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How Rituals Make a Difference

By on March 26, 2015

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In 1985, on our maiden MDMA voyage, when MDMA was still a legal therapeutic pharmaceutical, we lay on our bed with our blindfolds on, not talking or touching, and both witnessed in our mind’s eyes, a mandalic Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Sharing the astonishment over a simultaneous vision, we made our commitment to build a transformative environment to exhibit the Sacred Mirrors paintings. For many years, we shared with friends about our deep intention to build a sanctuary of visionary art.

It wasn’t until January 2003, following the advice of our shaman, Alex Stark, that we commenced CoSM Full Moon Ceremonies in our home in Brooklyn.  At that first ceremony, with about ten supporters, Alex Stark created a “Despacho,” a bundle packed full with intentionally enfused elements of every variety intended to communicate to venerated forces of Nature and Higher Realms. On the New Moon, our shaman walked the despacho up a mountain and left it as a special offering.  Within four months of CoSM’s first Full Moon, a space was offered for the first Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. It was in Chelsea, by night, New York nightclub central, by day, heart of the art world.  Within Full Moon Ceremonies and Celestial Celebrations (Equinoxes and Solstices], rituals have guided us to join with community in creating a contemporary, radically welcoming, trans-denominational sacred space, a testifmonial to the power of ceremony and ritual.

For decades, Donna Henes, Urban Shaman, has led hundreds of ceremonies and rituals around the world and in her hometown of New York City.  The National news media has covered her public events standing hundreds of eggs on end at City Hall Plaza on the Equinox. She founded Mama Donna’s Tea Garden in “Exotic Brooklyn,” a hub for celestial celebrations in the Big Apple. With Donna’s light heart and a serious commitment, city dwellers are honoring passing seasons and giving homage to our relationship with the cosmos. Join us at CoSM this Saturday, March 28th to learn and experience the art of creating rituals and holding ceremony with our dear friend Donna, the Urban Shaman.

Saturday Afternoon: Spelling it Out: Ritual Rules of Engagement

donna hennes at cosm
The need for ritual is a basic human instinct, a compelling urge to merge with the infinite. Ceremony — solitary or shared, public or private — offers us a way to relate intimately with the primordial force, and to embrace that sacred power which informs and fuels all existence. Ritual is our lifeline to the divine.

Ritual adds richness to our lives. Special times call out for special ceremonies — whether to consecrate new beginnings and growth, to honor relationships and responsibilities, to celebrate achievements and joys, or to ease times of pain and burden. There is great value to be gained by taking the time and making the effort to infuse these milestones with significance and sanctity. By ritualizing our profound passages, we honor our personal journey, our loved ones, our affiliations, and our connection to Spirit.

 urban shaman donna hennes
Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

Join renowned ritualist Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman, as she guides you through the meaning, the mind-set, the mood, the method, and the magic of establishing a ceremonial order to your life. You will experience an intimate, imaginative, and engaging taste of the potent rewards of establishing a personally resonant ritual practice. And you will gain the spiritual and practical wherewithal to enable you to design and enact meaningful, transformational rituals and rites of transition for yourself, your family, your business, your organization, and your community.

The Vernal Equinox Celebration at CoSM this past weekend was one of the most beautiful, because of all the loving smiles from so many friends.  Thank you to the community for building sacred space together!

Love,

Allyson and Alex

Creative Rebirth

By on March 12, 2015

cosm newsletter

CREATIVE REBIRTH

The snow is melting, and the mud season is in full gear at CoSM in the Hudson Valley.  What a difference a few degrees of warmth makes. From tiny frozen crystals to flowing water, an elemental shift of state is taking place all around us. Looking at all of life as a metaphor, consider the warmth of love that can thaw and activate our creative potential. Consider contracted selfhood as frigid crystals, now defrosting into a passionate rebirth.

We look forward to seeing crocus popping up through the muddy soil and the astonishing uprising of nature visually shouting the great “YES” of being.  To be surrounded by the trees as they sparkle into green buds, and birds begin singing, reveals the infinite eco-complexity and beauty of Gaia’s Symphony.  Consecrate the shifting of the seasons with the creative Love Tribe at CoSM.

LUIS EDUARDO LUNA AT CoSM

luis eduardo luna at cosm chapel of sacred mirrors
(Click image for event info and tickets)

Before the Celestial Celebration of the Vernal Equinox on Saturday, March 21st, our dear friend, the anthropologist and scholar, Luis Eduardo Luna, will offer a special presentation at CoSM. A spiritual, creative educator and author of many books focused on the shamanic traditions of South America, especially the roots and wisdom of the sacrament, ayahuasca. His retreat center in Florianopolis, Brazil, reminiscent of a perfect get-away on the North Carolina coast, has hosted and supported the journeys of many seeker-pilgrims. Having accomplished multiple degrees from Madrid, Oslo and New York, Luis Eduardo has been a Senior lecturing professor in Sweden, Brazil and currently in Helsinki, Finland.

Luna’s workshop at CoSM will consist of two illustrated talks with one densely descriptive title:  AmerIndian Epistemology and Sacred Plants: Artistic Expression, Persecution and Revival. Epistemology, the scientific investigation of the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge, is the expertise of this scholar of philosophy, comparative religions and shamanism. The first talk will concentrate on the Amerindian pre-Columbian knowledge of food, medicine and sacred plants, and their extraordinary expertise in land use. After a break, the second talk will share examples of Amerindian artistic expression of inner states related to shamanism.

This second talk will also uncover the clash of beliefs and knowledge encountered by pre-Columbian Amerindians when they were conquered and oppressed by European invaders starting in 1492. After centuries of suffering and persecution due to their indigenous religious beliefs and their knowledge of the power of sacred plants, these First Nation people are now experiencing a contemporary revival.

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“Ohio Song” by Alex Grey

Celebrate the Vernal Equinox with us at CoSM — all afternoon with Luis Eduardo Luna hosted by Alex and Allyson, catch a snack or meal in the Mushroom Cafe, and then stay for an evening of ecstatic music dance, live-painting, fire circle and more.

Love,

Alex & Allyson

Visual Wisdom

By on March 5, 2015

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Every individual has the capacity for profound creativity, often lying dormant until switched on. Each of us has the unique and necessary gifts to perform Soul’s task. A creative practice becomes a spiritual path when it is undertaken not only for personal gratification, but for the benefit of the collective. Art changes the way we see the world. Coming together with creative community precipitates a field affect that inspires and accelerates innovation. Humanity’s core of expressive energy is a primordial cosmic force that precedes religion, uniting all beings through inate, primal awareness and imagination.
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“Cosmic Artist” by Alex Grey
A common language unites a people. Visionary Art is the language of CoSM’s community. For pilgrims, visionary art validates glimpses to sacred inner dimensions and proves the universal nature of imaginal realms.  Reflecting the luminous richness of higher spiritual worlds, visionary art activates our light body, empowers our creative soul, and stirs our deepest potential for positive, transformative action in the world. Consider the potential of visionary art and support the building of Entheon, a sanctuary to honor and preserve visual wisdom pointing toward humanity’s common transcendental source.

CALLING ALL VISIONARY ARTISTS

visionary art intensive omega alex grey allyson grey

Enter a charged creative vortex where we empower each other and see breakthrough results in our artwork. Stretch your imagination, and meet kindred souls as we draw and paint from the wellspring of our vision.

Visionary Artists! Gather together with us this summer at Omega Institute for the 25th annual 5-Day Visionary Art Intensive.
Open to artists at every level of experience. Begins Sunday, June 21st and continues through Friday, June 26th mid-day.
Exclusively for the Omega class:
CoSM will host a barbecue and tour following the workshop that ends Friday afternoon, 6/26.
Following the Omega experience, consider joining us at CoSM, an hour down the Hudson — $20 donation to CoSM for after party barbecue & tour.
Reserve a room at CoSM to stay overnight. Dorm beds and singles are available.
RSVP CoSM bbq & tour —  CoSM [845-297-2323 x104maggie@cosm.org
Register for the 5-day Visionary Art Intensive — eomega.org.

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Visionary Art Intensive at OMEGA 2014

 

FURTHERING VISIONARY SCIENCE
Allyson Grey Roland Griffiths Alex Grey

Allyson Grey, Roland Griffiths, Alex Grey

Our friend Roland Griffiths, one of the world’s leading psychedelic researchers  at Johns Hopkins University and the States of Consciousness Research Team asks for our help.

They are conducting an anonymous, web-based study to characterize experiences of personal encounter that might be described as “Ultimate Reality,” “Higher Power,” “God” or any aspect of the God of your understanding.

If you’ve ever had such an experience, taking the Johns Hopkins survey could serve science and help others.
Encourage others you know to participate, even if the experience happened long ago.

The Johns Hopkins research team has conducted survey and laboratory studies characterizing experiences, including the mystical experience that occurs with psilocybin and other hallucinogens. See their body of work here: csp.org/psilocybin.

Please share. Flyer.PsychedelicEncounteringTheDivine.org

 

MARCH FULL MOON GATHERING

march full moon gathering

Join us at CoSM for the March Full Moon Ceremony this Saturday night.  In the afternoon, Stephanie Rooker invites you to “Sing and Be Sung,” her celebration of vocal empowerment workshop (3-6pm followed by dinner before the Full Moon Ceremony).
sing and be sung
Art Church Sunday afternoon will focus on Portraying the Self. (1-5pm) Bring a sketchbook and colors to discover how a portrait can be a mirror of the soul.
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Love,
Alex & Allyson