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

Posts tagged “Compassion

experiment: zen nature | landscapes for well being | video art

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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


25 second preview – experiment: zen nature | landscapes for well being

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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.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Love | Give Love by MC Yogi (giving4living mix)

Keep the world spinning, do yoga, meditate, be conscious, live compassionately, and give LOVE …


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Post Canvas and Paint: Variations | A Barren Autopsy

Post Canvas And Paint: Variations ~ A Barren Autopsy

a barren autopsy
of ourselves;
the lack of compassion
for a deep sense of lost
and stolen innocence

what do we see
when we look in the mirror
on cold December nights
but the tears of children
falling from our eyes …

As a society we are becoming numb to reason. And as a consequence, we may one day lose our humanity.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

for all time
with endless love
mine

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.


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The Path To Grace And The Summit Of Ascension

The Path To Grace And The Summit Of Ascension

Last night
I had a dream
So deep
Forever freeing

Never a moment
Did I long for awareness
Of the waking world
Here on the path of Grace

Beauty
Stillness
Love
As I ascended
Through the floating
Orbs of mystery
– past – time
And the Grace
That is You


Another Earth

No longer outside my window, but here within … Another Earth

Another Earth

Peaceful – Beautiful – Magnificent

 – the home within our hearts …


Post Canvas And Paint: Another Meaningful World

Outside my window, in a virtuous world, there can only be … a willingness to let go.

Another Meaningful World

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 …


Post Canvas And Paint: Another Virtuous World (At A Crossroad Remix)

Outside my window, in a revealing moment, I see the choices of my life …

Another Virtuous World

disintegrating

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 …


I Really Want To Meet Your Sensitivity With Compassion And Love (A Hit The Mark Remix)

In a moment, my only desire is to meet your sensitivity with my thoughtfulness and longing….

Being centered with you

They tell me that love and compassion is a journey without measure….

Not unlike an arrow whose flight is true….


A Love That Resonates Forever – A Tribute To My Daughter

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….

Patricia and Lady

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.

Lady taking photographs at family reunion 2006

Dionanna Mcfadden my “Lady Pooh”


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….


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


Music For Backgrounds 02: Jack DeJohnette -Peace time

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….

http://youtu.be/zcmJgliXwqc

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.

Biography

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.”


Penn State and Sexual Abuse: What Does It Say About Who We Are?

Sports and personal integrity

I am a native of Pennsylvania (having been born and raised in Philadelphia), and have over the years felt connected to Penn State and its football program. It was not hard to love Penn State. It was something about their attitude towards winning and the “team concept”. It showed even down to their uniforms; plain with no names and giving no sense of individuality to the players. For years, Penn State has been a testimony to team sport and the higher moral ground when it came to football and academic ethical standards.

Now as I hear the reports of sexual abuse, misconduct, cover-up, and the institutional sanctioned deception and rape of a community, I am outraged. It appears that one individual stood by while an act of gross depravity was perpetrated on a young boy. To think of the fear, the hurt, the humiliation that child and the other children felt pains me and I search for answers. How does a society allow this to happen? The shame and anger of the family of that child, and the others who were violated over the years to come—without question—is agonizing to the core. And that was only the beginning; the denial by Penn State officials, inadequate investigations, and lack of prosecution for all those involved has led to a dark and troublesome scandal. And well it should; we need things to be out in the open. We need to face ourselves.

But what also grieves me are the rioters and those who feel the need to voice their anger at the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. I mean give me a break, Joe Paterno had a moral responsibility (if not legal) to go directly to law enforcement. I do not want to just point the finger at Paterno, because the failure runs deep. But the mob mentality that emerged the other night in defense of Paterno shows the lack of an understanding, and empathy for what the true victims of these acts have endured.

What do you think? How do you feel about the sport mentality, the “good old boys club” especially in the high-end, money-making machine of professional and college sports? And last, but not least, has our society forgot about the victim and what it means to be victimized? And what are the consequences for a society that does not protect its children?


Urban Contemplation 03

The city series….

Maybe Tomorrow a Better Possibility (Recovery Remix 2011)

8 a.m.

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

3 a.m.

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.


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 Nothingness

Remove yourself from the painful past and uncertain future

Sometimes in the waking we often remember that life exist with its
own set of difficulties. It seems as if we are living in perpetual change and in
transitional states of being. We are confronted with interpersonal
relationships that need our undivided attention, support, and unwavering love—while
simultaneously we must seek solutions to a world struggling with civil,
political and social unrest. It is a monumental task at times to remove oneself
from the painful past and an uncertain future. But for the sake of the communities
we live in, and our children—we must
take that leap of faith i.e. believe in something greater than ourselves,
struggle against all odds, and see beyond living on the edge of nothingness.

This piece entitled “Remove Yourself from the Painful Past and
Uncertain Future” is a reminder of how we must move from one place to another
throughout our lives, both figuratively and literally. Sometimes there is pain involved in that move. I created this piece
back in 2003 when I was going through a period of personal change, and
recollection. It was one of a series of works that reflected on a transitional time
in my life, where I needed to migrate both physically and emotionally. Part of
that process was a physical move from Pennsylvania to South Carolina.
The other part of that move was internal—from a place on the edge of nothingness—to
a place on the edge of everything….

I found that a place on the edge of everything is a beautiful place indeed.


Just Felt Like Posting a Work of Art / a tribute to my daughter

My daughter the model and the world behind you

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….


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 Fun House @ Highwire Gallery: 1991 / Dreaming in Future Tense / a 2011 remix

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“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?

The Kids at Sandy Beach 2011

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.

http://youtu.be/p3HGyXa0mjM

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.

http://youtu.be/e-sj8_UvD2A


Impressions in Barbados 03 / Ceremony

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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
religious rite]

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.


30-Day Song Challenge: Day 07

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


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?