Living Mandala: Burning Man 2016

Concept
Realize Sacred Contact is a communal art space based upon sacred geometry offering experiences from social interaction to self-individuation and divine union. This living mandala of the universe guides human knowing to its inner source for an experience of oneness and unconditional love.

Philosophy
Realizing Sacred Contact is a phenomenon that involves activating and opening the third eye of conscious awareness. The living mandala represents the universe and offers the community the opportunity to focus within. Here they will realize their own human potential as connections to divine consciousness. Conscious awareness is inherent in every single person, yet many are unaware of their potential and fearful of their divine source. RSC offers an altered state of living. As they come upon this living 40’ in diameter mandala, they are offered a journey towards a sense of oneness located at the center of the exhibit, embodied in a ball of golden light representing love and divine union.

Entering the site, the community is guided towards self-individuation as the terrain and spatial areas offer a heightened awareness of balance between female-yin and male-yang. At the very center is the eye of knowing, where a ball of golden light draws one’s awareness into the light that encompasses the spirituality of human consciousness.

To realize is to see with real-eyes and not with any false sense of knowing, but with deep inner love for one’s self. Realizing Sacred Contact is for each burner to experience, enjoy and remember for years to come as we all exponentially grow in our own group consciousness, inspiring humanity to attain his or her own true divine passion, one burner at a time.

Physical and Interactivity
Realizing Sacred Contact will be viewed from afar as a 28’ tall tetrahedron floating above a 40’ diameter circular mandala offering nonstop public access. Inside the mandala there will be three opposing half spheres or bowls for group and private interaction. Inviting and illuminated by colored LED lighting, these large bowls will ground the exhibit and offera unique location to meet for social and group interaction.

In addition, there will be six sections of seating, each flanking one of three support columns framed by the tetrahedron for contemplation and meditation. Two additional and spatially recognized tetrahedrons diminishing in size will offer participants a journey into the mandala while creating movement, flow and pattern towards the center.

Inside the main tetrahedron floating 18’ off the ground are four copper-colored triangles, interlaid to create a twelve-pointed star drawing the focus upwards. Inside each point of the star is a spinning disc inscribed with a symbol, each representing a different form of spirituality uniting as one collective universal consciousness.

At the very center of the top section of the main tetrahedron there is a distinct ball of golden light visible from outside the mandala. Directly below this central focal point will be a raised and illuminated area to experience being at the center of the universe uniting the collective universal consciousness with their inner sacred source of wisdom and knowing.

Fits the Mission
Realize Sacred Contact aims to guide burners into an experience of oneness within themselves. It offers an opportunity to tap into a source of knowing that they are never really alone. The living mandala is a representation of the universe as a symbol of radical inclusion.

This exemplifies the 10 Principles of Burning Man starting with decommodification of the project, as it is pure color, texture and light. The living mandala encourages radical self-reliance as burners take a journey within. Participants are able to join others inside the pods as they meet others coming from the playa. From there, they can dance, meditate, or even relax on the benches as they move towards the light in the middle, enjoying the twelve-pointed star high above their heads as a representation of all spiritual philosophies joined together by one love for a collective consciousness.

This project is a massive communal effort to collectively grow the human consciousness one person and one flame at a time. We are all basically 99.99% the same recognizing that together we are parts of one whole of life and the universe. Together we will all participate in finding our way to the mandala, as our own inner flame is drawn to the source, like bees to the hive. It is our civic responsibility to continue creating opportunities for the human race to experience this type of love that exists from the divine source within one of us.

We didn’t get short-listed this year!  Yet we are still headed to Burning Man and will focus time on developing the idea. Thank you all for your support!

Global Goddess Cultural Meditation Retreat

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Global Goddess offers the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone right here in Houston and become more culturally aware of your surroundings during a two-hour healing retreat.  The goal is to introduce you to a new way of thinking and to explore new experiences and feelings within a cultural setting right here in your back yard.  Actually, I’ve been leading this first retreat for years with my family and cancer survivors I’ve met through CanCare and YSC.

We meet outside of the Rothko Chapel on a Saturday by 10am for group introductions and directions on how to proceed to our first cultural experience.  For me, the Rothko Chapel is part of my home since I was first introduced to the chapel during my Freshman year of Architecture school.  We were sent in for a chunk of time and then when we came out, the professor asked, “What did you see?”  Well, since then, I’ve been taking my favorite friends to visit the chapel and explaining how to sit and see what Rothko painted because it is a dynamic experience and changes each time you return.

Then, we will walk onto the University of St. Thomas campus, which is less than a block, towards St. Basil stopping at the labyrinth which is a replica of the one at Chartres in France, which I’ve also seen myself.  Here, with the water fountains tricking in the background, and the sun on our faces, we will experience a walking meditation towards the center of the labyrinth together.  Of course, I am leaving out all the little details that will make the Global Goddess retreat special for you when you join us, but now you know a bit more.

Then, we will end inside St. Basil that is a postmodern feat of design, and one that only Philip Johnson could create while during his retirement.  It is stunning with the concrete curtain wall, and granite wall slicing the gilded dome.  If you have never stepped foot inside this church, you will be amazed to see all of the sunlight warming the walls.

Within two hours we will have made a significant impact on each other as a group, and opened up new avenues of learning that you didn’t expect.  Like I always say, eating in the Taj Mahal your food will taste differently than when you are eating at home.  The same holds true for meditative experiences from an artist, nature and architecture.  Join me as we set off for a cultural journey right here in Montrose.

Register to attend via PayPal for $30 per person in advance since classes are limited and fill up fast.

AACR to AVON: There is Balance in this World

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After returning from a non-stop 48 hour volunteer continuum, I couldn’t help but notice the polar differences and similarities between the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Survivor Scientist Program in San Diego compared to the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer here in Houston:

1.  AACR was an international event hosting researchers from around the globe in the glorious beauty that was San Diego where the weather was perfect, the sun was shining and the air was light and fluffy.  While at AVON there were also walkers and volunteers from California walking around Houston where the weather was humid, windy and down right sticky.  From my view, I could see the AACR annual meeting as a larger macro-event connecting directly to the AVON event serving as a hub to the Houston micro-environment.  The educational dollars raised by our local Houstonians will continue to support and train health care workers that will ultimately care for patients with cancer using the latest diagnostic tools and treatments presented at AACR.

2.  While AACR is focused on Cancer Research and hosts a hot bed of amazingly talented individuals working together to focus on cures and harnessing breakthroughs, AVON was mainly filled with the local community of walkers using their strength to walk 39 miles over two days and their ability to fund raise at least eighteen hundred dollars, for what?  To fund patient navigators, educational programs and screening for our local community.  Which goes to show you that every single person can make a difference fighting cancer together.

3.  Attending my first AACR, I was thrilled to meet new friends and see familiar faces in a setting that promoted new ideas and thoughts in a collaborative, open forum.  While at AVON, I was also thrilled to meet new friends and see many familiar faces in a setting that promoted movement and action across my hometown.  We all have something to give when it comes to fighting cancer, and it could be time, talent or your treasure.  For instance, last year I only made it through ten miles until my right foot tightened up with plantar fasciitis, so this year I recruited more walkers and then became their personal crew volunteer to help them when they needed it the most.  Along the way, I volunteered for Rosie the Riveters luncheon crew as we fed more than one thousand hungry walkers on both days, which allowed me the chance to see, talk to and thank almost every single one that came by, and this included a researcher at Rice that hasn’t even graduated yet that I met last year who is now already planning to stay for a MPH and I couldn’t be more thrilled to know her.

4.  Lastly, the sheer volume of the entire AACR experience made me feel as if I was totally spoiled.  It could have been the gorgeous view from my room, or the attention to every detail of our program, maybe it was the gracious researchers that answered every question, maybe it was the lab tour with Dr. Kuhn, or even the incredible meals that were lined up for us, or it could have been the ride in the electric car to find tiaras for the Data Diva’s Presentation before our closing ceremonies? I still can’t put my finger on what made it so special, because it was the entire experience in itself.  Compared to the AVON experience where I was part of the army of crew volunteers making sure every detail was covered for all the walkers on their two day journey, and spending the weekend in a friends apartment that didn’t have drapes when I needed it to be completely dark to sleep, or handing out napkins for hundreds of lovely ladies that I thought to myself, Martha Stewart would be proud!  To me, as I see it, there is balance in this world.  And right here I have detailed exactly how it happened and continues to happen to us all.

5.  What comes around goes around and when I finally got home last night and I was going through my mail I came to an envelope with a blank piece of paper wrapped around a check from one of my clients, then another envelope with a blank piece of paper wrapped around a blank check for me to make as a donation.  Then, I opened a thank you note from the Cancer180 conference at MDA and another one from YSC that both reminded me that what I am doing makes a difference every single day.  All of my time runs together so that from volunteering to consulting there is a balance that allows me to bridge the spectrum from cancer research advocacy to education and ultimately prevention.  There is balance within me as well.

6.  Lastly, what I am thinking about today is all the feedback I received from the poster session that makes me smile and woke me up early this morning.  While wearing a Survivors in Science embroidered lab coat and standing in front of my 8 by 4 poster; Yes, I am a Girl Scout, so if you say it needs to be 8×4, then that’s exactly what you get – that I had a tremendous response and was inspired by everyone that came by to ask questions, give their feedback and ultimately take my idea to the next level.  I am inspired to continue and keep going with new found ideas and support including an Advocate Toolkit as I will offer my time to share my story and present the poster and the toolkit to new audiences of advocates with special insight on exactly what I learned after spending 2013 making a difference with my time, talent and treasure.

You are welcome to view the poster and hand out in the Resource Documents section and inquire about upcoming opportunities to share the presentation, toolkit and order a Survivors in Science lab coat.