words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Meditation

Images For HD Video: Water For Meditation (Sunrise Remix) and On Water

Exploring nature through video …

I enjoy working with video. It has always been a true love of mine. It is however, a very challenging medium. It takes time to learn new programs and to obtain the right equipment. And it is expensive. Exhibiting video art in a gallery usually requires a grant. And grants are difficult to come by these days. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, I was awarded a couple of grants for a video installation and a multimedia collaboration. All in all, through recent years, and mostly because of the expense, I’ve shifted from video art to digital imaging. 2-dimensional work. Photography, prints, and digital art.

However, I do want to invest more time in video making. At the heart of this endeavor is having the right mindset for video. Filming. Set design. Editing. Video making is much different from taking photographs. I must remind myself not to think in terms of large production. But rather find inspiration and subject matter in the in-between spaces. Mood. Ambient nature. Form. Simplicity. Lo-tech – high-tech.

The pieces “Water for Meditation” and “On Water” are two perfect examples of ambient nature. They are not very complicated to film and produce, yet fulfill, in this instance, my desire to create an ambient environment for meditation. Transporting the viewer to a moment of relaxation. “On Water” is micro short (26 seconds) in length, while “Water for Meditation” is nearly six minutes long. I prefer long meditative pieces, however I realize that it takes a considerable amount of investment on part of the viewer to “sit” through the minimal motion of a piece of great length. All in all I hope to produce in the future some rather experimental pieces. Incorporating original imagery and music created by me. Work that at this time is a mystery to me.

Below are 2 links to my YouTube channel and the video pieces; “Water For Meditation” (Sunrise Remix) and “On Water”.

Please enjoy. Any feedback is well appreciated. In the future, I hope to post videos more regularly.

Namaste

http://youtu.be/pyYahhz2svM  –  Water For Mediation (Sunrise Remix)

http://youtu.be/wGXnumdn_Ys  –  On Water


The Silence Series: Chakra Colors For Meditation – ANAHATA (Green)

At the core of All That Is … is the Heart….

I think this is my favorite chakra. It seems to resonate with me in a deep and profound way. While meditating I reach out towards the heart within; rejoicing in its beating pulse, embracing the connection to my life’s blood, and falling in love with the healing energy. This is ANAHATA, the Heart chakra. The principles guiding this chakra are Love, Faith, Duty, Awakening and Devotion. The energy source of this chakra provides healing and functionality for the respiratory, circulatory, and immune systems. It’s related sense: Touch.

With gentle ease and focus bring your attention to the 4th chakra which can be found in the heart region. Breathe in the rich sustaining color of deep green. This is the source of unconditional love (in giving and receiving) and the home of profound openness. When open, you feel the power of love and the willingness to go forth without fear or resentment. There is a great sense of peace and harmony with yourself, life, and All That Is….

It is a good practice to try to maintain your focus on each chakra for about 5 to 10 minutes.

The sound of the 4th chakra is … YAM.

Breathe in the rich color of deep green and repeat the mantra … YAM … YAM … YAM …

The 4th chakra ANAHATA

I want to give a special thanks to Deepak Chopra, whose teachings are a major source of my inspiration and information for this series.

 Namaste….


Music For Backgrounds: Ajad – Reiki Vol. 2 (Reiki Music 2: Music for Love)

The wonder of healing and finding the true Self … resting in peace with All That Is…

Today, I awoke to some very inspiring posts. They brought to my attention the essence of our lives spent in gratitude for All That Is and our remarkable ability to be creative, while discerning our immense capacity to love and be loved…

This morning I wrote a short text to my sister, telling her I loved her dearly. February, is a difficult month for us. Both my Mother’s and daughter’s birthdays are this month. Both, including my father, sadly have passed away. It is just her and I now.

I needed to reach out to my sister, share the love, tell her that she was in my thoughts and I hold her dear….

I am in the middle of my Chakra Colors for Meditation series. A collection of mindful images that I hope promotes a desire to journey within—to find a place of healing, peace, and love. I thought an interlude that included some soothing Reiki music would be just the thing to enhanced your contemplative experience of the day

Remember to breathe softly, focus your attention and stay centered.

Ajad – Reiki Vol 2 (Reiki Music 2: Music for Love) 59:53

http://youtu.be/64PT6JSuPK8

Here is the link to The Silence Series: Chakras Colors for Meditation – 1st chakra Muladhara (Red)

http://wp.me/p1f97v-Iq


The Silence Series: Chakra Colors For Meditation – Manipura (Yellow)

Moving through the moments in life we are empowered by … All That Is….

It is important to maintain your attention on your breath as you move into the energy surrounding the third chakra. Bring your focus to the area above the naval and envisioned the rich hue of yellow. This is the solar plexus chakra known as Manipura, the place of the shining jewel. This area governs how you digest your life, and focuses on empowering your life, and fostering confidence in meeting ones aspirations and intentions. When blocked one has a feeling of frustration, anger and digestive unease. The third chakra controls the liver, stomach, gall bladder, spleen and relates to the sense of light.

Bring your attention to the color yellow and let go of all of your frustrations and fears. Feel the energy propel you, transforming negative and unwanted emotions into positive and life affirming possibilities.

Breathe in the color yellow and repeat the mantra … Ram … Ram … Ram….

Namaste….

Breathe in the color yellow


The Silence Series: Chakra Colors For Meditation – Svadhisthana (Orange)

As we look within the centered Self, we find … All That Is….

The second chakra is closely associated with the Self or Soul. It is an energy chakra that promotes the reproductive system and assimilation. This chakra’s location is centered in the pelvic region. It governs our sexuality, sensations, appetite and our family associations. Svadhisthana means the Self’s dwelling place. This is a powerful energy center that promotes our sexual expression and creative impulses. It is associated with the sense of taste.

As you continue your practice, move your attention from the first chakra into the second. Visualize the color orange and quietly repeat the mantra Vam … Vam … Vam.

Namaste….

Breathe in the color orange

 Peace, Love, and Light to All….


The Silence Series: Chakra Colors For Meditation – Muladhara (Red)

Our Mind, Body and Spirit is of one Source …  All That Is….

Over the next week, I will be working on a series that will be revolving around the beautiful spiritual essence of the various chakras. And how through a meditation practice we can access their vital energy for harmony and healing. I am going to post each chakra individually, as I build towards a concluding series of all seven chakras. As I progress I will be making different visual versions of each chakra. In the end, I will choose seven that I believe have the greatest continuity as a whole for a meditation practice.

Each chakra represents a core dimension of human life.

First up is the Muladhara (Sanskirt) chakra. It’s color is Red and its sound is Lam. This chakra is associated with basic survival skills. It affects the skeleton, lymph, and elimination elements of the body. The sensory component associated with it is the sense of smell. It is in this chakra center that we are released from uncertainity.

When beginning a meditation practice, it is good to be in a relaxed position. Make sure you are comfortable and have your eyes closed. Quiet your breathing by focusing your attention on your in-breath and out-breath. Then bring your awareness to the first chakra at the base of the spine. Bring your attention to this energy center and visualize the color of deep red and begin to repeat the mantra Lam … Lam … Lam.

Namaste


When We Are Born With Everlasting Consciousness (A Hidden Name Remix)

When we are born the mystery of who we are is in our hidden name….

The mystery found in the Consciousness unaffected by the intellect

The Feeling of I-ness….

“In the absence of intellect, only the feeling of I-ness is lost. “I” am always present.”

“Just as the sun is reflected by water poured into a jar, Consciousness is reflected by the intellect housed in a body. And just as the sun is not affected by movements of the water, Consciousness remains unaffected by movements of the intellect.” – Swami Parmanandji Maharaj


Water For Meditation (A Contemplative Thought Video Remix)

On a beautiful afternoon, at a moments notice with camera in hand…

A peaceful discovery

Water and meditation….

http://youtu.be/pyYahhz2svM

Music by Molly Berg and Stephen Vitiello

Water for Meditation is a study in video minimalism. I am again, working with environmental and organic imagery to present an ambient setting for quiet contemplation.


The Silence In Urban Meditation

The silence series….

Towards the inner silence of the city – urban meditation

Urban Meditation 01

Urban Meditation 02

Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day. – Deepak Chopra

In the city the choices that become attachments lead us into the noise of our thoughts….

Urban Meditation 03t

Urban Meditation 04

My meditation is without hesitation, and the marks left behind are indications of a state of oneness with my environment, my people and the universe. – Ian Factor

Somewhere in the city; in its alleys, playgrounds, parks and abandoned buildings, we find the place to know ourselves….

Urban Meditation 05

Urban Meditation 06

At the museum a troubled woman destroys a sand painting meticulously created over days by Tibetan monks. The monks are not disturbed. The work is a meditation. They simply begin again. – Susan Griffin

In the city we find the process of renewal; we simply find the quiet place….

Urban Meditation 07

Urban Meditation 08

Is there a meditation that is not the ego trying to become? Is meditation conscious if every effort implies time? – Jiddu Krishnamurti

The city offers its timeless darkness and beautiful heaven; our meditation frees us from both….

Urban Meditation 09

To meditate is to observe yourself, for you are totally responsible for your body, mind, thought. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

The city has always been a place where I could lose myself. And at times I have….


Talk Amongst the Trees

To meditate in the shadow of mountain, wind and tree….

We reach the summit and find a conversation amongst the trees

If we could hear the trees converse, what would they say to us?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

Sky and Mountain….

The space in-between sky and mountain

there are so many paths

one can take

looking inward

facing outward

where we discover

the places in-between

…the between-space

magically soothing

nurturing

quiet

…sky and mountain

and on the summit

we breathe deep

searching and finding

a place to rest

in a moment

where our thoughts

are carried off

so gently by the wind….


The Uncertainty Of Where Our Thoughts Are At Any Given Time

The city series….

Looking out beyond my window I am startled by the heavens

Bonus video imagery by ben2thewild, uploaded on Oct 11 2010. Featuring the music of Startle the Heavens – “Lull of the Storm” from the CD “Lull”.

http://youtu.be/5tXu2RswGSM

 All that I dream is free and alive….


The Granite Wall of Thoughts Still Remain

I look out beyond my surroundings only to find the granite wall of thoughts … leaving me perplexed….

It is in my thoughts that I face myself

Standing at the edge of everything … my back against the wall….


Moments Descend On My Mind Like White Red and Yellow Colors

Often the thoughts in color are just shaded in white….

Moments in thought


The Silence in Transformation

Towards the transformation that your Mind can see….

The act or process of transforming somebody or something.

Transformation 01

Transformation 02

One powerful way to evoke compassion, and to transform is to think of others as exactly the same as you.

“All human beings are the same—made of human flesh, bones, and blood. We all want happiness and want to avoid suffering. Further, we have an equal right to be happy. In other words, it is important to realize our sameness as human beings.” Dalai Lama

Transformation 03

Transformation 04

when the View is constant
the flow of Rigpa unfailing
and the merging of the two luminosities continuous and spontaneous
all possible delusion is liberated at its very root
and your entire perception arises, without a break, as Rigpa – Sogyal Rinpoche

Transformation 05

Transformation 06

Do not make the mistake of imagining that the nature of mind is exclusive only to our minds. It is in fact the nature of everything. It can never be said too often that to realize the nature of mind is to realize the nature of all things. – Sogyal Rinpoche

Transformation 07

Transformation 08

Moving through the transformation that the Heart can feel….

Transformation 09: Heart


A Thought About Meditation from Domo Geshe Rinpoche

Meditation will bring many benefits to health, better relationships and feeling more alive inside by inner expansion. Among newly increased inner senses, inner healing love is an element of the actual life process of the next stage of your evolutionary development. Not only is it helpful and exactly what you need, if you do not have it, you will not be allowed to awaken. You will have to circulate… in the human realm or realms until getting the chance again perhaps in the year forty-three billion and two! ~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~

meditation for love


It Only Takes a Moment to See the Things You Left Behind

Leave things to find happiness….

“Whatever you are feeling, leave it with the senses. Move from the senses to the mind. Then leave the mind. Go backward, not forward, go inward, not outward”. – Swami Parmanandji Maharaj

Leave the world with awareness


It Only Takes a Moment to Find the Center

It only takes a moment to know that you always Exist….

Find the center of Awareness….

"Seeing nothing" is also an experience in which we can know we are present


The Silence in Consciousness 02: a short reprise

Consciousness 10

 Towards the Within, Consciousness has No Center

“Consciousness is everywhere, without a center. What appears to be a center is only a reflection in the mind”. … Swami Parmanandji Maharaj

Pure Consciousness, like sunlight is everywhere; however,
unlike sunlight it has no center.

As individuals, the I that we come to indentify ourselves
with comes into existence when Consciousness, manifesting itself as the
continuum of space, time and causations, mistakes
itself for its own reflection in the mind, identifies,
believes in
, itself with its own reflection and limits itself to its own reflection.

Pure Consciousness has no center, it only just is.

Consciousness 11


The Silence in Consciousness

Towards the Consciousness within….

Consciousness

Consciousness 02

“We accept that we are, but we are not ready to accept that we are without anything—without
words, mind or body”.  … Swami Parmanandji Maharaj

Consciousness 03

Consciousness 04

When attempting to understanding the concept or belief of our existence, we know the states of being awake, dreaming and deep sleep, but we may not be aware that our true Existence is independent of them. This is to say that our concept of existence and our actual Existence are two distinct things. At the base of all three states i.e. awake, dreaming and deep sleep is
the core foundation that alone makes their sense of being “real” possible.  That foundation or substratum in which they originate from is Consciousness. At first glance, this may be difficult to understand, but we can transcend the three
states and realize the limited self as pure Consciousness.

Consciousness 05

Consciousness 06

Being without (the three states) means nothing but “I” exists. In truth, Consciousness Exist independently but we are not aware.

There is an interesting dichotomy that is at work here—how to understand that the three states are because of Me, but “I” am not because of the three states. At the core of this realization is the knowledge that my own Existence is free and not dependent on anything. The three states, our very existence, are transitory, only Consciousness is permanent.

Consciousness 07

Consciousness 08

By the very construct (the power to direct consciousness) in which our life is governed—being awake producing action, going from thought to thought, dreaming, and falling into sleep, we live life—we have the sensation of being “alive”. By this very same construct or shall we say capacity, we can return to pure Consciousness.

Consciousness 09

“If you remain continuously conscious, after some time the world will disappear and only pure Consciousness will remain”. … Swami Parmanandji Maharaj

What do you think? Do you question the knowledge of your existence (where does it come from), your purpose in life, what lies beyond what you see and feel? Does the awareness of your Consciousness play a role in knowing who you are and how you live your life? Please share.


Life on the Edge of Everything

Sometimes after the waking, life on the edge of everything is a beautiful place….

The tree and the path in quiet meditation

During a transitional period in the early turn of this century, I found
myself leaving behind the shackles of a difficult life and moving down the path
to a better tomorrow. I was rediscovering the pleasures of being one with
nature; my perception of it, its physical beauty and why there was a need for
it in my life. I also continued the process of self renewal through sobriety,
art, meditation and the teachings of Buddhism. It seems that I discovered how
to quiet the idea of living life on the
edge of nothingness
i.e. being caught up in distraction, attachment,
endless thought and ego.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we
used when we created them”. …Albert Einstein

Part of this process was realized when I was awarded an artist
residency with the South Carolina State Parks. It was a week-long residency at
Barnwell State Park in which I was commissioned to document the park visually in
exchange of having the pleasure of residing in one of the cabins on the
grounds. It is a small wildlife park with a beautiful lake and an alligator
(which I unfortunately never did get the chance to see). The nights were quiet and peaceful, and very
beautiful—as I was surrounded with darkness, tranquility, and solitude.

“Those things that nature denied to human sight, she revealed to
the eyes of the soul”. …Ovid (43 BC-AD 17)

On one of my early morning walks, I found a lovely path that
meandered along-side a slow moving creek. There was a tree that had fallen,
slightly blocking the path, and I was fascinated with its natural abstract design.
I sat there quietly for a while thinking about my life, my art, my purpose and the beauty of the moment.

…”Nature. Whose sweet rains fall on just and unjust alike, will
have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence
I may weep undetected. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk
abroad in darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so
that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and
with bitter herbs make me whole”. …Oscar Wilde

Life on the edge of everything is a beautiful and safe place indeed…


As We Live Our Lives Moments In a Day Stand Apart

Whitewater and chakra flowers for meditation, journey and insight (detail)

June 18th 2009, a day that stands apart.

On the Nantahala river in Western North Carolina in celebration of
my 53rd birthday the following day on the 19th of June.

A contemplative day full of energy and colors….

A view of the Nantahala river

We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the
sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its
wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the
thunder-cloud, and the rain. …Henry David Thoreau

I love this quote because during our 3 hour trek rafting down the river,
it began to rain hard with severe thunderstorms. What an incredible experience battling the
elements as we faced the challenge of the rapids.

We found our courage, our laughter, on the river

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of
grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of
nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. …Eleonora
Duse (1858-1924)

Nature always sets itself apart

Notes for chakra flowers

Our thoughts are like the waves of a whitewater river. They rise
and fall relentlessly. Our minds, like the lower depths of the river, become
increasingly more settled as we immerse ourselves in our meditation practice. …Walter W. Smith

In a new day that stands
apart, we remove ourselves from yesterday’s trials (the painful past and
uncertain future) and find insight in the quiet of the present moment. We are in
touch with our bodies—moving the energy through the chakras.

Our day ends as it began---finding meaning in the present moment

Today, hold the past in your
hands.  Hold your two hands out in front of you and allow them to fill
with the past, your past, every moment of it.  All that happened and did
not happen, all that was wonderful and all that simply was.  Let it all
fill your hands.

And now, as you continue to hold
your past in your hands, turn your inner vision to your heart.  See how
your heart is clean and clear, free of any regret or longing.  Your heart
is beating in this moment and this moment only. …author unknown

As we live our lives we find ourselves standing apart---living in the moment

As the details of our lives become memories and the moments of
life stand apart, what brings joy, peace and happiness to you? What are some of
your experiences that you embrace with fondness and love? What are your
thoughts? Please do share a moment or two with us.


The Silence of Liberation

Toward the love within….

Silence

Silence 02

It is after 12 a.m. and I have just read a wonderful post by
fellow blogger Elizabeth—the author of the blog Mirth and Motivation on
Wordpress.com. I was so inspired by her thoughts and comments on the recent
tragedies in Norway, China and the death of Amy Winehouse, that I felt compelled
to create a post on her theme i.e. the need for silence, for understanding,
compassion and healing.

Silence 03

Silence 04

I am not going to say much about the events that occurred here
in this post, (the struggles of mankind as a community and we as individuals
speak for themselves) however, I would like to express my feelings, my
compassion, and the love of healing through
silence
via my art.

Silence 05

Silence 06

Silence is a powerful tool. When we cultivate our inward
journey through meditation, contemplative thought and positive action, we
harness the energy to change ourselves and the world around us. For me, these
moments tonight of creative insight and sharing, in connection with my art and
the desire to send forth compassionate energy is liberating in of itself.  I can feel the hurt that so many in our
communities are experiencing and my desire for their liberation and the end of
suffering goes out to a world in need.

In Buddhism we learn the need for Nirvana: the cessation of
unsatisfactory conditions and their causes.

Silence 07

Silence 08

I hope the images I have created and the music I selected
for this post help to bring some peace and positive recollection to our hearts
and minds.

http://youtu.be/K8-iTakhFrs  — The Disintegration Loops III — William Basinski — Video by Bodyheaven

We are of one Source Energy, and one Spirit.

The Silence of Liberation and the Silence Within


The Pier and the Flower in Meditation

The Pier and Flower in Meditation

Above the shifting tides we stand upon the pier

This past week I have been seeing an image in my mind’s eye.
It is a beautiful, contemplative piece by artist and fellow blogger Leslee
Hare. The title of the work is Inner and Outer Tornadoes. I do recommend you
check out her blog and all of her posts. Needless to say, the atmospheric feeling
in the digital filtering of blue layers, along with her prose, were so
inspiring that it led me to this piece….

The Pier and the Flower in Meditation

I wanted to convey something that was similar to Leslee’s
piece. I wanted soft layering and an organic feeling, if not totally atmospheric.
But more importantly I wanted to reflect on the “cleansing” process that she
spoke of in reference to tornadoes. In my work, I see the pier as an opportunity
to step out into the unknown—above the waters of our fears and shifting emotional
tides.

What elemental forces or structural constructs give you
pause? What questions arise, what “pier” do you stand upon in meditation as you
face the reflection of your thoughts and emotions?