As the 40th anniversary of the publication of BE HERE NOW is upon us, I decided to read the book, finally. The changes that began in the coming-of-age 70s still affect the consciousness of our times. Somehow, in 2011, the words of Ram Das are clearer, more profound and direct. (remdass.org) The book itself is an early example of “interactive” media, as after the lengthy intro documenting Ram Das’ journey to a professorship at Harvard, the befriending of Timothy Leary, the excessive immersion in mushrooms and LSD, you then have to turn the book on it’s side to read the large typed message on the brown paper. The different sized type and ink drawings seem to magnify the official communications of the book: “The next message you need is always right where you are.”
No food or drinks served, but upbeat workers and customers, interesting conversation, meeting up, and learning something. I swear that I don’t work for Apple, but I must say, I continue to be impressed at surprisingly polite and bright workers. They seem to be from another planet, which is where Steve Jobs resides, along with those other brilliant inventor-types. The marketing strategy is this: buy an Apple product, pay an extra $100.00 a year, get instruction at any time on your Mac, iPhone, iPod, and enjoy yourself at the same time. Of course, there is a lot of “product” they could and probably do sell during your tutorial, but I have avoided buying anything yet. My particular “genius” actually told me to go to Fry’s where I could save $30.00 on a 1 terabyte drive that I need for my 40,000 digital images. Imagine that! Good Karma.
Feng shui style with Sweet Nectar Designs
As 2010 hastily rumbles to a close, I’ve recently found myself stewing in a pool of self-reflection. Musing over what? Oh, you know, just the little things: What will the new year hold? How do I want things to blossom in my life? How can I make things happen so that those pesky dreams might actually come true?
More than simply cleaning out the dust bunnies in my home, I feel ready to clean out the old energy; reach out and open the blinds in my life to let the light in, so to speak. And seeing as how I spend most of my hours in my bedroom, it sort of makes sense that any attempt to balance the flow of chi in my life should start there.
Traveling to Manhattan last week, I took my familiar trek to Union Square where I met up with my Jivamukti teacher Dechen Thurman, son of the Tibetan Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman. Sharon Gannon and David Life, artists who merged as activists and created the Jivamukti yoga schools along the way, founded Jivamukti in 1989. Jivamukti means liberated living. A Jivamukti is one who is liberated and lives to benefit the lives of others … a tall order. The style is vinyassa flow and incorporates chanting, postures, and concepts of Indian philosophy. Each month, Sharon and David emphasize a theme, and the theme this month is Asteya, or “non-stealing.” The concept is this: When one stops stealing from others, prosperity (material, mental, and spiritual) appears. Stealing can be defined in its many forms: things, ideas, thunder, parking places. Sharon Gannon takes the stealing concept even further to support her vegan philosophical theories … for example, confining an animal steals its life and by consuming meat, we steal the life and happiness of billions of animals.
Check out her concept:
Last night, clad in down I traveled with my Foothill Photography Class to Moffett Field in Mountain View for a night shoot. Here we were, students of light, learning how to find it in the darkness that comes earlier each day at this time of year. A technical aspect is this: put your camera’s shudder speed on “B,” press your finger on the button and count to 30. How my patience was tried, as I was used to the 1/100th of a second to gratification. It takes time for the light to reach into the lens, a reminder of my stalled spiritual growth … a reminder to practice patience in the search for light, as the darkness deepens into winter.
I have used the dark backdrop for my portraits, especially the yoga portraits, creating a dreamy and dramatic effect, working so well for many years. These moody shadows have apparently reflected my temperamental state of mind. Now after an inspiring two-week Cabrillo Photography Workshop, my inspiration flipped. Lightness and brightness is now my norm. I wonder how my taste can change so suddenly. Looking at life with light I am seeing differently as I see my subjects in light and possibility as opposed to darker tendencies. Both are viable, of course, but with the light on the subject directly, somehow clarity evolves. Stay tuned for more light as the season changes.