WE Unify Concert is quickly approaching – a beautiful gathering where the goal is to uplift one another through love and light featuring live music, vendors, inspirational speakers, performing arts performances by local artists and more – B*Tru Arts has been speaking with some of our performers who will be joining us on September 21st, the day of the concert.
John Burgess, a healer, visionary artist, indigenous ceremonial leader for over 25 years and the director of Community Healing Circle spoke to us about his work, beliefs and shared some fun facts about himself. John will lead the opening ceremony at WE Unify Concert.
Where are you from?
John: I’m from Arkansas originally.
Why did you move to Austin?
John: I lived in a meditation community in Iowa, and I got tired of freezing my “tail” off. I know some people down here [Austin], and there’s a group that’s a splinter group of the meditation practice that I’ve been involved in and created a community out here back in the early 80s. Austin won out over Boulder, CO, and Taos, NM.
What are some fun facts about you?
John: Oh my goodness! Well, I love to travel, especially foreign travel. I love the mountains, the oceans and to dance.
One of my pet love is archeology. Years ago I was involved in a project to research and a write a book on sacred sites. I’ve done a lot of traveling to Mexico, Central America, and the American South – going to archeological sites compiling photographs and research notes – the book’s not written yet.
I’m an artist, photographer, ceremonial leader – been involved in hosting Native American Ceremony for over 30 years and is writing a book about deep spiritual experiences. Yeah, that’s 25 words or less [about me], haha.
Could you describe your ceremony style?
John: The ceremony that I practice is a very, very specific type of ceremony. In the world of the Native American Ceremony, it’s the holiest of the holy, the most sacred ceremony. Often it’s done as part of the Sweat Lodge Ceremony. I try to offer public ceremonies at least once or twice a month in town.
What kind of effect do you want to have on your audience?
John: For me, it’s about if I can reach their hearts and maybe help them find another perspective on their own being and feel better about themselves, more expansion of the heart and mind, unlock a little more of their compassion or self-love and experience a richer connection with each other and the Earth. The elders would always guide us to think about our experience on Earth as a “WE.” The whole idea of ceremonies is to create right relationships. Then I feel like I’ve done my job.
How do you define “consciousness”?
John: A field of all possibilities. Consciousness is the prime field, it’s the substrate of everything, everything is consciousness.
What is “oneness” to you?
John: Ahhh that’s a 4-hour conversation, haha.
Oneness to me is a very rich, deep, unify connection with all the richness inside and all the richness outside, so there’s no difference between what’s inside and outside – that’s oneness.
Why should people care about WE Unify Concert?
John: If you take a look at the world, at what’s going on, there’s a lot of disconnects, and a lot of people don’t know that they don’t know that there’s a disconnect. I see it a lot in most people in the healing work I do. People might not say it to me directly, but I feel it in their nervous system. What they’re searching for is more peace, more tranquility, and more connection with healing. I think this is a good foundation to start that process.
Where can people find out more about you and what you do?
John: Aside from my personal contact, I can be reached through the Community of Healing Circle. I’m the Director of the Community of Healing Circle, a collective of wellness practitioners of various modality that gathers once a month to offer our services to the community as a fundraiser for several charities, I’m always there once a month.
See John Burgess and his ceremony style comes to life by joining B*Tru Arts at the WE Unify Concert, 7 PM to 9 PM Thursday, September 21st at Indra’s Awarehouse, 7904 FM 969, Austin, TX 78724.