Articles :

By: Ann Mortifee  09-12-2011
Keywords: arts and culture, Spiritual Journey, Ticket Information

Article in the Calgary Herald on the Upcoming events in Calgary.

Link to the article, or read it below.

Ann Mortifee has been on a spiritual journey for many years of her life.

She has travelled both inward and outward.

Next week, the Canadian arts and culture icon, together with her husband Paul Horn, a jazz legend, comes to Calgary, where Mortifee will share some of her experiences and insights on the spiritual life and what she has learned over the years.

On Friday, Horn and Mortifee will present In Love with the Mystery at 7: 30 p.m. at Woodcliff United Church, 5010 Spruce Dr. S.W.

It is billed as an intimate evening of stories, improvised music and readings from Mortifee’s new book of the same name and CD.

“It’s an evening of storytelling. There will be a little bit of music. And we’re going to talk about these strange serendipitous experiences that led up to the book beginning almost 35 years ago,” says Mortifee.

“All my life I’ve been interested in why are we here, what’s the purpose of life. What’s my destiny? All those questions that most of us ask at some point. I’ve been kind of blessed to go through a lot of different spiritual traditions. I’ve travelled a lot. I’ve believed things and let them go. And embraced more. In the end, can I really name what it is that most fascinates me? No, I really can’t. It’s a mystery. And I think if I ever say a prayer, it’s To Whom It May Concern.”

She says as the world gets smaller and different communities, traditions and realities become more evident to all people, “the mystery of life becomes more fascinating and the need to articulate it and say ‘this is the truth’ just seems to go away.”

“I got up every morning at five o’clock and they were thoughts that came to me after a lifetime of travelling inwardly and outwardly,” Mortifee says of her book.

Then on Saturday, there will be a full-day workshop from 10 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m. at the church called Sacred Union. Horn and Mortifee will bring together their “unique and shared life experiences,” says a poster promoting the event.

“You will love this day and come away with: tools to integrate mind, body, emotion and spirit; the ability to use your physical body as an ally in staying grounded in the present moment. Through music, story, improvisation and meditation, you will find yourself expanded and joyous.”

For more general and ticket information for both events, visit

Mortifee says she’s been a singer all her life and many years ago she began teaching workshops on how to be more creative, opening yourself up and getting in touch with your own creativity.

“Through that whole process, I became conscious of how the body plays into your ability to be creative. When the body gets shut down, how hard it is to access your passion, and how creativity of course is so interconnected with passion,” she says.

“We do a little bit of singing. We do a little bit of visioning. And it’s just a day to reflect. Go inward. To feel where you’re stuck in your body. To open yourself up a bit. And to get in touch with your creative essence. So the Sacred Union is real ly about bringing the different aspects of yourself together.

“The day is really about how to unify the self in a way that gives you more power, more joy, more peace and more inner balance and harmony.”


Friday, September 23rd

In Love with the Mystery: Join Ann and Paul for an intimate evening of stories, improvised music and readings from Ann’s inspirational new book and CD.

7:30 PM at Shatford Centre 760 Main Street, Penticton, B.C.

Saturday September 24th

Sacred Union FULL DAY WORKSHOP 10:00am – 4:30pm
A lively workshop featuring Ann Mortifee & Paul Horn

Jazz legend, Paul Horn, and his wife, Canadian arts and culture icon, Ann Mortifee, bring together their unique and shared life experiences.
You will love this day and come away with:
• Tools to integrate mind, body, emotion and spirit
• The ability to use your physical body as an ally in staying grounded in the present moment
Through music, story, improvisation and meditation, you will find yourself expanded and joyous.

Register for the Saturday Workshop or phone: 250-770-7668

Our TM community and the students here at MUM are still highly singing your praises from your performances here in Fairfield….you certainly stirred up the collective and we are so grateful! On behalf of the students…THANK YOU for sharing yourself with us!
- Brooke Hadfield (Women’s Institute at MUM)

Some of the comments and responses from Ann’s recent workshop with women at MUM:

“Men are being called to awaken their Divine Mother as much as we women are…”

“The Yin Yang symbol…To me, the feminine is the part of the human being that is capable to not know, to live in the dark, to not need to order the universe but to live with the uncertainty of where are we going with the uncertainty of not knowing…all she needs is a little dot of knowing.a little white spot of knowing…and where does it sit? In her belly. Right in the belly where the feelings are, where the gut knowings are.”

“How many times have you had a spiritual experience that is so juicy and so alive and so mysterious to you, and then you share it , it comes out of your mouth and you want to grab it and bring it back into the non-sensical, the not knowing because you just gave it away?”

“When I go into meditation, when I go into not knowing, when you drop into the transcendent, everything dissolves– it is like a portal into other worlds, everything compresses into one small marble of stillness, and from that stillness you can go into expandedness, into the transcendent.”

“For me it is so important, and I could almost weep, how desperately we need the Mother. If we were in touch with the Divine Mother, there would be no children living on the street, we wouldn’t be able to bear it, we wouldn’t be able to walk past a clear cut and not do something about it. If we were in touch with our feminine essence the salmon would not be dying in the streams, there wouldn’t be a garbage pile of plastic the size of Texas in the middle of the ocean killing all the dolphins and whales.”

“If we were in touch with the mother the world would be transformed. And somehow we have to find her in ourselves and bring her forward exactly as our body wants to do because I am the blue print of the service that I was born to give. My talents and my limitations are perfect. Absolutely perfect. What I know and what I don’t know are perfect. That is why we need each other because what you can do, I can not do, and what I can do you can not do. We can make contact with this deep unconditional love that is at the heart of the Mother, and that is why she must return. She must return in us– in men and women alike.”

“And you see it all over the wold with Indigenous cultures how they are starting to remember. They are remembering the genocide that was enacted against them by the mind of separation. And all of these people that are starting to find the way is so exiting. We have a long way to go, and yet I also know that there is a place when we enact this place in ourselves, when we start to become who we actually, are then what happens is we start knowing where to go.”

“I feel a great excitement for what is happening here (Fairfield, MUM), I really do. You have got beautiful, beautiful, beautiful women who have the courage and the strength to stand up for the Divine Mother, for the Feminine principle that always, for right now,  is just kept down because it is chaotic, because it is non–sensical, it is just able to sense. I feel that what is trying to be born here, each one of you has a gift to bring, and some of us don’t know what our gift is yet, and in the process of discovering what the gift is… is the gift itself.“

Once again I am thinking of you all as the sun rises over the desert.  The morning is unusually chilly for this time of year. And so I am wrapped snugly in shawl and woollen slippers. There is a nest being built in the Mesquite tree close to where I am sitting and three turkey vultures are soaring effortlessly overhead.  All is very still and peaceful and right with the world.

I am remembering a moment with Gosololo, my nanny in South Africa.  She was a second mother to me. Her beauty and richness of soul resonates in me still.  Once every two months on her days off, Gosololo was able to return to her village to be with her own children. The rest of the time she lived with us.  She was doing what was required of her.  Yet, in spite of the loneliness she felt for her children, she never withheld her love from us.  She fed us on its warm and nourishing sustenance.

Once after she had just returned from a visit home, I came into the kitchen and found her staring out the window.  Quiet tears were rolling down her cheeks.  I had never seen Gosololo crying before.  I felt awkward and shy. I climbed onto her knee and with my child’s small arm, I clumsily tried to comfort her.  I patted her back and stroked her hair, as she would have me.  The sadness in her dark eyes gave way to tenderness. Slowly they changed to laughter, and then returned again to tears.  Back and forth her feelings flowed until she pulled me close to her heart and half crying, half laughing, she whispered ever so softly.

“Oh Anna, the reason I am grown so fat is so I can hold all these feeling, all in the same body, all at the same time.”

This is the great mystery of Mother.  It is the power of unconditional love.  No matter the circumstance, no matter what is right or wrong, love does what needs to be done. Love feels what needs to be felt. And whatever it takes, love accepts and then it loves some more.

And so, on this Mothers Day, I wish you love.

In the great Mystery,


A Word from Ann:

Courtney Milne, my dear, dear friend who created the photographs for In Love With The Mystery, left his earthly vessel before he could hold our book in his hands. How strange are the ways of life.

Paul and I took our kayaks out to a wee island not far from here to say our goodbyes. Paul played his flute. I sang and drummed. The eagles flew overhead. Courtney would have loved that.

I love this photo of Courtney, captured by his friend, Cathy, in one of his joyful moments on the riverbank near Outlook.

For so many years the two of us shared our love and our talents back and forth. He using my music for presentations of his marvelous visions, and I using his photos on CD covers, posters, and now books. Always our sharing was an open gift to one another, a gift of the heart. Never have I known anyone with such a natural capacity for joy. A simple pleasure could catapult him into a state of such glorious exuberant delight. What a rare, rare being.

For the last 20 years, Courtney traveled in union with Sherrill Miller, his extraordinary wife, creating their dreams of Beauty. I remember when they met and how Courtney called and the first words out of his mouth were … ‘I have finally found her!’

During the weeks before he left his body, I wrote to Sherrill …

‘It is raining here for the first time in a month. I sit in the early morning watching the small round dimples creating such graceful circles on the still bay water outside my window. Circles within circles. Lives within lives. Moments within moments. If the two of you were here now, you and I would put on the kettle for tea, and we would watch through the window our beloved Courtney outside in the rain, leaning over, camera in hand, catching the moment. I can see us now, shaking our heads in affectionate wonder at the enthusiasm of our wise, impish companion. Yes, that is the word that captures the raw essence of our wonderful Mr. Courtney. Enthusiasm. Entheos … ‘In – God.’ ‘God within.’ Bubbling over with God, the Creator of Beauty.’

They had laughed when they read this, knowing how true it all was. Beloved Courtney, with his magnificent capacity for poetic ecstasy and hard work.

I would love you all to know more about him.

For over ten years, and 40,000 images, Courtney spent time photographing a Pool outside their home. It was a spiritual practice, a journey into silence, just as In Love With The Mystery was for me. After witnessing so many expressions of the water, he realized it reflected the whole world for him, and wondered, ‘If I can see so much in one small space, what might this say about how our lives would change if we could all see the world ‘with new eyes — how would this change our relationships, our work, and the planet?’ He then took 365 images of the 40,000 and created The Pool of Possibilities Daily, an ecalendar, and added his musings.

On the day of his passing, his Poolside Wisdom and photograph for the day was called Appreciation. This is what Courtney said …

One of the things I appreciate most about the pool is its ability to reflect the sky. By paying attention to the nuances of movement, form, and tone portrayed in the water, I have come to see aspects of the grand roof over my head that otherwise I would have missed. Like the pool, the sky is always in flux. Indeed it is one of the main contributors to the pool’s mercurial nature.

If my day is clouding up, I might appreciate the clouds in the water. If it is raining, I admire the water in the clouds. If my day doesn’t unfold as I expected, I am thankful for the pageantry and ask “What gifts of learning are there for me here?”

Observe how the day brightens around you when you share with others what you appreciate about them, with no strings attached, and what you appreciate about yourself, without qualifying your statement. Suddenly there is blue sky where moments ago you could see only fault and find only fuel for blame.

This is our Courtney. This is his precious gift to us … the ability to appreciate all of life in all of its hues and colors.

Appreciation, August 29th … the 6th Day in the Month of Abundance


I would love you to experience Courtney’s Pool of Possibilities. As Sherrill said, “This is a way to keep the beauty he created and his spirit and wisdom alive and circulating around the world — he would be so delighted to know that people are excited every day to see the world anew through his eyes and heart.”

How I love this being. I will miss him so much.

Keywords: arts and culture, Improvised Music, Intimate Evening, Spiritual Journey, Teaching Workshops, Ticket Information,

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Appearances :

Next week, the Canadian arts and culture icon, together with her husband Paul Horn, a jazz legend, comes to Calgary, where Mortifee will share some of her experiences and insights on the spiritual life and what she has learned over the years. Mortifee says she’s been a singer all her life and many years ago she began teaching workshops on how to be more creative, opening yourself up and getting in touch with your own creativity.


Featured Videos :

I feel so thrilled to have come to this point, and who knows, you might even desire to join this special conservation community that will help to conserve 1000 acres of pristine forest.Love,Ann. Ann Mortifee and Paul Horn share the basis of their deep connection as soul mates who came together again after meeting each other 40 years earlier.


Launch Events :

Improvising on the themes in the book, in both spoken word and song, Ann’s presentations have been meaningful and inspiring to audiences in Santa Barbara, Vancouver and Victoria. In Love with the Mystery: Join Ann and Paul for an intimate evening of stories, improvised music and readings from Ann’s inspirational new book and CD. November 12th 7pm ~ Kauai – KCC Performing Arts CenterNovember 13th two shows 1pm and 4pm ~ Oahu Doris Duke Theater.


Music :

Her years of travel, spiritual searching, performing, writing and a deep desire to touch bases with her roots in Africa, all come to fruition in Into the Heart of the Sangoma. I so appreciate your years of voice work and spirit work that finally merges in this CD.”Rhiannon, Performer, teacher, recording artist, sound healer.


Featured :

Then the music started and the full measure of the inner consciousness which is infinitely malleable was transformed into the power of the emotions generated by Paul and Ann. During the entire duration of the concert, I was just being transported to higher and higher, subtler and subtler levels of Being. I couldn’t help but close my eyes and allow her voice to transport me to a totally different realm of existence.