Gratifly Festival : Beyond the Surface, into the Deep Work

Tribal Council is intimately involved with a rapidly approaching event called Gratifly Music and Arts Festival. For those of us remaining rather rooted this season, it’s worked out quite conveniently that this event will happen to host- literally- almost all of our favorite musical acts. In addition to this, the festival is bringing in knowledge- & skill-sharing as focal points.  In the vein of the rising transformational festival movement, Gratifly is offering a full-spectrum experience in every sense of the word. Most notably is the fact that while there are 4 music stages, there are 6 – that’s right, SIX- workshop stages. These stages will host over 50 presenters and 80+ offerings.

This is a model that is still quite fresh within the festival culture of the Southeast, and we are so excited to be a part of offering it, and to make it to as many of these classes as humanly possible! Each day we will have a multitude of yoga asana practices available for your re-energizing needs; if you’re feeling like you need something a bit more external to regain restoration, there will be a healing sanctuary available to help you recharge. Workshops will cover unique topics such as intuitive floetry, soul sweat, shamanic journeying, art & entertainment as social action – and that’s just the tip of the crystal.

Alokananda Star Bear, wandering shaman and founder of UNITRIBE in NYC, will be sharing the following offerings:  - Illuminating the 7 Bodies - The Role of the Emotional Body in the Age of Ascension - Tribal Kirtan

Alokananda Star Bear, wandering shaman and founder of UNITRIBE in NYC, will be sharing the following offerings:
– Illuminating the 7 Bodies
– The Role of the Emotional Body in the Age of Ascension
– Tribal Kirtan

We invite you to hop over now to the Gratifly site and spend some time seeing what these classes are all about, and maybe even creating your own calendar so you can be sure to catch them all.

Brian Love will be offering some unique workshops: - Tools for a Regenerative Future: Permaculture, Ecovillages, and Cannabis in our bioregion   - TRYPTAMEME – Time Travel, Anahuasca, and the Eleusinian Mysteries

Brian Love will be offering some unique workshops:
– Tools for a Regenerative Future: Permaculture, Ecovillages, and Cannabis in our bioregion
– TRYPTAMEME – Time Travel, Anahuasca, and the Eleusinian Mysteries

So you know what this means… Grab your friends, your notebooks, and be sure to arrive to the festival on time for maximum downloads!

VerDarLuz, shamanic astrologer, life coach, and tantra educator, will be offering  - Sacred Geometry and Archetypal Astrology - Zodiac Puja & Tantra Yoga

VerDarLuz, shamanic astrologer, life coach, and tantra educator, will be offering
– Sacred Geometry and Archetypal Astrology
– Zodiac Puja & Tantra Yoga

We look forward to seeing, dancing, & learning with you there!
<3 TC

Firefly Gathering

As you may or may not know, a solid crew of TC hearts are blessed to be sweetly nestled within the cozy embrace of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a majickal place where faeries & elves abound. Within the nooks & crannies are tucked pure treasures that shape-shift to provide whatever you may seek in the moment. Inevitably so, these lands sow seeds in hearts that ripple out through their respective hands. It is within this context that we frame this piece: Firefly Gathering. The Firefly Gathering, now 5 years strong, is an annual event focused on rewilding, primitive, homesteading & sustainability skills.

Over 200 workshops offered throughout the weekend – take a peek at this serious dankness here!

Here at TC, many of us have been feeling the tugs at our heartstrings toward more rooted past-times & gatherings. This prompted a few of us to make it out to Firefly – and oh, did Bell’s Cove treat us right.  Lives were changed, connections were made, & people were empowered.

As if getting out under the stars (and away from the cyber-vortex!) wasn’t enough, we got to do it with hundreds of other luminous beings draped in buckskin belts and dresses that they tanned and sewed by their own hands. One of the most inspiring aspects of this gathering is the intention & vision that moves it – you can rest assured that everyone who is there is dedicated to growth, courageously assuming the role of pioneers in a time where that is desperately needed.
The gathering was a refreshing change of pace from that which we are typically used to attending. This time, we got to serve in a different context – rather than offering workshops, we were the ones going to the workshops (and learning SO much). There is so much importance in each role we all play, from “giver” to “receiver” – usually both of which really entail a bit of each. Each role is integral in the vast realms in which we come together to work & play in order to serve the world.
Like our experience at LEAF, Firefly encourages (and in fact, thrives on) multi-generational involvement. Also like LEAF, we were humbled and amazed by the number of 4-year-olds that could school us in tomahawk-throwing & spear-carving.
We went on wild woodslore folk-song plant walks, began the long journey ahead toward reconnecting with our honeybee kin, slung slavic martial arts, & explored sacred sexuality. This gathering is like one of the festivals we typically go to, but seriously amplified. You know that feeling when the biggest problem you face is choosing between 2 of your favorite artists? That is the feeling you buzz around Firefly with — ultimately coming to rest in the knowing that we have lifetimes, and many more Firefly’s, ahead of us to immerse ourselves in the wellspring of wisdom.
After full days of basking in the sun and storing away the downloads, Firefly offered night-time soundscapes a bit different from those we are used to at gatherings. Sweet and feisty serenades were the musical main attractions of the weekend on Saturday night, featuring local favorites Sparrow & the Resonant Rogues, and someone you may be more apt to recognize – Leah Song of Rising Appalachia.
While we can certainly get down to the sweet and sultry, we admit we did slip out on Friday night for our very own Push/Pull’s set inside of the debut ENO flower of life lotus dome back in town at Highland Brewery. Just when we think our friends can’t get any cooler (we should really just stop thinking this), they DJ inside of galactic space pods that all the rest of our friends are hanging from in hammocks – another testament to the human creative potential.
Back to Firefly…! We are so grateful to have been able to experience this ancient-future format of gathering, and observe & interact with this incredible community. We drew many parallels between this and the style of gathering we are accustomed to. What it all really comes down to, after all, is tribe – the facilitation of the remembrance that we are all One Tribe, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We are stronger and happier together, and we were made to be so. TC’s mission and vision stems from this understanding, and we are honored to stand amongst so many powerful warriors of love as we offer up our heads, hands & hearts to better serve the world and each other.
The neo-tribal revival is everywhere we look :) Stay tribal y’all.
<3 TC

Interview with Founder of Unitus Benefit Festival, Jordan Sadler

This week we had a chance to connect with Jordan Sadler, one of the founders and visionaries behind Unitus Cultural Arts Benefit, which is a “festival” in its third
year and taking place Aug 9-11 at Cherokee Farms, GA.  The idea behind the interview was to get the key points of Unitus out to as many people as possible since this gathering is still flying under the radar on most people’s summer schedules. Tribal Council is happy to be returning to Cherokee Farms three years after our first theme camp setup at Alchemy, Georgia’s regional burn, and this time, to be truly bringing the tribes together to heal centuries of wounds.  We hope to see you there for the Chinese Lantern Lighting ceremony.
Here’s what Jordan had to say:
Unitus Flyer 2013
TC: As one of the founders and consistent visionaries of Unitus, can you tell us a little bit of the story of how Unitus Festival was birthed?
JS: By no means did it start out as what it is today. Hao, Jay, and I spent a lot of time on some farmland and forest up in Tennessee also known as Jaceland. We have all had the shared vision of creating a sustainable community and a place where people can come to learn and grow together. One night we shared the idea of Unitus (Unite Us) in my basement when we were thinking up a name for the festival we were planning. We knew that we were here to connect the dots, and it all starts with us. Why not create a festival/organization built on the foundation of unity and bringing people together? Through these seeds being planted, it has really given us the opportunity to be able to appreciate the beauty in our daily lives and give us a positive and constructive cause to works towards.
TC: I understand that for its third year, Unitus has moved to Cherokee Farms, the site of the Georgia burn Alchemy and countless other small festivals.  Can you share why that decision was made and the implications of this location?
JS: It is evident that the reason for this was beyond our understanding in the moment. One of the main reasons that we moved Unitus from TN to GA is that lighting the Chinese Sky Lanterns is now illegal in Tennessee. The Unitus Sky Lantern Ceremony is a guided meditation lead by Dixon’s Violin, in which everyone is able to release and let go of whatever they are holding onto in their lives that they feel is holding them back. By releasing, we are creating space to welcome what we do want into our lives. We are also primarily from the Atlanta area, so this is 2 hours closer to home for us along with much of our friends and family. We are just now beginning to understand the choice we made… especially with the history of Cherokee Farms and the role it has in our efforts to bring light to the Native American cultures, traditions, ways of life, and collectively uniting of the tribes.
TC: More and more festivals are declaring “missions” and “values” that guide their creation, evolution, and vision.  We at Tribal Council are adamant believers in this practice as it focuses the energy and the intention of event organizers as well as the patrons who come to cocreate the experience.  What is the mission of Unitus and what are the values at its core?
JS: The Mission of Unitus is quite simple. The name says it all… to Unite Us. Our goal is to further understand and honor this symbiotic system we are living in to heal, grow, and love. Remember the golden rule we learned back in elementary school? Treat others how you would like to be treated. We still hold that dear, although it is not just confined to other human beings, but to everything.
TC: These days there are so many music festivals and gatherings out there for people to choose from. Festival season has essentially been extended to a year round festival lifestyle for those looking for it. With the full spectrum of festivals, what makes Unitus different than other “music festivals?”
JS: I appreciate you all asking that question. We get that a bunch, what type of festival is this – a burn, electronic, hippy, etc? First off, we would like to say that we are all so much more than what any title or limitation could try and confine us as. We decided, if you have to put us in a box, we will be our own thing. So, we decided we would be a “Cultural Arts Benefit Festival”. Each year we will strive to learn about and honor a certain culture that we feel is in alignment with realizing our interconnectedness. This year we chose the Native American or American Indian Culture(s). Of course, we mean benefiting by raising awareness and funding for non-profit organizations or certain causes. For the past few years we have worked with the American Red Cross Tornado Victims of Alabama, Children of Vietnam, and this year we are working with Future by Design (The Venus Project) and Bradd Alan Landress: The Healing Place.
TC:  Festivals are always a product of many different entities and groups coming together to create a result that is synergistically greater than the sum of the individual efforts. Who are the groups involved in this year’s Unitus Festival and what do they bring to the table?
JS: There are quite a few organizations we would love to give thanks to. Unfortunately, you will have to do your homework on these organizations because it will take quite a good amount of time explaining what all they do and what they bring to the table. 
These people and organizations are by no means in chronological order of contribution or level of involvement:
Magnolia Miracle, Wiki Wiseman, Tree Sound Studios/Tree Leaf Records/Tree Power, Full Immersion, GermiNation, Copious Jones/Shimmergloom, Future by Design (The Venus Project), Bradd Alan Landress: The Healing Place, Children of Vietnam,, Coll3ctiv3nois3, TerraTonz, Soul Kombucha, Noah’s Ark, Lost Sailor Design, Cherokee Farms, Jaceland, White Elk Spirit Dancer, along with many different Native Americans from different reservations, tribes, and communities and of course Tribal Council!
TC: Finally, what are you most excited about for this year’s Unitus?
JS: I am most excited to see history be made. By making history, I personally am referring to White Elk Spirit Dancer holding a healing ceremony to bring light to the land at Cherokee Farms, which was a stockade during the Trail of Tears for the Cherokee Nation. I am also excited to see the tribes unite and come together from all over. There is no better time than now to start making this world a better place for generations to come. We invite you all to come out and join us as history is made and not repeated…
2013 unitus poster 11x17 finale

The Bloom Series Episode 2: Practicing the New World

Watch The Bloom Episode 2: Practicing the New World

The High-Light of our day today was a bit unusual – it was composed of sitting down to watch an episode… “TC watching TV?” you may croak out in a mixture of shock, horror, & disgust. Relax, dear friends, & fear not – for this is no ordinary “episode”. What we are referring to is the second installment of a ground-breaking new documentary webseries – The Bloom. The Bloom, in its own words, “illuminates the blossoming phenomenon of Transformational Festivals, immersive participatory realities that are having profound life-changing effects on hundreds of thousands of lives.”


Photo by Ryan Mitchell Arts

It has been a great pleasure getting to know the film crew & producers of this project over the past year, and we are beyond thrilled by & for them. The making of this series is vital to the spreading of transformational festival culture, most especially because of its accessibility – a value we are ever trying to act in accordance with. This series has the potential to reach the thousands that can’t make it out to the festivals (yet), and we are excited to see the ripples that come from it.

The Bloom is capturing what we had, until now, deemed “uncapturable”. The beauty, power, & life force that drives this culture, that has driven us on our mission of Service, is now eloquently captured in a masterfully crafted aesthetic delight, that’s almost as fun to watch as it is to live!


This series and culture are full of Pure Potent-iality.  We have already felt the effects ripple out here in the form of reaffirmation & renewed inspiration for this shared vision. Tribal Council is honored and humbled to share space among so many powerful movers & shakers in the credit reel. We are also excited to be premiering Episode 3 on the big screen at Gratifly Festival and have the Bloom film crew onsite filming the weekend’s events this July. So if you aren’t family-ar yet, grab your goji berries, hold on to your harem pants, and get ready for a wild ride through sensory stimulation & spirit massage, with a dose of your daily inspiration on top. Then, as episode 2 reminds us, let’s get together and practice the new world.


<3 TC

Watch The Bloom Episode 2: Practicing the New World

OVO: A Lunar Masquerade


Photo Credit: Lee Brooks

As we like to joke about quite often, a typical “problem” these days often consists of having to make a decision between two shows on the same night. In the height of 2013, there is certainly no shortage of events to choose from – though quantity does not always guarantee quality. However, last night was an event worth writing home about. OVO: A Lunar Masquerade brought out all the wild, weird, & beautiful, in our sweet shangri-la of the same qualities, Asheville, NC.


Photo Credit: Lee Brooks

When the invite to an event is as follows, you already know you’re in for a treat:

“Music, art, dance, costume, and performance from the psychoactive depths of ancient Venice. Polish your boots and come see the carnival; it’ll be like nothing you’ve seen before. ”

And in-deed, OVO lived up to its promises…


Sweet Hearts serving it up & holding it down
Photo Credit: Lee Brooks

TC snuggled up on the balcony next to Buchi to provide a tea lounge cuddle puddle with a nice bird’s eye view of all of the action (literally – the show was action-packed in the best way possible). What looked like all of Asheville came out to dress up & get down, and we certainly clean up nice! Organic Armor provided the garb for the acts of the night, which was quite the aesthetic delight.  These acts consisted of the powers combined from our amazingly talented friends including Futexture, Medisin, and Kynara – a whirlwind night that carried us through the realms of four to the floor, psychedelic glitch hop, funk, and the depths of Brian Lord’s mind.


And just when you thought Futexture couldn’t get any cooler……
Photo Credit: Lee Brooks

And as if all of that wasn’t enough (usually that’s it, right?), the highlights of the night might have been that which was, in fact, a bit higher up than all of that. Some of Asheville’s finest came out to play, with the most silks in one room I’ve seen on this side of the country! The circus has always been a personal source of inspiration and an empowering reminder of the incredible potential we as humans hold, from shape-shifting to flying, and everything in between. Members of the Bromelia Aerial Dance Collective and Clan Destiny Circus, along with many other inspiranauts & contortionists, came out to share and revel in the glory that is the human body & spirit.


Early Pearly & Elijah Strongheart
Photo Credit: Lee Brooks

All in all, OVO was one of the best shows of 2013 on the east coast, and we want to express our enthusiasm for and interest in more events of this nature coming into fruition. The Fox & Beggar Theater has shown us what an event with artistic heart looks, sounds, & feels like- and we want more. We at TC put out the call to all those who share this vision.  Anyone seeking help with producing high caliber events like these can feel free to contact us at  With our powers combined we can turn dreams & fantasy into a living, breathing reality, as OVO has reminded us.

Bromelia Photo Credit: Lee Brooks

Photo Credit: Lee Brooks

And as for F&BT, this event was just the first step on a long road to the Masonic Temple, aka Tarocco… So if you like what you saw or read here, follow this link to find out more about what this is really all about, and how you can get involved/support the rebirth of creativity- in yourself, the music culture, & the world at large. Thank you Fox & Beggar Theater and all those involved in OVO – we look forward to Tarocco and the journey there.

Council Talk: LEAF Spring 2013

Homies vibin' out to the legendary Steel Pulse to close out a magical LEAF weekend

Homies vibin’ out to the legendary Steel Pulse to close out a magical LEAF weekend

The spring of 2013 is blossoming and led the Tribal Council to our very first Lake Eden Arts Festival! (LEAF) May 9-12th hosted the 36th bi-annual gathering at the tried & true grounds of Camp Rockmont /Lake Eden outside of Asheville, NC. It was an honor to participate at a festival which structures itself differently than many gatherings these days. LEAF welcomes the whole family, with a focus on a worldwide diversity of art and educational programs.


Talavya, high-energy Indian percussion that fostered some neural connections between this traditional music & the EDM we so often play

A night at LEAF might find one dancing to African Tribal Fusion, passing through an intimate sharing of poetry, hours of contra dance and running through the woods to an all-night drum circle. The result is a unique and uplifting experience that emphasizes global connection and the exchange of information and loving experiences that serves all peoples in all cultures . If youʼre looking to take your parents and siblings to their first festy, this might be the one!


Dima Bear and Sir Summit sharing some thai massage

Tribal Council offered our dome as a community space in the Healing Arts area. We served tea, held space, cuddled, massaged and shared in the joy of the Geodesic communion, while yoga classes and workshops took place around us all day. The sweet blend of a gorgeous festival site and the ample opportunities to sing, dance, learn and play amazed us throughout the weekend, and left us all feeling super grateful to participate and serve at LEAF.


Cheer Bear serving up tea to all the lovelies in the cozy dome home

All in all, the weekend felt like a throw-back to the best of summer camp, integrated with a globally cultured experience that would be hard to find anywhere else.

One of Tribal Council’s heroes, Buckminster Fuller, consistently cropped-up over weekend, being that our Geodesic dome was set up only yards away from where Bucky pioneered his first dome setup while he was teaching at Black Mountain College on the current Lake Eden site.  Stay posted for possibility of the Council connecting with Fuller’s work and philosophies at the upcoming fall LEAF.


The consistently impressive & ever-evolving myriad of offerings we at TC are honored to support & work with

As Bucky once said: “There is no joy equal to that of being able to work for all of humanity and doing what youre doing well.” Thank you all for supporting your Council and many blessings to everyone.

– WilSun


Sonic Bloom Preview: Unifying the Culture


When one attends Sonic Bloom it might as well be a happy trip to a little model of utopia. Of all the festivals I have personally been to, Sonic Bloom’s amazing display last year certified it as one of most cohesive, beautiful, smooth and purely friendly gatherings out there. I had heard great things, and the experience trumped them all. Sonic Bloom’s subtitle for this year is “The Unified Field”, in reference to Nassim Haramein’s teachings and Jamie Janover’s excellent conveyance of them; but there is another meaning to this title for me, and it is the unification of all the aspects of transformational gathering culture into a fully immersive and8nr_2025 authentic experience. From the Colorado scenery to the fans to the overall atmosphere and aesthetic to the music to the many offerings present, Sonic Bloom is a fest and a feast for the soul, the mind, the heart; and a very unique feeling one at that. It is one of those festivals that carries with it a magic and an air of joyousness that goes far beyond any one of the standout elements, a gathering that feels whole, complete and totally worthwhile. With this years lineup and offerings, we are in for another amazing time.

Sonic Bloom took, in my opinion, an amazing leap of confidence and seriously welcome innovation when they debuted their full lineup. Its not because of the amazing acts present, in fact its just the opposite. Sonic Bloom booked almost no acts that were present last year (just 5 or 6). That is awesome! And what’s more awesome is the incredible lineup that has resulted. This lineup is just pure FUN:


The happy hard-hitting world-renowned Australian glitch-hop headliner Opiou. The soul-touching subtle stylings of Bluetech (and an uptempo set under his other name, Evan Marc). The extremely talented and explosively fun band The Werks. Rare appearances by Whitebear, LYNX and Lucent Dossier Experience. Lesser known and simply amazing Australian acts such as GOOSEBUMPZ. Time-honored bastions of the culture like  Desert Dwellers, Govinda, Akara, Random Rab, Adham Shaikh, the list really does just go on and on and on. In terms of the styles of music present there is a comfortable variety here, hard-hitters and chillout masters, a great range of tempos and styles. But there is one thing that all the music of Sonic Bloom has in common, and that is that it is of the utmost quality of production and live presentation. All of these performers, like the ethereal and beautiful Akara, have splendid stage presence, and create truly fresh and original music, spread across many different styles. Also, the lineup of painters is great as always, these are true visionaries creating a new paradigm of expression, and their work re:expresses the feelings of these gatherings, re:creates and intimates the symbology of this culture, and also serves as a reference point for the truth that this culture is engaging in a renaissance of creative potential and output.


Moving past the music, the real meat of Sonic Bloom, or should I say the real nectar of Sonic Bloom, comes clear. There is a lot to take in, so lets start on the stage performance. Sonic Bloom always includes extensive and constant displays of amazing stage performance. Wether it be dancing, fire or toys, the flow arts at this festival really make the sets something special. Furthermore, Sonic Bloom does not skimp on the quality of the performers (I mean, what’s worse than a stage “performer” that just looks like a drunk fan?). These are world-class artists of movement, so prepare to be impressed. Moving on from that there is an entire world of workshops and yoga and movement offerings for participants. From astrological work with Adam Sommer to Earthship classes with Baron Kinder, the workshop lineup is truly stellar and covers a lot of topics and areas of learning and experience. Last year I found myself stumbling across offerings that really opened my mind and heart, and that inspired me spiritually as well. One interesting offering this year that I will have to attend is being given by the musician Temple Step, and it is a Sound Activation experience that “fuses self created sound design, live FX processing with sacred audio


from a diverse range of mediums such as binaural and holosync sounds, recordings of outer space by NASA, monks, shaman’s and sound healers.” Being a huge fan of sound healing, this one is for me; and since there is a fairly wide array of topics covered at Sonic Bloom, I suspect that everyone will have a “hey this one is for me” moment looking at the workshop lineup. Focusing, as it has in recent years, on quality over quantity, Sonic Bloom’s workshop lineup gives everyone’s interest just enough service. Looks like once again I will have to find a way to recharge without sleep after the epic sunrise sets so that I can nourish my mind and soul during morning workshops.

As a final note, the overall aesthetic of Sonic Bloom must be mentioned. Simply put, the festival is beautiful. Hardworking hands deliver inspired and engaging stage designs (and word around the rumor mill is that a new stage is going where the Buddha Lounge was last year, the people putting it on are a great crew as well); mandalas and art installations abound; spaces and places of interest as well as beautiful and friendly natural surroundings inspire epic relaxation and intimate connection among friends new and old. The truth is that one of the h8nr_1805allmarks of the transformational multi-faceted festival movement is beautification and re:creation of space, and from what I have seen at Sonic Bloom, this gathering absolutely nails it.

So there you go, if you didn’t know already then you should have an inkling as to what Sonic Bloom is: one of the most beautiful, multi-faceted and well run festivals on the planet. If you have been on the fence about attending, go ahead and find the time and the funds. Price your travel, get a ticket, and come join an all star crew of musicians, artists, spaces and a seriously welcoming crowd that stretches well beyond Colorado, for a weekend of fun, learning, and life-changing experiences.

-Edwin John Leskin

Mind, Body, and Spirit Wellness with Kelsey Sunflower

A balanced mind and body is the key to living in connection with Spirit Source. This connection is what establishes a vivacious and fulfilling life with a conscious awareness of Love. Love is the ultimate gift, when we are present and balanced in life. When balancing the mind, body, and Spirit, forms of healthy energy are integrated naturally. The union of the self in man with the Self of the universe is called yoga, the yoking or joining together of the finite self with the Infinite Self and the process or method for attaining this union is also called yoga.


In Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional practice rooting from Ancient India, balance is the key to rejuvenation, longevity, and self-realization. Ayurveda teaches about the doshas, or subtle universal energy fields within the body. These doshas are Vatta, Pitta, and Kappa, which together comprise an individual’s constitution. Vatta controls movement. Pitta controls metabolism. And Kappa controls structure. Ayurveda shows what is natural for each of these dosha types and recommends the best food, medicine or healthy behavior to contrast a natural state, in order to bring more balance to the body, mind, and Spirit.

Physically, listen to the body. The bodies we are blessed with are temples. Exercise is vital to the health of the body and organ systems, as well as to that of the mind. The more we take care of our physical being, the more likely the mind will stay in tune with our wants and needs and differentiate more clearly between the two. Exercise decreases stress hormones and increases endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel good chemicals. When these chemicals are released during exercise, then one’s mood is naturally boosted. Yoga works with endorphins through releasing tension, thus improving mood. Pranayama, or yogic breathing exercises, help to increase the awareness of breath. Naturally, humans breathe in a shallow fashion so increasing awareness towards the depth of one’s breath benefits the organs and systems of the body (circulatory, respiratory, etc). Yoga helps to increase lung capacity for deeper breathing. It can also have benefits of opening the nasal passageways and calming the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits. And according to Kundalini yoga, opening the nasal passages also has spiritual benefits. In terms of consumption, eat what feels right, but be conscious of what is consumed. Be aware of the energy that is put into the body through food choice and how that can affect one’s energy. Treat everything as sacrament. Take the sacrament not only for your body, but also for mind and Spirit and the beneficial purposes of learning and loving Self. Embrace this process.

Mentally, sit in stillness. The mind knows nothing but tapes and labels formed from past lives, present situations, and the dissecting of emotions. Stillness, especially in the form of meditation, brings awareness to these senses more easily without being controlled by them. Many brain waves are scientifically proven to light up during meditation. Theta waves are most abundant in the frontal and middle parts of the brain, which indicate deep relaxation (more experienced meditators). Alpha waves are most abundant in the posterior parts of the brain, which are a characteristic of wakeful rest or awareness. These brain waves increase when the brain relaxes from intentional or goal-oriented tasks. This is a sign of deep relaxation but does not mean the mind is empty. Delta waves are most active during sleep. Very few delta waves are produced during meditation, proving that it is different from sleeping. Beta waves are goal-oriented thoughts, which also prove to be very few during meditation. The combination of waves that occur during a meditative state cause the mind to relax in a different form than sleep. The intense physical aspect of yoga, or asana, brings so much focus to the mind that it is stilled and therefore, more calm. Focusing the mind also helps one become more aware of spontaneous mental wandering and activity. In turn, this brings a more practiced and controlled awareness of thoughts. Seek to learn. Everything is interesting if one chooses to listen with the right ears. If time is taken to listen and learn, common ground is found in every interaction, or at least a lesson is presented. Every being has a different gift to exchange in a teacher/student relationship. Culture imbeds in us that in order to be successful we must be educated by schools. This is not true if one takes on the role of a teacher. Some tend to rely solely on social interaction due to lack of confidence with mental stimuli, but if you learn to become an educational seeker; fully growing in that space of mindfulness of the intellectual Self, the natural teacher will feed all humans with knowledge of the Universe. Eventually, the mind will become more and more still as the breath becomes the main focus of living yoga. This stillness energetically overviews various experiences and emotional endeavors, putting them into perspective and letting them settle with rest.


Spiritually, have a sense of a higher Self. It is not about praising a God or Allah. We are Source Energy! Joy and sadness are one in the same when living in a state of Bliss. It is all part of the journey. Think of the emotional state of being as your indicator in every moment of your relationship with nowness. This powerful now and listening is Spirit. Access it however you please, but access it fully! That is the yummy dish that satisfies more than any external object will feed. The benefits for Spiritual development are limitless and can be achieved through yoga and meditation. Certainly, one develops an individual practice. When on a mat doing asana, a development for internal focus is practiced and the Self (individualized and universal) is reviewed and managed through exceeding the mind patterns with breath. This guides us to open the channel of Divine awareness. We receive insight without thinking, it is brought energetically simply by intentional focus. Take time to maintain this aspect of BEing and life will merge with the awareness of Source energy. Breathe, and know that you are God.

Living in balance, embracing the sun and moon, the yin and yang, even the dark and light is all about the pulsing of nature. One cannot be happy 100% of the time. We must accept the inevitable, and learning to see that challenge is the most subtle form of growth. “As individuals following a collective consciousness, if you become aware and cease the resistance in admitting imbalance, we come to balance! This is real time manifestation. Training yourself to the creation frequency of who you really are… In alignment with Self: Universal Truth.” Abraham Hicks

For more information on Ayurveda and the doshas visit:


Kelsey Sunflower, Union Yoga Teacher, Asheville, NC

About the Author:  Kelsey Sunflower has been an active yoga practitioner since 2009 and received her RTY-250 hour training from Asheville Community Yoga Center in 2012. “Yoga has taught me to be aware of my breath in any situation, for it is my compass home. When breathing through life, I can accept and activate all the Infinite awareness that Divine Spirit channels through me.” Sharing her practice with the world to improve and motivate the health and growth of others has been her dream since she was a child. In finding yoga, she has found this shared Oneness-bliss that transcends consciousness to a realm of fruition.

Two emerging artists you should know

Recently I found two artists who are extremely talented. Both have a future in the transformational music scene, and are two musicians to keep an eye on!

Embrace the One by Temple Step Project

Embrace the One by Temple Step Project

The first you may know; as they have been around the scene for a little while. Temple Step Project combines the sacred sounds of the middle east with delicious bass music. You may be familiar with their music; the Desert Dwellers mix Temple Step Project’s songs into their mixes often. The sound of their music resonates well with the Desert Dwellers overall soundscape. Recently Temple Step Project came out with a new album called Embrace the One. The album is amazing; with ragas singing, tabala, and sitar woven through electronic bass lines. One of my favorite songs is Truth and Grace. With slow, intricate, sacred music (filled with great ragas singing) paired with a low whompy bass line. This one is sure to teach you how to belly dance. Heart of the Whole is another track I would specifically like to mention, but please listen to the whole album; it is sublime.This track has a very dirty bass line and is a bit more electronic than the others. Please check out Temple Step’s new album Embrace the One here and their soundcloud here.

Afterglow by Mystral

Afterglow by Mystral

Mystral is the other producer I would like to mention. While he is pretty new with his releases, his album Afterglow does not disappoint. Mystral also uses middle eastern samples; but his music is influenced by hip hop. Surface Drop is the first track on the album. He uses a guitar sample in the intro and then the song drops into this heavy whompy bass line. Also mixed in the song, are inviting vocals and a flute that dances above the rest of the song. Stardust is an enthralling track, the song is very alien. His bass lines are always deep, but this track uses a Japanese harp and flute. While this song can make you dance it can also put you into a trance- like state of mind. Please check out the rest of this album here and his souncloud here.

Round 2: Kinnection Reflections

Whoa – the seriously swirling energies of 2013 have been keeping the TC labs consistently lively. We’re taking a moment to ground after another installment of the Kinnection Series.


This installment followed our Kinnection model in its offerings as we brought in three more world-class acts for three nights of heart-opening abun-dance parties. Desert Dwellers, The Human Experience, and Aligning Minds were the master-full minds blending & serving up the delicious beats this time around. Set after set, night after night, we were blown away. This ancient language of music is so powerful & beautiful; we are constantly inspired, empowered, and humbled all at once, by the infinitude of ways it is being tapped into & harnessed.


Once again, TC power-teamed up with Vision Lab and the Infusion Tea Lounge for full-spectrum provisions to ensure that we were taken care of with soul-nourishing provisions from the Infusion Lounge warming our bellies and the Vision Lab providing pineal-expanding delights stretched on canvas. Their art gallery is constantly changing and updated with the newest pieces from the world’s leading visionary artists. Ceremony, and celebration, in a myriad of forms, to meet you wherever you are at in each moment. We set the space to meet everyone’s needs – if the day of the event comes and you aren’t feeling peak energy, or perhaps you are looking for conversation with new friends but don’t feel like yelling on the dance floor (and neither do the people dancing around you!) the tea lounge is holding space for you.

Speaking of ceremony… This installment we were graced with the ritual offerings of Dakini Puja, an Asheville-based moving prayer group. We at TC are honored to hold the space for so many individuals’ unique expressions of Life. The vision of the Kinnection Series, and of Tribal Council as a collective, is to encourage the blossoming of each of us in a way that serves ourSelves and the world. We vocalize this intention and send out the invitation to any & all, to share your visions & gifts with us as you see they/you can serve. For example, it was after our first Kinnection event that Dakini Puja reached out to us with their offerings- we all have gifts to share & receive; often all it takes is making that known.

Dakini Puja Moving Prayer at Desert Dwellers Kinnection AVL from Tribal Council on Vimeo.

In Athens, Kyle and Nelson facilitated an open dialogue on the Yamas & Niyamas, the yogic principles. David of The Human Experience then surprised us with a sneak peek into his latest project, Tha Cat’s Pajamas! Stay tuned for this one. We were also able to try out some asana yoga this round, which was met with great reception – yet another way we can meet the needs of the individual and the collective simultaneously, growing ever closer & stronger together. There are so many forms of movement to explore in this giant playground we are all on. (Not to mention The Human Experience treating us to downtempo sets for this practice all three nights.) Once again, all three nights and all three cities had something special to give & receive. We are loving the growth – in the strength and comeUnity of the tribe, “old” & “new” alike (though really we’re all old friends, just dancing into this remembrance together).

We continue to learn so much on the back-end through these installments (like how crucial coconut water and kombucha are!), and the process is getting smoother and grander with each event. As all-ways, this is an open invitation to stay kinnected – our next installment is on the horizon, and we need you to make the magic at the beginning of May.

And don’t forget to make & take that magic with you in each moment, out into the world.

In Love & Gratitude,