Artist Paul Laffoley Enters the Bardo

The world has lost a leading visionary artist in Paul Laffoley, who passed away on November 16th, 2015. His paintings featured mandala-like imagery, making heavy use of text and trans-disciplinary symbolic elements. His architectural background comes through in his depictions of complex spiritual ideas, providing a sense of looking at the blueprints of the subtle structure of reality.


Mind Physics: The Burning of Samsara in Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

From the Official Paul Laffoley Website:

The visionary artist and luminary, Paul Laffoley, had died after a long battle with congestive heart failure. He had an extraordinary grasp of multiple fields of knowledge compulsively pursing interests that often lead him into uncharted territory. His complex theoretical constructs were uniquely presented in highly detailed mandala-like canvases largely scaled to Fibonacci’s golden ratio. While an active participant in numerous speculative organizations including his own Boston Visionary Cell since the early 70s, his work began to attract an increasing following in his late career with shows at the Palais de Tokyo (2009), the Nationalgalerie/Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin (2011), and the Hayward Gallery, London, the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, and the Yerba Buena Center in 2013. The first book on Laffoley’s oeuvre was published by Kent Fine Art in 1989, followed by several subsequent publications beginning with his first retrospective organized by the Austin Museum of Art (1999). Forthcoming in March of 2016, the University of Chicago Press will be releasing the long awaited book entitled The Essential Paul Laffoley. He was a kind and generous giant, and he will be sorely missed by all of us.

Paul Laffoley was one of the visionary artists featured in Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics.

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Visionary Salon: Zig Zag Zen Discussion with Allan Badiner, Alex Grey, & Allyson Grey


Join Allan Badiner, Alex Grey, and Allyson Grey at CoSM: the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors on November 21st for an in depth, interdimensional , intersectional discussion exploring the promise of DMT, the path of the Dharma, and how to act creatively and skillfully with whatever tunes us in.

Buddhism and psychedelic exploration share a common concern: the liberation of the mind. This new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (2015, Synergetic Press) has evolved from the landmark anthology that launched the first inquiry into the ethical, doctrinal, and transcendental considerations at the intersection of Buddhism and psychedelics.

A provocative and thoughtful exploration of inner states and personal transformation, Zig Zag Zen now contains an expanded display of remarkable artwork including pieces from Android Jones, Sukhi Barber, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, and Amanda Sage, as well as the original work of Robert Venosa, Mark Rothko, Robert Beer, Francesco Clemente, and many others, including more work by the pioneering visionary artist Alex Grey.

You can purchase tickets from CoSM here:

About the Presenters

Allan Badiner served as the editor in the first and second editions of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Chronicle Books, 2002; Synergetic Press, 2015), as well as two other books of collected essays, Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism and Ecology and Mindfulness in the Marketplace: Compassionate Responses to Consumerism. Allan is a contributing editor of Tricycle magazine, and serves on the board of directors of Rainforest Action Network, Threshold Foundation and Project CBD. He has been a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for more than 25 years.

Alex Grey is a renowned American visionary artist specializing in spiritual and psychedelic art. His work spans a variety of forms including performance art, sculpture and painting. He is a member of the Integral Institute, on the board of advisors for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics and is Chair of Wisdom University’s Sacred Art Department. He and his wife Allyson Grey are co-founders of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM), a non-profit church supporting Visionary Culture in Wappinger, New York.

Allyson Grey artist, writer & social sculptor, has co-written & edited a dozen books & all seven volumes of CoSM Journal of Visionary Culture.  Since 1975, Allyson has been artistic partner and studio mate of artist, Alex Grey.  With a Master of Fine Arts from Tufts University, Allyson has been an educator & muse to artists the world over.
  Alex & Allyson are the parents of actress, Zena Grey. Together, they co-founded the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, an interfaith church, celebrating creativity as a spiritual path.

Sukhi Barber – Appearance/Emptiness


Even if you aren’t able to attend the event, you can still engage in the conversation with the many voices of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

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The Whole Schmeer: Biospherics and Systems Thinking

In the following video, John Allen, inventor, conceiver and co-founder of the Biosphere 2 project, describes the interconnection among all of the systems of life on Earth, how humans have been altering these processes, and how exploring and studying these systems with a few friends can change the world.

“Everything connected with life, including the supporting cast: soils and air and waters, is the Biosphere.


Las Casas de la Selva, a protected habitat for Puerto Rican native flora and fauna

Biomes can be looked at as the organs of the Biosphere, equivalent to the heart or the liver, and the key ones are the forests, the grasslands, the marshes, the deserts and the oceans.

Even the human tribes have clans which basically adjusted their lives to the biome they were in. But with the Industrial Revolution, the savannas by and large, tropical and temperate, were plowed up for farmlands. And the farms have now become a new biome.

The most important element to deal with is other human beings. That’s the most dynamic aspect of the biosphere today. The population growth is the driver of the problems that we’re having, and then the other thing is the creation of megacities.

So the big changes are the introductions of these two new planetary biomes: the world city and the agriculture system. So it was modeled to demonstrate that these could all live in harmony. But under the present system people at the ruling helm of society have for the first time in history abdicated; whether it’s a communist-type system or the capitalist system of taking any responsibility of looking at the total system.


The R/V Heraclitus has sailed over 250,000 nautical miles studying oceans, coral reefs, rivers, lakes, estuaries and exploring the origins and futures of human cultures since it was built in 1975.

If you follow the leader, you’re very likely to follow him over a cliff, but if you follow a project… “-ject” is throw and if you throw something out, a path is going to emerge. For instance a group of fourteen of us we wanted to see what marshes and sea currents and coral reefs did, so we built a ship. And we went out and actually explored all these different biomes. There’s actually a project dealing with these realities.

For example, biospherics is the study of the total life system of planet earth, not hacked into little pieces to study here and study here, but it looks at the whole schmeer. We need to change the education system back to where you study total systems—what are all of the vectors that are involved?

So to save the evolutionary possibilities of the Biosphere, get together with some friends, form a group, and start studying some aspects of the biome—study the total system you’re in.”

For more by John Allen, check out Me and the Biospheres: A Memoir by the Inventor of Biosphere 2, his definitive autobiography, describing Allen’s extensive travels around the planet and how his experiences inspired him to invent the largest laboratory for global ecology ever built.

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How Kids Are Contributing to the Climate Change Conversation


One student considering how she can impact the planet. Photograph by and courtesy of Esha Chiocchio

One common difference between kids and adults is that adults love the news. Adults are usually listening to, reading or watching some form of news. And so much of the news these days is about what’s happening in the environment around the world. Information about the changes in the climate has already been starting to circulate in the collective consciousness for some time, and as the large-scale destruction of wild spaces continues, these messages will keep getting louder. We’ve reached a point where the news even features stories about climate scientists struggling with depression and feelings of hopelessness as they come to terms with the meaning of the current data.

As adults, we’ve already had some time to recognize and respond to these messages, but what about the kids who are just starting to learn about the conditions of the planet where they were born?

“Imagine you are eight years old and you just found out about what’s happening to the Earth. What would you want to do about it?”


GWE Founders Marina and Joanna speaking with US Senator Tom Udall

For two kids, Joanna Whysner and Marina Weber, they started learning about the effects of climate change and the loss of species when they were eight years old. They were so moved by what they learned that they wrote a book about climate change and sent it to President Obama. After sending their message to the President, they created an after-school mentorship program, The Global Warming Express, in Santa Fe, New Mexico (home of Synergetic Press). At the Global Warming Express, kids help each other study climate science and general scientific principles, receive training in sustainability, and support each other in developing communication skills to advocate for the environment.

The kids at the Global Warming Express act by deciding on Big Goals and Small Goals that will help their schools, homes and cities to operate more sustainably. They encourage adults to adopt more earth-friendly practices, such as when they successfully advocated for the Santa Fe City Council to ban plastic bags and charge 10¢ for paper bags. And when the GWE kids learned how the fee would burden lower-income residents, they designed reusable bags that could be given to those in need.

Their enthusiastic and effective approach has brought them to speak with elected officials at the local, state and national level. A few of the inspiring actions that the Global Warming Express has been taking both close to home and at larger scales include:

The kids at the Global Warming Express show us that at any age, it’s possible to get informed and take action to radically change the way that we relate to the environment and each other.


The Global Warming Express kids performing at the Mayoral Inauguration in Santa Fe.

You can find out more about The Global Warming Express and help to continue and expand this program by donating here:

And to read more about how, as adults, we can cultivate a sense of responsibility and harmony in the evolving relationship between humans and the environment, check out The Anthropocene: The Human Era and How It Shapes Our Planet.

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What do Psychedelics, Psychotherapy and Scientific Research Have in Common?

If you ask the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), you’ll find that these topics are much more closely related than the US government currently wants you to believe. And the people at MAPS are working to change those government policies through the power of scientific data.

MAPS has recently sponsored the first double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the therapeutic use of LSD in human beings that has been completed since the early 1970s.


Experimental LSD capsule from the completed MAPS pilot study in Switzerland

The pilot-study included twelve patients who had anxiety related to a life-threatening disease. They were treated with therapy sessions to discuss their anxiety without any drugs, as well as participating in two LSD-assisted therapy sessions, using a double-blind, randomized method to administer the LSD.

Once the study was completed, it was found that there were positive trends and lasting benefits in the reduction of anxiety after the two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions. The study results also indicate that LSD-assisted psychotherapy was safe to use and administer in these subjects. These results showing the safety and potential benefits of LSD justify conducting further research on its therapeutic potential.


St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution by Alex Grey

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a semi-synthetic compound first developed in 1938 by Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz pharmaceutical company in Basel, Switzerland. After Dr. Hofmann first discovered some of its interesting effects in 1943, LSD quickly became recognized for its possible therapeutic effects. LSD also played a significant role in the discovery of the serotonin neurotransmitter system.

LSD is known for its ability to catalyze spiritual or mystical experiences and to facilitate feelings of interconnection. MAPS helps people to explore the potential of these substances to treat a variety of conditions, focusing primarily on the treatment of anxiety associated with life-threatening illness, as well as for spiritual uses, creativity, and personal growth.

There is considerable previous experience using LSD in the context of psychotherapy. From the 1950s through the early 1970s, psychiatrists (such as Stanislav Grof), therapists (like Ralph Metzner), and other researchers administered LSD as a treatment for alcoholism, or for anxiety and depression in people with advanced stage cancer.

The research that MAPS has completed and their plans for future research conform to the  development standards for other modern drugs and will help guide the way for the development of additional research into the risks and benefits of LSD-assisted psychotherapy.

Rick Doblin PhD, the Founder and Executive Director of MAPS, was one of the coauthors of the groundbreaking pilot study, and is a contributor to Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics. He was interviewed for the book by editor Allan Badiner and in that interview they discuss Rick’s personal history with working to legalize psychedelics, experience with trying meditation and ways of relating to skeptical relatives.

You can watch them talk about some of the ideas in Zig Zag Zen at Watkins Books in London in the video below:

And for more information from MAPS, you can check out their comprehensive Psychedelic Bibliography for scientific literature covering the risks and benefits of LSD and other psychedelics.

If you’re still hungry for more psychedelic information to feed your head, be sure to check out the Consciousness and Psychedelics section of our bookstore.

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A Synergetic Summer at the Movies

This summer, forget about Hollywood and explore these innovative, independent films covering the psychedelic, surreal and synchronistic

DyingToKnow_FINALDying to Know: Take the Trip of Your Life!

“A cosmic buddy film” in the words of director Gay Dillingham, Dying to Know is an intimate portrait celebrating Timothy Leary and Ram Dass, two very complex, controversial characters and their epic friendship that shaped a generation. It’s a tale of taboos revolving around sex, drugs and death featuring these countercultural companions as they explore the realms of consciousness. 

In addition to seeing the film, you can read more about those early years of psychedelic exploration in Birth of a Psychedelic Culture in which Ram Dass wrote with Ralph Metzner about their personal experiences and experiments.

And see what what Ram Dass has to say in a round table discussion of prominent Buddhist thinkers in Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics.

darkstarcontentDark Star: H.R. Giger’s World

Both a mesmerizing introduction to Giger’s oeuvre and a must-see for Giger devotees, Belinda Sallin’s definitive documentary Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World shares the intimate last years of the artist’s life and reveals how deeply he resided within his own artistic visions.

Where others flee, he makes his home. What others dread, he makes his habitat. What others fight to suppress, he drags back to the surface. Throughout his life, H.R. Giger inhabited the world of the uncanny: a dark universe on the brink of many an abyss.

Giger did not create this world because he held it dear, but rather because he had no choice. Art was the only way that this amiable, modest and humorous man was able to keep his fears in check. Giger was merely the bearer of dark messages, charting our nightmares, drafting maps of our subconscious and moulding our primal fears. 

And for an interpretation of Giger’s visionary world by consciousness research pioneer Stanislav Grof, pick up a copy of HR Giger and the Zeitgeist of the Twentieth Century.

TimeIsArtPosterArt_v1Time is Art: Synchronicity & The Collective Dream

Time is Art is ultimately the story of an artist’s search for inspiration in a money-driven society that shuns creativity, and of the human search for meaning in a seemingly meaningless world. Compelling conversations with fellow seekers and mystics like Alex Grey & Allyson Grey, Toko-Pa Turner, Richard Tarnas, Graham Hancock, Daniel Pinchbeck and biologist Rupert Sheldrake, guide us through the underlying premise of the film: perhaps we can tap into a way of being that is not ruled by a finite sense of time, but rather by the ability to live in harmony with the true creative nature of our existence.


Inspired by acclaimed & visionary author José Argüelles’ studies in ancient indigenous wisdom, this film explores the idea that modern humanity is immersed in an erroneous and artificial perception of time that deviates from the natural order of the universe. We have become disconnected from the natural rhythms of the earth by focusing only on money, consumerism and exploitation while deep down inside, we crave the return to a foundation of culture, community, and creation.


And for more from Alex & Allyson Grey, check out the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics—Alex is the art editor and contributed his and Allyson’s sacred images along with an essay that captures the essence of visionary art with profound clarity.





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Wastewater Gardener at Bookworks in Albuquerque

Mark2-300x199Join Mark Nelson, PhD, for a signing of his award-winning book, The Wastewater Gardener: Preserving the Planet One Flush at a Time. Mark your calendars to join Mark on August 9th at Bookworks, a locally-owned and operated independent bookstore in Albuquerque to get your signed copy of the book that was voted “Most Likely to Save the Planet” in the 2015 IPPY awards!


wwg_300dpiIn The Wastewater GardenerMark Nelson takes us on an award-winning global expedition to learn how we are wasting the world’s dwindling supplies of fresh water by flushing away a very valuable resource, our own human wastes! A founding director of the Institute of Ecotechnics, Dr. Nelson has worked for several decades in closed ecological system research. As one of eight brave souls enclosed in the pioneering Biosphere 2 experiment, he realized how essential the proper re-use of human waste is to the health of the planet. This led to what Dr. Nelson calls a life-long love affair with constructed wetlands, where he discovered an important solution to some of our trickiest global dilemmas: Wastewater Gardens. While the problems covered in this book are very serious, Dr. Nelson’s approach to the subject makes for a delightful, down-to-earth read.


Come to Bookworks, one of Albuquerque’s last remaining local, independent bookstores, which is dedicated to supporting the community and connecting books and readers.

Event date:
Sunday, August 9, 2015 – 3:00 pm


Event address:
4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
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Tony Juniper asks: “What If Winston Churchill Were Leading the Fight Against Climate Change?”

juniper_tight_cropTony Juniper originally wrote this article for the Winter 2014 issue of YES! Magazine.

Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it, goes the saying. While there are few historical parallels to the existential threat posed by climate change, there is perhaps one: Nazi aggression during the Second World War.

In the years before he served as Britain’s wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill was an out-of-favor Conservative politician who raised a lone voice about the threat posed by the German Nazis—long before most of his colleagues in Parliament were prepared to recognize it. Churchill’s words, from a speech he delivered to the House of Commons in November 1936, give an example of how climate change might be described now.

Owing to past neglect, in the face of the plainest warnings, we have now entered upon a period of danger. . . The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences. . . We cannot avoid this period; we are in it now.

Churchill’s warnings were well-founded. Hitler invaded Poland, then France and the Low Countries. By May 1940, the continental side of the English Channel was occupied.

image via Gizmodo

A deadly heat wave melts the streets in India.

As the Arctic sea ice shrinks, glaciers retreat, and devastating floods and heat waves signal profound changes taking place in our Earth system, we are truly once again in a period of consequences. And as was the case in 1936, most politicians are happy to sit on their hands and not even offer half-measures. Quite the opposite in fact, as demonstrated by widespread political backing for expanding the exploitation of coal, tar sands, and shale gas.

When the threat of aggression became very obvious to the British, with dozens of German army divisions and fleets of bombers stationed just a few miles from England, Churchill’s words galvanized the nation for the titanic struggle that lay ahead.

Therefore, in casting up this dread balance sheet and contemplating our dangers with a disillusioned eye, I see great reason for intense vigilance and exertion, but none whatever for panic or despair. . . What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. . . Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war.

If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”

Britain became doggedly focused and swung behind a campaign virtually without parallel. President Roosevelt moved with similarly determined leadership after the attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States shifting to a war economy in a matter of months. The mobilization between 1939 and 1945 perhaps teaches us that a successful response to broad, systemic peril requires a combination of factors: scaling up technology, broad public support and participation, and inspiring leadership.

image via

Wind energy provided Europe with 8% of its electricity in 2014.

Spitfires, Sherman tanks, and submarines were mass-produced. Technology was refined, leading to the emergence of innovations, including jet engines and computers.

When it comes to climate change, we have technology with the potential to meet the challenge. Wind turbines and solar photovoltaics are among a suite of low-carbon power technologies. Electric vehicles work. We know how to farm more sustainably and have the means to reduce deforestation. The fact that these solutions are not being deployed is down to absence of leadership, an apparent absence of public demand, and crucially, the lack of perception of an immediate threat.

The rapid reorientation of the Western economies during WWII was achieved with the backing of voters. Women went to work in factories, rationing schemes were accepted, and men queued up to join the fighting forces.

Arousing a similar degree of popular support for action on climate change is a greater challenge, not least because the gradual warming of the atmosphere is different from tangible dangers such as imminent invasion. The situation is made worse by the activities of a “Fifth Column” of climate change deniers. Their campaign has successfully confused debate to the point where, in the United States and United Kingdom, policy and technology are going into reverse. Instead of pandering to these dangerous interests, as many modern politicians do, the street fighter in Churchill would have taken them on. Despite his age and shape, Churchill was a deft political operator who routinely outmaneuvered his opponents before they struck.

nazis20n-1-webIn his own words, Churchill summed up his approach thus:

One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!

As well as being a gifted brawler, Churchill knew how to do deals, even with people he considered murderous despots. His pact with Stalin might be compared to modern leaders working with the financial markets that some regard as enemies of democracy, but which have the massive resources needed to win the climate war. Such climate change action could herald a new industrial revolution, one rich in jobs and business opportunities.

Compared to the Second World War, the economic reorientation needed to do this is modest. Great Britain devoted more than 40 percent of its GDP to fighting the Axis powers. Just 2 percent of annual global GDP is required to win the carbon war.

As humankind drifts toward its monumental showdown with Nature, one that might well leave the Second World War looking like a modest emergency, the biggest need of all is for leaders who articulate the threat and galvanize action.

Churchill wasn’t able to predict events any more than politicians today, but he looked squarely at the facts and made judgments that proved correct. On climate change, and in the face of the plainest warnings, we need similarly inspired leadership now.

Tony Juniper is a campaigner, sustainability adviser, well-known British environmentalist and author of What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? How Money Really Does Grow on Trees

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The Wastewater Gardener is Winning!

The Wastewater Gardener has been getting some attention. . . 

BFALabel-SilverWinner_168w2015 Benjamin Franklin Award—Silver Winner in the category of Home & Garden

The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, which include fifty-five categories recognizing excellence in book editorial and design, are regarded as one of the highest national honors for indie publishers and self-published authors.

The awards are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), with help from over 150 book publishing professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors.


2014 Living Now Book Award—Gold Winner in the category of Gardening / Farming / Landscaping LivingNowGold

We’ve all heard the expressions, “This book changed my life!” and “Changing the world, one book at a time.” The Living Now Book Awards are designed to honor those kinds of life-changing books, and to bring increased recognition to the year’s best lifestyle, homestyle, world-improvement and self-improvement books and their creators. We all seek healthier, more fulfilling lives for ourselves and for the planet, and books are very important tools for gaining knowledge about how to achieve these goals for ourselves, our loved ones, and for Planet Earth.

The purpose of the Living Now Book Awards is to celebrate the innovation and creativity of books that enhance the quality of life, from cooking and gardening to spirituality and wellness.

Gold2015 IPPY Award—Gold Winner for Outstanding Book of the Year: “Most Likely to Save the Planet”

The “IPPY” Awards, launched in 1996, are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers. Established as the first awards program open exclusively to independents, over 3,000 “IPPYs” have been awarded to authors and publishers around the world.

For 32 years the mission at Independent Publisher has been to recognize and encourage the work of publishers who exhibit the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society.

These medalists were chosen from among the regular entries for exemplifying this daring spiritthe book projects that the judges found the most heartfelt, unique, outspoken and experimental among almost 6,000 entries.


Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award—Silver Winner in the category of Ecology & Environment

Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards are judged by a select group of librarians and booksellers from around the country. Representing hundreds of independent and university presses of all sizes, INDIEFAB winners were selected after months of editorial deliberation with more than 1,500 entries in 63 categories.

From the review:

Nelson uses humor to bring attention to important environmental issues and to detail his unique methods of improving ecosystems.

In tracing the arc of his life in The Wastewater Gardener: Preserving the Planet One Flush at a Time, Mark Nelson provides an informative, entertaining look at his work designing treatment systems for human excrement and toxic waste in many of the world’s climates and regions.

The author has decades of experience as an environmental consultant and is a leading expert on constructed wetlands and other alternative sewage systems. His beautiful and functional wastewater gardens are found in some of the world’s toniest ecotourist centers and in some of its poorest communities.

—Foreword Review

SW-Book-Award-Badge1Winner of the 2015 Southwest Book Design and Production Award for Best Cover and Jacket Design

The playful and visually engaging cover of The Wastewater Gardener caught the attention of the New Mexico Book Association. In their Fifth Annual NMBA Southwest Book Design Awards Competition, The Wastewater Gardener was one of the winning recipients for its striking cover. The awards were announced and presented on June 17 at the NMBA Gala and Membership Meeting. This is the sixth year that these coveted recognitions have been awarded to the publishers and creators of a few outstanding books produced during the past several months. The New Mexico Book Association is a not-for-profit organization and is pleased to offer this award program for New Mexico’s authors and publishers as well as to those in surrounding states.



Finalist for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the category of Science/Nature/Environment

Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest Not-for-Profit book awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. In its eighth year of operation, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in over 70 different categories, for the year, and is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group

For more information about Wastewater Garden Projects around the world, click here.

To see what all the buzz is about, pick up your own copy of award-winning The Wastewater Gardener: Preserving the Planet One Flush at a Time


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Breaking Convention 2015: The 3rd International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness

From July 10-12, Breaking Convention 2015, the 3rd International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness is taking place.

rsz_zzz_breakingcon-page-001The programme for this year features more than 130 presenters from around the world. Several of the contributors to Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics will be presenting at the conference, including Allan Badiner, Ralph Metzner, Rick Strassman, James Fadiman, Robert Forte, Rick Doblin and Luke Brown! You can check the programme for more details on specific locations and to see what other lectures, workshops, films, visionary art installations and performances will be happening during this consciousness-expanding conference.

Some of the other speakers include:

Prof. David Nichols, World’s most cited scientist on LSD pharmacology
Prof. David Nutt, Head of the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Imperial College London
Prof. Roland Griffiths, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Johns-Hopkins Medical School
Kat Harrison, Researcher, writer, campaigner & wife of Terrence McKenna
Prof. Lumír Hanuš, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, discoverer of the first endocannabinoid anandamide.
Daniel Pinchbeck, Author of Breaking Open the Head
Dr. Jonathan Ott, Ethnobotanist & writer who coined the term entheogen.
Dale Pendell, Poet & Author of the Pharmako trilogy
Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss & Founding Director of the Beckley Foundation
…and over 100 other leading thinkers in psychedelic consciousness

Breaking Convention also publishes collections of essays through based on the conferences that are bursting with the most cutting-edge ideas in multidisciplinary psychedelic research. These essays have retained their relevance since the first conferences, and continue to serve as fascinating reading on the forefront of consciousness culture.

 Psychedelic consciousness is a personally meaningful experience that can bring us into contact with the unknowable, help repair fragmented minds and increase our wellbeing. However, psychedelic plants and other substances have been globally prohibited for over half a century with little regard for their spiritual, therapeutic and recreational use throughout human history.

The prohibition of psychedelic ‘drugs’ has limited the exploration of consciousness and the healing potential of psychedelics. Yet, in the last two decades, a door has opened allowing legal medical and therapeutic research on psychedelics to resume. This opening has allowed other scholars to become increasingly bold in stating their interest in psychedelic substances.

Topics covered range from Neolithic worldviews, prehistoric rituals and Amerindian epistemology to weaponized hallucinogens, religious freedoms, trip lit and the death of the ’60s dream. This collection of 22 original essays transects a wide range of disciplines to offer empirical, mystical, imaginal, hermeneutic, queer, phenomenological and parapsychological perspectives on the exploration of psychedelics, taking in scientific debates on MDMA, manifestos, policy challenges, anaesthetic revelations and communications from the herbs along the way. —Breaking Convention: Essays on Psychedelic Consciousness

“From shamanic rituals to the 1960s cultural revolution, from psychopharmacology to ethnobotany, from phenomenology to parapsychology, from MDMA to ayahuasca, this collection of essays covers a vast range of contemporary studies of mind-expanding substances. Provocative and highly recommended.”
Ralph Metzner, PhD

The conference promises to be aa multidimensional trip into psychedelic consciousness, science and culture.” Be sure to attend if you’re in London this weekend, but even if you’re not able to be there in person you can learn more about psychedelic consciousness in your copy of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics and by reading past Breaking Convention essays.


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