And then there’s Wayne: Conscious/cosmic art has it’s upper echelon of painters and sculptors – those who set the style tone for what constitutes inclusion in the category. And then there are others who do mind expanding work, but without the fanfare or festival connections to expand their popularity. Wayne Barry may be one of the best kept secrets in the art genre, and though he doesn’t particularly care to be noticed, his paintings are truly out of this world,..and he’s from Toronto. That’s his work in our feature photo (above). Contact us if you would like to know more.
Spoon Bender: Here’s a small company offering jewellery made from antique silverware. It is a creative outlet and an experiment in ethical, sustainable business. Their pop-up stand is easy to find in Toronto’s Kensington Market – just look for the metal wares gleaming in the winter sun.
In its first year, New Human City published articles and columns every week. The Best of mE brings back the more popular mildly ECSTATIC columns, unedited, as they appeared from October 2016 to October 2017. Here’s an article that delves into the topic of resilience.
Good Grief: Mourning the loss of a loved one is as old as the world itself, yet there is no bonafide guide book to help us navigate that startling reality. As incomprehensible as it is for an adult, it is more-so for a child when someone disappears from their world. Thankfully, a new project has been launched to help deal with that. It’s a free, interactive tool where parents, guardians and other primary caregivers can learn how to support a child to grieve in a healthy way. It’s also a great tool for teachers and health providers who parents turn to during difficult times. Learn more at the eye.
If you over pruned your maples this year and have an excess of wood to discard, you may do well to contact the holistic tree wizards at Heritage Tree Care. They can help you transform those pieces into something really unique. And, if you’re not thrilled about climbing ladders, they can do the spring pruning for you as well, and doctor up the trees so that they keep you shaded for years to come. Visit them at the leaf.
The Sun Is A Very Magic Fellow: And, that’s why the solar scientists and professionals are gathering in Toronto on December 4th & 5th, to share ideas about the magnificent energy source that the giant burning rock in the sky provides. It’s primarily for people in the field of energy, so if that’s you, link away.
Old McDonald: For empathic souls and consciousness gardeners, the annual pilgrimage to the Toronto’s Royal Winter Fair is not to be missed. Granted, if you suffer from animal hair allergies, you are likely to avoid the event at all costs. For those of us who made the rounds of the stables, show circles and vendor booth’s, it was a glorious week of reconnecting with the food cycle and the reality of rural existence. While there is an undeniable presence of the big-aggie juggernaut, the fair continues to be a communal celebration of those who work the land. Rest assured, the farmers are far more informed about sustainability and the health of the soil then are often given credit for. Who doesn’t quite get it, are the multinationals hell bent on making a desert of the remaining arable land, and all for the sake of profit. Kudo’s to the organizers for showcasing progressive permaculture ideas and not being bullied by the dark side.
Crystallized: There are several ‘conch’ musicians that are highly sought after for events in the GTA. One of those is the crystal bowl master, David Hickey. If you’ve heard his solo or full orchestra performances at some of the local festivals, you know how ‘in tune’ he is with his medium and how he loves to share the knowledge of his craft. You can read more about him at the djembe.
A House Is Not A Home: If you resided in the core of a large urban era prior to the arrival of the Brad-lamb’s of the world, you may recall how easy it was to access salvageable goods that were discarded from old buildings. Some refer to it as dumpster diving, but for creative types it was a wonderful way to repurpose raw building materials. That’s not so easy to do nowadays with condo lords wanting every dime worth of leftovers for themselves. If you do manage to procure some choice lumber, this group in Texas can help you along to building a simple little dream home from local findings.
Prog Dance: Professionalism is not regarded by improv dancers as something that one must attain to, but it is something which can inspire one’s own movements. Classically trained dancers have been gravitating to the rootsy world of contact improv in protest of the formalities and competitiveness of their chosen discipline. Here’s what free-form dancing looks like from a choreographed perspective, compliments of Luke Robson.
The Simple Life: And so, as tribute to the first among noble occupations (no, not hipster barrista or real estate agent) – small scale farmers, we offer up this vintage tune from one of our favorite ‘conch’ performers, and a fellow who did not put on the song and dance but remained true to himself and his values,…Valdy! The Simple Life was written as a commentary on life in the sordid world of LA entertainment, and the shallow beings who prey on those who simply want to share their art with the world. No need to mention names.
Sunny Side Up: In pre-modern consciousness times, humble eateries and health food stores were the gathering places for those into spiritual culture. They quietly went about their business providing good food, but also conversation and connection that allowed people to grow and learn. Toronto’s Annapurna restaurant has been doing just that, and for quite awhile, with no decline in their quality or atmosphere. It’s a celestial room, and the staff, mostly adherents to Sri Chimnoy, do not ingratiate or annoy the psyche by over-reaching for attention or tips, and that alone makes them deserving. And yes, the food is bliss.
Cheerio’s in Stereo: Or, how to prepare for an ecstatic dance event if you are DJ’ing. This time around we ask Toronto dance facilitator, Michael P., the burning question about pre-dance preparation and the energy required to put a gig together. It’s a fascinating little article about the behind-the-scenes spiritual grounding required for the world of conscious movement.
Drum Major for Justice: Hughgo (Hugh) Joseph Extavour passed away in his 78th year in his Toronto home on October 18, 2017. Hugh was well known in the drumming circles of Toronto and for his tireless community uplifting projects. A co-founder of Afropan and Caribana, his love for art, drumming, social justice and philosophy, brought much good energy into a city that is dire need of it.
Dough-Nuts: The Dufferin Grove community park of Toronto always has something interesting going on, either perennially or annually. The bake ovens fall in the former category and are a unique feature in a park that prides itself on food related celebration. At this time of year, the frequency of bread baking decreases but there’s nothing better than a fresh sour-dough hot from the oven on a winter day. If that interests you, then read more at the icon. more info (photo: Marc)
Traffic Jam: It’s not all tinkling bells and crystal bowl sounds at NHC, in fact, when we’re in the ecstatic moment, the music can become astonishingly heavy. Not heavy in the FM radio classic rock manner which can be numbingly predictable, but heavy in the fusion of elements that electrify the consciousness. Okko Bekker is always on the play list, and you’re about to find out why. Click the cans to listen in.
Ecstatic Lexicon #162; The Floor: Jokingly referred to as nap time, but more often, and correctly, as find a place on the floor. Once the opening circle breaks after the invitation has been delivered, the dancers are encouraged to locate an area of hardwood to recline and begin the slow emergence into the music groove. It’s a key factor in how the rest of the evening progresses, and DJ’s should be very diligent not to prolong this stage to the point of lulling the dancers to sleep. It is not a full mediation, but simply a time to center and calm before the action begins.
Burpees: With the holiday season fast approaching, visions of over-grown turkeys and endless pies begin to form as we (they) anticipate the ritual of football games and food, that oddly normal way to celebrate a once sacred event. It doesn’t take into account the vast waste of food that happens annually, unless you are following the Feed It Forward group who are becoming the exception to the norm and are bravely importing the idea from the French movement that has people rethinking the pretentious history of cuisine. Delve into the full story at the icon.
A Brush With Greatness: One of the most profound young ‘conch’ artists of the year might be Jellodream. Her aura capturing portraits are completely out of the solar system, and if that’s not enough, her very unique jewellery is being sought after for the strange energy that emanates. Much of that can be traced to her kind, empathic nature, and her keen ability to read into the soul. Learn more about her work at the icon.
On Ramp: Auto makers don’t want you to have a car, they want you to have cars, and they crack open the champagne every time they read the increasing birth rate statistics which double as a profit forecast. The Center for the Study of Political Graphics always has a good poster ready to summarize our thoughts on such matters.
Tofu Diner: This might require some time commitment as it clocks in at 50 minutes, but it’s an enjoyable review and the final installment from the “10% Happier” road trip, where Dan Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren ended their cross-country tour at a Wanderlust Hollywood event in February. This is what they, and Moby, had to say.