2015 Women’s Dreaming Retreat in Photos

2015 Women’s Dreaming Retreat in Photos

I am still glowing after a miraculous and meaningful retreat held in the mystical embrace of Salt Spring Island. Women came from all over the world with the shared intention of dreaming together in council. Mornings were magic as we tended to our dream journals in shared silence, while the mottled sky bathed us in diffuse light. And then we danced, grieved, laughed and played with our dreams! We dined under Stowel Lake Farm’s vaulted roofs and luxuriated in the land’s many other generosities. And in the evenings we gathered for ceremony around the sacred fire, singing and drumming our longing into the smoke until we collapsed again into the dreaming. In the end, we found we were an ecosystem, breathing but one story; a tapestry of togetherness and belonging. Here in images are but some of these precious women and the moments we...
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Interview with Toko-pa: Be You Media

Interview with Toko-pa: Be You Media

It was a treat to be interviewed for Be You Media, by the lovely and talented Jenn Grosso this week. Our conversation turned to some intimate topics like depression, stage-fright and the book I’ve been writing on Belonging. I hope you find something useful here and I look forward to hearing how it lands with you: “In my own life, and in the lives of the  people I’m blessed to do dreamwork with, I found that the search for Belonging is the silent conversation behind so many of the other conversations we have in the open. And while we crave this elusive thing, so few of us feel as if we’ve achieved it. So this book has taken me deep into the question of exile in my own personal history and in my ancestral lineage, taking me as far as rural France where I’ve walked the same cobblestones my ancestors walked before meeting their death in the holocaust. And I’ve come to understand that belonging is not a place at all, but a set of skills that we in modern culture have forgotten. This book is an attempt to enumerate what I call those ‘competencies of belonging.’”  Read the rest of the interview...
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The Sound of Duende

The Sound of Duende

To explain the mystery and importance of Duende to artistic expression, Lorca tells the story of a great Andalusian singer whose performance leaves a modest audience unimpressed one night in a little tavern in Cadiz. “Here we care nothing about ability, technique, skill. Here we are after something else,” they seem to say. The songstress then tears at her expensive gown, guzzles a tall glass of burning liquor and begins “to sing with a scorched throat: without voice, without breath or color but with Duende” all to the crowd’s raucous approval. Lorca says, “She had to rob herself of skill and security, send away her muse and become helpless, that her Duende might come and deign to fight her hand to hand…” (from Terrance Hayes, More Theories of the Duende & Teaching the Inexplicable) As Nick Cave wrote, “All love songs must contain duende. For the love song is never truly happy. It must first embrace the potential for pain. Those songs that speak of love without having within in their lines an ache or a sigh are not love songs at all but rather Hate Songs disguised as love songs, and are not to be trusted. These songs deny us our humanness and our God-given right...
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Sacred Restlessness

Sacred Restlessness

It starts as a hairline crack, a seemingly harmless dissonance in the surface of our well-being, but over time the crack gains momentum into a sudden network of irritation and restlessness. Restlessness has a mission and it must run its course. It is the expression of our discomfort with the ways in which we’ve become habituated. It seeks to undermine those places where we might be striving, mimicking, or falling into obligation. At its deepest core, restlessness is a sacred question which asks, ‘Whom does the grail serve?’ Like the mythical grail, we all want to open ourselves to purpose, to create a capacity through which the mystery may gladly express itself. Yet, for even those of us who may follow the call of vocation, the perpetual allure of the external world is powerful and, if left unchecked, can cause a gradual but critical shift in the emphasis of our service – away from the holy, towards growth for growth’s sake. For a long time, I thought the practice of ’emptiness’ went against my philosophy of yesness for life. I believed it was something detached and even cold – which pushed life away instead of embracing it. It...
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Sympathetic Resonance

Sympathetic Resonance

In music, we call it ‘sympathetic resonance’ when a passive string responds to an external vibration with harmonic likeness. Similarly, when conditions are just right, our core issues can be triggered with all the potency of the original trauma. But in those terrible moments, something amazing is happening: an aperture is opening up for us to heal the past. The present, in its infinite wisdom, is allowing us to touch the old wound, offering us a chance to feel all the way through it, to finally let our grief run its full course.      
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Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things

1.  We are blessed with a room full of hearts eager to listen to our big, round drums, secret chambered winds, ancestors summoned and stories sung. 2. Don’t you know that the real definition of bravery is being afraid and doing it anyway? 3. A fire roasting in the hearth, lanterns glowing on the path, stars freckling the night. 4. The afterglow of a performance well-received spills well into the next day, making everything exactly as it should. My heart drops down into place, laughs spring easily from my belly and even this exhaustion is felt as an honour. 5. In these illuminated hours, I remember Rumi’s teaching, “Each moment from all sides rushes to us the summons to Love.” 6. After the music, a sister comes very close to me and whispers that she sees now how much more she can open. Maybe that is all we are here for – to open, open, open until our petals fall off....
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House Concert on Salt Spring Island

House Concert on Salt Spring Island

  Oh we are very excited to announce that we’ll be playing our first house concert on Salt Spring Island since moving here in the autumn! My beloved Craig and I are inviting you into our beautiful & inspiring home, where we will serenade you with your mystical heartsongs. Since we have more instruments than furniture, we are asking you to please bring your own pillow to sit on and any snacks you’d like to share at intermission. We’ll make a big pot of chai and stoke up the fire to keep you extra cozy while we journey deep into the music. We have limited seating, so please RSVP for details on how to get to our hidden forest...
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