Peace Vision founder Laynee Reyna honored on MLK Day​ 2023

Our beloved, dedicated, strong and wise founder, Laynee Reyna, was honored on January 16, 2023, along with two other wonderful folks, to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Deepest gratitude and so much love to our dear Laynee Reyna, peacemaker and lightworker who has tirelessly strived to help raise the consciousness of humanity for the benefit of all life on earth. Please see a special tribute below...

A Tribute to Laynee Reyna, by Sue Averett

For the Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony happening on MLK Day 2023

I have known Laynee for 27 years, being closely involved with her workshops, teachings, ceremonies and events, such as the annual CA Indian Market and World Cultural Festivals held in San Juan Bautista. I served for years on the Board of her non-profit, One Earth One People Peace Vision, and was very touched and humbled by the trust she and her soul-mate partner Sonne Reyna showed me a year ago when they invited me to take over the direction of the Peace Vision, so that they could relax into their well-earned retirement to create art and write more books. Having been so very blessed as to experience myriad wondrous things with Laynee (and Sonne too), I feel very qualified to comment on some of the reasons this strong, powerful-yet-gentle wise woman, is so deserving of this award today, Martin Luther King Day.

Many times I have listened with rapt attention to her stories of growing up living close to the land in coastal New England, picking berries and digging clams, learning the ways of plants, animals and the cycles of nature. She has shared some excruciatingly painful stories of her time as a surgical nurse during one of the wars, doing what she could to rehabilitate young soldiers who were severely wounded. I’ve also heard Laynee tell with great excitement the stories of her days as the pilot of a private plane. I think this has been one of the biggest joys in her world, and still is. She told me that even though she is not still piloting, a friend took her recently up in his plane, which made her heart swell with delight, and she hopes to go again soon. Her book A Brief Interlude: Somewhere in Salinas tells of her magical flying experiences.

Laynee’s book Wolf Dreamer of the Longest Night Moon is one that stays close to my bedside as I read it every year at the Winter Solstice, which is when Laynee was born. She has also marked this date for many years by leading a ceremony to welcome the light early in the morning at the San Juan Bautista Mission, alongside the priest there and her husband Sonne, an annual event that many look forward to sharing with them.

I have heard so many stories from Laynee about the times she and Sonne attended and participated in the Sun Dance in the Dakotas with the Crow Dog family including Chief Leonard Crow Dog and his wife Mary Crow Dog (who later became Mary Brave-Bird and penned the book Lakota Woman). They all shared many adventures together, and Laynee would do an annual clothing and funds drive for some of the impoverished tribes in that area.

Laynee has always been involved with creating and sharing programs and events designed to educate and uplift humanity. The non-profit she founded, One Earth One People Peace Vision, was designed as a vehicle for peacemaking activities of all kinds, including educational workshops on native wisdom and how to incorporate it back into our daily lives at a time when humanity has gone off course. All of us have had indigenous ancestors, somewhere back in time, who knew how to live in harmony and balance on the earth and had a reverent respect for all of life on this planet and in the universe. Laynee’s work, together with Sonne, has been all about bringing this awareness back to a humanity so in need of it.

I cherished being part of setting up and assisting with many of the CA Indian Markets and World Cultural Festivals, for there was such a sense of the sacred… these were not just fun events, but holy gatherings of diverse peoples in unity, sharing lives, arts, crafts, food, dance, music, song, and prayers together as one. If you would like to know more about these events and see some of the colorful photos from those times, please go to the current website for the Peace Vision, which may be found at Both the past history of the organization and current happenings may be found there, along with a Founders page dedicated to the work and lives of both Laynee and Sonne. These soulmates have traveled the earth to speak out for peace and unity, even presenting two different times at the United Nations. They have worked together and individually, tirelessly, to uplift humanity so that the world can be a safe and happy one for people, animals, nature and all of life.

Another memorable thing about Laynee … she had a most strong, meaningful friendship with Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who pioneered the movement to better understand death and dying. Laynee cherished her times with Elizabeth, and wrote some stories about her time with her dear friend, and the impact Elizabeth had on her life, and the lives of millions.

I’d like to close this by speaking of a few of my most cherished memories with my precious Laynee. She has been such a guiding light and open-hearted friend to me.

• First and foremost, Laynee officiated the wedding of Erick and me back in 2008, almost 15 years ago! She did such a divinely spirited job of guiding us through our ceremony and our vows, and Sonne led us all through several wonderful native blessing songs. Erick and I have a video of this event that we watch every year on our anniversary. It is sheer magic. We all share a strong bond of such love.

• One year when my daughter Ariana was 11 years old, I brought her with me to a Wiping Tears ceremony facilitated by Laynee and Sonne atop Fremont Peak in Hollister. A huge fire was built on that already hot summer day, and about 30 people came and circled up around the fire to share their stories of grief and sorrow, their prayers for release and healing, and their intentions for a brighter future. As the talking stick came around several times during that day, my sweet Ariana would stand up and speak her own heart. It was her first introduction into ceremony, and I was amazed that she was able to sit with that circle of mostly adults all day long, but she did and she loved it, and she learned much that day about sacred ways. We also all enjoyed seeing the meteor shower that happened that night, as we lay in our tents contemplating the universe.

• In 2001 I published a book, an anthology, called The Ways of Spirit: 30 Visionaries Share Philosophies, Paths and Practices, featuring folks from many cultures and spiritual practices. Both Laynee and Sonne contributed heartfelt chapters to the book, and Laynee invited me to have my first book-signing event at Reyna’s Art Gallery in San Juan Bautista, where she and Sonne sold native art, jewelry, books and items for ceremonies and such. Several of the contributing writers joined us that day along with dear friends and family members. It was such a memorable time, and I remember Laynee radiating such love-light. I truly appreciate her sweet honoring of the project and the process of bringing together the folks who shared their stories within it.

• I had the pleasure of attending several art shows and events where Laynee’s own beautiful paintings were featured. She studied art as a young adult and has always taken time to paint. She LOVES to paint. We have a few pieces of her art in our home, including a large framed print of Laynee’s teacher, Bernice Torres, medicine song woman, on the wall at the entry into my Reiki studio. An award-winning piece that I so cherish.

• I was privileged to attend a few inipis/sweat lodges with Laynee and Sonne, and some amazing kindred spirits, including their nephew Paul Rubio who led the first inipi I attended. I have so loved and appreciated all the sacred ceremonies I’ve been blessed to experience over the years that have supported the spiritual growth and awareness of myself and many others, opening eyes, minds, arms, and especially hearts.

Lastly, I’d like to mention that Laynee has created such a beautiful family of children and grandchildren, and I believe there may be some great-grandchildren as well. She is a most caring nurturer who has raised strong, independent and talented children into gifted adults, including the two I’ve had the privilege of knowing these many years, Laynee’s daughter Jamiel, who walks confidently and wisely in her mother’s footsteps, and son Johnny, a most brilliant, talented musician. There is always much love to go around in this family.

Huge congratulations Laynee Reyna for this recognition awarded you today!! You have earned it, and you continue to share your light and your heart with this world. Deepest gratitude and many blessings to you for being a cherished part of my world and ALL the world…. Oha!

Our Peace-Up for the Planet event in June, a fundraiser for the World Central Kitchen, was a tremendous success! Thanks to all who volunteered their time to make the evening spectacular, and to all who attended and had a great time! More photos in our photo album.