Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Excellent interview with @DAVID_LYNCH about #TranscendentalMeditation & @LynchFoundation

September 16, 2018

Huffington Post writer/interviewer Marianne Schnall produced this wonderful, comprehensive Interview With David Lynch: His Mission to Change the World Through Meditation. It was posted December 9, 2014 and updated February 8, 2015.

I can remember being absolutely hooked and engrossed into the surreal world of the cutting-edge television series Twin Peaks back in the ’90s. That was when series creator and director David Lynch became a household name and the show developed a massive and passionate cult following (which the show still has — there was much excitement over the recent announcement that Twin Peaks will return as a limited series with new episodes written, directed, and produced by Lynch to air on Showtime in 2016). In addition to receiving numerous Emmy nominations for his work on Twin Peaks, Lynch has also received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay for iconic films like The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive. All these years later, I found myself playing my own cameo in a seemingly surreal scene: hanging out with David Lynch in a hotel cafe in NYC, sipping lattes and talking about topics such as meditation, consciousness, the Unified Field, and “positivity moving at the speed of light in all directions.” What I experienced during our inspiring and thought-provoking time together is that while he is an explosive force of nature creatively, in person he is a gentle, soft-spoken, thoughtful, and deeply caring and compassionate soul. In addition to being a consummate artist in a variety of mediums (as well as being a film and television director and writer, he is also a musician, actor, author, and visual artist), David has one passion that is especially dear to his heart: the David Lynch Foundation, a non-profit founded by the legendary filmmaker to help people overcome trauma and transform their lives through the Transcendental Meditation technique. It began when he first experienced how dramatically TM transformed his own personal life experience, which he says granted him “access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity, and happiness deep within.” But he says, “I had no idea how powerful and profound this technique could be until I saw firsthand how it was being practiced by young children in inner-city schools, veterans who suffer the living hell of post-traumatic stress disorder, and women and girls who are victims of terrible violence.” The organization was founded in 2005 as the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace to ensure that every child anywhere in the world who wanted to learn to meditate could do so. Now, the foundation has expanded and is actively teaching TM to adults and children in countries everywhere and offers a variety of pioneering campaigns and programs, including many innovative initiatives aimed at youth and a variety of at-risk communities. The positive effects of the organization’s work is backed up by measurable results and emerging scientific data and research, as well as support from celebrities and fellow TM practitioners such as Russell Brand, Howard Stern, Jerry Seinfeld, Ringo Starr, Ellen Degeneres, Lena Dunham, and Katy Perry. In the following interview, David Lynch shares the story of his own personal transformation and his belief in the power of meditation to not only positively affect one’s own enjoyment of life, creativity, and ability to cope with stress and trauma but also transform our “collective consciousness.” As he told me, “The human being is like a light bulb. If a human being is super stressed, depressed, and filled with negativity, this is what that human being radiates out into the world. On the other hand, if a human being is filled with happiness and positivity, this is what they radiate out into the world. We each affect our environment and that collective consciousness. The more people who are diving within and transcending and are getting that happiness and positivity, the better the world will be.”

Marianne Schnall: Tell me a little about your journey that led you to found the David Lynch Foundation and just in general how you wound up at this place, your own experience with Transcendental Meditation.

David Lynch: I started Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1973 in Los Angeles, California, on July 1st on a beautiful Sunday morning, about 11:00. I loved my experience with Transcendental Meditation. I loved my experience, I just loved it. And I’ve been meditating twice a day for 41 years now, never missed a meditation in those 41 years. I went to Fairfield, Iowa, one time to visit a high school where the entire school’s teachers and students practiced Transcendental Meditation. While I was there on a cold and raining night, I was invited to a high school play and I thought maybe it would be one of the most boring nights of my life. I went to a little theater that was packed with people. Then on the stage came students, high school students, and they put on a play that blew me away.

A lot of things about the play impressed me so much, but the main thing was a glow on every face — this glow of consciousness, of intelligence, of happiness. None of them were actors. They were high school students. They weren’t going into acting, but they were so beyond good and the timing of everything was so good, the humor of everything, where it was supposed to be humorous, was so good. It was tight. And it was performed so beautifully. There was some kind of extra thing coming off them that was thrilling. After that, I thought every actor, every actress, should learn Transcendental Meditation. It’s that thing, that charisma, that magic thing that was coming off the high school students.

Around this time, I started hearing about different schools around the country. I started hearing about students bringing guns to school and then more and more through the years, about more and more violence in schools, metal detectors, no learning, fights in the school, a lot of depression, a lot of pharmaceutical drugs, a lot of illegal drugs — the whole thing that by now everybody’s heard about. And I thought, Wouldn’t it be great if students knew about Transcendental Meditation? And one thing led to another and this foundation got born in 2005.

The main focus was on schools, called Consciousness-Based education, meaning that every human being has a treasury within of consciousness — of pure consciousness, unbounded consciousness within every human being. When a human being transcends, they experience that pure consciousness. And that consciousness within has the all-positive qualities of unbounded intelligence, unbounded creativity, unbounded happiness, unbounded love, unbounded energy, unbounded peace — within every human being. We just need the technique to get there to that deepest eternal level.

When a human being gets this technique of Transcendental Meditation — the ability to transcend — they start getting happier. All the torment that’s in the human being starts lifting away, the students’ grades go up, relationships improve, their ability to focus and comprehend becomes bigger every day. When whole schools start practicing Transcendental Meditation, within one year there is a 180-degree turn around. The school becomes a school that we would love to go to or have our kids go to.

Then the Foundation’s projects branched out, to not only students, but vets and Native Americans, homeless, prisoners — people who really were suffering — girls in prostitution, boys in prostitution, young kids having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, real bad traumatic stress that was just ruining their lives.

I just read this thing this morning about vets. People are trying all different kinds of things to help the vets, and I read about the fact one of the things they’re giving them is fish oil [laughs] and they’re giving them all of these different things to try to help. But these things they are trying are all surface cures. It’s like trying to help a sick tree at the level of the leaves. The experienced gardener knows to water the root. Get that nourishment from the deepest level and then the whole tree starts coming up to perfection. The vets I know that started Transcendental Meditation say, “I’ve got my life back again. This is such a blessing.” And if you can tell the vets in your report that this thing of Transcendental Meditation is not a surface cure. It goes to the deepest level and it will rid people of traumatic stress.

People who are suffering have got to give this technique a try. With this technique of Transcendental Meditation, in simple terms, you could say gold is coming in, garbage is going out. It works. And the vets and all the people suffering with the stress of today have got to get this technique and the government has got to get behind this, the government has got to support this.

MS: There is a lot of research and statistics emerging that are beginning to back this up. Do you think that we are evolving to that place, where it would get that kind of widespread, mainstream support?

DL: Big time. The word’s gone out. There’s hardly any resistance to it. Still, there are people who don’t know about this technique, and there’s still probably a thing in some people’s head about Transcendental Meditation being a weird Eastern religion or it’s just too weird to sit and meditate. It’s not a macho thing, maybe they think, or it’s not an American thing. The problem is, it works, and people have got to know that. When you meditate, it’s not something weird. You sit in a comfortable chair, close the eyes and practice this technique the way the teacher taught you, and it works. It’s easy and effortless — it’s not a concentration technique, it’s not a contemplation technique, it’s a unique form of meditation, which is very natural. It’s a very natural thing for every human being to do. It’s such a powerful and beautiful thing to experience the treasury within. When a human being transcends every day, life gets better every day. Say goodbye to suffering. Say goodbye to that torment and start enjoying life.

MS: And for you personally — obviously you are a multi-talented artist in so many mediums — how do you see your own evolution as a human and an artist? How has this transformed your own consciousness?

DL: Well, first of all, this word “consciousness” is something that most people don’t fully understand. There used to be what they called “consciousness-raising groups” — they weren’t raising consciousness, they were raising information, and there’s a big difference. Consciousness is the “I-am-ness of life” — you can only say I am, because of consciousness. Consciousness is really life itself. Every human being has consciousness, but not every human being has the same amount. The potential for each one of us human beings is infinite consciousness. This is called supreme enlightenment, and it just needs unfolding by transcending each day. The more consciousness we have, the better life is.

I was creative before I started meditating, but I had, looking back, a weakness. I wasn’t self-assured. I had a little bit of melancholy. I had a lot of anger for my situations in life, and I would take this out on my first wife. Also on the day I got the go ahead to make my first feature film, having been given a place to work in the stables area of a 55-room mansion and all the equipment I could dream of, I felt I should have been the happiest person in the world. But I looked inside, and that happiness was only on the surface, not so deep. Beneath it was hollow. Up until that time, I had been thinking meditation was a joke, a fad and a waste of time. Around that time I heard a phrase: “True happiness is not out there. True happiness lies within.” And this phrase had a ring of truth for me. I thought maybe this thing of meditation is a way to go within and find that happiness. And I started looking into different kinds of meditation — there are so many different meditations out in the world. I thought, like everybody else, you could get meditation from a book — why do you have to pay for meditation? What is this? I read about this kind of meditation and that kind of meditation, but nothing felt right. One day my sister called, and said she started Transcendental Meditation. I liked what she told me about it, and I said, “This is for me.” And I went and got it and never was sorry I did.

Within two weeks of starting Transcendental Meditation, my wife comes to me and asks, “What’s going on?” I said, “What are you talking about?” And she said, “The anger, where did it go?” The changes in me were so natural, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t angry anymore. I didn’t try to get the anger away. It just went. I realized all these changes are so natural — you just naturally get happier, you just naturally feel better in your body, you just naturally have more fun in the doing of things, you just naturally appreciate people in the world and life. It just creeps up on you. And I always say this negativity that we live under is like the suffocating rubber clown suit of negativity. This clown suit starts to dissolve when you transcend every day. And this gives a person a huge freedom. Surface cures are not going to get rid of the torment that’s inside the students or the vets or the prisoners or anyone suffering from this torment. Drugs cover it over, but they don’t get rid of it. When a human being is transcending every day, that torment dissolves. It lifts away.

MS: You were talking earlier about its use in a school setting — I would love programs like this to be in my daughters’ school. When I think about children today, I look at my daughters, I have a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old, and kids today are all constantly on their phones and devices, so many inputs coming at them — I do have concerns about the role of technology and, as you were saying, the angst and stress that we’re seeing in our youth. I do feel like it would be important to learn these skills and practices in school, to be part of educational system. Maybe we’re headed that way.

DL: I think we are definitely headed that way. Education should unfold the student’s full potential. The regular practice of Transcendental Meditation does unfold the human being’s full potential. So consciousness-based education, which I am helping to promote, is basically the same education that good schools are giving today with Transcendental Meditation added for the students, teachers, staff, and principal. In learning or education, they say there is the knower, the process of knowing, and the known. In schools today, we have the process of knowing and the known, but nothing much is being done for the knower — the student, the human being, so many of whom are filled with torment. You give them this technique of Transcendental Meditation and start them unfolding their full potential. They start understanding more and more. They get that ability to focus. Their relationships improve. They become great, great, happy creative, energetic, and peace-loving human beings. And they get very much more self-assured and self-sufficient. They’re feeling great with this all-positive coming in from their practice of Transcendental Meditation and they’re seeing the negativity and torment lifting away. This goes for the teachers, staff, and principal as well. Transcending is what they call a holistic experience, so all avenues of life improve. And this secret has always been within, within, within.

MS: As you are saying, this has obvious benefits for one’s own personal experience, but I know you also talk a lot about how it’s connected to outer world change. How do you see that connection?

DL: In the world there’s a thing called collective consciousness. All of us billions of human beings together create that collective consciousness. With all the problems in our world today, you can see that the collective consciousness is not so high. The human being is like a light bulb. If a human being is super stressed, depressed and filled with negativity, this is what that human being radiates out into the world. On the other hand, if a human being is filled with happiness and positivity, this is what they radiate out into the world. We each affect our environment and that collective consciousness. The more people who are diving within and transcending and are getting that happiness and positivity, the better the world will be.

Then there’s the phenomenon of the peace-creating groups. Maharishi brought out advanced techniques and if these techniques are done along with Transcendental Meditation in a group, their effect is quadratically more powerful than the same number scattered about. Peace-creating groups are like a lighthouse of positivity, creating a huge glow of harmony and happiness in collective consciousness. I would like to help establish peace-creating groups on a permanent basis in our world.

A university would be a great place for a peace-creating group. The freshman students would learn these techniques and join the sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The students would practice these techniques for an hour or so in the morning and an hour or so in the afternoon together as a group. The rest of the time they can go about their university business. This would be such a powerful thing for every country to have — a university as a lighthouse for peace.

All that’s needed is the square root of one percent of a population. That number is very small. And it seems to me it would be easily accomplished. So you see, for the whole world it would only take one big peace-creating group of at least 9,000 to bring enough harmony and happiness to collective consciousness to make a huge difference in the entire world. It’s amazing to me that this hasn’t happened yet. The main reason is that people just don’t believe it and they try to solve the problems of hatred and violence the old way, through killing and through war, etcetera. It doesn’t matter if all the people don’t believe this — just a few have to believe this and it would be great for the people who want to do this. They’d really be floor boarding their own evolution and they’d be doing a giant service for the world.

MS:
You talked earlier about some of the great programs and initiatives the David Lynch Foundation has–there are so many people dealing with so many different forms of pain and trauma. I run a women’s non-profit organization, and I am remembering hearing about the Women’s Initiative event you had at the Paley Center. Using even that as an example, how does that initiative seek to help women who have experienced various forms of violence?

DL: Domestic violence and violence against women in general seems to be a big problem everywhere in the world. It seems to me this problem comes from stress, pent-up anger, frustration, and all kinds of negativity within human beings. If people in a relationship are both filled with torment inside, it’s easy to see how violence can erupt. And people do things on the spur of the moment without having a chance to think about the consequence of their actions. If the people in a relationship were able to get rid of this torment within and replace it with happiness, love, and a sense of well-being, they would never think to hurt another human being. They would be filled with an understanding of others and an appreciation of others and have an ability to reconcile differences without any violence whatsoever, to reconcile differences in a very loving way, a very happy way.

As collective consciousness goes higher and higher, all the differences in the world will be appreciated more and more. A definition of peace is unity in the midst of diversity. Or you could say happiness, love, and peace in the midst of all diversity. All the differences would be appreciated fully in the light of this peace.

MS: Do you think part of the problem is we’re all so busy, almost an autopilot — people are just trying to get through their checklist each day, almost sleepwalking — not even aware of being able to come from this conscious place just because of all the inputs and demands of modern life?

DL: Yes, everyone knows there’s so much more input these days, so much more information coming to us, it’s no longer just from around the house or around the neighborhood, but it’s coming to us from all around the world. All this adds to the stress, the worry, the fear and it causes people to do strange things, sometimes violent things, sometimes hurtful things. And even if they don’t mean to do this, they still do it. It’s like they can’t help themselves. The torment causes it.

Transcending gives a human being a chance to think before acting. And experiencing this beautiful treasury within gets rid of that torment and replaces it with happiness, inner peace, creativity intelligence, love, energy. This fuels a real good life and fuels an appreciation for all human beings. It’s so powerful and it’s a blessing for humanity.

MS: You are of course a multitalented artist, and I know right now in the world we could use lots of creative ideas. In addition to just enhancing one’s well-being and help deal with stress, can you talk a little bit about how it is connected to fostering creativity, either for yourself or in general?

DL: I say negativity is the enemy of creativity. For instance if you’re filled with depression, you can hardly even get out of bed, let alone feel like creating something. If you are filled with bitter, selfish anger, this occupies the mind and leaves little room for creative ideas. It’s like we have a conduit that ideas flow through. Negativity squeezes this conduit. By transcending every day, the negativity starts lifting away and that conduit opens up.

When we transcend we are diving into a field of unbounded creativity. This is real creativity and when we experience that and grow in that, we can more easily find solutions to problems. We can get ideas for whatever it is we’re working on. And we will get happier by transcending every day and we will find that we’re happier doing almost anything. We’ll get more energy to do our work.

Artists don’t want to lose their edge and they worry that meditation might take away that edge and make them calm and worthless. This was one of my worries before starting meditation, but I find way more of an edge, way more creativity flowing, way more happiness in the doing, way more energy to do the work. And I say that this transcending every day fuels the work and a very good feeling in life. No one likes to suffer. Sometimes in a romantic way, artists think suffering is part of the art life. But looking a little deeper we see that it is only romantic for others, it’s not really romantic for the artist to be starving, cold and suffering in the garret. It’s absurd to think suffering fuels creativity. The artist should understand suffering, but the artist doesn’t have to suffer to do his or her work. Suffering and negativity kill creativity. So let’s get real and experience that treasury within which fuels real creativity.

MS: Obviously there is a lot of negativity in the world right now — it’s hard to not turn on the news and feel overwhelmed by the violence and war and the images that we see. At the same time, I feel very hopeful that there are people like you, and more and more influential people like Oprah using her network and programming like Super Soul Sunday. There seems to be a new consciousness emerging, which is becoming more mainstream. Where do you see humanity right now — because some people feel we’re in a very dangerous place — do you feel hopeful that we can, as a collective, move ourselves in a positive direction?

DL: You wouldn’t know it from watching TV, but people who study these things say that there’s far less violence in the world today than in the past. Things seem to be getting better. Like I said before, the peace-creating groups are so important for raising the collective consciousness and bringing real peace. This Unified Field within, this ocean of consciousness is where all the power is anyway. People know how powerful the atomic level is, well, the treasury within is the deepest field and millions of times more powerful than the atomic level. It is the most profound, most beautiful, eternal field and it’s all-positive. It’s such a life-transforming thing for the good to experience it, to enliven it. It’s so beautifully powerful. They say that once enlivened by peace-creating groups it moves isotropically at the speed of light. Positivity moving at the speed of light in all directions. This positivity projects out, seeing no barriers and it makes a huge difference for peace in the world. So let’s get going on peace-creating groups and completely end the torment and suffering in our world.

MS: You could have just used this practice to enliven your own experience and continue your art, but you were moved to found this incredible organization to help people. What drives you, what is the source of all of your energy and passion around this work?

DL: I’ve seen so many cases where lives have been transformed for the good and heard so many stories about this. This technique of Transcendental Meditation really works for the human being. The David Lynch Foundation is headquartered in NYC and is run by the great Bobby Roth and his team. As I said before, there are many programs now going through the David Lynch Foundation, programs for schools, for prisons, for the homeless, for the vets suffering with Post Traumatic Stress, for abused children, for people suffering with ADD, ADHD, bipolar, etcetera. But EVERYONE is really at risk these days because of the amount of stress and negativity still in the world. Unless one is supremely enlightened, Transcendental Meditation is something to be seriously considered for a better and better life. In Transcendental Meditation, you need a legitimate teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation. And if you can’t afford the price, you can write a letter to the David Lynch Foundation and if we have the money, we will try to get a scholarship for you — either a reduced fee or if you can’t even afford that, for no fee at all.

Transcendental Meditation is not a religion, it’s not against any religion, it’s for human beings, no matter what color, what religion, what walk of life. If you’re a human being, it will work for you. And you will be very glad you found this technique and took advantage of it.

MS: I believe in putting out these positive visions — what is your wish for the future of humanity? What would it look like if we manifested everything you want for people and the world?

DL: We would have heaven on earth, peace on earth. Everyone would be enjoying life. There would be affluence, happiness, good health and a clear path for the fulfillment of desires. Some old desires of course would change and new positive desires would naturally come up. In this world of peace, your fulfillment of desires would not only benefit you, but would in turn benefit everyone else. No one would feel to hurt anyone, we could travel anywhere in the world and meet a friend, not an enemy. This could very easily be the reality if we enliven that all-positive eternal field within us and help establish large peace creating groups on a permanent basis.

Another name for this field within is the Kingdom of Heaven. In the Bible it says, “First seek the Kingdom of Heaven which lies within, and all else will be added unto you.” Seeking implies finding, finding implies experiencing. Anyone who experiences that kingdom of heaven within infuses some of that every time they transcend. Staying regular in their meditation, in their transcending every day, in time they infuse Totality, infinite consciousness and that is “all else is added unto you.” This is the full potential of every human being. It’s every human beings’ birth right to one day enjoy supreme enlightenment, immortality, total fulfillment, infinite bliss, a state described as more than the most. All we really need is this technique of Transcendental Meditation, which allows any human being to easily and effortlessly transcend. When you get this technique of Transcendental Meditation, stay regular in your meditation twice a day and you will begin to rapidly unfold your full potential as a human being and see life get better and better and better.

Mankind was not meant to suffer — bliss is our nature. The individual is cosmic. Let’s rock.

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Artist Ananda Kesler is featured in The Hawk Eye: Abstract art as meditation in action, by Bob Saar

July 11, 2018

Last week I received an invitation from Ananda Kesler to the official opening of her art exhibit, “Longing for Another Realm,” at the Art Center of Burlington. I passed it on to my friend Bob Saar who writes for The Hawk Eye, and introduced them via email.

Intrigued, Bob went to the Art Center to interview Ananda as she was putting up her paintings for the show. They shared a deep conversation and he wrote an amazing piece for the newspaper. Titled “Abstract art as meditation in action,” it made the cover of the WEEKEND Section C1, Thursday, July 5, 2018. Bob was kind enough to put it together in a PDF for us to share. I know the print is small, but if you can expand your page (command and shift +), the text will become easier to read.

The opening sentence really captures the essence of Ananda and her work. It is the essential message, the seed containing the whole tree: “Ananda Kesler pursues her art in search of the one realm within which all things are connected.”

Bob discovers Ananda’s eclectic upbringing, starting in Israel and immigrating with her family to Fairfield, Iowa when she was 12 years old. She told him about her education. Ananda attended MSAE, started college at MUM, then switched to U of I where she graduated with a BFA. She continued her studies in art and textiles at various art schools in California, Thailand, and Italy. Her work has been featured in many shows and articles.

Bob mentions the meditating Fairfield community and MUM and writes, “Her unconventional education — rooted in eastern philosophy, spirituality and metaphysics — led her to search for the intersection of form, beauty, and the mysteries of the esoteric and unknown. Her abstract paintings have been described as invoking feelings that have yet to emerge as language.”

I like how Bob set up the topic of control in life and in painting, and how Ananda’s approach is the opposite. This idea illuminates her practice. Towards the end of the article she explains: “I practice painting as a kind of meditation in action,” from which he derived the title for the article.

She then describes what the process does for her: “I let the process of mark-making take me on a journey into the unknown.” This next part surprised me: “The marks teach me patience, teach me self-forgiveness; they are a constant reminder of how to abdicate control.”

Enjoy this brilliantly written and insightful article.

Ananda Kesler THE July 2018

KBUR also interviewed Ananda Kesler. See Dive into Another Realm.

Ananda’s description of her process, and the difference between feelings expressed in art, which are pre-verbal, and words, remind me of an experience I had during an intuitive art class I had taken years ago in Vancouver, Canada. See ArtWords—poem about a creative awakening.

A related topic, on the difference between words and art, is played out in the movie, Words and Pictures. The story, set in a New England prep school, was actually shot at St. George’s School, an independent boarding and day university-preparatory school for boys in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a.k.a., Hollywood North. A poem, Who Are You?, is central to the film. I posted it, with the movie trailer, and a magical coincidence told by an English teacher from that school on a radio talk show I had heard while living there. See A poem in a movie inviting you to be who you are, to find out the connection, and what famous actor he meets while walking in the woods during a lunch break.

A Whisper Across Time: My Family’s Story of the Holocaust Told Through Art and Poetry, by Olga Campbell

May 1, 2018

I wanted to share something special with you. A friend of mine had been repressing, then actively processing an inherited trauma for most of her life. By educating herself, seeking professional help, writing and creating art, she has been able to make sense of it all. She just published a book about her powerful healing journey. She hopes it will resonate with those going through a trauma-induced grief, deepen our understanding and prevent such future catastrophes. I’ve seen the book. It’s a stunning artistic record of her ongoing transformation. Here’s what she sent me.

A Whisper Across Time book coverA Whisper Across Time is the story of one family’s experiences in the Holocaust. Olga Campbell tells a very personal and moving story through prose, art and poetry, creating a multi-dimensional snapshot of family losses and inter-generational trauma. Campbell’s art and poetry reflect the theme of sorrow and sadness created by this dark period of history. This is a story of remembering and healing. It is also a cautionary tale asking the reader to look at what is happening in the world today. Part memoir, part poetry, and art, A Whisper Across Time will make you stop, feel and reflect.

Seventeen years ago, after listening to a radio program about second generation Holocaust survivors, Olga Campbell experienced feelings she had spent a lifetime repressing. Her experience of grief, sorrow and sadness had their origins in events that happened to her family during the Holocaust. She started to confront these feelings by creating a solo multimedia exhibition in 2005 called Whispers Across Time. 

A year ago she felt compelled to write her family’s story. It felt as if her ancestors were whispering to her, encouraging her to do this. A Whisper Across Time is the result of these whispers.

Olga Campbell is a visual artist living in Vancouver, B. C. Her art work includes photography, sculpture, mixed media painting, and digital photo collage. She is also the author of Graffiti Alphabet. See more of Olga’s work at www.olgacampbell.com and olgacampbellart.

Olga has been practicing Transcendental Meditation since 1967. She became at teacher of Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh, India in 1970 and is a recertified Governor.

In her book she writes: “This personal journey was at times very difficult. However, there were and continue to be experiences in my life which make it easier … This daily practice of meditation for over half a century of time, has been transformational and life-affirming.

Praise for A Whisper Across Time

Olga Campbell’s poignant tribute to family murdered in the Shoa is a personal triumph. With words and art she has created an emotional response to a psychologically wounded mother and her inadvertent legacy of trauma. Her enormous artistic talents and insights provide not only a measure of healing but also of faithfulness to memory — the lives unlived are not forgotten. This is a precious contribution to the literature of the Holocaust and to resolving the consequences of catastrophic trauma. — Dr. Robert Krell, Founding President, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre

A Whisper Across Time is a profoundly moving experience. It is a healing ritual, a Shamanic soul retrieval, a celebration of life, and a gift of gratitude to the family Olga Campbell never really knew. She reminds us that it is never too late to heal the sorrows of the past or to protect the future from the dangers of forgetting.Ann Mortifee, Performing Artist, Writer for theatre, ballet and films

A Whisper Across Time by Olga Campbell is now available in Vancouver, BC, Canada. To order a copy, contact Olga at olgac1@telus.net. The cost is $25 US plus $6 shipping and handling.

New David Lynch MFA Screenwriting students use #TranscendentalMeditation to unfold creativity

February 11, 2018

KTVO’S Aish Menon reports for ABC 3 & CBS 3.2: MUM students use Transcendental Meditation in new screenwriting program

Leonard Cohen said there’s a crack in everything–how the light gets in. It came thru him & lit up a broken humanity.

September 10, 2017

True to the end, Leonard Cohen‘s work charted the arc of his career, between life and death (Sept 21, 1934 – Nov 7, 2016). His search for redemption also influenced his fans. Cohen’s evolving understanding of life, beautifully expressed through his music, shone a light through the cracks of a broken humanity in a dark suffering world. He never claimed to have found all the answers, but seemed to have reached a kind of inner peace toward the end of his life, between himself and his God.

There is a repeated stanza in one of his songs, Anthem, that conveys the redeeming acceptance of light illuminating the darkness, compassion and love overcoming bigotry and hatred: “Ring the bells that still can ring/ Forget your perfect offering/ There is a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in.”

There may be a crack in everything, but how does the light get in—from without, or is it released from within? I’ve often thought about the profundity of those lines, and there have been many interpretations of what he may be implying. See mine below.* I think he sang about finding that divinity within and among our broken humanity. I wrote this tanka in honor of Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen’s music lit up a dark world
A tanka in honor of the poet by Ken Chawkin

Leonard Cohen said
There’s a crack in everything
How the light gets in

It came through him and lit up
a broken humanity

Of course there is a kind of irony here when he says, “Forget your perfect offerings,” since he labored for months, sometimes years, on getting the lyrics to his songs perfect. At some point, though, he must’ve given up, admitted his imperfection, and sent them out into the world. As Leonardo da Vinci once said: Art is never finished, only abandoned. Other famous artists and writers have said and done the same thing.

Artistic Genius—Two Creative Approaches

There is a story about Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. They happened to be in Paris at the same time and decided to meet at a certain café. During their conversation, Dylan, one of the first to sing Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” in his concerts, asked Cohen how long it took him to write it. Cohen was embarrassed to tell him the truth so he lied and said 2 years. Then Leonard asked Bob how long it took him to write “I And I“, and he replied 15 minutes. I think he said he wrote it in the back of a cab. Cohen later told this story to an interviewer and confessed that it took him more like 5 years to write that song. He never could complete it, even after 30 verses! Their styles reflect the different philosophical approaches of ‘first thought, best thought’ versus ‘revise, revise, revise’.

You can read the fascinating history of that song in Alan Light’s book, The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah”. Malcolm Gladwell, in Season 1, Episode 7 of his Revisionist History podcast, discusses the history of “Hallelujah” with Alan Light, around 20 minutes into the conversation, for about 10 minutes. The theme is about two kinds of artists—those who seem to create spontaneously, and others who labor for a very long time—the differences between Mozart and Beethoven, or Picasso and Cezanne.

See Leonard Cohen’s website www.leonardcohen.com with links to more.

As  a footnote, I just tweeted (9-19-2107) Leonard Cohen’s biographer, Sylvie Simmons, asking her what he meant about the light getting in through the cracks, and she pointed me to Allan Showalter’s website, Cohencentric: Leonard Cohen Considered, and this post: Leonard Cohen On “The Light” In Anthem That “Allows You To Live A Life And Embrace The Disasters And Sorrows And Joys”.

Leonard later spent time in Bombay, India having conversations with Ramesh Balseka, a teacher of Advaita Vedanta. It made a profound impression on him; his life-long depression had finally lifted. He also befriended an Indian gentlemen, a fan, Ratnesh Mathur. You can read about their relationship and see photos on Cohencentric. Also read this BBC report: When the light got in for Leonard Cohen.

Murals mark 1-year anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s death

Montreal murals of Leonard Cohen

Montreal murals made by Gene Pendon (l) and Kevin Ledo (r)

November 7, 2017 is the 1-year anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s death. To personally commemorate this date, Sylvie Simmons tweeted a picture of herself standing in front of a large mural of Leonard Cohen painted by Kevin Ledo on the side of a 9-storey Montreal building close to where Leonard kept a home. It was the center piece for the fifth Mural International Public Art Festival in June. The Montreal Gazette’s Bill Brownstein had written an article about the making of it. He also mentions another mural, a tribute to Leonard Cohen made by artist Gene Pendon, which was painted on the side of a 20-storey downtown building, as part of Montreal’s 375th billion dollar birthday bash. The Globe and Mail described them in detail: Leonard Cohen and a tale of two Montreal murals. ET Canada reported on the official inauguration today, a year after Cohen’s passing. Josée Cloutier posted photos of both murals in one tweet, shown above.

CBC broadcaster Eleanor Wachtel tweeted that the photograph of Leonard Cohen, which served as the basis for the large downtown mural, was taken by his daughter Lorca. Interesting that Leonard named his daughter after the famous Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, who had greatly influenced his work. “His books taught me that poetry can be pure and profound – and at the same time.”

The M.A.C.’s Exhibition on Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything

The Guardian published Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything – Montreal’s tribute to its favourite son. The new exhibition was conceived as part of the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations – but has morphed into a thorough investigation of all things Cohen. On 9 November, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (AKA the Mac) will open the doors to Leonard Cohen : une brèche en toute chose/A Crack in Everything, a tribute to the artist, poet and musician, filled with multi-disciplinary works inspired by Cohen’s songs of life. This special exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art will conclude 9 April 2018.

The show takes its title from Cohen’s song Anthem, which contains the famous line “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” The song also inspired artist Kara Blake’s piece for the show, an immersive installation called The Offerings. “The song apparently took Cohen 10 years to craft and is just one example of his many artistic offerings that get inside the beautifully flawed nature of being human,” says Blake. “I wanted my piece to present visitors with a sampling of the creativity, wit and insight Cohen has gifted us with.”

Julia Holter contributed a cover of Cohen’s Take This Waltz, which will play on rotation in the Listening Room. “I enjoyed getting into the feeling of this passionate, seductive, demented waltz,” says Holter, who incorporated field recordings she made during a visit to the Greek island of Hydra, where Cohen had a home. “Being there was incredible,” she says.

For Holter, being invited to contribute to the show is the perfect way for her to give back to an artist she was introduced to as a child and who inspired her love of poetry. “What was special about Leonard Cohen’s work was its calm mystery. I think that can be an inspiration to the world right now,” she says. “The world needs this subtle beauty right now.”

Leonard Cohen biographer Sylvie Simmons

As part of the week’s celebrations, Eleanor Wachtel interviewed Sylvie Simmons on CBC Books Writers and Company, for broadcast on Sunday, November 12, 2017: Remembering Leonard Cohen: biographer Sylvie Simmons on Montreal’s beloved poet.

I enjoyed reading Sylvie’s wonderful biography, I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen. It will be published next year in a new French edition with an added afterword that will be included in a revised English edition by McClelland & Stewart.

The afterword is Cohen’s response to the question about what was the driving force that propelled his output. Simmons calls it Traveling Light, and quotes Cohen’s answer in this interview for The Senior Times: Biographer Sylvie Simmons pays tribute to Montreal’s favourite son.

Leonard Cohen was very active towards the end of his life. Due to his declining health he tried to bring as many projects to completion as possible. One of them was his last album, You Want It Darker, produced by his son Adam Cohen. A new poetry book, The Flame, will be released next year.

*My reply to Quora question about the crack and the light

Quora posted this question: What did Leonard Cohen mean by his lyrics: “There is a crack, a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in?” About a dozen people posted their suggestions. Here is my reply:

I agree with a number of interpretations posted here, quoting William Blake, the Kabbalah, and other esoteric sources, to explain what Leonard Cohen may be referring to in that line. They all make good sense to me. I also think that the light, of clarity, understanding, call it what you will, comes from within, not without. Metaphorically we may imagine light coming into a dark broken place from outside. But it can also light up the darkness from inside, if one knows how to turn on the switch. Another interpretation then, is no matter how broken, incomplete we are, with the proper approach, meditation technique, one can transcend, go beyond our limitations and just Be, experience that unbroken inner light of pure consciousness. With repeated exposures to one’s inner divine nature, the outer vessel, our body, can begin to heal, mend the broken cracks, and become whole. One way to experience this inner and outer development is with the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation.

Speaking of cracks and light, the Japanese art of kintugi turns damaged bowls into something even more beautiful. See my Japanese style poem, kintsugi tanka: japanese pottery inspires poetry.

Cliffhouse and Arbutus blossoms inspire haiku by Ken Chawkin and paintings by Betsy Randel

May 15, 2017

Today, I posted this haiku and the story behind it with these images on a website page about Arbutus Tree blossoms. I kept expanding and refining the story and decided to post it here as well. It’s approved and ready to be shared: Arbutus Flower Inspires Haiku.

The Cliffhouse Cottage deck

About 20 years ago, a friend of mine took me on a holiday weekend getaway to Galiano Island. We stayed at The Cliffhouse Cottage. It was beautiful there! I remember sitting on the deck at dusk looking out over the tranquil ocean. Everything was completely still. Quiet. I heard a small sound, like something had fallen from somewhere, and wondered what it was. I bent down and found a small white flower beside my chair. It resembled a tiny bell. I then looked up and saw a cluster of flower blossoms in the tree above me. My friend said it was an Arbutus Tree. That experience inspired this haiku.

Cliffhouse Deck at Dusk

Tiny bells call me
Arbutus blossoms falling
Sounding the Silence

© Ken Chawkin

The poem was later included in a grouping titled: 13 Ways to Write Haiku: A Poet’s Dozen, and published in The Dryland Fish, An Anthology of Contemporary Iowa Poets, December 12, 2003.

Galiano Island Art Cards by Betsy Randel

My friend, Betsy Randel, made these beautiful watercolor cards of the Arbutus Tree and Cliffhouse. You can see them, and more, with related poems, in the Island Life Art Cards section of her website, Art that Heals.

Artist and writer Betsy Randel is featured in the Vancouver @TMwomen Centre Newsletter

May 10, 2017

Here is a self-reflective biographical introduction a friend of mine wrote that was published in the Vancouver TM for Women Centre Newsletter in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Each issue they introduce someone to the meditating community. Artist, writer and photographer Betsy Randel was featured in their May 2017 issue. Centre Director Deboragh Varnel said Betsy’s testimonial was really deep and authentic. I agree, which is why I reproduced it here with the accompanying photographs.

TM for Women logo

Swans Photo by Betsy Randel

Swans photo by Betsy Randel

Getting To Know You…Meet Betsy Randel

Betsy Randel at her artshow

Betsy Randel in front of her paintings at an art show

I was born in California to a middle class family but even as a child always found myself at odds with the interactions of people around me—the seeming superficiality of their concerns and lives. I found peace and solace in the beauty of nature—the skies, clouds, flowers and trees.

I left my family home to marry at the young age of 18 and by 20 found myself divorced, feeling adrift in my life. In the college I was halfheartedly attending, one teacher stood out for me and we became friends.

She suggested I start meditating with TM, which is what she had been practicing. I had never heard of it but found myself in the heart of L.A. being instructed in the practice in 1970 when I was 21.

I felt my life start to make sense for the first time from my first deep dive into consciousness through TM.

One month after being initiated, I was again guided by my friend to attend a one-month course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at Humboldt State College in California.

There I experienced wisdom and great peace spoken of by Maharishi being lived by the many practitioners of all ages there. I was very moved to see and feel the harmony with many meditating together.

I became a teacher of TM in 1973 and continued my path of learning and experiencing more through advanced courses and attending MUM (Maharishi University of Management) in Iowa where I met my husband, a Canadian teacher of TM.

I went on to raise two children and to complete my Certificate in Fine Arts at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, B.C.

What I really want to let people know is that although the surface of my life hasn’t always been easy or smooth, having that underlying peace of twice a day meditation has kept me healthy and at peace through even the roughest times.

I have been meditating now for 47 years and I am so grateful for it and to Maharishi who made great efforts to bring this knowledge to the western world where the outer values are so strong and so focused on, but the inner value of life is mostly lost.

As one ages, if one’s attention is focused only on the outer body and life changes, one can feel regretful and despairing.

But if one has this technique that works like no other, to experience the deep peace within and eternal non-changing level of life, one feels safe with outer changes and more resilient. One also stays healthier and happier.

It is such a gift. The greatest gift one can give to oneself.

Best wishes,

Betsy

Betsy Randel is an artist and writer living in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Visit her website to see more of her beautiful artwork www.artthatheals.org.

Personal note: This is a longer version. When Betsy attended MUM it was known as MIU, Maharishi International University. See www.mum.edu.

Also see Cliffhouse and Arbutus blossoms inspire haiku by Ken Chawkin and paintings by Betsy Randel.

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Failing eyesight or spiritual insight: a poet’s interpretation of a master artist’s vision

July 30, 2016

A previous post dealt with poets and artists who were Touched With Fire and created unusually beautiful works of art. Their poems and paintings were thought to be fueled by madness rather than a uniquely creative gift, possibly combined with a type of manic-depression.

Claude Monet "Water Lilies" (1906) Art Institute of Chicago (photo by Ryerson)

Claude Monet “Water Lilies” (1906) The Art Institute of Chicago
(Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection)

Here is a different twist on another kind of perceived abnormality. This poem’s title, Monet Refuses the Operation, leads the reader to believe that  Oscar-Claude Monet, founder of French Impressionism, was in need of an eye operation because of the way he painted.

But Nobel laureate Lisel Mueller gives us a different take on what may have been clinically diagnosed as failing eyesight due to cataracts, for the growth of a more profound spiritual vision—a ripened appreciation of nature, and a deeper more unified understanding of life.

Monet Refuses the Operation
By Lisel Mueller

Doctor, you say that there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don’t know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and changes our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

Source: Second Language (Louisiana State University Press, 1996)

The cataracts did cloud Monet’s vision, and hindered his perception, but he had reached a level of mastery that allowed him to paint with his heart. In the words of The Little Prince, “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Later in life, Monet had discovered a different way of seeing and created a new way of painting. Another poet, William Stafford, wrote about youth and the mature artist in You and Art. The poem describes, in his own unique way, this spiritual transformation that takes place later in life.

You and Art
By William Stafford

Your exact errors make a music
that nobody hears.
Your straying feet find the great dance,
walking alone.
And you live on a world where stumbling
always leads home.

Year after year fits over your face—
when there was youth, your talent
was youth;
later, you find your way by touch
where moss redeems the stone;

and you discover where music begins
before it makes any sound,
far in the mountains where canyons go
still as the always-falling, ever-new flakes of snow.

The ending of another poem by William Stafford reminds me of an expansion to infinity and the “blue vapor without end” in Something That Happens Right Now.

Here is a collection of some of Monet’s paintings.

Enjoy another beautiful poem by Lisel Mueller in this post: Lisel Mueller’s poetry offers us Hope.

A baptism by fire: Why Paul Dalio’s debut as a filmmaker is Touched With Fire

July 25, 2016

TOUCHED WITH FIRE PosterPremiered last year at SXSW, with a theatrical run this spring, and now on DVD, Paul Dalio’s first full-length feature film, Touched With Fire, is a love story between two bipolar poets that reveals the relationship between illness and creativity.

Dalio was inspired by Kay Redfield Jamison’s book, Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, which explores the link between great art and bipolar disorder. He read that many famous writers, poets, and artists suffered from this mania and may have produced their work because of it. Their genius was touched with fire.

This was a welcome relief for Paul who had become bipolar. He now saw himself no longer in clinical terms as a social outcast without a cure, but as a creative artist who was dealing with a neurological imbalance.

The most well known example of that heightened state was Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The painting is a kind of leitmotif throughout the film, even materializing as a literal hallucination by the main characters.

Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night

Reflecting on his own experience of being bipolar, Paul wanted people suffering with the illness, and those concerned with their health, to better understand what they are going through, that they are not necessarily crazy, perhaps gifted, and to help remove the stigma associated with the disease.

He compares the manic highs and depressive lows of the disease to the seasons. The film’s palatte of colors reflects the changing emotions within and between the main characters. Attempts to control these mood swings with drugs create deadening side effects, part of the conflict within their relationship.

In his Huffington Post blog, Touched With Fire, Paul asks: How much more receptive would a patient be to treatment if the patient was told that the treatment was to nurture a gift they had, instead of terminate a disease they had?

Director Dalio gave author/psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison a role in the film as herself, to explain how the right balance of medication can help rather than hinder a manic personality. Marco is concerned that the medications are stopping him from feeling any emotions, and is destroying his creativity. From her own experience, Kay shares with them how “medication can tamp the fire down a bit without losing that gift.” She tells him, with the right dosage, which takes time, she became even more productive than before becoming bipolar.

Cast and Crew

Paul Dalio wrote, directed, edited and scored Touched With Fire, his feature-film debut starring Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby, with other performances by Griffin Dunne, Christine Lahti and Bruce Altman.

Paul’s longtime friend, Jeremy Alter, produced the film, along with Kristina Nikolova, Paul’s wife and fellow student at the NYU Film School, who convinced him to make this semi-autobiographical film. Their teacher, Spike Lee, is the executive producer.

The brilliant acting in this passionately moving film is intensely engaging. Holmes (Carla) and Kirby (Marco) play two poets with bipolar disorder whose art is fueled by their emotional extremes. When they meet in a treatment facility, their chemistry is instant and intense driving each other’s mania to new heights. They pursue their passion, which breaks outside the bounds of sanity, swinging them from fantastical highs to tormented lows until they ultimately must choose between sanity and love. Watch the official trailer.

Comments from the Critics

The New York Times Critic’s Pick wrote: “Luke Kirby and Katie Holmes boldly meet the challenge of playing bright, high-strung artists. An extraordinarily sensitive, nonjudgmental exploration of bipolar disorder and creativity.” Read the Review: ‘Touched With Fire,’ a Love Story Between Two Bipolar Poets.

The Los Angeles Times said: Writer-director Dalio has firsthand experience with bipolar disorder, and his perspective sheds fresh light on the unique ways in which manic-depressive individuals experience love and creativity. Read the Review: Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby propel ‘Touched With Fire’ as it shines fresh light on bipolar disorder and creativity.

This is a powerful film! We witness their struggles from the inside out. More reviews are listed on the film’s website.

The Role of Poetry in the Film

In one of the interviews from the Special Features of the DVD, Paul Dalio talks about the value of poetry in his life, and for the main characters in the film. “It was only when I met my wife that my heart became more tender, and I actually started reading poetry, which I never did, and I started writing poetry.”

Paul describes the transforming power of poetry to heal and create beauty. He speaks from his own personal experience as someone who has dealt with the ups and downs of this disorder while trying to become a writer, composer, and filmmaker. The film is an amazing testament to his artistic achievement! See his bio under Cast & Crew for more details.

“Poetry at its best has the deepest expression of being in the worst hell, and having no choice but to bring some kind of aesthetic meaning to it, and some kind of beauty to it, just to even cope with it. (and) Only by being forced down there to such a hell are you forced to bring that much beauty to that hell, and in the process it becomes a healing. And so it was natural how it wove itself into the film, as these two characters use it to cope with their psychosis, and to deal with coming out of their situation.”

From my own experience, writing poetry does have the power to transform and heal. Another film where poetry is featured is in Words and Pictures, where a poem invites you to be who you are.

The Soundtrack to the Movie

Paul Dalio’s blog post includes both the song and lyrics to Starry Nights. Listen to the Touched With Fire Soundtrack Preview, followed by Starry Nights, the song at the end of the film during the credits, published by Lakeshore Records. Download the album on iTunes.

Interviews with the Director and Actors

Charlie Rose: ‘Touched With Fire’ (Feb. 4, 2016)  Director and writer Paul Dalio, actor Luke Kirby, and psychologist Kay Jamison discuss the movie “Touched with Fire” and the connections between bipolar disorder and creativity. (18:51) Paul does mention his use of medication and meditation, which he elaborates upon in this next video.

At a David Lynch Foundation-hosted screening of the film, Paul opened up about his own struggles with bipolar and how pivotal the practice of Transcendental Meditation has proved to be in living a happy, healthy, and creatively rich life. “TM is the difference between surviving with bipolar and thriving with bipolar. I never stopped meditating, without fail,” he says. “That’s when my doctor, Norman Rosenthal, witnessed the power of TM and was so blown away he decided to do a study on the effects of TM.” Paul was responsible for Dr. Rosenthal restarting his long-lapsed TM practice, which led to the publication of two best-selling books on the subject. Visit NORMAN ROSENTHAL, MD for details. See Thriving with Bipolar – A Conversation with Writer/Director Paul Dalio.

TODAY: Katie Holmes Discusses Role In ‘Intense’ Film ‘Touched With Fire’ (4:41)

The Washington Post: Filmmaker Paul Dalio mines his bipolar disorder for feature debut

HotSpot: TOUCHED WITH FIRE | Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby, Paul Dalio & Jeremy Alter Interview | February 8, 2016 (26:54)

Video of Marbling Art Animation of Starry Night and Van Gogh

Check out this amazing video on marbling art animation of Starry night and a Van Gogh self-portrait: Van Gogh on Dark Water Animation. The Turkish artist is Garip Ay, and the ancient technique of painting on water to marble paper is called Ebru.

The Unexpected Math Behind Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”

Physicist Werner Heisenberg said, “When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first.” As difficult as turbulence is to understand mathematically, we can use art to depict the way it looks. Natalya St. Clair illustrates how Van Gogh captured this deep mystery of movement, fluid and light in his work. Visit TED-Ed for more.

Anthony Howe’s 3-D kinetic metal sculptures will leave you mesmerized as they dance in the wind!

March 5, 2016

Metal sculptor Anthony Howe lives on Orcas Island in Washington state. He goes to great lengths to build the world’s most mesmerizing kinetic sculptures. Mr. Howe is featured on Great Big Story, a video network dedicated to sharing curious and compelling stories about the untold, overlooked and amazing humans, and the incredible things they do.

In this video, These Kinetic Sculptures Hypnotize You, Anthony explains his reasons for building these elaborate and involving wind sculptures.

What I’m trying to do with the work is cause people to stop whatever thought process they have in their head, and just for a moment, experience a different kind of reality, maybe more meditative. They work! They take people out of their, whatever nonsense is going on in their heads, puts them in a different place. It’s a feeling you get when you see something that is very beautiful or unusual. That’s what I’m trying to do with the work.

And he succeeds! You have to see these wind sculptures move to appreciate what he’s saying. How much more powerful though must it be to experience them in person! Yet, this video, with the editing, music, and voice-over, creates its own special effect. Expand it to full screen mode and enjoy! Same with the others posted or mentioned below.

I did more research and found this wonderful articlewrote forCOLOSSAL, which contains 3 moving GIFs and 3 videos: Hypnotic New Kinetic Sculptures by Anthony Howe.

I found this video of his work, Best compilation of Kinetic masterpieces by Anthony Howe, which features: 1. SPINES, 2. In-Out Quotient, 3. About Face, 4. In Cloud Light, 5. Octo, posted on Perpetual Useless.

Perpetual Useless also posted this 36:18-minute Full Compilation of Kinetic masterpieces by Anthony Howe. The beautiful moving images and musical accompaniment are very relaxing, especially Neptune’s Nugget, a gear motor powered stainless steel kinetic indoor sculpture.

Enjoy this inspiring video Elizabeth Rudge made called A Kinetic Mind. The music of Erik Satie’s Trois Gymnopédies fits perfectly into this dreamscape about the life and work of Anthony Howe.

The Creators Project: Anthony Howe’s 3D Kinetic Sculptures
“What matters is putting human feeling into your design.”

Laughing Squid, an art, culture & technology blog, posted this video feature by The Creators Project: Artist Anthony Howe Talks About His Stunning Wind Sculptures. They  also posted an earlier piece on Howe’s hypnotic sculpture work. Here’s the Vimeo description to this interview profile: Anthony Howe’s massive kinetic wind sculptures resemble alien creatures. Step inside Howe’s studio to learn how the awe-inspiring works are created, what makes a good wind sculpture and why Howe believes it’s important for his work to emulate human feeling.

The Artist’s Website, Statement, YouTube, and Pinterest

Check out Anthony Howe’s website: www.howeart.net where his works of art are described as abstract, organic kinetic sculptures from various metals and polymers. His artist’s Statement clearly explains how and why he creates these pieces. That section also tells how he started out as a watercolor artist and evolved into the kinetic sculptor he is today.

Kinetic sculpture resides at the intersection of artistic inspiration and mechanical complexity. The making of one of my pieces relies on creative expression, metal fabrication, and a slow design process in equal parts. It aims to alter one’s experience of time and space when witnessed. It also needs to weather winds of 90 mph and still move in a 1-mile-per-hour breeze and do so for hundreds of years.

Click on any of the sculptures shown on his website and they will open up with details about each one and a video. He also has a few of them posted on his own YouTube channel at Anthony Howe. There are additional images and videos on Pinterest: Anthony Howe Sculpture.


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