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"Really, who needs drugs when you can hang out here?" says 22-year-old Sacha Mulroney with a wonder-filled grin. "I wish I could sleep here overnight."
While slumber parties are not yet part of the curriculum, COSM does offer yoga classes, Tibetan bell ringing, art salons, full-moon and new-moon ceremonies, art classes, and lectures for people interested in visionary subjects like sacred geometry, yantra, and alchemy.
For the full-moon celebration, Eli Morgan has to set up a remote viewing space in the chapel. As the main gallery fills to capacity, young adultsTool fans mostlyhappily sprawl out on zabutons. A 103-year-old paranormal researcher named Alexander Imich takes a seat near nine-year-old wise child Leigh Singer, who will later deliver a poem to the large crowd. People sit on the floor, offering each other back rubs and introducing themselves with hugs. The ceremonywhich includes two poets, a blind dancer, a rabbi, a shaman, a kirtan singer, a sitar player, and a visionary lawyergoes on for far too long, but no one seems to mind much. A few even cry.
As people flow into the dance hall, the sound of drums and the smell of burning sage fill the air.
"Art started as an expression of the sacred," says Alex Grey, as a crowd of admirers hover at his shoulder. "With the general decay and corruption of religious institutions and the disassociation and alienation people feel, it makes sense that art is again coming to play a vital role in nurturing the souls of postmodern people."