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Feature Article

It's a Wild World

© Melissa Ireland

Melissa Ireland

“It’s a wild world where we fool ourselves into thinking we tamed it.”


In 2019 I let go of living in the USA to travel the world volunteering.

As an artist who never did like the idea of planning her artwork first

and instead delighted in the mystery of the experience, wandering the world

was not much different. I remember once an art teacher told me that I must

plan my work because it was going off the page. Well, it was time for my life

to go “off the page” so that I could refresh my delight in the mystery of it all.


“We die often enough

so that no matter what the form, the artistry is felt.

The experience steeped in a humility that was always there,

though we pretend it just arrived.

Letting go, allowing the grace of a remembering,

that the only reality is uncertainty, be touched 

with inspiration,

creating a space for us to return,

for the next song,

for the next dance,

and the next mystery,

with a few new dance moves.”


The next mystery opened its doors for me. After arriving in

Australia and helping out at a “Workaway” adventure 

outside of Brisbane I needed an airbnb for a night before 

going on to the next Workaway. A Workaway is a wonderful online platform where one can go all over the world helping others out.) There I met a woman

who also was staying at the airbnb. We enjoyed a nice breakfast together 

and shared the reasons we were where we were as well as a little bit 

about our lives. When she heard I was an artist, enjoyed Buddhist philosophy, 

and had become a meditation teacher she suggested I check out

Chenrezig Institute because Chenrezig not only needed volunteers, it also had an art studio.


This was such fun news! I was excited to get in touch with them! Fast forward to now

and I had 9 wonderful months at Chenrezig Institute. When my Australian visa ended, 

at the suggestion of several nuns I met, I headed to New Zealand to volunteer at 

Chandrakirti Meditation Centre and am now at Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity, 

which is also in New Zealand. Each one of these places are very beautiful Tibetan Buddhist retreat centers that have continued to encourage and nurture my explorations of consciousness, each in their own unique way and where I have gone to new dimensions by learning how to do the water bowl blessings, beat the drum during pujas, and cook for the participants and volunteers.


It has been a few years now, of courageous leaps into the unknown and the natural order of spontaneous events and it is with great pleasure that 

I continue to dance with the mystery of life from a place of helping others and 

being as creative with my life as I have with my artwork. 


I invite you to join me in exploring how uncertainty can exist in our lives

from a place of gentleness, ease, love, and wonder, in subtle ways like when creating

a work of art or music to the ways we actually live out our entire lives, because we want to be on the same page as the universe…..(smiles!)

© Melissa Ireland

Melissa bio pe.jpg

Melissa Ireland

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