The Gathering 2013 – The Art of the Living Moment

The Art of the Living Moment


Tibetan Monks Chanting at the Closing Ceremony of the Gathering 2013 Lamas from Drepung Loseling Tibetan Monastery will be resident at The Gathering, where they will create a mandala – a traditional sand painting – and offer Tibetan music and dance. The monastery, established in Tibet in 1416, and now located in the south of India, was one of Tibet’s largest monastic universities. The lamas are currently based at the Drepung Loseling Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Practice, and Culture, established through the patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and located at Emory University. The Center is dedicated to the study and preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of wisdom and compassion.

Invocation: Consecration of the Mandala Site
A Program of Sacred Music and Dance

diane-ackermanDiane Ackerman, poet, essayist, and naturalist, is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including The Zookeeper’s Wife and A Natural History of the Senses – books loved by millions of readers all over the world. In prose that is rich and evocative, Ackerman’s observations urge us to live in the moment, to wake up to nature’s everyday miracles. Her most recent book, One Hundred Names for Love, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Circle Critics Award. Her nonfiction book, The Zookeeper’s Wife, received the Orion Book Award, which honored it as “a groundbreaking work of nonfiction, in which the human relationship to nature is explored in an absolutely original way through looking at the Holocaust.” Her poetry volumes include Origami Bridges, I Praise My Destroyer, Jaguar of Sweet Laughter, and Reverse Thunder. Ms. Ackerman has received many awards and honors, including a D. Lit. from Kenyon College, Guggenheim Fellowship, Orion Book Award, John Burroughs Nature Award, and the Lavan Poetry Prize, as well as being honored as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library. She also has the rare distinction of having a molecule named after her— the dianeackerone. She has taught at a number of universities, including Columbia and Cornell.

The Wonder of Everyday Life

ilyaIlya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, in the former USSR, and came to America in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the US government. He is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press), which won the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, Whiting Writers Award, Lannan Fellowship, and other honors. That book was translated into Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Romanian, Russian, French, and several other languages, and various editions have appeared all over the world. Ilya has also co-edited Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins), which is widely used as a textbook in universities in the US and abroad. He has also co-edited and translated a number of other critically acclaimed volumes. Ilya currently lives in San Diego, California.

Reading by Ilya Kaminsky

IoannisIoannis Glykokokalos was born and raised on the Greek Island of Lesbos, where he absorbed the rich visual, musical, and mystical heritage of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Yanni earned an engineering degree in Athens, and moved in 1959 to New York City, where he lived a Bohemian artist’s life on the Lower East Side during the 1960s – 1980s. In 1975 he earned a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art. He has had one-man shows at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and in New York at the Betty Parsons Gallery, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and Brata Gallery, in addition to many other national and international galleries. He has sold more than 800 paintings, both figurative and abstract, and is represented in many private collections around the world.

A Visual Quest for Gnosis

whitney-stewartWhitney Stewart, author of more than a dozen books for children, became Buddhist in 1987 after interviewing and writing about the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Since then her Buddhism has often influenced her choice of book topics—from her picture book on the life of the Buddha (Becoming Buddha) to her biographies of Aung San Suu Kyi and Mao Zedong (yes, even Mao). Her forthcoming picture book, Creating Calm, is a children’s guide to meditation. She also teaches a course on Mindfulness at Tulane University in New Orleans. (Follow Whitney on Twitter at @whitneystewart2.)

Presentation :
Diving off Your World

Trebbe Trebbe Johnson is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover: Desire and the Quest for the Beloved. She is founder and director of Radical Joy for Hard Times, a non-profit devoted to finding and making beauty in wounded places, and director of Vision Arrow, offering journeys worldwide that combine the mythic journey and the exploration of meaning and insight through nature. A lifelong adventurer in inner and outer worlds, Trebbe has camped alone in the Arctic wilderness; studied classical Indian dance; worked as a model, street sweeper, and award-winning multimedia producer; and explored myth, desire, and nature through writing in several genres. She is working on a new book, Aphrodite at the Landfill: Beauty as Earth Activism. She and her husband, Andrew Gardner, live in Thompson, PA. and

Where’s the Temple? Insights from the Periphery

Judi Keats resized versionJudith Lynn Keats, Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Keystone College, is an interdisciplinary artist, passionate educator, mentor, and facilitator of innovative transformational art programs. She earned a BA in fine arts from Wilkes University, and an MFA-IA from Goddard College. Her graduate work focused on the mystical connections between the act of creating, self expression, divine synchronicity, and the sacredness of life. She has developed and facilitated transformational art workshops since 1994, and her artwork is in private, corporate, and public collections in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

The Art & Spirit of Mandala Imagery

Philip Mosley photoPhilip Mosley is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Worthington Scranton campus of Penn State University. His translation from French of The Book of the Snow by François Jacqmin was shortlisted for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize, and his latest book, The Cinema of the Dardenne Brothers: Responsible Realism, was published in 2013 by Wallflower Press, an imprint of Columbia University Press.

Man on WireFilm and Discussion


Donna Fetzko offers yoga classes for all levels. As an instructor certified through Yoga Alliance and trained in the Yogafit style and a health educator, she believes in a holistic approach to wellness. She has been bringing the benefits of yoga to area schools, businesses, and the community at large for over five years. She hopes to share her passions well into the future.

Morning Yoga
Begin the day focused and energized with the ancient practice of yoga. An ideal exercise to promote overall health, strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning, classes are suitable for all levels and presented in the user-friendly, demystified, safe, and effective Yogafit style. Come prepared with comfortable clothes, a mat, towel or blanket, water, and be prepared to enjoy the enlightening experience of yoga.


Workshop: Learning from the Masters – Ilya Kaminsky
We will talk about the ways in which poets learn from other poets from around the globe and through various different traditions. Poets have “stolen,” learned and paid homage to each other for generations, and by doing so created some of the most original and interesting work in our literature. How did they do it? What can we learn from the process?

Workshop: You and the Life of the World – Trebbe Johnson
If we pay attention to those things that sparkle at the periphery of our attention from moment to moment, we can learn something about who we are, where we’ve been, and where we might choose to go next. By exploring the intersections of what we perceive and our own responses to them, we become more attuned to the aliveness of the world, comprehend the marvel of our own mythic journeys, and gain greater appreciation for the transformative power of telling our stories. This workshop will include some simple tips for opening to the wisdom of your own perception, a short solo walk outside on the Keystone campus to “notice what you notice,” and a sharing of the stories that emerge.

Workshop: Naming the Beast, Taming the Beast – Dana Shavin
In this workshop, you are invited to bring your inner creative saboteur–that which blocks you, confounds you, frightens you–out into the light where you can manage and disempower it. When you learn to tame the beast that bests you, you discover and re-claim blocked creativity and passion. Participants should bring a willingness to be present, to engage, and to have fun.

Workshop: “Guy walks into a bar and says do you do the cancan here?”  Bartender says, “Whenever you’re ready.” – Nikki Moser
The creative process fulfills desire, intention, and a seat-of-our-soul connection to each other. It is a confluence of investigation, intuition, craft, euphoric high kicks and slivers of insight. Daily we gather and discard objects, events, thoughts and impressions; to think/make/respond to the  moment is the opportunity presented in this workshop.   We seek to be in that precise breath of exhilaration, for the dancer as the kick reaches its zenith, and for the viewer as the skirt flies high, in that shared moment lives art. Each of us makes art every day; it’s in the noticing we are doing it that it is given life and communion.  Please feel free to bring an object, a word, a reply, a question, or nothing. I will provide materials. No art training or crinolines required. As always there will be chocolate, and hot glue guns.

Workshop: Feeling an earthquake – Ian Saginor
We think of powerful earthquakes as distant phenomena, unrelated to our lives in the northeastern United States and, when they do occur here, they tend to be small and cause little damage. The few that are felt locally−the 2011 Virginia earthquake that damaged the Washington Monument comes to mind−do not fundamentally alter our sense that the ground beneath our feet is solid and unmoving. However, technology has the capacity to bridge the gap between our personal experience and events in distant corners of the globe. Just as the internet has made communication between people seamless, seismometers that detect ground motion caused by earthquakes allow us to more viscerally connect to the damaging effects of these natural disasters. Keystone College is home to the only seismometer in Northeast PA and has detected every major earthquake since it was installed in 2009. Join us as we examine what this remarkable device has to tell us about the structure of the Earth and, perhaps more importantly, the ground directly under our feet.

Workshop: The Moment of Art – Bill Black
Most of the concepts that define contemporary American life were ushered in during the Romantic era, and yet we think of Romanticism as a period that ended around 1840.  This workshop will introduce participants to the lingering influence of the Romantics and explore and work with the techniques that continue to play a shaping role in current poetry and prose, emphasizing the Romantics’ interest in “the moment of art.”

Workshop: Art & Spirit: Creating a Personal Mandala – Judith Lynn Keats
“Listen. Make a way for yourself inside yourself. Stop looking in the other way of looking.” – Rumi
Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means ‘wheel or circle.’ Mandalas have spiritual significance in many cultural traditions. They can serve as visual reminders of one’s core essence or spiritual qualities in a symbolic, archetypal manner. In this inspiring workshop you will learn how to create a sacred mandala image with intention and mindfulness. You will discover how to access a personal symbolic visual language that can give expression and meaning to the inner light of the soul and become the basis of your mandala meditation. The workshop will begin with a brief meditation and introduction to the transformative qualities and benefits of creating a sacred mandala. Participants will create their own 2-D mandala image. The workshop will conclude with the blessing of each mandala. This is a reflective and meditative experiential art workshop.

Book Discussion- Mary Garm
Mary will lead a discussion of books on The Gathering 2013 reading list.

Reading List




Also Suggested:

The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk by Palden Gyatso
Becoming Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha by Whitney Stewart
The World Is a Waiting Lover: Desire and the Quest for the Beloved by Trebbe Johnson
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Intelligence of Flowers by Maurice Maeterlink (translated by Phililp Mosley)