Awakin Calls » Two Trees (Kaylynn Sullivan)
Two Trees (Kaylynn Sullivan): Artist, Catalyst, Teacher, Spiritual Guide
Oct 28, 2017: The Practice of Living
Read: Call Transcript
“By birth, education and experience, my identity is shaped by a life spent at the crossroads - the place where cultures, ideas and beliefs collide and find both dissonance and resonance. I am most comfortable with those explorers and cartographers whose passion and life is the crossroads. There, at any given moment, what is magic and what is real shifts places depending on where I stand. ” -- TwoTrees Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees has spent a life at the crossroads where species, cultures, beliefs and the unknown collide and find both dissonance and resonance. As an artist/catalyst, her work focuses on re-orienting to indigenous mind and regenerating an essential relationship with Earth wisdom. She is past recipient of the Lila Wallace International Artist Award and See full.
“By birth, education and experience, my identity is shaped by a life spent at the crossroads - the place where cultures, ideas and beliefs collide and find both dissonance and resonance. I am most comfortable with those explorers and cartographers whose passion and life is the crossroads. There, at any given moment, what is magic and what is real shifts places depending on where I stand. ” -- TwoTrees
Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees has spent a life at the crossroads where species, cultures, beliefs and the unknown collide and find both dissonance and resonance.
As an artist/catalyst, her work focuses on re-orienting to indigenous mind and regenerating an essential relationship with Earth wisdom. She is past recipient of the Lila Wallace International Artist Award and her work has been exhibited and is in collections in the US, Europe and New Zealand. She continues to find passion, renewal and nourishment from all of the Earth's expressions including humans.
She is currently Artist in Residence and a member of the Leadership Team in the Leadership in Sustainability Masters Program/University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources as well as a current Whistenon Public Scholar at the Kettering Foundation, and Artist in Residence for the The Vermont Network.
Over the course of the past four decades TwoTrees has evolved a framework of spiritual technology with the input, support and guidance of many indigenous elders. Practice for Living, Living Practice is a current expression of this foundation (previously known as Seven Directions Practice®), which focuses on helping humans re-orient to our indigenous mind.
“I was born at the crossroads of 3 cultures and moved between those cultures and 3 languages by the time I was 10 years old,” she says. “I also believe that I thrive and find the greatest access to the creative impulse in the tension of the crossroads where cultures, ideas and beliefs intersect and sometimes collide. I find that to be a source of generative tension for me. I also live at the crossroads between the visible world and the invisible world, which is accessed through intuition, imagination and awareness of spirit.”
Join us in conversation with this remarkable spirit, teacher, and catalyst!
Five Questions for Two
What Makes You Come Alive?
What makes me come alive is living into deep relationship with the world I inhabit; sharing teachings that have been gifted to me and have grown in the soil of my experience and watching them flourish in the lives of others who explore and learn from them. Listening and Remembering are my two greatest practices and in all of my work these are the foundation so that wherever we are together we are breathing into the magic of each moment and its infinite possibilities. This is essential in order for us to thrive with all of life with fierce love and a dedication to liberation. Listening to the subtle communication from nature and the invisible world so that the connection of all life is present in our actions of resistance and liberation- that they are grounded in Love and Relationship.
Pivotal turning point in your life?
In seven decades there have been many pivotal turning points in my life. Two significant ones as an adult were deciding to leave my homeland in 1968 after the election of Nixon and live in Europe. It gave me an opportunity of understanding my multiple identities as an indigenous mixed blood woman of color in a more global context. Being seen first as an American rather than being seen first as a woman of color was a turning point for me. It offered me to opportunity to expand beyond my identities to explore more of my own essential nature. It pushed me back toward the teachings of my Native and African elders. the second turning point was in 1984 when I had a near death experience. It also took me beyond my own sense of my individual self into an sense of myself as a facet of the Whole. It was the beginning of removing the armor from my heart and moving beyond anger and rage in my work as an artist/teacher/activist.
An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
My life has been filled with countless acts of kindness- Wallace Balck Elk, a Lakota elder, who brought back to the cultural roots of my father's family with laughter and rigor; a priest in a shelter when I was homeless with my daughter who gave us the bus fare to travel back to family: a soldier in Germany who gave my husband and I his apartment to stay in when we had no money; A Maori elder, Dell Wihongi, who took me into her life, her family and her culture without any hesitation; an African elder, Bunsen Fu-Kiau, who shared teachings with me because of a vision he had about my name; the many friends and strangers who have cared for me when I have had illness or injury. The list is too long to write. It reminds me continually that the words that come before all else are Gratitude.
One Thing On Your Bucket List?
I don't have a bucket list per se but I am deeply moved by the multiplistic and vibrant cultures of India. If I had a wish it would be to experience India in all its vibrance by invitation of the people and to learn enough Hindi to feel the culture in one of its own voices.
One-line Message for the World?
Breathe, stay awake, listen and remember our original instructions that begin with love.
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