The group in 2000 Clockwise from center: Deb McColl, Kevin McGrath, Meredith Murphy, James Graham, Jeffrey Davis, Cheri Campbell, Maggie Hollinbeck, Ruth Shaer, Nori Muster, Alice Folkart. Photo by Laurie Pepper.

Deborah McColl's artist group, South Pasadena, California

Here is a list of people in the group over the years:

Deb McColl - founder and leader of the group, musician, counselor
Laurie Pepper - writer, cinematographer
Jeffrey Davis - writer, playwright, writing teacher
Alice Folkart - writer, artist
Kevin McGrath - actor, singer, poet
James Graham - musician, writer, artist
Wendy Radford - actress
Andrea Riker Chan - musician
Nori Muster - writer
Antonia Carmi - artist
Ruth Shaer - writer
Mark Dreskin - screenwriter
Mary Gaillard - musician, artist, music teacher
Cheri Campbell - clothing designer, artist
Maggie Hollinbeck - writer, artist, counselor
Meredith Murphy - artist, writer, business coach
Gary Riley - musician
Ailia Mira - artist, writer

If I'm forgetting anyone, or if you want to add your website or contact information to this list, please let me know about it.
- Nori (contact info.)
November 15, 2007

Group Readings

Forming a Sacred Circle
Art is an act of the soul, not the intellect. When we are dealing with peoples' dreams we are in the realm of the sacred.
For this reason, it is mandatory that any gathering of artists be in the spirit of a sacred trust. We invoke the Great Creator when we invoke our own creativity, and that creative force has the power to alter lives, fulfill destinies, answer our dreams.
The Sacred Circle is built on respect and trust. The image is of the garden. Each plant has its name and its place. There is no one flower that cancels the need for another. Each bloom has its unique and irreplaceable beauty.
Let our gardening hands be gentle ones. Let us not root up one another's ideas before they have time to bloom. Let us never be hasty to judge, reckless in our urgency to force unnatural growth. Let there be, always, a place for the artist toddler to try, to falter, to fail, to try again.
Success occurs in clusters. Drawing a Sacred Circle creates a sphere of safety and a center of attraction for our good.
Art is an act of the soul: ours is a spiritual community.
- Julia Cameron, from "The Artist's Way"

Happiness cannot be found through great effort and will power, but is already here in relaxation and letting go. Don't strain yourself; there is nothing to do. Whatever arises in the mind has no importance at all because it has no reality whatsoever.
Don't become attached to it, don't pass judgment. Let the game happen on its own, springing up and falling back, without changing anything, all will vanish and reappear without end.
Only our searching for happiness prevents us from seeing it. It is like a rainbow which you run after without ever catching. Although it does not exist, it has always been there and accompanies you every instant. Don't believe in the reality of good and bad experiences. They are like rainbows.
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. As soon as you relax this grasping, space is there; open, inviting, and comfortable. So, make use of it. All is yours already. Don't search any further. Don't go into the inextricable jungle looking for the elephant who is already quietly at home. Nothing to do, nothing to force, nothing to want, and everything happens by itself.
- Lama Gendon Rimpoche

Nothing has to be different for us to be whole. It is not a matter of change as much as it is of merciful acceptance. We don't even have to be less angry or less frightened or less doubtful. We don't have to be more loving, or more compassionate, or more wise. To be whole is just to take ourselves within wholeheartedly, to meet even our lovelessness, our mercilessness with a deeper "Ahhh!"
It sounds too good to be true, that all we need do is mercifully acknowledge the moment. But our healing is not as far away as we imagine. In the light of clear awareness, everything becomes workable, even our pain, even our fear. In fact, as we deeply investigate, awareness itself heals all that it touches, and everything begins to fall into line as it will. A deep healing...the most interesting game in town.
- Stephen Levine, excerpt from "Healing into Life and Death"

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
That is translated through you into action,
And because there is only one of you in all time,
This expression is unique.
If you block it,
It will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is,
Nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly,
To keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly
To the urges that motivate you.
Keep the channel open.
No artist is pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction,
A blessed unrest that keeps us marching
And makes us more alive than the others.
- Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille

Here are two more inspiring readings. We used the first one in our group, and the second one is newer. These are included with permission from visionary author Jan Phillips (