Can we love when we grieve? Can we love when we are in pain? Can we love when our home is burning?
Can we embody new ways of navigating our differences—ways that expand our hearts and deepen our curiosity?
These questions created a field of radical intimacy where we met in discomfort, uncertainty, vulnerability, tenderness and connection.
“When I look at this audience, I see a field of iridescent flowers.”
“You are supposed to be a violin played by life.”
“What might it mean to listen to the heart?
What might it mean to walk out of these doors?
You don't know how to do it.
Just a subtle intention that whispers in your ear,
'What might it mean right now
to see this moment thought the eyes of the heart?'”
“Death needs a new cosmology. Death is not a black hole where things cease to be. If you want to live well, keep death close. Hope includes hopelessness and grieving is showing gratitude for that which has been lost. What would it be like to treat grief as power? Even our hopelessness as a form of decomposing and falling away that is sacred.”
“Some people say that the land can be owned. But deep in our hearts we know it isn’t so. Cause we don’t even own this flesh or this bone. We can’t take it with us on the soul's journey home. The only thing we own is the lessons that we learn. So when we wake from the slumber to remember we are one, ONE beautiful people under ONE beautiful sun, we must also release all claim to this Earth. Cause She don’t belong to us, we belong to Her.”
“The self-healing mechanism of Life is always trying to heal. The fish of the answer is always swimming around our legs.”
“We gather here together, driven by a common quest that is dissatisfied with the answers, with the questions and with our technology of question-answering. And we gather together implicitly to remind each other that it is ok to strengthen each other in not knowing. Underneath the answers, right or wrong, another kind of information is trying to get in and it is better able to get in when we put down the defenses, the cages, the organizing categories, and our attachment to them, and allow the Mystery to touch us.”
“We have to in some way be engaged not just with our own personal journey of transformation but with a collective process that is bound up in the silence and the voicing of another person… in seeing all the truths and the panoply of truths across time. We cannot transcend, we cannot find that unity, we cannot find that collective oneness unless we are deeply connected and bound to one another in all of those collective spaces and places of difference.”
“Don’t try to fix the whole thing, don’t try to solve it and don’t expect that you will find the answer you are looking for in the light. When we are missing something, it’s in the dark, so the ancient people say: all light comes from darkness, all knowledge comes from standing at the edge of whatever we know. We have to stand in the places where we no longer know and then the answers come from unseen places if we only have the courage to face the dark, whether it’s the dark inside or the dark outside. It’s the unknown that is holding the answers.”
“I want to let all of you know that the mystical psychedelic patriarchy is over… The real medicine of a lot of the psychedelic work is not in the drug. Psychedelics are not about taking psychedelics. The whole container around psychedelic use are the ritual, the songs, the music, the prayers and the community.”
“When water is pouring down to the ground it will not arrive intact. There is a diffraction that needs to happen. There is a dying to self that needs to happen. And by self I don’t mean the personal individualized capitalist unit that is supposedly encased in this fleshly abode. I mean all the conditions that make us possible, all the ideas that make us permanent, that give us some kind of stability. This is the instability of the world saying, maybe it’s time to give that up, maybe it’s time to let go, maybe it’s time to fall. But the beauty of a magical entangled universe is that in falling we might be flying. Without the tyranny of coordinates we might find ourselves within a different mode of being entirely. By adopting decolonial ways of seeing and noticing and sniffing and being in the world we might find other ways of being alive.”
“I’m trying to honor the fact that many of us seem to be temperamentally designed by the Holy One to say a big juicy Yes to the presence of the sacred in every holy house everywhere we find Her. And if we do so with deep respect to the keepers of the jewels, the people who do chose a single tradition and guard those treasures, then I think we are going to be ok. I’m with everyone at this gathering who has talked about the fact that there is a death going on and we really don’t know what is going to happen. But I think that if we show up to this process of global transformation with love, I think we will be ok, even if we die. Even if we all die, but we do this together with great love and awareness and community. Which brings me to the wisdom of the feminine, which is of course the wisdom of the collective, the roots that connect us all deep inside the belly of the Mother.”
Images by: Vineet Teames photography