Rachel Sussman
La Llareta (3,000+ years old, Atacama Desert, Chile) Author: Rachel Sussman
2022

Rachel Sussman

Artist

highlighting ancient living legacies

meet rachel

Rachel Sussman is an artist, writer and healer. She spent ten years creating her New York Times bestselling book, The Oldest Living Things in the World, followed by conceptual artwork exploring our relationship with Deep Time and Deep Space. Sussman has shared her profound experiences exploring spiritual realms and healing trauma with psychedelic medicines. This paved the way for her work at the Center for Sacred studies where she will be ordained as a Minister of Walking Prayer, and as a certified methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted therapist through the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies.

highlighting ancient living legacies
Nominated by: Milbry Polk MED'95
Class of 2022 Location USA
Joman Sugi (2,180-7,000 years old, Yaku Shima, Japan)
Joman Sugi (2,180-7,000 years old, Yaku Shima, Japan) Author: Rachel Sussman


The Oldest Living Things in the World is a decade-long project working with scientists to find and photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. It helps people to forge a deeper and more nuanced relationship with the natural world. The idea was to activate a network of reverence for these ancient living legacies that highlight our painfully shallow human experience of time and to draw attention to the shortterm thinking that is wreaking havoc on our planet.

Whether making art, writing or working with people directly to help heal trauma, my work is about dissolving boundaries and expanding consciousness from a place of love. My subsequent artworks were created after spending time in residence at NASA and European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which aimed my exploration at even deeper time and deep space. For example, I created a sand mandala of the cosmic microwave background, weaving together the principles of physics while exploring the birth and nature of the universe with a traditional Tibetan Buddhism practice embodying creation and destruction.

“What did I learn? That the most profound exploration available to all of us is right in front of us. Who are we? What resides in our minds, bodies, hearts and spirits? How can we heal our wounds?”

- Rachel Sussman
Antarctic Moss (5,500 years old; Elephant Island Antarctica)
Antarctic Moss (5,500 years old; Elephant Island Antarctica) Author: Rachel Sussman


Facing the next frontier of my explorations meant pushing through fear, and crossing a powerful threshold into a psychedelic plant medicine ceremony. I began a healing journey, which brought me from identifying as an atheist to studying to become a minister, and from severe childhood trauma to heeding the call to become a healer.

What did I learn? That the most profound exploration available to all of us is right in front of us. Who are we? What resides in our minds, bodies, hearts and spirits? How can we heal our wounds? As climate change, Covid-19, and a sweeping cultural reckoning rock our planet, what better time to take a deep and loving dive within ourselves and awaken to love, respect, reciprocity and equanimity? These are all possible, should we choose to cultivate them.

there are 49 other visionary explorers

read about class of 2022