Sunshine Dalton, For The Nonpareil
Yoga and meditation instructor Sue Moon amassed an understanding of
the healing arts in different homes across the nation and more htan
60 years of life.
"I started traveling in the winter of 1966," Moon said. "I moved to
Denver and lived in a Gold Rush mansion that had been cut up into apartments."
With typing and shorthand skills, Moon held various secretarial positions.
"That's when the hippy movement came on the scene," Moon said. "These
people had long hair and wore really odd clothes and were called
Moon recalled seeing her first game of Frisbee at the time.
"I was starry eyed and ready for adventure," Moon said. "I dropped out."
She quit her job and moved to Mexico City where she learned about
textiles, weaving and symbolic design. She described the city as
"I moved to Berkley, Calif., in 1969 and came in at People's Park,"
She was there on "Bloody Thursday," May 15, 1969, when Berkley and
University police officers fired tear gas canisters into a crowd of
"Berkley was a revolutionary hotspot," Moon said.
While there, Moon attended free concerts featuring Jimi Hendrix,
Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, The Blues
Project and Blues Image.
"I learned to be a weaver and a spinner and sat on Telegraph Avenue
and sold my wares," Moon said. "I started doing yoga at the Berkeley
Working as a nanny, Moon taught the children yoga and became serious
about organic cooking. The family she worked for moved to
Philadelphia and Moon went with.
"We went camping in a Volkswagen bus across America. We went through
all the national parks," Moon said. "The trip was off the beaten path."
Sad news awaited Moon in Pennsylvania.
"We had been on the road about a month when my brother was killed in
a car accident," Moon said. "It was kind of a reality check."
She took a Greyhound bus back to her mother and father, Jim and Jean
Couch, in Ralston, Neb.
"My brother was signed up for nursing school so I took his position,"
Moon said. "I stayed for two years and took classes at Omaha School
She eventually worked in nursing programs all over America. In
Sumneytown, Penn., Moon worked with Visiting Nurses Association in a
"Death and Dying" program where people said good-bye to loved ones at home.
"During 1975 and 1976, I was at Kripalu Yoga Ashram," Moon said. "I
worked under Yogi Amrit Desai."
For awhile, she ran the center's kitchen, which fed 200 people
regularly and only bought produce from local Amish farmers.
"I learned how to make yogurt," Moon said. "It was a great time."
Before marrying Tim Moon of Council Bluffs in 1978, Moon would live
in Brooklyn, N.Y., Albuquerque, N.M., Hawaii and Los Angeles.
"Tim worked at the Christian Home," Moon said. "His dad was Captain
R.D. Moon on the Council Bluffs Fire Department. He was 6-foot-7 and
everyone called him 'Big Ralph.'"
The coupled visited Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Ark., and
stayed for three years.
"We didn't come back from that trip except to pack up and move down
there," Moon laughed. "I became the assistant director of the
meditation retreat and growth center."
They had children and decided Council Bluffs was the place to raise
them. Moon's three children - Michael, Cooper and Willa - still live
in the area.
"We moved back in 1984, I became a massage therapist in 1985 and
opened the center in 1991."
Morning Dove Retreat operated on the corner of Stutsman and Bloomer
streets for 10 years. Moon taught meditation, yoga, Reiki and more.
"That was a busy center." Moon said. "I did a lot of workshops all
around the Loess Hills, all about organic cooking and healing."
Moon partnered with Dixie Clark in 2002 and opened Morning Star - A
Center for Counseling and Change, in Ralston, Neb.
"This is definitely a spiritually-guided counseling center," Moon
said. "We have classes and sessions six nights a week."
Moon has seen a lot of landscapes and loves the Midwest most.
"I love Iowa and Nebraska," she said. "My grandpa had an 80-acre farm
in Nodaway, Iowa. That was heaven for me. My grandfather and I would
go milk the cows, and he would squirt milk in the cats' mouths."
Moon rode horses and fed the chickens, even though they pecked her
hands. She enjoyed harvest time and all the neighbors that came with it.
"My job was to take the food to the men in the field. We would make
an enormous feast, and it would all be eaten," Moon said. "Lazy days
on the farm in Iowa were so peaceful, so joy filled."