CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors 2013 Year In Review
The mission of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, is to build an enduring sanctuary of visionary art to inspire every pilgrim’s creative path and transmit the values of love and evolutionary wisdom.
2013 was the tenth anniversary of CoSM’s Full Moon Ceremonies that began in Brooklyn in 2003. Many thousands of people have come out for these inspirational gatherings over the years, with increasing attendance from both international and Hudson Valley guests. Art Church at CoSM now joins the Full Moon as a regular monthly offering that includes drawing, quietude, studying and discussing some of the correspondences between art and religion. These monthly gatherings are catalysts for the creative spiritual lives of congregants.  CoSM programs and services expanded with great progress in 2013. In addition to Art Church and Full Moons, monthly Visionary Salons highlight films and host intelligent discussions on art, spirit and life, while offering alcohol-free sociability in a lovely home atmosphere.  2013 represents the five-year mark of our church in this tranquil setting of the Hudson Valley.  2013 is the fifth anniversary of CoSM’s church status, granted by the IRS and the Attorney General of the State of New York.  As CoSM approaches the building of Entheon, we want to thank our community for collectively activating a sacred space of Visionary art to inspire and evolve humanity’s consciousness and creative spirit.
Onsite programs
Full Moon Ceremony at CoSM — Started in 2003, CoSM has held an “unbroken chain” of Full Moon Ceremonies for ten years to catalyze the creative spiritual lives of congregants.  Full Moon Ceremonies now begin in the late afternoon with a workshop led by notable authors, artists, spiritual teachers, musicians, or healers. Following the pre-Full Moon Workshop, dinner is served to workshop participants who then join attendees of the Full Moon Ceremony, an “inter-faith spiritual variety show” of wisdom, poetry, music, and other inspiring presentations. The ceremony is followed by socializing around a fire circle, music, dance, live-painting, and more.
Celestial Celebrations at CoSM —
Vernal Equinox
Summer Solstice
Autumnal Equinox
Winter Solstice
These celebrations include a variety of musical and dance offerings, fire circle, live painting, and more. These are CoSM’s highest attended programs requiring greater considerations for security, parking and noise reduction.
Security — Committed to peace, CoSM’s security team is comprised of gentle giants trained by professional security and body guard personnel. The local police and fire department are alerted of CoSM’s largest events.
Parking — For larger events, cars are being diverted to the Metro North parking lot. With the permission of Metro North parking authorities, CoSM sends a shuttle bus to the parking lot for the duration of the event.
Noise Reduction — In compliance with town ordinance and in response to neighbor feedback, CoSM obtained a quality decimeter that is taken to numerous points on the property at regular intervals throughout the event. The decimeter shows the noise level near to neighbors and various points on the site. A photo captures the time, date and decibel level and is noted on a chart for reference.
9th Annual Deities and Demons Halloween Ball — Our community likes to dress up and celebrate this all-American holiday originating from Day of the Dead and many other such honoring of the darkness of winter coming.
Pre-Full Moon Workshops
January – WARRIOR HEALING:  Bioenergetic Therapy & Hands on Healing
with Jonathan TALAT Phillips
“Electric Jesus” author & Evolver Co-Founder,
February – THE MYTHIC IMAGINATION:  An Experiential Workshop
with Stephen Larson, PhD and Robin Larsen, PhD
biographers of Joseph Campbell, co-founders of Center for Symbolic Studies, Rosendale, New York
The Wappingers People, the Manitou (Great Spirit) and the Land.
with professor/author/native elder, Evan Pritchard, PhD
with distinguished artists and sacred geometers, John Lloyd and Karl Lorenzen,
April – KIDIMANDI – led by Martin Bridge & Carl Bridge
drum circle with ecstatic dance
May – MANDALAS OF LOVE: Illuminating Symbols for Unconditional Love & Heart Healing

with artist, Eileen “Rosie” Rose and fitness with Dr. Michael F. Garger

with sacred geometer/philosopher, Marshall Lefferts
July – ANTHROPOCOSM: Embodying Sacred Space

with artists/CoSM Ministers, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey

with Alex Grey & Allyson Grey
September – MIRROR OF THE HEART: A Sufi Retreat
with author of The Good Life Lab: Radical Experiments In Hands-On Living
Wendy Tremayne
with Reiki Master and renowned poet, Brett Bevell
with Master reptile handler, Serpentessa
with artists/CoSM Ministers, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey
Workshops/ Intensives at CoSM
May – CONSIDER the SOURCE: Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Fusion
afternoon music workshop with band members
July –  23rd Annual 5-day VISIONARY ART INTENSIVE
at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York
with artists/CoSM Ministers, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey
with artists/CoSM Ministers, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey
August – Miche Technique Intensive
with Amanda Sage
Live mural demonstration and workshop with Chris Dyer
with renowned Bay Area/NY Visionary Artist, Randall Roberts
September – 7-Day PAINTING INTENSIVE at CoSM
with artists/CoSM Ministers, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey
 September – THE TAO OF DESIGN
with renowned Visionary Portland, Oregon Artist, Xavi
with artists/CoSM Ministers, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey
Three lectures by this renowned author:
Historical Mysteries; Adventures; Consciousness and Transformation
November – Occupy your Art!
Art as Spiritual Activism with Mark Henson
Art Church — a Sunday afternoon monthly event that includes art & music meditation, a talk, a performance…
with musical masters, Eric Fraser & Naren Budhakar
with artists/CoSM Ministers, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey
featuring Visionary Artists, Isaac Abrams & Paul McMahon
presentation and discussion on Visionary Art with Alex & Allyson
May – KALEIDHAPHONIC – Mbiras & Tabla in the classical Indian Tradition
PLANETARY GONGS – Jazz, Ethnomusicology, Sound Healing
June – MAMALAMA –  Harp, violin, cello, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, flutes, frame drums, choral vocals in an international fusion
with Alex Grey & Allyson Grey
featuring Hudson Valley Indian/Western fusion improv. band
with master pleine air painters, Janet Morgan & Gregory Frux

Classical music concert by classical guitarist, Ben Beirs


with artists/CoSM Ministers, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey

Visionary Salons — Programs of a cultural nature held primarily on a Saturday evening.
February – visionary film, Ground Hog’s Day
discussion following with Alex & Allyson
February -Music by DUSTHEAD — classical/primitive fusion
of the Moksha Family Art Collective and Burning Man
March –
April – visionary film, Renegade
discussion following with Alex & Allyson
music followed by a conversation
with Alex & Allyson
with Oracle Institute co-founder & author Laura George (Truth among many books
and with Oracle Institute co-founder, Mimi George
Conversation on the Visionary Art of masters with Alex and Allyson

Conversation on the Visionary Art of masters with Alex and Allyson

followed by a conversation with Alex and Allyson
August – Nutritional Activist : DAVID WOLFE

Superfoods and Chocolate

October – visionary film, Beetlejuice
discussion following with Alex & Allyson
followed by a conversation with Alex and Allyson
Community Service
CoSM hosted twenty young people and their leaders for a weekend retreat with empowering art projects and team building activities. Youth at Risk (YAR), a New York based organization, helps young people committed to transformation in their lives and futures. Breaking with their past and joining with peers, these young people seek enrichment and support in their commitment to succeed in completing high school, avoiding early pregnancy and addiction. CoSM was privileged to host a group of twenty young women from YAR for a weekend retreat where the focus was on the collective and individual evolution of body, mind and spirit. Accompanied by adult friends, the young women stayed in Grey House surrounded by visionary art, a welcoming fire in the fireplace and the warm energy of CoSM staff and volunteers. CoSM yoga instructor, Brionna Marie, started off the weekend with a yoga session for the group. YAR leaders, Claudette and Tracy, led a guided meditation, bonding the group into closer union. Their CoSM journey continued with group art projects focusing on self confidence and body image. Maggie Keller, CoSM Hospitality Coordinator, led a gallery tour of Grey House to start a discussion about the artwork throughout. Brian James, CoSM Site Manager, led a fire circle complete with his extraordinary fire performance. Although it was a chilly weekend in upstate New York, the young women bundled up to explore CoSM grounds, including the wisdom trail, the labyrinth, nests and art installations spotted throughout CoSM’s wooded grounds. Refreshed and invigorated, YAR offered love and gratitude for their experience as they enriched the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors with their spirit of possibility for bright futures.
Our thanks to Nancy Marcus Newman and the Marcus Family Foundation for generously funding this retreat. We also thank Dawn Cook-Gagnon for making CoSM’s connection with YAR and to the YAR leaders, Claudette and Tracy for co-creating the retreat with CoSM Staff. YAS is most warmly invited to make this pilgrimage a regular event at CoSM.
CoSM was proud to host the Natural Resources Defense Council’s strategic planning retreat in August.
CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors Ministers, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey officiated three weddings.
Retreats at CoSM
Visitors from all over the world come to stay in CoSM’s Guest house to take a retreat in nature that is also close to all the Hudson Valley has to offer. These visitors are looking for an experience of sacred space and beauty.
The Wisdom Trail — For five years, volunteers and staff take time during the week, three seasons a year, to groom a path through the wooded area, a trail that leads to stations, contemplation niches, altars of natural beauty.  World traveling permaculture artist, Nature Hogan, joins the Artist in Residence program to created giant natural sculptures on CoSM grounds. Each year, the Wisdom Trail grows to circle the property and to connect significant and enhanced places of contemplation in the cathedral of the woods.
Artist in Residence and Master Artist Muralling Invitational —
Artists take retreats at CoSM to practice their music or drawing, develop their painting or sculpture, to focus on a writing project, for personal fulfillment. Artists in Residence may engage Alex and Allyson for weekly or bi-weekly consultations about their art and life.
Accomplished and established artists are invited from all parts of the U.S. and Canada (so far) to offer their skill and style, to a part of the mycellialy growing mural in The Mushroom Cafe.
Notable CoSM Muralists in 2013:
Burgandy Viscosi
Maura Holden
Mark Henson
Amanda Sage
Randall Roberts
Michael Divine
Weekly Programs in 2013
Weekly Yoga @ CoSM
Weekly 5-Rhythm’s Dance
Staff Painting Night (guests welcome)
Off site travel — Outreach to CoSM’s Global Community:
When Alex & Allyson are sponsored to travel and meet with our spiritual community all over the world, they travel to share the story of the unfolding CoSM project. All over the planet, people want to know about CoSM in the Hudson Valley of New York and look forward to a pilgrimage to CoSM to check out our programs and the warmth of our spiritual center. Here are some of the places we went this year to share a vision of CoSM.
January —  Maui, Alex Grey, How Art Evolves Consciousness, TED talk
Presidential Inauguration, Washington, D.C.
February — Tucson, Arizona, Tucson Gem Show
Costa Rica, Envision Festival
March — Santa Fe, New Mexico, Painting Retreat — Body & Soul Drawing Intensive
April —  California tour — Grass Valley, Arcadia, Redding, San Francisco
May –  Denver performance at Unified Field event
L.A. CoSM Kickstarter Event
July –  Lightning In a Bottle, L.A. Festival
Watkins Book Store, London, England
Ceremonial installation of major commission, Monochord,
in the Temple of Music Tyringham, England
23rd Annual 5-Day Visionary Art Intensive at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York
August – Ozora, Hungary, Ozora Fest
Bethel, New York, 44th Anniversary of Woodstock Festival
September – Portland, Maine, Great North Festival
October –  California tour — Portland, Oregon, Grass Valley, San Francisco, L.A.
November –  Tel Aviv, Israel Event
December –  Southeast tour — Art Basel Miami, Harn Museum in Gainesville, Florida,
Athens, Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, Asheville, North Carolina
The largest New Year’s event in Portland Oregon at the Portland Museum of Art
Site improvement initiatives
Wooden doors carved for future Visionary Art Sanctuary, designed by Alex Grey
Black iron gates for entrance of CoSM, designed by Alex Grey
Four black iron gates created and installed in the cafe, designed by Alex Grey
Created and ratified the site plan to prepare for building Entheon
Cleared and graveled the parking lot in front of Entheon. Enlarged office parking lot.
Buried utility lines underground and eliminated electric/telephone poles.
Small up-keeping renovations of the Conference Center and Grey House.
Planted evergreen trees to border the property.
Painted the Mayan Warrior, a Burning Man art car from Mexico
Installed major commission (5ft. x 10ft.), Monochord, in the Temple of Music Tyringham, England
 In 2008, CoSM purchased property for its spiritual community. The same year, CoSM was granted church status by the IRS and by the Attorney General of the State of New York. Since then, CoSM has been in a law suit with the Town of Wappinger who denies CoSM the exemptions of all U.S. recognized churches. In 2013, after over five years in court, this lawsuit received a ruling in CoSM’s favor for all years 2009-2012. The Town of Wappinger is appealing this ruling.
Highlights of the Year
A successful Kickstarter campaign achieved the rank of second best funded art project EVER on kickstarter. With 1,510 backers, CoSM’s goal was reached with ten days remaining in the campaign and by its finale, attained 170% of it’s target.
Alex Grey was recognized by Watkin’s Review, London, as the twelfth Most Spiritually Influential Person Living Today. This is the fourth year of Alex’s inclusion in the top 100, his number rising each year.
Net of Being, Alex Grey’s third monograph with Inner Traditions Publishing and his sixth book, won numerous awards and book prizes.
Alex Grey participated in TEDX Maui. You can see his TED talk on How Art Evolves Consciousness.
Changes of note in 2013:
There is so much art and beauty to see at CoSM that staff agreed to open Grey House and the grounds to the public four days a week. This meant adapting the Grey House to accommodate new work stations for key staff members. The Hospitality Office, CoSM Shop and the The Mushroom Cafe needed a land line and a designated voicemail system.  Previously, CoSM was only open for events. Open hours outside of events has been even more successful than anticipated. Our hospitality staff has had to step up their creative oversight of altar beautification and cleanliness. Much additional artwork from many artists has been included in the galleries, guest rooms and hallways to delight visitors coming from all over the world.
Numerous Board positions have changed. Sue Buck, Laurence Singer and Bex Wilkinson stepped down from the Board and Robert Barnhart, Chris Ergen, Amanda Sage, Eileen Rose and Michael Garger all coming on board with fresh points of view. We remember fondly all of our past Board members and welcome our new members with great joy and gratitude.
Staff transitions have given us a beautifully harmonious and extraordinarily cooperative group of “peaceniks” filled with love and welcoming. Together, we learn to appreciate change and the excitement of new challenges and possibilities.