24 April 2007

mexico 1, ank 1

+52 5524390370

c/o jesica lopez-sol
oceano 116
jardines del pedregal
mexico DF


Arrived at six in the morning after the emptiest airshisp I've ever slept upon to find the beautiful fiancee of my brother Erik waiting at the airdoor and a mango in the car to get me started.

Morning breakfast included mamey-sapote, guanabana, and chickoo-sapote, and starred three native mangos: the paradise, the manila, and the atualfo. Mangitud and highspirits in effect as we took down 1/2 a kilo of fresh corn tortillas from down the street.

Which just about erased any lingering attachment to my laptop which lifted off during transit, carefully pilfered by the TSA in sf or an enterprising youth in DF. They were carefully to take the power cord, memory dingdong (with so much good music!), and brand new wireless adapter.

And I've always known that owning in general is a hazardous pursuit in a world and country and culture of inequality, oppression, and poverty. So I deserved the theft perhaps as much as I deserved the laptop, a gift over four years ago.

And in honor of that tiny little creature, who hosted Denali's thesis, my cookbook, Hannah's thesis, and the first third of my next book (backed up on the internet), I'd like to take a moment of mangos and silence. And Jorge Ben Jor, somewhere mixed in to keep the silence light.

Key takeaway that I've arrived safely and happily, have showered and am almost ready to get down to work (oraworldmandala.org).


ps I feel justified in contuining to write to 'mangolandia' because i've eaten more mangos than hours i've been here.

17 April 2007


i have graduated to the ranks of the fulltime privately owned magicbox using professional. my personal device has the potential to take your picture, store your phone number, and play a perfect C note to help me tune my flute. it is therefore indispensable. the number is valid as long as im in amerika (see calendar or below) and when im not i am committed to acquiring (by hook or by crook) local numbers with the swiftness of a chased gazelle.

* 201 736 9684 *


in america until april 23rd
and again in early june until early july
and again after august 2nd until december sometime


bling. ding.


Is the latest project I'm working on. In the middle of packing out of Sequim and towards Seattle, SF, and Mexico (where I'll be from 23rd april onwards, for 5 weeks at least, address forthcoming) so this isn't going to be lucid as your recent dreams. But I'm going to paste in some links and documents to give a small sense of what this project is all about.

the website:


a summary of the first experiment
an invitation
to follow...


First experiment: "Opening an Archive of the Earth"

The first experiment of the OraWorldMandala project, Education for a
Culture of Peace and Non-violence, started on April 2005, in Gujarat,
India, the native soil of Mahatma Gandhi. To date, the ongoing
experiment includes five actions.


The first action took place on the 23rd of April, 2005. An inter-faith
communion was initiated, bringing together people from various
religious communities to remember the message of love and harmony of
Mahatma Gandhi through meditation, prayer, song, and dance. The action
culminated in an offering of the element "Earth" in which each
religious group brought earth from its sacred places to place in a
large earthen vessel normally used to store grain and water: the
"Archive of the Earth". Over five hundred people representing eight
religious communities, various Tribal peoples, artistic, scientific,
and social institutions, participated in the action at the Sabarmati
Ashram, whose resonance and radiance will spread through the world.

Yatra for a World of Equity and All Religions Prayer

From this seed of peace, on the 18th of December, 2005, a second
action bloomed in the shape of colourful lotus: thousands of paper
petals, created by thousands of children, were installed around the
"Archive of the Earth". The children, including differently-abled and
blind children, led a Yatra (march) for a World of Equity, holding
their petals to their hearts. Through their petals, more than five
thousand children expressed their dreams of Ahimsa in writing,
painting and singing the "Chant of the Wind" to represent the beauty
of a world that still believes in the value of Unity in diversity.
Three days later, at sunrise on the day of the Northern Solstice, the
founders of the ongoing experiment met at the Sabarmati Ashram to
perform the Surya Namaskar (Salutation to the Sun) and the Sarva
Dharma Prarthana (All religions prayer) of Mahatma Gandhi, around the
beautiful flower that bloomed from their aspiration of peace. A
message from his Holiness the Dalai Lama encouraging the continuation
of the action reached this auspicious moment of communal harmony:
"…Harmony among different religions is essential for peace not only in
the world at large, but also in the very localities where we live. In
order to develop genuine harmony, it´s extremely important that we
cultivate genuine respect for one another. I believe that people with
religious interests have special responsibilities in this regard and I
am impressed by the efforts being focused in this direction by
concerned citizens of Ahmedabad…"

The Eye of Truth

The fourth action took place on the 10th and 11th of June 2006 on the
Quemado Mountain (Desert of San Luis Potosi). In accordance with the
Huichol tradition, Reunar or Cerro Quemado is a vision of devotion to
the Sun guided by the Eagle. For the first time in history, the
Huichol people or Wisharica (as they call themselves), opened the
sacred doors of the Cerro Quemado to a large group of people belonging
to different visions and backgrounds. This gesture of love and
tolerance suggests a new approach to the process of social inclusion
that is going on in the country.
Around two hundred people (representatives of the five Huichol
communities, leaders from different spiritual traditions and
movements, managers, scientists, social workers, individuals and the
OraWorldMandala friends) coming from various sites of Mexico met on
the 10th June in the main square of the historical town of Real de
Catorce, to begin the silent pilgrimage to the Cerro Quemado. At
sunset, the people expressed their commitment to ahimsa in a special
moment dedicated to Gandhiji. A text of the Mexican writer Carlos
Montemayor was read to stress the importance of the values transmitted
by the Mahatma. The night was accompanied by sacred chants performed
by an elder Huichol shaman in dialogue with his Gods. At sunrise, the
petals of the colorful lotus created by the Indian children were
offered to the Elders to preserve the purity of a real hope for Peace.
Then the master collected soils of the Quemado that will be later
offered to the "Archive of the Earth" at the Sabarmati Ashram.
Finally, we installed the Eye of Truth: a collective work of art
jointly created by the participants with bamboo and colorful threads
in the shape of Tsikuli, a sacred instrument used by the Huicholes.
This sacred eye faced east and west toward the Sabarmati Ashram
symbolically seeing the principles of Truth circumambulating the

Reconciliation through the opposites

India and Mexico are located on opposite sides of the globe. On
October 2, Indians commemorate the birth date of Mahatma Gandhi
(1869), father of non-violence and the nation. On the same date, in
Mexico, it is the anniversary of the violent tragedy of Tlatelolco
(1968). On the 2nd October 2006 the fifth action took place expressing
our intention to reconcile the minds and hearts of the participants,
resonating ahimsa within each person, their families, their societies,
and with our Planet as a whole.

Sabarmati Ashram (India):
October 2, 2006, 18.30P.M – Union of the soils from India and Mexico.
The Wirrarika Marakames from Mexico united the soils taken from the
Cerro Quemado in Mexico with the soils offered by the eight religious
communities in Ahmedabad on April 23, 2005. This alliance of the
ancient knowledge of the two countries seals the opening of the
Archive of the Earth. Now the Archive is open to receive soils from
different sites of the world offered by people who share the vision of
a peaceful planet, and are willing to explore their own evolution, and
those of their associated institutions, in fulfillment of that vision.

Mahatma Gandhi Monument, Bosque de Chapultepec (Mexico):
October 2, 2006, 8A.M – Offering your soil for the Planet. Individuals
and groups with different missions offered a handful of soil, in
silence, in a collective Mandala in front of the monument. As October
2, 2006 fell on a Monday, the day of the week that found Gandhi in
silence, we used silence as an instrument to increase the resonance of
our actions, creating a path from violence to Non-violence. A text was
written and read by Rahul Alvarez Garin, representative of the Comite
'68, to stress the importance of Ahimsa today in Mexico and in the
World. The soils which formed the Mandala, will be offered next to the
"Archive of the Earth" in Sabarmati Ashram.

The five actions have been realized and fully documented through the
cooperation, the economic participation and the voluntary work of all
the participants, namely eleven religious communities, forty schools,
colleges, various artistic, social and educational institutions, NGOs,
women organizations, representatives of tribal and native peoples,
artists coming from different horizons and nationalities, individuals
and scientists.


An Invitation to Cerro Quemado:

Dear Friends of OraWorldMandala,

On October 2nd of 2006, in the Sabarmati Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi's center of operations for many years, we opened the Archive of the Earth: the union of earth from India and Mexico symbolically marking the cultural alliance between two ancient civilizations on opposite sides of the globe, which have united in the common cause of Ahimsa, non-violence, and respect for all life.
(see http://www.oraworldmandala.org)

The Archive of the Earth is a large earthen vessel, traditionally used in India to store grains or water. Now this Archive is open to receive earth from all over the world, offered by people and institutions who share a vision of a peaceful planet and are ready to explore their own evolution as a means of achieving this larger Peace.

On the other side of the world from India's Sabarmati Ashram, we find the Cerro Quemado in Real de Catorce, the sacred mountain of the native Wisharrika, better known as the Huicholes,. Ont eh 10th and 11th of June, 2006, we performed a ceremony to collect and to offer earth to the Archive, sealing the alliance between India and Mexico.
(see the fourth action, http://www.oraworldmandala.org).

OraWorldMandala has committed to return to the Huicholes for five years -- each year finds us with the Huicholes' elder shamans, collecting the earth of the Cerro Quemado for the Archive, to make together the road to Ahimsa.
Continuing with this commitment, the 2nd offering of earth will take place under the full moon on the 31st of May, 2007. Once again, we will walk in silent pilgrimage from Real de Catorce to the sacred Cerro Quemado, guided by the Huicholes. The installation of the Eye of Truth, a work of art created with colorful threads and bamboo by he participants in the form of a Tsikuli (a sacred tool of the Huicholes) will close the ceremony.

The intention of this second offering of the earth is to promote Ahimsa as the point of convergence among different belief systems, and to benefit the well being of all.

OraWorldMandala invites you, once again to join this action and offering on the 31st of May and 1st of June, 2007, Cerro Quemado (Real del Catorce).

05 April 2007

the freedom she seeks

The freedom I seek
is in my hips,
the bones of my feet,
the expanse of my ribs
answering the rhythm
like the gliding tide.
Drawn in, out, in, out,
swooning helplessly with devotion
to the silver, swollen moon
gravity herself
(who, in turn, cannot resist
describing an endless
sacred circle
around her own true love,

The freedom I seek
is in my hands,
that do not flinch or clench or
raise themselves to shield my eyes
from the fire of my desire
but become the tools of its realization
in their motion,
their song,
their strength
to hold and soothe and raise
to dig and to plant
to write and to shape
to lift a butterfly from the dusty earth of a cacophonous cactus marketplace
and laugh as she flies away.

The freedom I seek
is in my sex,
full, laughing, sweaty
without shame or anticipatory collapse
I move in the knowing
I embody the name that was whispered to me
in the moonlit forest sky sanctuary
the spreading salve
tonic for the dark, smoldering places
merciful death transmuting into 
I am she
glowing, real, open.

The freedom I seek
is in my mind,
alive with possibility
as empty as the desert sky
where I take the one seat,
mistress of my destiny,
I guide my way
from choice.

The freedom I seek
is in my heart
beating universal rhythms
lush green pounding emergence, mama Africa
the rumbling silence of the buffalo
(gone from here, taken from this place)
the salmon, guided home through ineffable vastness
and you, my beloved,
the answer to one wondrous question
that time has taught me to ask
you call this dance
you enrapture this drumbeat
ba-BUM ba-BUM ba-BUM
whhhhhssshhhhhh (…starlight's song)
become the one prayer
that was whispered to us when we were born
and that rang out always
across our slumbering journeys.

The freedom I seek
is in me.
I am here;
I am already free.

   - caitlin cislin

copper canyon


03 April 2007

a poem that will soon be some play

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

[ oriah mountain dreamer ]

Concert Review: Notes from the Monsoon Hotel

On Thursday March 29th, Matt Coffman performed courageous acts of peacemaking as he sat in front of microphones and an audience to sing truth and beauty out into the world. His singing was accompanied by the careful work of his hands, tenderly pressing on one end of the strings and vibrating them on the other. The wooden cavity of his guitar resonated pure bliss as melody and harmony melted into liquid sound. Matt's songs spoke of comfort and restoration, longing and prosperity, hope and desire. The effect of his spirit's outpouring was felt not only by those in attendance that evening, but in the souls of beings around the globe. Matt has the ability to open hearts in a way that is unprecedented. The healing embrace of his music allows for utter and unreserved love to evolve and flourish.

- s. basset

[n.b.: mateo's new CD, "live july at the monsoon hotel" will be released shortly, a joint production of somethingconstructive.net, comfort alley recording studios, and the art of kevin panozzo]
because elephants are vegetarian.

sculpture by valeria del ferrocarril