My “Experiment” series continues with “Zen Nature | Landscapes for Well Being”, a celebration of the beauty of nature and Earth Day. A colorful collage of earth and space; bringing together the compassion of love, life, culture, and soulful melodies for meditation.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world”. ~ John Muir
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”. ~ Native American Proverb
In celebration of Earth Day 2013, here is a preview of my upcoming video from my “Experiment” series entitled: “Zen Nature | Landscapes for Well Being”. It explores the beauty of our earth as well as some of its inhabitants. I have been working on it for the pass week, and will be completing it sometime next week or by the weekend (so keep an eye out for it). It is meditation on Nature; a calming sense of place, discovery and purpose … to love ourselves and our planet.
Keep the world spinning, do yoga, meditate, be conscious, live compassionately, and give LOVE …
for all time
with endless love
All weekend I have been thinking of my lovely daughter Lady, and her timeless heart. Never to be forgotten. This has always been one of my favorite photographs of her: Young, beautiful and imaginative. I thought this week’s challenge would be a perfect tribute to her. Rest in peace my Lady Pooh.
I had a dream
Never a moment
Did I long for awareness
Of the waking world
Here on the path of Grace
As I ascended
Through the floating
Orbs of mystery
– past – time
And the Grace
That is You
No longer outside my window, but here within … Another Earth
Peaceful – Beautiful – Magnificent
– the home within our hearts …
Outside my window, in a virtuous world, there can only be … a willingness to let go.
if every day
it meant something
– to you
– to the mirror in me
to protect the heart
even the whole of the world
would i hold my dying breath
to let it all go …
Outside my window, in a revealing moment, I see the choices of my life …
with decisions we make
about to what we dream
to whom we should be
and what it means
– to you
and to the mirror
that stands before me …
In a moment, my only desire is to meet your sensitivity with my thoughtfulness and longing….
They tell me that love and compassion is a journey without measure….
Not unlike an arrow whose flight is true….
Throughout the years my daughter Lady and my sister Patricia, have been at the very core of my being. The very essence of my Joy….
I spent February 25th in quiet reflection; thinking of my lovely daughter “Lady” and remembering the things we shared. A few days earlier, I had sent a text to my sister Patricia, telling her I how much I loved her. Reminding her of my appreciation for all that she had done for my daughter over the years. On February 25th 2012, my daughter would have been 34 years old. Young and vibrant. Intelligent and strong. Beautiful and adventurous. A mother of four. A friend to many. A gift from God to me. As I approach March 7th, the day of her passing from this physical realm, I will continue to lift her up in my heart. Embrace her dreams as my own. And thank God for the blessing she is to me.
Dionanna Mcfadden my “Lady Pooh”
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 …
I want to give a special thanks to Deepak Chopra, whose teachings are a major source of my inspiration and information for this series.
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.
A beautiful journey into a serene world of meditative bliss. This is perfect music for your meditation, creative process or yoga practice….
– Jack DeJohnette’s Peace time 1:02:08
Throughout late 2009 and most of 2010, Peace time was one of my most played albums. It simply is captivating….
Jack DeJohnette (born 9 August 1942) is an American jazz drummer, pianist, and composer. He is one of the most influential jazz drummers of the 20th century, due to extensive work as leader and sideman for musicians like Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Keith Jarrett and Sonny Rollins.
DeJohnette was born in Chicago, Illinois. Besides the drums, he also studied the piano. He first became known as a member of Charles Lloyd’s band, a group that pianist Keith Jarrett also was a part of at that time. He played with Bill Evans in 1968 on the acclaimed Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and from 1969 to 1972 played with Miles Davis. In the 1970s he recorded for Milestone/Prestige and ECM. He also appeared widely on ECM as a sideman. Since then he has recorded for MCA Records, Blue Note Records, and Kindred Rhythm.
DeJohnette has led several groups since the early-1970s, including Compost, a jazz-rock group that did two albums for Columbia with Bob Moses and Harold Vick; Directions (with John Abercrombie, Alex Foster, Warren Bernhardt, and Mike Richmond); New Directions (with Abercrombie, Lester Bowie, and Eddie Gomez); Gateway (with John Abercrombie and Dave Holland); and Special Edition (with David Murray, Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Peter Warren, and others). Since the 1980s, he has been a member of what has become known as Keith Jarrett’s Standards Trio alongside Jarrett and Gary Peacock.
Since 2003, DeJohnette has been part of Trio Beyond with fellow musicians Larry Goldings (organ) and John Scofield (guitar). The trio was set up in tribute to The Tony Williams Lifetime trio led by Williams with Larry Young (organ) and John McLaughlin (guitar). He also currently appears as a member of the Bruce Hornsby Trio. In February, 2009, DeJohnette received the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album, Peace Time.
DeJohnette’s most current project as of 2010 is Jack DeJohnette Group, featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto saxophone, David Fiuczynski on double-neck guitar, George Colligan on keyboards and piano, and long-time associate Jerome Harris on electric and acoustic bass guitars.
DeJohnette successfully incorporates elements of free jazz and world music, while maintaining the deep grooves of jazz and R&B drummers. His exceptional experience of time and style, combined with astounding improvisational ingenuity, make him one of the most highly regarded and in-demand drummers. He also occasionally appears on piano, on his own recordings.
In 2012, DeJohnette will be awarded an NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for his “significant lifetime contributions have helped to enrich jazz and further the growth of the art form.”
The city series….
Maybe Tomorrow a Better Possibility (Recovery Remix 2011)
tell me the lies
say that you love me
come back to haunt me
for days without end
and nights without rest
the bittersweet siren call
the addict’s sad song
This post is dedicated to a dear friend, may he rest in peace. It was his kind, centered, and wise words that showed me the way to a better tomorrow.
Towards the Consciousness within….
“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
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.
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.
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.
“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.
A photograph of my daughter who as a teen did some modeling. This was around the time I was visiting Europe and Barbados. I wanted to post something, hence the title “Just Felt Like Posting a Work of Art”, and the first thing to come to mind was my daughter. Lady, as she was affectionately known, remains in my thoughts. I wake to her, and I fall to sleep with a dream of her. The title of the piece is “The World Behind You”. She certainly had a world full of life, beauty, and wonder in which she embraced with joy.
Rest in Peace my Lovely Daughter….
Toward the love within….
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.
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 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.
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
http://youtu.be/K8-iTakhFrs — The Disintegration Loops III — William Basinski — Video by Bodyheaven
We are of one Source Energy, and one Spirit.
“Sometimes we turn the pages in the Book of Memories and come to remember the children who dream in future tense”…..
The Highwire Gallery production of The Fun House
workshop began in March 1991 at the Sayre Morris Community Center in West
Philadelphia and concluded with a performance in May. Funded by the PA Council
on the Arts, the goal was to bring together a group of children and introduce
them to the arts. Our focus would be on dance, performance, music and the visual
arts. Another important part of the workshop was for it to be a community
service, which merged different ethnic backgrounds and communities. For the
eleven girls who participated in the workshop, the hope was to inspire personal
challenges and the pursuit of their dreams. Everyone involved, the artists of
Highwire Gallery, the kids, Empress our musical director, Sandra Lynn our choreographer,
and “DADA” (Dancers Against Drug Abuse) met the challenge and worked hard to
make the program a huge success.
How do we encourage our children to dream, a dream that
inspires, enriches and motivates them to reach for the sky, and to touch just one of the millions of snowflakes that
can be found in the realm of possibilities? How do we lead them by the hand,
through the garden of hopes and dreams?
I think we do it one child at a time, one school at a time, one
project at a time, and as one community. Children love to discover, and be creative.
I strongly believe that the arts will provide them with the tools they will need for exploring their
imagination and giving birth to their dreams.
What do you feel is our children’s greatest need? What resources in our society would you like to see be provided for the well being and growth of our children? Do you believe that the arts, especially at a young age, is a vital tool for encouraging creative thinking and problem solving?
What do you think?
Select the link below for a dream-like journey into a contemporary child’s lullaby.
Winter Poem by Nikki Giovanni
once a snowflake fell
on my brow and i loved
it so much and i kissed
it and it was happy and called its cousins
and brothers and a web
of snow engulfed me then
i reached to love them all
and i squeezed them and they became
a spring rain and i stood perfectly
still and was a flower
— Author and poet Nikki Giovanni
From “The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni”
And last but not least in this journey of dreams…a short animation.
Impressionism is a theory or style
of painting, literature or music which aims to reflect subjective impressions
rather than objective reality.
Ceremony is defined as a formal
act or set of acts as prescribed by ritual, custom or etiquette. [sacredness or
There is something beautiful and magical about a ceremony. It brings people together.
During our trip to Barbados, our group participated in a very moving one. It was
an ash to sea ceremony. We found the location on the island which was noted as
being nearest to Africa. It was there that the twelve of us performed what I
will always remember as a beautiful and deep expression of love and
remembrance. Some of us said a few words in observance of the passing, and others expressed
compassion and recited poetry. And in the end there were flowers, sand, and
surf coming together to set adrift the physical presence of a loved one.
What ceremonies remain in your heart? Do you believe that ceremonies are still
important in this day and age? Tell me about a ceremony or ritual that you participated
in that changed your life, and if so why.
Day 7 of the 30-Day Song Challenge asks the question what is “a song that reminds you of a certain event”?
http://youtu.be/98grG7l8qgk William Basinski – The Disintegration Loops I
There is really no other event more profound than “911”. When I read the day 7 challenge, asking what song reminds you of a certain event, I immediately thought of New York City on September 11, 2001, and the music of William Basinski.
I remember vividly the moment and the hurt that ensued.
When the news broke, on the morning of 911, William Basinski was transferring some analog tape loops into digital format. It is perhaps a coincidence, that William Basinski was unknowingly creating a requiem for 911 with The Disintegration Loops series. The process of playing the tapes over and over and the instability of the magnetic tape were causing it to literally disintegrate. Each time he would play the loop it would fragment more and more. Over time, the entire 4 hour, segmented piece would disintegrate into entropy and finally silence. The Disintegration Loops I–heard here (14 minutes in length) is an excerpt of the 1 hour and 3 minute piece. I believe there is a melancholy feeling in the sound that provokes great sadness and lost.
day 01 – your favorite song – Stars of the Lid’s “Don’t Bother They’re Here”
day 02 – your least favorite song – Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”
day 03 – a song that makes you happy – Ivy’s – Edge of the Ocean
day 04 – a song that makes you sad – Trespassers Williams – Love You More
day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone – Trespassers Williams – Lie in the Sound
day 06 – a song that reminds you of somewhere – Isabelle Aubret – La Fanette
day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event
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
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?