Welcome to the podcast! Today I am very delighted to be joined by dreamer, writer, and artist Toko-pa Turner.
Toko-pa was born in a farmhouse in Devon, England by a midwife to poet-parents. Because they liked the music saying it made, they named her after the Maori deity, Toko-pa, who is the “Parent of the Mist” according to the Maori creation myth.
She came to Canada at the age of four, where her grandparents settled after the war in Poland, and was raised in a Sufi community in Montreal.
Along with yoga, meditation, Sufi dancing and singing, dreaming was an everyday part of her culture. From a very young age, Toko-pa was encouraged to share and explore her vivid dreams.
In her early twenties, Toko-pa toured with a band, eventually recording her first original album. It wasn’t until her mid-twenties that she returned to the mystical teachings of Sufism and the study of dreams. She became deeply interested in Analytical Psychology and did a 3-year internship at the Jung Foundation of Ontario, while pursuing her studies in spirituality, mythology and shamanism.
In early 2001, she was awarded a scholarship to study with psycho-physiologist and lucid dreaming expert, Dr. Stephen LaBerge, in Hawaii. She spent the following year writing a documentary series, “Awake and Dreaming” which was picked up for development by Vision TV.
Blending the mystical tradition of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreamwork, Toko-pa founded the Dream School in 2001 from which hundreds of students have since graduated.
Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News and BBC Radio and has a community of over 100,000 online readers. Her writing has been published worldwide, and she is currently releasing her first book “Belonging” which explores the themes of exile, and the search for belonging.
Sometimes called a Midwife of the Psyche, Toko-pa’s work focuses on restoring the feminine, reconciling paradox, and facilitating grief and ritual practice. You can find Toko-pa on her beloved Facebook page “Dreamwork with Toko-pa” or on her website at toko-pa.com.
What you’ll hear in this episode
- Toko-Pa’s background and her work with Sufism
- What compelled her to write her new book “Belonging”
- The metaphor of “ruins”
- The relationship between exile, initiation, & belonging
- Embracing the natural world with feminine energy
- What true belonging entails