are fortunate to have so much in
our society. Here we have great freedom, and we
have love for each other restricted only by our
own minds. Our path is peace. This we can hold
to, steadfast. Make this communal way prosper.
That is my idea.--Pg. 104
- I spent my last spare money on oranges and apples.
Today we broke the treasury on the wood run. The
last 40 cents went for lemons.--Pg. 106
Pg 108 - Paul asked me why I am here….
Still, locked in here somewhere, I think, is the
key to sharing wealth and hope for the future.
So I stay.
Pg.109 - This is potentially a good size farm.
The water can reach about 50 acres. I see we have
to clean the elaborate system. Here is the key
to the farm, and it is dawning on me how to unlock
The huge teepee is up and the floor covered with
sheepskins, blankets, and rugs. Tonight we go
in to pray for a good spring and for this place.
New Buffalo was started with a peyote meeting.
The ceremony joins the spirit of the new arrivals
and the Indians, and gives thanks to mother earth,
father sky, and Jesus, for our life.
- No reason why this small farm shouldn’t
flourish. Exciting idea. No sense in having this
trip take forever to get off the ground. I want
to do great things.--Pg 115
- Snow falls silently on our roof. Around the
fire in the circle sit 3 men in their blankets – one
of them chants. The 2 are Seiks that Sequoia met
in town and invited out to spend a night on their
journey. The third man is our own Pepe. Anything
genuinely spiritual, indigenous, ignites a flame
in Pepe.--Pg. 119
- Fine spring – good work. We are pioneers
in the commune way. Now to grow in strength and
knowledge and make this settlement prosper so
we may enjoy and share the good things of this
- It was real work, as prayer meetings are meant
to be. Up all night as the drum passes around,
one singing, one drumming. The peyote tea passes
around also. If one gets ill, they must ask permission
to be excused.--Pg. 135
- The Rio Hondo is running very clear. It is still
higher than it ever was last year. No houses in
sight, only trees, boulders and rushing waters.
It distorts people to have only buildings and
asphalt and nowhere for kids to have adventures.
Now to share the wonders without destroying them.--Pg.
- We are learning. We all hold hands and pray
before our evening meals, and we sing all the
songs we know. Through it all, we feel our way
of life will prosper; it is slow, but we are getting
stronger. How to live and survive and what is
good and right is becoming less of a mystery.
The cold winds are blowing up and our fires will
burn another year and we’ll do better. --Pg.
- I lay in the cold mists, as the deep forest
became light. In the distance I could just make
out a lone elk. I watched and drank in the moment,
too perfect to disturb.--Pg. 153
– (The Peyote Church followers): don’t
smoke marijuana, and they do offer their prayers
to Jesus Christ. Holly and Neil are quite Christian,
but the rest of us pretty much care as much for
Buddhism and Judaism and what have you, as we
do for Christianity.
In the afternoon we had a very beautiful wedding
with Reverend Grabener officiating. They were
married on an improvised altar, before the newly
sculpted buffalo on the adobe wall. It has the
buffalo skull above it and a buffalo robe on the
- I know I feel it; we have a powerful thing going
that is bigger than any of us.--Pg. 163
Pg. 171 - This is the start of a spiritual age….
We live in a meetinghouse…. We do pray
together every night holding hands…. Our
vehicle has paintings on it from 3 Indian cultures;
painted on in fine colors and figures by Pepe.
The most obvious spiritual connection; we work
more to serve each other and find a new path,
than to accumulate personal wealth.
- Here we are in the middle of a blizzard, snow
coming down thick…. Boy, oh boy, we’re
back in the farming business. The Heavenly Father
smiles on us and does not forget us. Though we
missed a good chance last year to plant all the
fields, we won’t miss this time.--Pg. 175
- No bag of corn or dried fruit does he carry,
but a bag of dog food – lack of consciousness – just
as a rich man may ignore the poor and may squander
millions, so the poor man plays the same fool
and thinks not of how he can help himself or others.
Pg. 181 – Helping the neighbors, Reb and
I finished the plowing in the moonlight….
Next, bring the equipment over to Jonathon’s.
From there it will go to David’s near the
Learning Center.--Pg. 178
– It takes It takes a long time and many
tests to find our brothers. “Brothers, find
your brothers” is a call of our time. Any
movement worth its salt, has its disappointments,
it’s betrayals, and its opportunists. Whose
mind is so subtle that it can see every mind?
I know there are some I don’t see. I hope
for my brothers and sisters to pick up on the
blind spots.--Pg. 183
- Ron gave me his last $100. He is a solid brother,
working for the same things I am for. He believes
that our life is a practical way to forward brotherhood
and world peace as I do. He is serious and works
at the tasks at hand.--Pg. 184
- I am realizing more and more that the elite
who control the economy are going to have to be
gotten off their throne. Land of equality with
such disparity is farce. More and more I believe,
that in my lifetime, I should see some major change
take place in this area.
The commune is a natural alternative to the life
style of consumption. I’ve still got a notion
in the back of my head, that this may play a role
in the future of this country’s economics.
With roots in the soil, with people being close
to some essentials, there would be less insecurity
about the often-slipping numbers of jobs. With
more working people not so dependent on the jobs
offered by the big corporations, we would perhaps
be able to depose those people who guide our economy
into such conspicuous consumption.
- All of a sudden, we are pretty much home free.
The corn can go without another irrigation – the
squash too. The wheat is turning yellow and the
kernels are full. The oat fields look uniform.
The alfalfa looks fresh, over a foot tall. We
live in such abundance. A bunch of poor people,
we are still able to scrape up what we need to
patch and glue this scene together.--Pg. 200
- Walking down the back road, holding Sandy’s
hand, I told her she’s the only gal for
me now.--Pg. 202
- At least 12 guests here. Guest scene has been
pretty mellow, but almost none of these people
are food-conscious enough to contribute something
to our kitchen. Very good though, the way people,
for some reason, feel a part of the place.--Pg.
– guest writer: Kim led the barley harvest,
which looks good. Threshing next.
Everyone working very hard and well together.
Spirits seem higher than they have for some time.
Shorter days, longer nights. I think many are
looking towards quieter times this winter. Kitchen
doing excellent. We must really consider ourselves
wealthy with all the blessings, which have been
given us.--Pg. 209
- We hooked up the circle stove for the first
time tonight and put springs on the doors. We
can still have the open fire for ceremonies, but
the stove gives more heat for less wood.--Pg.
- In discussing the horses, we are working out
our ideas of commune: of what we, and those to
follow, are to do, to make our “dream” a
reality. I want us to create an economic enterprise
that can continue without the overseer of a private
-Our real hope is the farm. With a farm behind
us, we’ll have a new life. That’s
our problem now; to make it until the farm is
really producing.--Pg. 215
- One segment of society sees fear and despair.
For us, it is hope and the promise of a future
not dominated by the present culture that
we have dropped out of.--Pg. 217
- Thanks to Holy Cross Hospital. It’s a
very modern medical establishment, which has never
refused help to anyone that I know of. Bring in
some poor folk and they take 'em right in.--Pg.
– About the founding of New Buffalo: When
the nucleus group came to look at this piece of
land, they saw a mountain lion – a good
sign. They liked the site and the price was right.
They decided to buy…. They bought some
teepees and a $5000 tractor. On or about June
21, 1967, an improvised peyote meeting was held
around a fire, in the open, under the full moon.
A coffee can and plastic top had to serve for
a drum. Fellow Randy Rand was there, who is a
good singer and was the drummer. Steve Hinton
carried cedar. This was our official beginning
at New Buffalo.--Pg. 223
- Quite a good harvest of beans and corn were
brought in at least 1 year. A pretty great flow
of people also started with the first spring.--Pg.
- Now we are headed for the ’75 growing
season, where we are going to look like a prosperous
farm. After 8 years, we’ve had more than
a 1000 people come through; several hundred have
lived here. Out of these are some 15 adults, all
turned onto developing a successful ranch, who
are at New Buffalo now. Quite a story. --Pg. 224
- I’ve been reading about the old times….
Through all those times, we had the spirit and
conviction to stick it out…. I’m
glad we could do it so happily. I’m glad
its over now, and we are into a higher plane,
a more productive stage. I am stronger, and my
days of such complete ignorance are behind me.
Thank God.--Pg. 225
- World peace, brotherhood, service to your fellows,
respect for teachers, love for God, group consciousness:
these things I am for, and they are found in many
ways. It seems rather narrow and naïve to
expect everyone to give up his or her good leaders
and solid beliefs to follow one way. Peace does
not require it, nor prosperity nor art.
Everyday I go out in the fields. I watch the cows
graze, and I look at the many plants. I can feel
the wonder there, which will be evident when the
sun brings the scene to life.--Pg. 226
Pg. 228 - I finished preparing one place for plowing.
I’m feeling good and looking forward to
the next day. I want to be so immersed in the
work, the movement. I’m just getting to
see, once in a while, what it could feel like
to be really alive. Super energy – strong – clear.
- I believe we are supposed to achieve real production
with extra for trade. To me, it is a challenge.
I’ve known we could do it, even before I
could see how. I hung on through those tough years
with certain faith. Now I can see much more clearly
what the elements are we need… The commune
is just a bunch of houses and people without an
enterprise. Such communes fail. They fail to sustain
the people, and like Reality and Morningstar,
they cease to exist.--Pg. 230
- Here we share driving and maintaining the trucks
and tractor. We share cooking and shopping. When
we mud, it is a joint operation. When we get wood,
it is a variety of people who handle it. When
we irrigate, no one tries to do it alone. When
we plant the garden and order seeds, it is a group
– After visiting Ortiviz ranch, Libre, Red
Rockers, Farracita Farm it : Seems, the commune
scene is doing well. Still, of course, we have
our problems; short of money, poor vehicle condition,
the give and take between more communal and less
communal. Basically all these things are small
compared to the reality of a close family, lots
of energy and resourcefulness. People seemed happy
to me, a little heavy smoking by some. Kids are
free and have lots of room, food, and friends.
Feels great to be there; they’re all family
to me. --Pg. 240
– Commenting on the Vietnam War: Patriotism
and virtue mixed up with money-hungry, powerful
capitalists. The US spent $150 billion, I believe,
on the Vietnam War. All the slick McNamaras, all
the wealthy generals and captains of industry,
could never conceive of spending such funds to
build, to help. They love their extravagant modern
weapons and munitions. And with all their intelligence
and war colleges they could never see what I could
see. They had created a myth. Our leaders reinvented
history saying there was not a popular revolution
because the VC had foreign help. Like didn’t
France help us win our revolution? They were blind
to the size and power of the popular forces and
the righteousness of their complaints. After fighting
for so long, they became so immensely powerful
that the end now is involving little fighting
It is amazing to me to read about the ending of
a war that for 10 years, I have wanted to see
resolved. I wish we could have spent that money
in a barrage of aid. Where is the dream to improve
the lot of mankind? In World War II we did so
well. I never questioned the greatness of the
US. But here we stumbled. Can’t get it right
all the time. --Pg. 241
- This is what we counter, unending development.
The trend to get everyone into cities – abandoning
small farms – getting people to buy all
they need. We keep building cities, freeways,
suburbs, and shopping centers. It’s disturbing.
Our culture is so addicted to building, as though
the earth were expanding beneath our feet. Us,
I see as an alternative, not dependent on having
jobs building cities and roads, destroying the
natural landscape. I would rather see us spread
out in the country, oriented to the land and streams
and plains; not oriented to the commute and pavement.--Pg.
- I marvel at our little earth pueblo in the snow;
brown buildings against a white low sky and white
ground. It looks mystic and like a vision. Inside
very quiet and swept; empty floor in the circle
except for the 4 pillars of wood, the big cedar
table, and fire platform in the center, and stove – simple
uncluttered, spacious, like a Mosque.--Pg. 268
- A few weeks ago, Sylvie and her kids just met
us and now 4 complete strangers have been accepted
into the heart of our lives, into our home, and
to share in our work. This traveling musician
Carolyn has taken advantage of our hospitality
and stays here frequently – has her own
room. The other night, a stranger passing through
was referred to us by Taos Social Services as
a place to stay overnight.--Pg. 270
- Max Finstein is in town; I saw him at the dance.
He was very happy and proud to see me. I’ve
picked up the dream, so to speak, and stuck with
it, and I know it helps make all the good things
Max has believed in seem like they still have
a chance…. That’s a magic moment
when you haven’t seen someone like that
in some time, but with whom you are mystically
tied. Because of fate, we’ve come to do
a big thing together.-- Pg. 272
- He hears tales and rumors of Buffalo when he’s
away, and they’re saying good things about
his baby – big family taking care of people,
real farm, still pray together, eat together,
work together. And he knows I’m his man
working in there for him and for ideas that are
so essential to us that we don’t even ever
really talk about them.
I introduced Max to Mike Pots: In a year Mike
won’t spend a dime on potato chips or candy,
to say nothing of beer. Not a cent wasted, and
he works hard for any money he can get, and he
saves it for pet projects of improvement for the
commune…. And to him as to me, the commune
is a basic ingredient for our survival in this
- Commune is a place for a family group to live
together and work together, not a catch all for
an unrelated bunch of hard luck cases. There is
the ebb and flow. It is important to have guests
and friends visit and to be able to teach.--Pg.
- Ron the mystic. With Ron ideologically, I am
the closest I guess. He believes commune members
should be politically conscious – conscious
of helping create a better world – see the
commune as important part of our society. But
ideology means what? “Words are turds on
the backs of birds,” says Pepe.--Pg. 279
- Kim is a great fan of the commune and this is
important. To him what we have is a dream coming
true. So it is for me too
- Can the people slow down the pollution, even
reverse it? Can we achieve real disarmament, less
world tensions and apply our resources to the
accumulating problems of mankind? Will we further
brotherhood and one day not have such a divided
world? I certainly still believe we will get there.--Pg.
– Pepe has: “great powers of communication,
talking about freedom, love and peace and revolution;
that’s the word now, revolution, in the
bi-centennial year. The whole country is celebrating
our old revolution. So how about digging some
of the new revolution!--Pg. 286
--We hope to inspire people to live this way.
We want people to feel good knowing that there
are mellow, down to earth places, where they can
find friendship; a place to feel at home with
the earth, where people respect you as a traveler
and a seeker.
Power to the people. The resources are in our
hands to do great works. More will come if we
do well with what we have. May peace continue
and grow as we persevere toward the fulfillment
of our dreams.--Pg. 289