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mission of art

Mission of Art

20th Anniversary Edition
By: Alex Grey
$25.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: November, 2018
ISBN: 9781611806755
In stock now: 0

Twenty years after the original publication of The Mission of Art, Alex Grey’s inspirational message affirming art’s power for personal catharsis and spiritual awakening is stronger than ever. This book combines extensive knowledge of art history with phases of human consciousness evolution and shares firsthand experiences in creating art at the boundaries of madness and mysticism—and his profoundly affecting psychedelic experiences. Grey examines the roles of conscience and intention in the creative process, including some hands-on experiences.

Included are practical techniques and exercises that can be used to explore the spiritual dimension of art—exercises that are taken from the visionary art workshops the author leads with his wife, Allyson Grey. The text is accompanied by drawings created by Alex expressly for The Mission of Art.

Religion and Art which emphasize ecstasy and mystical experience will always fulfill profound human needs, bringing people back to the source of infinite love and ultimate reality. A reverence for life is one of the hallmarks of true spirituality. Our violence as a species and destructive assaults on the web of life make obvious humanity’s spiritual blindness and the critical need for spiritual awakening. Art can serve that awakening.

Challenging and thought-provoking, The Mission of Art will be appreciated by everyone who has ever contemplated the deeper purpose of creative expression.

Though we may try to write about it, the Transcendental is beyond all conceptual or theoretical frameworks. The best that theory and critique can do is point us toward the creative source. Artists rely on themselves, peering into their own souls for inspiration and guidance, yet the artist’s friends, mentors, and a spiritual practice, may all be able to assist the birth of spirit in their art.

Alex Grey is the visual artist whose amazing work is portrayed in the books Sacred Mirrors and Transfigurations, among others. More info: cosm.org.

deva

Deva

$22.95 CAD
Music CD
Publisher: White Swan Music
Publication Date: October, 2018
ISBN: 717147018521
In stock now: 3

Deva Premal’s composition, the Seven Chakra Gayatri Mantra, debuts on DEVA, nearly 20 years since her original, ground-breaking version of the ancient Gayatri Mantra began appearing on playlists and en-chanting people worldwide.

Alternately soothing, uplifting, and inviting, Deva’s voice ushers us into deeper states of meditation, serving as a musical, tonal portal to inner peace (whether you “understand” the “meaning” of the mantras or not. The album is book-ended by versions of the Seven Chakra Gayatri Mantra, creating an experience of a mystical journey well-travelled and coming full circle.

The rich mix of alluring chants includes soaring bansuri lines by Nepalese maestro Manose, embedded inside a musical landscape created by producer Joby Baker‘s sensual groove based instrumentation – including the prayerful Prabhujee, written by Pundit Ravi Shankar and featuring his daughter, Anoushka Shankar, on sitar.

Deva means “divine” in Sanskrit, and this beautiful collection of mantras reflects the many dimensions of Deva Premal’s soul and musical expression, from the beginning of her spiritual journey through today.

flame

Flame

$32.95 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: October, 2018
ISBN: 9780771024412
In stock now: 2

Just weeks before his death in late 2016, Leonard Cohen told The New Yorker that he was ready for the end to come. He just wanted enough time to put his last book in order. Fortunately, that time was granted. The Flame is Cohen’s eloquent farewell, a valedictory collection of lyrics and poems that maps his singular creative journey.

In addition to new poems about war, desire, regrets, lamb chops, and hummingbirds, and lyrics from his last three albums, including the final “You Want It Darker,” The Flame includes carefully selected excerpts—both writing and drawings— from Cohen’s voluminous notebooks, which he kept faithfully, in poetic form, all his life. Listeners will hear about the subjects that have always preoccupied Cohen: the dimensions of love, the secret code of existence, and the hope for transcendence in a broken world.

In the words of Cohen’s longtime manager and friend, Robert Kory, The Flame “reveals to all the intensity of his inner fire” to the end.

An enormously powerful final chapter, The Flame showcases the full range of Leonard Cohen’s lyricism, from the exquisitely transcendent to the darkly funny. By turns devastatingly sad and winningly strange, these are the works of a poet and lyricist who has plumbed the depths of our darkest questions and come up wanting, yearning for more.

So I’ve come here to revisit

What happens to the heart

I was selling holy trinkets

I was dressing kind of sharp

Had a pussy in the kitchen

And a panther in the yard

In the prison of the gifted

I was friendly with the guard…

 

It ain’t pretty, it ain’t subtle

What happens to the heart

Now the angel’s got a fiddle

And the devil’s got a harp

Every soul is like a minnow

Every mind is like a shark

I’ve opened every window

But the house, the house is dark

Just say Uncle, then it’s simple

What happens to the heart

I was always working steady

But I never called it art…

 

Sure it failed my little fire

But it’s bright the dying spark

Go tell the young messiah

What happens to the heart

      (June 24, 2016)

This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet,” writes Cohen’s son, Adam Cohen, in his foreword. “It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end… Each page of paper that he blackened was lasting evidence of a burning soul.”

I have witnessed many great events, some of which were sorrowful: the birth of children, the death of friends, the ends of time & the intermediate wildernesses. A chill goes down my spine and up, when I reflect how graciously I have been placed in the mazes of creation. My beloved is with me, the wife of my youth, and in the midst of suffering when it is our lot, if I remember to incline my self toward the source of light, I know that I have never strayed too far from my bridal days. As it was promised, I have inherited the gates of my enemy, and I fear with him, rejoice with him, at the irresistible tides of majesty that sweep across the world.

“With Cohen, one feels he knew who he was and where he was going from the beginning, and only digs deeper, deeper, deeper.” —Pico Iyer

morning altars

Morning Altars

A Seven-Step Practice to Nourish Your Spirit through Nature, Art, and Ritual
$39.95 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: WW Norton
Publication Date: October, 2018
ISBN: 9781682682517
In stock now: 0

Morning altars are colourful mandalas that combine nature, art, and meditation. Incorporating the natural world into the everyday encourages positive well-being, even with the simplest of the earth’s gifts, such as leaves, flowers, berries, feathers, and stones. These stunning pieces of art are a peaceful and creative avenue to express gratitude for nature, to practice mindfulness, and to add meaning to daily life.

In this book, Day Schildkret guides readers through the creation of morning altars, a seven- step process that includes wondering and wandering, place meditation, clearing space, creating, gifting, walking away, and sharing his art with others. It’s an astoundingly beautiful, simple way of being, also subtitled The Joy of Earth Art. Really a homecoming practice, and a practical way to make beauty in this earth, each morning… or any morning. Try it.

Process :

morning time. take basket and go on walk.
stay alert. watchful. forage. 
hike to hill or creek bed. 
clear space.
be quiet and listen. 
build altar: feathers, leaves, berries, bones. 
pray. offer it. 
watch it alter.

Since his first morning altar, Schildkret has built hundreds more. His work has been warmly received on social media and he teaches workshops on altar building, all with the intention of sharing the positivity and beauty they have brought to his life.

As an artist what interests me most is to consider that the artwork may actually be shaped by the memory of the place, as if what I build may actually be an ancient remembering that the land itself is actualizing through me. 

In today’s overly virtual landscape, I want my viewers to be enchanted by each altar's capacity to awaken their imagination, their awe, their nuanced eye and deep love and connection with the magic and mystery of our earth. I long to have my audiences linger on that ephemeral edge where death and rebirth bring forth an ancient remembering and a new impermanent beauty.

For more: morningaltars.com.

matters of vital interest

Matters of Vital Interest

A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen
$35.00 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication Date: October, 2018
ISBN: 9780306902703
In stock now: 0

 Leonard Cohen passed away in late 2016, leaving behind many who cared for and admired him, but perhaps few knew him better than longtime friend Eric Lerner. Lerner, a screenwriter and novelist, first met Cohen at a Zen retreat forty years ago. Their friendship helped guide one another through life's myriad obstacles, a journey told from a new perspective for the first time.

Funny, revealing, self-aware, and deeply moving, Matters of Vital Interest is an insightful memoir about Lerner's relationship with his friend, whose idiosyncratic style and dignified life was deeply informed by his spiritual practices. Lerner invites readers to step into the room with them and listen in on a lifetime's ongoing dialogue, considerations of matters of vital interest, spiritual, mundane, and profane. In telling their story, Lerner depicts Leonard Cohen as a captivating persona the likes of which we may never see again.

“There is a lot of beauty in this book, the beauty that exists between two old friends who love and understand one another." —New York Journal of Books

"Matters of Vital Interest is a portrait of a decades-long friendship, and the vision of Leonard Cohen that emerges from it is much like the persona he invents in his songs—seductive, knowing, hyper-articulate, not always likable but always fascinating. More than a foil, Lerner is the singer’s partner in crime, spiritual questing, and, until Leonard Cohen's death, sheer survival. They are brothers, and this is their story, told from the heart."--Anthony DeCurtis, author of Lou Reed: A Life

hippie

Hippie

$34.95 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: September, 2018
ISBN: 9780525655619
In stock now: 1

Drawing on the rich experience of his own life, best-selling author Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist, etc.) takes us back in time to re-live the dreams of a generation that longed for peace and dared to challenge the established social order. In Hippie, he tells the story of a young Brazilian man, Paulo, and Karla, a Dutch woman in her twenties, who share a journey of self-discovery aboard the Magic Bus, as it travels from Amsterdam to Kathmandu in 1970. In his most autobiographical novel to date, Paulo Coelho interweaves adventure, philosophy, and the true stories of his own life to give readers an essential book for our time.

Following the "three days of peace and music" at Woodstock, the 1969 gathering in Bethel, New York that would change the world forever, hippie “pads, patchouli and paradises” began to emerge all around the world. In the Dam Square in Amsterdam, long-haired young people wearing vibrant clothes and burning incense were being high, meditating, playing music, and discussing sexual liberation, the expansion of consciousness and the discoveries of inner truth. They were a generation refusing to live the robotic and unquestioning life that their parents had known.

At this time, Paulo is a young, skinny Brazilian with a goatee and long, flowing hair who wants to become a writer. He sets off on a journey in search of freedom and a deeper meaning for his life: first, with a girlfriend, on the famous “Death Train to Bolivia,” then on to Peru and later hitchhiking through Chile and Argentina.

His travels take him further, to the famous square in Amsterdam, where Paulo meets Karla. She convinces Paulo to join her on a trip to Nepal, aboard the Magic Bus that travels across Europe and Central Asia to Kathmandu. They embark on a journey in the company of fascinating fellow travelers, each of whom has a story to tell, and each of whom will undergo a transformation, changing their priorities and values, along the way. As they travel together, Paulo and Karla explore their own relationship, an awakening on every level that brings both of them to a choice and a decision that sets the course for their lives thereafter.

beowulf

Beowulf

$21.50 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: August, 2018
ISBN: 9780300236668
In stock now: 2

A widely celebrated translator’s vivid, accessible, and elegantly concise rendering of an ancient English masterpiece.

Beowulf tells the story of a Scandinavian hero who defeats three evil creatures—a huge, cannibalistic ogre named Grendel, Grendel's monstrous mother, and a dragon—and then dies, mortally wounded during his last encounter. If the definition of a superhero is someone who uses his special powers to fight evil, then Beowulf is our first English superhero story, and arguably our best. It is also a deeply pious poem, so bold in its reverence for a virtuous pagan past that it teeters on the edge of heresy. From beginning to end, we feel we are in the hands of a master storyteller.

Stephen Mitchell’s marvelously clear and vivid rendering re-creates the robust masculine music of the original. It both hews closely to the meaning of the Old English and captures its wild energy and vitality, not just as a deep work of literature but also as a rousing entertainment that can still stir our feelings and rivet our attention today, after more than a thousand years. This new translation—spare, sinuous, vigorous in its narration, and translucent in its poetry—makes a masterpiece accessible to everyone.

“A most readable, energetic, and colorful translation of this savage epic.  Mitchell’s sprightly, animated lines maintain the verbal torque and metrical vigor of the original, allowing both the gore of slaughter and the glory of heroic deeds to shine through more vividly than ever.  An amazing achievement.” —Billy Collins

Stephen Mitchell’s many books include Tao Te Ching, which has sold over a million copies, The Gospel According to Jesus, Bhagavad Gita, The Book of Job, Gilgamesh, and The Odyssey.

sattva temple trance

Sattva Temple Trance

By: Deuter
$21.50 CAD
Music CD
Publisher: New Earth Music
Publication Date: August, 2018
ISBN: 714266380126
In stock now: 0


With Sattva Temple Trance, Deuter enters into a new dimension of circular, wave sounds. Two long tracks come together to create one hour of continuous healing trance music that induces a natural state of awareness, bringing you to the optimal level of consciousness to facilitate self healing and deep relaxation. Great for guided trance and healing arts. Excellent to tone along with “in the field” as your voice can join with the greater waves of the music, too. 

Creating the music for this album was a new experience for me. Usually, inspiration for my music stems from a place within and then expands from that space. Sattva Temple Trance was born from a personal request made by Waduda (New Earth Records). Her vision was to create an album to use for her guided group trances, and for people who work in the healing arts. I listened to her suggestions, translating her vision into sounds. The creation of Sattva Temple Trance represents a new adventure for me. I am walking in a different territory—one I hope you will enjoy walking in as well.

Track 1 is “Circle of Light” at almost 40 minutes. Track 2 is “Temple Trance.” Deuter continues to learn and master an ever-expanding array of instruments. He’s been musically tuning spirits for over 30 years—the grand old master of inner space music, with heart.

 

complete cold mountain

Complete Cold Mountain

Poems of the Legendary Hermit Hanshan
$24.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781611804263
In stock now: 6

This fresh translation—and new envisioning—is a gem.

The Hanshan (“Cold Mountain”) poems are unquestionably the most enduring works to come out of the poetically rich Tang dynasty (seventh to early tenth century) of China. They entered modern Western consciousness though the influence of the Beat generation writers for whom they were a major influence, and they're rightfully known as some of the most accessible of classic Chinese poetry--the kind of poetry that speaks even to those who don't usually relate to poetry.

They have been much translated. This new translation is unique both in its scope—it includes all the poems traditionally associated with Hanshan, more than 300—and in its tone: it is a collaboration between two renowned and very different poets and Zen students who honor the Buddhist elements of the verse while perceiving in the Cold Mountain poems a kind of humor and tenderness of heart that makes their renditions particularly delightful.

I see someone with great knowledge
who uses his mind all day long.
He stands at a fork in the road and shouts out,
deceiving everyone.
This only creates the dregs of hell,
not true practice.
When impermanence suddenly arrives,
he’ll know he has squandered his life.

The translation includes the full Chinese text of the poems and a wealth of fascinating ancillary materials. This collection also stands out from the others in its organization: scholars often identify two different authors of the Cold Mountain poems, whereas Tanahashi and Levitt identify three poets from three different periods (explained in a fascinating appendix), and they have arranged the poems accordingly.

Let me say to those who practice the way:
Seeking worthless things exhausts your mind.
People have a spiritual essence,
beyond words or description.
When you call on it, it responds clearly,
when it is hidden, you don’t know where it is.
Keep it well,
don’t let it be stained.

dancing with the gods

Dancing with the Gods

Reflections on Life and Art
$35.95 CAD
Hardcover Book
Publisher: CANONGATE BOOKS
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781786891150
In stock now: 4

When Kent Nerburn received a letter from Jennifer, a young woman questioning her calling to spend her life in the arts, the writer and artist was struck by how closely her questions mirrored the doubts and yearnings of his own youth.

Nerburn resolved that he would write his own letter: a letter of welcome and encouragement to all young artists setting out on the same strange and magical journey, sharing the wisdom of a life spent working in the arts.

From struggles with money and the bitterness of rejection, to spiritual questions of inspiration and authenticity, Dancing With the Gods offers insight, solace and courage to help young artists on the winding road to artistic fulfilment. Tender and joyous, it is a celebration of art's power to transform the darkest of human experience and give voice to the grandest of human hopes.

Feelings come to us—honest feelings, human feelings, feelings that do not fit inside our square-cornered life. We want to cry out—from joy, from terror, from grief, from some emotion that wells up and overwhelms us—and we are, for a moment, in a place that has no shape and no edges; a place that expands toward the infinite and breaks all bonds of human understanding.
 

This is when we turn to art, because art can give shape to that moment.
 

Art gave me a way to grieve my mother. Art can allow you to sing the birth of your child, or dance the joy of a fresh and overwhelming love. If we are fortunate enough to have to tools to create art that gives form to that moment, it is a treasure beyond compare. If we are able to shape that moment in a way that communicates to others, we are twice blessed.

Among Ken Nerburn’s other books are Voices in the Stones and Letters to My Son.