Conscious Artist Master Class – UpUp Trampoline Projects 2016

The Conscious Artist Master Class offers a variety of Creative Workshops to revitalise and nurture the Creative Soul.

Located on the side of the epic Cradle Mountain, the air is pure and the view of Tasmania is so breathtaking that one might consider a tree change.

How often do we set let our passions drift away from us?
How often do we set aside the time to come together with others to share creative knowledge and skills, inspiration and friendship in the bliss of nature?

In February 2016 I discovered the rustic, replenishing landscape of North East Tasmania. Whisked away from Launceston, in a car filled with a mix of creative folk from all different backgrounds and practices.

The collective vision is for a greater opportunity for creative empowerment. Through nurturing our own individual talents and interests, we are able to reflect a more enriched and actively creative society.

Together, through the exchange of knowledge, wisdom and creative solutions we can inspire a new narrative. The essence of our community is that it is a global powerhouse for change. Through the success of community development projects we are further united towards the challenges that are being faced by humanity.

The Creative Master Classs offered an ability to reconnect with my true love for writing from the perspective of poetry, nature, community and reflection.

 

 

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LOVEFOUND |

LoveFound is a Grassroots Non For Profit founded in 2008 by Priscilla Devi Prasad.
It is inspiring to meet someone as bright, dignified and warm as Priscilla Devi Prasad. A local to Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia, Priscilla is a strong presence in her local community, her hometown Vancouver, and her adopted community in Nepal.

As with any dream, it takes a long time to manifest, and, for the last 9 years, LoveFound has been the organisation with a heart for Youth Empowerment for Children and Marginalised Women in Nepal.

Initially inspired by a desire to travel overseas, Priscilla eventually found her home in volunteer work abroad, and successfully managed to ground herself securely into Community Development projects in Nepal as a Volunteer Coordinator. It transformed over the years as Priscilla began to successfully implement LoveFound as a sustainable method for Community Development, Social Change and Creative Empowerment.

With a creative hybrid of Fashion Design, Event Management and life on the road as a Festival Vendor, the presence and success of LoveFound is at most due to the passion, love and force of the Priscilla herself.

Through a variety of platforms for social change, Priscilla manages to use her LoveFound High Vibration Clothing Line to fund and generate awareness for various projects affiliated with LoveFound.

The Art for Social Change PRASAD initiative; whereby Artlab, a collective of young street artists, paint the walls of Kathmandu to transform the streets in front of the local community and leave a visual dedication to the various role models and local heroes of Nepalese society, such as the poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota. Their street art project, named PRASAD, aims at encouraging young people to create opportunities in Nepal and will be brought to more than six different Nepalese regions.

artnepal.jpg

Kiran Maharjan from Artlab (a CKU-partner in Nepal) is finishing a mural in Kathmandu. Photo: Rajneesh Bhandari

LoveFound also collaborates with other organisations, such as the Seeds of Change Foundation, for significant projects such as the Children’s Ziggurat in Kathmandu. A sustainability and conservation  project which addresses the needs of the nearby communities by offering a library accessible to the public and a seismically stable refuge area during earthquakes.

Moreover, LoveFound heralds a unique and successful presence in Vancouver as a platform for Community, as well as social contributor to Festivals through Conscious Vending, which, alongside providing donations and revenue from sales,  is a positive social mechanism for Youth Empowerment and Social Change. Through a presence and creative and transformational lifestyle festivals, Priscilla interweaves the significance of her Community in North America, and her Community in Nepal. LoveFound manages to retail a variety of conscious clothing and high vibrational jewellery, which adds a unique flare for generating sustainable income for Children and Marginalised Women in Nepal, whilst inspiring others to choose more consciously about the clothes they wear and the lifestyle it supports.

For more information on LoveFound:

http://www.LoveFound.org

Visions for Our Health, Our Voices and Our Environments with Elaine Hsiao

There is great natural beauty in America; the sight of Mt. Shasta on the horizon, with the knowledge that there is an abundance of spring water there and a beautiful township on the side of the mountain, it leaves a wonderful impression of life in California. It heralds a warmth that my skin, heart and mind embraces .

The sight of the natural forests that echo back into the ancient heritage of the First Nations, you can see how growing up in California would inspire a love of the environment.

Northern California, August 2014

Northern California, August 2014

In the midst of these incredible visuals of the North American West Coast, I am blessed with the delightful, intelligent and peaceful dialogue of Elaine, as she drives knowingly through her home state of California. We have recently met each other in Vancouver and are united on a road trip to PranaFest in Oregon and then onto Black Rock City in Nevada. It is a journey for exploring the regions of the West Coast – the mountain sides, the forests, the hot springs as well as the communities enriched by the consciousness of locals and travellers alike.

Elaine is worldly for a manner of reasons; the daughter of Taiwanese migrants, her success as a scholar is greatly supported by her accomplished academic family. Her vision as a young woman is one that has enabled her to achieve great international success and her wisdom is calm whilst electric with an inspirational force.

A University of British Columbia PhD scholar, her education as an Environmental Law Student sparked a passion for transboundary conservation areas and promoting peace and cooperation around the world.

In the wake of this field, her work and interests has led her to travelling great distances to participate in peace park research; from Costa Rica to the Heart of Africa – Uganda, Rwanda and The Congo – Elaine has encountered a spectrum of the natural world.

Whilst, conversely, this opportunity has also led her living in some of world’s largest cities; as an undergraduate in Los Angeles, a Law student in New York City and studying abroad in London and Japan.

Most recently, as an organiser and speaker at the World Parks Congress in Sydney in November, Elaine has had the opportunity to travel in Australia.

It is in the shadow of an Australian Government in which the Prime Minister Tony Abbott is hauntingly characterised by Orwellian political slogans in which he declares that “coal is good for humanity.” The significance for environmentally focused initiatives in the global community to have an ignited platform with a core for progressive dialogue and active focus is essential to Australia’s health as a developed country.

Elaine as a speaker at the Congress provides a genuine voice in the realm of environmental consciousness and conservation. It is a confident one, and it up coming leaders such as her that form the backbone of a new generation of activated environmentalists and global citizens.

Presenting at the World Parks Congress, Sydney

Elaine at the World Parks Congress, WPC Sydney

Group Chats with Green Senator Christina Milne

Group Chats with Green Senator Christina Milne, Olympic Park, Sydney

Elaine’s travels in Australia have enabled her to meet prominent Australian political leaders as well as off-the-grid Australians in New South Wales living in self created sustainable housing.

One of those creating thriving environments is Dan, a Byron Bay based Creative Director at, Starseed Gardens since 2005. Dan’s most recent direction is exploring systems of perpetual renewal and designing human interfaces to enable harmonic human communication, relationship and custodianship of the natural world.  “A Holistic Vision Blooming into Reality.”

In Sydney, a group meeting with Senator and Leader of the Australian Greens, Christina Milne, enables the importance of international communities to share the environmental priority for The Great Barrier Reef.

Queensland’s GBF is the worlds largest coral reef system of is of significant natural value. Even the US President Barack Obama mentioned this importance in his speech at the G20 Summit in Brisbane. A wish for his daughters to be able see it infused the inherent value of the Reef and the significance for cross generational environmental awareness and appreciation.

 

Great Barrier Reef

The beauty and diversity of the Great Barrier Reef is a natural wonder. 

 

Elaine reflects on her own relationship of being a child and the importance of environmental consciousness.

“My family took me to protected areas, walking in the foot hills and encountering wildlife. Being taught in public school that the San Francisco bay had been filled in and wildlife was endangered and there are things we can do about it.”

Elaine sights that the values of environmentalism in day to day life, was “a part of growing up in California.” With a state highly affected by drought, water conservation was important. And active citizen roles in the conversation of energy and resources through reusing and recycling was a part of the community awareness of the human impact on the environment and waste.

In a reflection of this upbringing, Elaine mentions that the lifestyle of environmentalism – in the culture – “as a child, through education and being involved in protected areas, endangered species protection and the natural environment opens up your consciousness in youth to the environment.”

 

 

Yosemite Falls Trail

Yosemite Falls Trail

Red Woods of California

Red Woods of California

“California, with the impressive natural landscapes, the worlds largest red wood trees, Yosemite national park, makes you aware of what is lousy and what were capable of protecting if we want too.” And it is true, one can’t think of California without being reminded of the first time I witnessed the monster city of L.A. on a flight path; the sight of the lava like streams and pools of red light seemed endless in the darkness of the night. I noticed that everyone else on the plane as stared out the windows awe struck to see it, and I wondered about the insane reliance on cars and highways as a way of life in a modern city.

California is speckled with diverse cities and towns. Los Angeles and San Francisco are human jungles in one of the countries largest farming and forest regions. It is a densely populated State – with around 38 million people – it outnumbers Canada’s entire population of 35 million. It is the breathing cultural lungs for the America I’ve known from across the ocean, uniquely holding a space for film, art and technology produced for a global network.

And that is why I am so relieved to have travelled through California with someone as empowered and intelligent as Elaine, working with global initiatives for the environment.

A former resident of L.A., her work has been starkly different to the environmental avenues she has pursued. I ask about the reasons for becoming involved in this field and she reflects on the experience as one of inherent love for how you experience your work.

“At the time I was working with Marketing in the Entertainment industry. Without making a lot of money and not having much inspiration from my work, I knew I’d always had an interest in environmental work, but it always more on the side. So I decided that, if I’m going to be poor, I would rather respect and be inspired by work that I love. There are a ton of reasons why we should be working for the environment. But to make that jump, it was a chance to be around something that I loved and be surrounded by people that I admired.”

Since that decision, Elaine’s passion and integrity have opened up the doors to the admirable, citing Professor Nick Robinson at Pace Law School, NYC, as one for spending his life dedicated to environmental conservation. “Being one of the early pioneers of environmental law in the US, on the forefront of pushing environmental conservation through the legal system, he helped open up that gateway for so many others.”

And in recent times, her work has also directed back into her own “backyard,” as issues of Conservation and Protected areas are highlighted by the admiration she feels for the First Nations people in North America that have faced, “deep cultural loss.  I am inspired by the indigenous stories and people that fulfil that responsibility to Mother Earth in the face of disenfranchised men and being removed from their land in the wake of cultural genocide. There are Generations of scars, to see half of their families dealing with those scars in unhealthy ways or to come out of extreme poverty and fulfil the ancestors duty, in those circumstances, it is incredibly admirable.”

Elaine in Vancouver, British Columbia, September 2014

Elaine in Vancouver, British Columbia, September 2014 wearing a Coast Salish Seas design for the Transboundary areas of North America

 

Elaine also is incredibly proud and in admiration of the work of young Indigenous Environmentalist, Ta’Kaiya Blaney.

“I am so grateful that she is doing what she is doing. Speaks her truth, and is not afraid. A lot of people tell children to not have a voice, to leave it to the adults. I believe we should let her be and let her become her maximum potential instead of trying to silence her. Give her a platform, if we activated other children in that same way, other people, if we empowered them, it would be a way to open up people to their gifts.”

 

Takaiya Blaney - A First Nations Voice for Youth and the Environment

Ta’Kaiya Blaney – A First Nations Voice for Youth and the Environment

 

“Shutting them down limits us from doing what we need to do. To talk about the things that aren’t pretty. She’s such a great example.”

Envisioning a Healthier Way

Envisioning a Healthier Way

“For a lot of people that think that culture is lost and that people are plastic. The environmental protection is all about reclaiming cultural identity. It is all interconnected. Which is why it is important for a girl that is coming into being a young woman, grappling with self identity, bringing people into environmentalism can have huge impacts on their own identity and potential save our cultures so to speak. Her nation has lost it’s nationhood because they signed away their rights to the Canadian government. Sliammon Nation, with the loss of their land, is the loss of their place, and the loss of their identity caused by environmental change.”

As an Earth Visionary, Elaine sees the importance of empowering youth:

“Defining youth, not by boxes, define ourselves by our actions. A commitment to actions. That we beleive to help co-create the world that we want, not the one that’s been given to us, not the one we’ve been told to accept but the one that we want. Generation now. Generation action. Young people today and into the future are going to be dealing with it because climate change has been set in motion. So many of the physical things, as a human being we take for granted the stability of environmental. When our environments shift before our eyes it can be unsettling.”

She also envisions and speaks on behalf of “going beyond sustainability… being more than being “less bad”, not just potentially sustainable, living in harmony, being retentive, not just with ourselves but with the rest of creation and having healthy lives.”

And on the concept for “health,” she defines that our lifestyles being healthy is core to our environment being healthy.

A Love for Nature

A Love for Nature

Define Health : “In Mind, Body, Spirit:- when we’re making the choices that are healthiest for us, are also healthy for Earth. If we promote nature in our environment. It’s healthy for all life. Health on all the levels. A healthy being – spiritual, emotional, mental, is better for everyone as a collective. Living in a healthier world, a less wasteful world. Helping each other more collaborative, less competitive.Healthy Minds – freeing our lives from addictions and prejudices.  Peaceful societies which makes for better environments. The less war and violence we have, that’s healthier.”

Inner and Outer Health

Inner and Outer Health

The Shadow of our Earth: ” Being honest about the problems, critical of them, and being a change maker and leading by example. Not waiting around for anyone else, not even your government. Do what you can do within your spheres of influence. And collectively our spheres are bigger.

EARTH VISIONARY LINKS FOR INFORMATION:

World Parks Congress: Visions for Sydney

http://www.worldparkscongress.org/about/promise_of_sydney_vision.html

StarSeed Gardens: Visions for Restoration of the Environment in Byron Bay

http://www.gaiaganda.org/starseed/vision

Takaiya Blaney: Empowering Youth for Environmental Initiatives

http://www.takaiyablaney.com

EARTH VISIONARIES: Jamileh, Elaine and Tomas in California August 2014

EARTH VISIONARIES: Jamileh, Elaine and Tomas in California August 2014

A Bridge for Rebels of Change in Oregon, September 2014

A Bridge for Rebels of Change in Oregon, September 2014

 

Imagine Peace – A tribute to John Lennon

John Lennon is inevitably my favourite Beatle…I know George Harrison sneaks in at times for writing “Here Comes the Sun,” and the wondrous film clip for “Got My Mind Set on You”. And as an avid music lover – The Beatles are a force for musical history and the power of the human spirit. The avenue of The Beatles visit to India in the late 60s portrays insight into the evolution of their musical careers and lives from boyish suit-wearing Liverpool romantics into the beautiful men that merged spiritual visions and conscious messages into their lifestyle and music.

It is the spirit of John Lennon that weaves into my life through my inherent love of his wisdom, his voice, his music, his drawings, his humour and passion that influenced the heart and soul of the counterculture of the 1960s and beyond. All these reasons are endearing facets of a man that achieved so much on 40 years of life. And it is the overall vision of John Lennon that is probably the reason I am so drawn to his character after the years. A vision for peace and love on Earth.

The Beatles at Rishikesh

The Beatles at Rishikesh

The Beatles_India_0

The Beatles in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In February 1968, the Beatles traveled to Rishikesh, India to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation (TM) training session at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

It is these universal messages of imagination, love and peace that sparks John Lennon as a visionary for humanity. As the lyrics of Tomorrow Never Knows mirror the insights into consciousness that India inspired:

Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream It is not dying, it is not dying

Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void It is shining, it is shining

Yet you may see the meaning of within It is being, it is being

Love is all and love is everyone It is knowing, it is knowing

And ignorance and hate mourn the dead It is believing, it is believing

But listen to the colour of your dreams It is not leaving, it is not leaving

So play the game “Existence” to the end

Of the beginning, of the beginning.

The Beatles since their rise to fame in the early 60s have maintained the essence of being incredibly popular. And as a youth, I was thoroughly uninterested in a band that was fervently loved by so many. I managed to dismiss their catalogue entirely and so did my parents. My parents were too young for Beatle-mania to grip them. And, like most children, our musical influences are directly linked to the childhood music catalogue. As such, I was introduced to the colourful love songs of Fleetwood Mac, the raw rock ‘n’ roll heart of The Rolling Stones, the poetics of Bob Dylan, the importance of Paul Kelly and the veracity of the beloved Elvis Costello, but amidst all of these classics, never once did I hear a Beatles album.

John & Yoko

John & Yoko

In Bed for Peace in Toronto

In Bed for Peace in Toronto

Rather, it wasn’t until my younger sister was being encouraged by our sisters to learn Beatles Classics on guitar that my eldest sister Emma sang an acoustic version of the 1964 song, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”   It was simple and beautiful. This judgement felt awkwardly placed amidst my inherent love of music. The influence of The Beatles on music meant that I began to realise the importance of these men for their contributions music, as an imaginative waterfall into the collective pools of humanity.

As legend portrays, John Lennon was born during a German bombing raid in October 1940 in Liverpool, England.  And I later learned that my Grandfather, a pilot during the Second World War trained to monitor the air space in England, had avidly purchased tickets to The Beatles for their show in Sydney in 1964. It seemed that this inherent misplacement of The Beatles musical catalogue from my consciousness was not a family ritual in favour of The Rolling Stones.

The Beatles - Live

The Beatles visit Australia

The Beatles in Australia, 1964

The Beatles wave to the crowd below from the balcony of the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne, during their Australia/NZ tour, June 1964.

The Beatles wave to the crowd below from the balcony of the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne, during their Australia/NZ tour, June 1964.

John was an inherently creative child and is often quoted: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

And it is this peculiar wisdom that marks John Lennon as a man that shatters the stalemate of  grievous opinions.

John Lennon Sketch

A John Lennon Sketch

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. 38 years later, Levitan, director Josh Raskin and illustrators James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina have collaborated to create an animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack:

The premiere of Imagine is shown in this extended interview in September 1971 alongside Yoko Ono. It is a wonderful interview that allows the Lennon dynamic and wit to emerge. There are a lot of messages and influences that shape the way we interact with and perceive our world today, and that is why I often drift back over to John Lennon as an inspiration for peace and love.

The recording of ‘Oh My Love’ in 1971 with George Harrison:

Sacred Earth Visionaries

Earth Energy Grid

Sacred Earth Visionaries explores and embraces the passion and integrity of progressive lifestyles, communities, projects and ideas.

It is inspired by creative visionaries and those that contribute to the beauty of our Earth through artistic expression, environmental healing, community consciousness and enterprises that nurture human spirit, health and overall wellbeing.

Sacred Earth Visionaries interweaves the significance of our indigenous cultures and the importance of community visions for a new paradigm.

It honours the sacred aspects of our human experiences whilst drawing upon the issues and solutions facing our communities. As such, it is an insight into the various roles and contributions being achieved by members of conscious humanity in this era of rapid change.

It seeks to inspire, inform and connect people around the world and harmonise the intentions and achievements of progressive visions for Earth.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada