Alright all, for anyone following along, I have had a wickedly productive day with all of the wonder and goodness that one could ask for, truly. I am getting my new business cards made up as we speak. Those will have my website on them. The website is being updated heavily. I am excited about it. There is a lot going on and a lot coming together. I am starting to connect dots from the past couple of years all in the website and how my work all relates. I am really going to try and keep this blog updating constantly. I really hope you all enjoy it and get something out of it. Right now I am in a kind of production mode. I would like to get T-shirts made up to accompany my cassingle titled My Love. You can listen to it in its entirety here on the website but in order to be able to take it with you beyond the site on a home computer or phone I am going to sell CDs at live shows that will be accompanied by an original hybrid print from my SSG work. The music is not streaming yet. You have to have distribution for that and I am still figuring that all out straight up. But in the meantime I like having a physical copy available live. The tracks are professionally recorded but I think I might just utilize CDRs and sign the face of the CDR with a sharpie and a copyright symbol, pure, plain and simple. It is a ton of work to get all of this together with the book and the tons of other stuff that I have produced over the years. I am having fun through and am really coming into my own right now in such a good way. Please if you have a chance at all, thank you for reading and please, please, please, comment and/or like these posts here on the blog, on Instagram and/or on YouTube. I appreciate your support and am looking to make a connection with fans as much as I possibly can.
Hope you all are doing well. Thanks to anyone following along here. I appreciate it. Make sure to send me a comment if you get inspired to do so. I am moving towards putting a couple of event together for Spring/Summer. One is a book reading to give my book that I wrote last year a chance to shine a bit. More info on that as it develops. Also, I would like to do a music show/event with possibly some of my visual artwork there live with me on stage and at a mercy table.
I am looking to do more on Instagram and to do more YouTube videos about life.
Just finished reading Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari and the take away in part was about the decoupling of consciousness from intelligence. I continue to catch bit here and there about driverless or autonomous cars and G5, machine learning, deep learning in artificial intelligence and climate change. I even learned about a new-to-me genre of writing call “cli-fi” similar to sci-fi. That I thought is interesting.
I am thinking to a just going with all of my passions and doing events where I give a talk or a series of talks, display and sell visual art, give access keys to my book online (which is essentially just my website) and play music along with reading poetry. Maybe even do a live meditation. That interests me. I was thinking about calling it The Jon Keppel Experience. I am not sure about that yet but the whole thing interests me very much. I like having freedom away from a label in music or a publisher in literature. I can do whatever I feel like doing, always exploring, breaking new ground again and again. It is interesting.
Hi Everyone! I am just feeling like putting out a blog post today as I am getting into the thick of creative experience. I know today is like an international holiday. I hope you are having a great day as always. I am still working out what exactly to talk about here on the blog. I think it could really be good to just delve into whatever with updates about my work, life, thought process, things in the community and so forth. I am interested in getting some music shows lined up for spring and summer. I have a good list of about 20 songs here that I would like to share. I am hoping that sharing it here with all of you will make me more apt to follow up on some of what I discuss here. I have aims to do more large format paintings. I made a discovery today that seems to make a nice connection between what I have come to know as formal practice or conventional practice (seated mediation or painting at an easel) and informal or unconventional practice which is just living life essentially as meditation, art or both. I am still going to be talkative about climate change as my studies have shown me that the number one way to help with climate change is to talk about it. Awareness seems so key in all facets of life. I have some talks coming up or rather lively discussions set for the first Sunday of every month at Rubber City Prints. It will be full on discussion about art as life (which includes conventional practice). Went grocerying today and had a really pleasant time. Also did my 45 minute body scan meditation with Jon Kabat Zinn. Hope you all are well.
Hi Everyone! I am just sorting through this whole thing called life. Just made some spaghetti with red sauce. Think I am finally going to get some T-shirts made for me, my art, my music. Not yet sure on all of the details on how to go about that but we shall see. I have begun playing older music that is still very viable. It is transformative to connect the deep past, the recent past, the present and what is yet to come. I am going to get my business cards updated as well which I always hope has a kind of alchemical affect to it that brings my full spectrum of feelings and wishes to stand tall. I think I would like to really make this and my Instagram along with my newsletter the home base for me. I want to connect with people more and am learning bit by bit ever so slowly but meaningfully how to do this right. I am looking at getting an audio interface and nice pair of headphones for recording songs of mine which I then hope to have mastered by a third party. I hope very much to be able to sell my records and tickets to shows along with visual art, writings and more. Check back often for blog updates, make sure you are signed up for the newsletter and come check out what’s going on on Instagram. Excited to go much further with the music now. While keeping art as the craft of life in play and making some more large format paintings. Looking to show older stuff in conventional contexts.
So sad to hear about and watch the tragedy in Paris at Notre Dame. I hope that healing can take place there at a profound level. Word of enormous strength from people donating funds to help and others recounting memories is really inspiring. Peace
Hi Everyone, please do let me know that you are all out there when you get the chance. I would love to hear from you. Comment in the blog here, “like” what I am doing on Instagram or just email me. I am going to try and really chime in here on the blog now on a pretty regular basis just as a way of getting in touch with you all. I very much appreciate your support as I venture further into art as life and all of the wonderful conventional practice there is to do as well.
I went and had my guitar looked at today because there were some problems with the battery however now everything seems to be working fine so I hope to be able to play live at Uncorked this Tuesday if I can get all of the new songs together that I have. They are fresh out the oven right now.
I have started doing a practice of 45 minutes a day of meditation up from my 3 to 30 minute practice previously. I am doing the body scan by Jon Kabat Zinn while reading his book Full Catastrophe Living. Has anyone read that one? Anyone into mindfulness?
I got some cool new blue pants that I wore to Gretchen Pleuss’s album release show. That was a great event.
Looking at maybe doing another large format painting (48 x60in) and eventually having a show in a space that can handle that size. I am always talking about work, meaning art work and music and writing and so forth. I am trying to learn from the many good resources that I have at my disposal to learn about sharing a bit of what is going on in my life through my blog not only work all the time. That is hard for me because it is like, I have to always be creating things. However, my mindfulness studies are helping me just learn to be more. So on that note, let’s see, what’s going on. I got to check out the Cleveland Institute of Music’s orchestra. That was beyond words good. I also recently paid a visit to the Cleveland Museum of Art and saw some conventional artwork. Reading tons as always. Right now I am into about four books. I am reading TED talks by Chris Anderson (paraphrasing the title there), Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, Genesis by Edward O. Wilson and as I mentioned Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat Zinn. Also have the magazine Breathe about mindful living and a new-to-me magazine called The New Philosopher (perhaps a paraphrase there). Ai Wei Wei is a contributor to the philosophy magazine.
Hope you all are doing well.
Hi Everyone. Some new-for-me ideas in practice here. I like being able to check in with this blog now to not only document my thought process but also of course to be able to communicate with all of you, whoever you are, because a big part of what I am doing right now is about helping other people by offering up knowledge and experience from my life and communicating it effectively to add to the enhancement of the quality of not only my life but hopefully many, many others as well.
Posts to follow will be more stream lined I think but for now I just want to gently break apart some ideas in action to really get things moving on a couple of fronts. First I just want to mention climate change. The number one way to combat climate change according to my studies is to simply talk about it. I know a fair amount of information about specifics but am not an expert. I do believe the climate scientists and think that we should as a global community come together to do something really special about it. That’s all I will say for now on that. I just wanted to scratch the surface on that.
Next, something called ICA Akron has begun and it was an idea that I had a while back. Right now I see how vital it is to make sure that in practice it remain of the art of crafting life. Good sleep culture. Meditation, awareness, healthy knowledge consumption, reading, physical exercise, cooking for one’s self lovingly (thanks Ashley) and a host of other things involved with crafting one’s life, enhancing quality of life. That is what is at the heart of ICA Akron. It might take on the form of exhibiting conventionally (conventionally means anything that is formulated as an exhibition as an endpoint or vital stage it is not referring to advancements in technologies or materials used). In art as life (which includes conventional practice) technology and materials are changing all of the time. Some of my materials tonight were eggplant, a cell phone, walking shoes, my car and so forth.
Hi Everyone. This is a new beginning for the blog here to continue on the work I have been doing now for a good year or so. The story is long so I will not go into it all right now. It feels really good to be putting a blog up. Had a chat with a new friend today and wow it was illuminating. Got me back here on the blog and now I see how it is all connected. I am the connecting agent in it all. My thoughts. My ideas. My songs. My visual art. My studies. My videos. My website. My Instagram stuff. All of it comes together to make one gigantic statement. And so I come to you now in this moment with a brand new start to the blog. I have a permanent link for The Art Flame, the book I wrote this past year. Now I can start doing blog posts more regularly along with videos on YouTube and my newsletter that I put out. What is it all for, as music from a movie that I like comes on I am thinking what is it all about? What is it all for? Is this what I came to earth to do? The answer is no. And so I keep searching. I think I came here to be an artist. The consequence of that has gone very deep indeed. Nevertheless, I feel like true love might be the reason that I came to earth, but finding that is extremely difficult in my experience. I wish you all the best. I wish I could say that all this bullshit I do with this or that thought or idea is what it all comes down to but it doesn’t. I think it is love.
I continue to grow in my sense that how we live our lives, what we actually do, how we get there and what the outcomes turn out to be are all artistic processes. I have said this many times over but I find that through the repetition that I climb deeper and deeper into why I think I have come here to journey through art and as art at all.
I think of all performance art and social practice art, relational aesthetics, and happenings and I see this consistent movement towards merging artistic fields with everyday fields. Now I believe they have become one. Well, they always have been one but now it seems we have a clear framework for not only a recognition of this merging but also a practical approach for what to do with this knowledge and where to go from here.
The conception of something I call the artistic attitude is what I feel will help us bring all of our knowledge from the art world into everyday life and really shine for not only ourselves but for each other. There are trends in this way, artists being installed at businesses, artists running for political office, artists taking on a more entrepreneurial spirit. All of these instances reinforce a notion that art has, if not left, completely transcended the gallery. I think galleries are still viable but I see them as changing radically over the century to come. This may or may not happen of course but it is neat to think about.
What might a gallery do if it no longer shows objects on walls and pedestals under directional lighting? Let’s think of what artist Ahmed Mater had to say at The Armory Live event this year. He talked about how museums could become like laboratories or think tanks. I think galleries could do the same. It could be a place where thoughts are generated, where conversations that change radically what we know and how we do things take place. There could be an emphasis on getting into each other’s headspace directly, person to person bypassing posed plasticity altogether.
Don’t get me wrong and I always have to say this. Galleries and museums have been extremely important and have been a huge part of the development of art. I just believe that we have a chance to go beyond all of that. Brick and mortars may continue but how much could they radically change the landscape of our heart and vice versa if we begin to think differently about what we want to do in the name of art either individually or communally.
I respect the institutions. I really do. It is just that I believe there is more waiting for us as we conceive of art in even more dynamic terms than what these institutions can support. Of course, we can reorganize and support anew these ventures that might have to do with space exploration, exploration of the sea, wildlife, sustainability, magic, politics, culture, science, all the world of investigation in the end at our fingertips not just our eye-tips. Duchamp told us all about the end of retinal art. We need to heed his prophetic solid that he did us and go forward now.
It is going to be a little scary, I know. But honestly, we can do this.
It is not about an exhibition anymore. It is about transformational personal development as the world. Exhibitions will of course continue. And they, well, honestly they should probably just take a break for a while. I mean I love concerts too and that is a kind of exhibition. I do not want all cultural festivities to end but I think it is about more than that now. It is time we took what is "in" so to speak all the energy we point towards the stage and wall and put that into ourselves! Our own lives. The world is the stage as it has been said. We cannot mystified by super giant persona and characters on the stage. We are magic. We are a cosmos transcending. Art is with us always now. Art brings the world together. It can be a tool for planetary unity and a togetherness. It is also just the essence of life.
I feel like everything I write is practical in a sense because it addresses the spiritual in the mundane. It looks at as it crafts a vision of how to relate to oneself, each other and the universe at large. I feel like that is my strength and gift in this season of my life and that is where the bulk of my inspiration leads me.
In addition to that though I want to talk a little about what to actually do. The fact is, you already in so many ways know what to do with your life of course. It is your life after all. We each just kind of know and the rest, well we pick it up as we go but even then we probably sort of knew it before anyway.
I think that is where some of these practices might be beneficial to share. The practices are simple and straightforward but I thought they might help you all to hear from me as a pleasant and sincere offering of what it is my life has been consisting of day to day.
I exercise. I do roughly twenty minutes of cardio and about an hour and a half of strength training. I also get adequate rest nearly always. I sleep on average between 8 or 9 hours a night. I meditate. I do roughly ten to fifteen minutes a day of a quiet sitting meditational practice that I then revisit as best I can to integrate throughout my day. I eat a vegetarian/vegan diet. I write and read throughout my week. Currently, I work a day job but I am working to just be writing full time and maybe giving occasional talks along with supplying guided meditations and contextual podcasts.
All of this I must reiterate is art for me. I come from a background of the avant-garde in contemporary art and some modern stretching back into the beginning of the last century. Everything stays in play, technology, politics, social aspects, culture, science and so forth. It is just that instead of procuring exhibitions which I still and probably will always value, I live out my art and share it in person, through books, and on social media.
I basically just wanted to do something new. To create a new paradigm for how art would be made as far into the future as the 22nd century. I am thinking 22nd century but I am operating of course now. So be it. The magic is there. All good art is ahead of its time. And these themes are nothing really new I just have not seen anyone putting it into a comprehensive package that describes actual actions to take to live our lives as art rather than one-off performances or happenings (both of which mind you are precursors to this realization).
I feel strongly about revisiting this core of art that is in my being. This drive to always be an artist no matter what life sends my way as not a stubbornness but rather an acceptance of myself at a deep, fundamental and core level. In some sense I think, I believe that I would like to help alter the public perception of what an artist is or how we generally think about artists. I think that the time of ego and manifestos seems to be behind us and I am not alone in this assertion. Prominent art world members are expressing as much.
I find a project like Platasso to be very inspiring and near and dear to my heart. There is such a sincere and beautiful blending of not only life itself with art or the real world with the art world as founder Laura Curwood describes it but it is also a conversation being had that runs through all of the actions of life as art as well. The lines are blurring so much that they are seeping into one another and blending, merging and forming a new consciousness I feel. This is not new age but in a way, it is new art. Cliches and monikers be damned this is something interesting. I am being propelled by an inner fire to help make this conception see the light of day and night not only because I feel it has the power to change the world but of course because it has the power to change us. The two, in the end, might likely be one in the same. May you truly know that the art spark, art flame, and the art fire is truly with you always. I am happy that we can come to banish our fear of fire that has always been associated with hell for example and come to know the generative, primal beauty of it instead. That which lights the world is in us. We light the world just as much as any star. As much as we are stardust, Stardust is us as well. The part is in the whole and the whole in the part. Have faith in yourself and come to know now, at this moment and going forward that you are Creation, you are the universe and that I believe that it is okay to pray even if you do not believe in God. God believes in us, always. It is only our perception that can have us believing otherwise. Of course the idea that creation believes anything is a kind of personification but what if spirit and matter can actually believe. I know that is sort of a kind of fantastical and even at first a kind of crazy notion but give it a chance. The Universe, in the end, is for us. Afterall, the Universe invited us to this party whether on purpose or by accident. It happened.
I did not always think this was the case but as time goes on I feel more and more connected to a power bigger than myself that I am humbled to be a part of rather than the master of. As others have said let your life be the masterpiece. There is beauty in what is true. Peer into that chamber of secrets and make it come to life! Bring light to the darkness and reveal the magic you hold within. Be safe. Care as much as you love and for God's sake take the trash out. Peace The Art Flame is with you. Burn bright.
We have genius within us. I know this is true. But what does that really mean? How does that become relevant in our lives? I think there is something in the notion of manifesting that brings us out of our shell and into the world around us. We become infused with what it is we are doing
I am an artist. Instead of painting or sculpting, I manifest. I rediscovered this word recently while searching through the work of Wayne Dyer. He has a work called Manifest Your Destiny and it just truly resonates with all that I have been looking into with my own inquiry regarding art being the craft of life. I feel as though manifesting is a new artistic practice, new to me in any event. I have to do more research about whether it has been used in the arts as art before or not.
To say that I manifest is to say that reality itself is the canvas. I paint with reality. Manifesting is a way of co-creating the stuff of my life as it unfolds and emerges. I participate in the crafting of what my life looks like, tastes like, feels like and so on. Also, I am involved in the cultivation of my character and my person. As Dyer says, we have to stay mindful that spirit and matter, the intangible and tangible are connected. They are two sides of one coin. He uses the example of a peak and trough of a wave.
How does this become art you might ask? Manifesting is a logical and intuitive next step in the evolution of contemporary art as it has developed in the Western canon over the past century. Connecting art and life has been a project of many over that period of time, so much that I believe art has seen itself into the world at large and transcended the art world that had developed as a kind of incubator for its spirit.
We have a chance now to be in the painting ourselves, every day. We are constantly sculpting our lives with the choices we make, the extent to which we listen and learn from others, the world around us and our self-knowledge. Being able to craft our lives is an art. It is my belief that this type of art is at the very core of our being. Thinking about ourselves as artists and artwork simultaneously is a wonderful way to begin the journey or rather to continue it. See with your inner eye the next step. In fact, help to create that next step that you will take. Sometimes the next step is the step itself!
I am trying this shorter form posting technique and it seems to really be powerful. I have only to say today that I am absolutely in love with my life and could not be happier. There are things still that I seek, that I would like to manifest but I feel whole in my being just the way I am. This is a powerful place to be, truly. I am finding that it set at ease while setting off in a good way all that you can imagine. It is as if peace bring prosperity and Lord have I needed that in my life.
Sometimes you just have to see with your heart. When you have been working on something for a very long time and you do not have any way of knowing what objective progress you are making, it is good to remember that you are making progress within. That sounds and may seem simple but it is so very important to remember. Sometimes in life, love, in art we cannot say how our work is going to be received but if it is true, I mean very, very true, then it will be blessed and you shall see your good merits come forth into the ether, into being just from accruing personal development in the direction of your own personal truth. We all hope, I feel, I believe, that our wish in life is good, our ultimate wish. All pain and anger falls away and we are left with simply hope. Not hope for any one thing but hope itself.
This blog post marks the first full week’s worth of blog posts and Medium posts started on June 26th! I feel really happy that I accomplished my goal. I am going to see how I feel this week (because I am actually writing this on Tuesday even though it will not come out until next Monday).
I am thinking about doing this kind of intensification of my writing as it seems to be illuminating parts of my spirit and soul in a good way. I love that I can speak of notions like spirit and soul and really mean it and speak freely.
To anyone reading this, thank you very much for your readership. I hope you get something truly great out of my writing. I put a lot of love and care into each entry. I am just finding my way in life as we all are, hoping to share some good things that I have learned along the way.
I invite you to check out the podcasts that are up on Soundcloud and also the guided meditations on there as well. I will try and put links in the comments to this post.
This blog just like all that I do these days is a labor of love but one that feels lighter and lighter as I go while also gaining in strength and good impact. I hope to continue to develop as a person from doing these blog posts and continuing to write in general.
In whatever your heart’s wish is, may it be good and may you see yourself belonging in this world just the way you are.
All my best.
Note: I ended up not getting this posted until Thursday but I think it still counts.
My goal with this post is to help other people. Sometimes that is a goal of mine. Other times I write for self-discovery and the writing offers a reference for others rather than direct correspondence.
Nevertheless, with this post, I want to do something that solves a problem for you. I want to deliberately take time out of my energy flow to do something for others in this way. I think it is important that we do this. Not all the time necessarily because addressing one’s own needs is just as important. But here and there on a regular basis can do just the trick.
So here is what I wish for you. If you are reading my work then I have determined that you are probably a curious person who believes that either they are an artist or that they have the capacity to be an artist. That determination comes from my experience as an artist living and growing in the art world along with my TEDx experience which serves the curious.
If I am right, then let’s join the two together in a way hopefully you have never done before or that will be a new version of a golden oldie. Let me ask you what are you the most curious about right now in art?
Wow! That is a loaded question if you have been following my writings but let’s go with it. What are you the most curious about right now in art? Of course, as you know I believe that art is the craft of life so we are literally talking about everything under the sun and beyond here. Or if you prefer you can think in terms of painting and sculpture and so forth. Regardless of what it is, make sure to keep it ultimately respectful, reverent and edifying.
I offer this to you to have some fun. Put on some music that you love and go search around online for some information on whatever came to mind. Narrow it down to just one thing. Whatever came into your mind and was the strongest. Just follow that for a short while and see what comes of it. If it is something substantial, great! If not, so be it and let it go.
I appreciate your interest in my output right now through writing. I really must find more ways to engage directly. I think of live events in person and online where I would be able to engage with the audience more. I am working on that. In the meantime though writing is coming to my aid. I am grateful. Appreciative and inspired. May you be as well. Thank you for reading.
Guess what? I have done some really amazing things in my life and I am sure you have too. And life is not over yet. This whole conception of art as the craft of life brings us to doing new and different things just like we would try if we were a conventional artist in a studio.
In this sense, as I have said before, we literally have all of material reality at our disposal when we think about what to work with. Everything is a go as long as we keep respect and reverence at the fore in my opinion.
I have always wanted to go to India. That is one dream that I have not done yet. But sometimes I wonder if the dreams that we picture in our life especially early on are like translations of what we actually want. Because after all sometimes maybe even a lot of times we do not even know what we truly want.
That is the magic of life after all. So many surprises. So many twists and turns. I thought I was going to be a musician for a long time in my twenties, first like Richard D. James then more like Coldplay. The dream shifted and changed just like life. I don’t know. The more I listen to podcasts and such about dreaming the more I just want to find my dreams in a glass of water. It is attainable and miraculous all at once.
The truth is right now I am really sort of living my dream, maybe for the first time in my life. I have a day job which is actually a night job that is allowing me to work on my writing and my visionary ideas. Yes, I said visionary. I actually feel like a visionary. I do not think that is something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about feeling. Maybe it will wax and wane but for now, I am happy to have a strong and secure feeling about what life is all about which includes knowing that there is a great and vast deal of it that I do not know nor will perhaps ever know.
I am doing quite a lot to strengthen my core to be at ease in my spirit with this. And the ease is coming more and more as I become more supple, more vulnerable.
So regardless of what you have done, there is more to do. I hope that you can truly feel in the experience of the everyday the truth and the miracle and the wonder of it all. Not so much that it freaks you out but just enough to keep you good and happy and wonderful. Now go out there and create the life you want to the extent that you can and just let all the rest be! All my best to you dear artists!
I have not talked about it much on this blog but several years ago I went through a serious depression. It was the kind that shatters your entire life and leaves you pretty much starting from scratch.
Hopefully this post will leave you with a quick feeling of happiness for what is possible. Essentially, I lost my ability to function for a while and had a really hard time doing even common, everyday activities. But slowly, since coming out the other side of a very dark tunnel, I have been building up my life again, in one small way after another.
This time however I am building character more than anything to have a rock solid foundation rather than building say a career or a lifestyle. Do not get me wrong, as time goes on and I get better and better in my life I still want things like a career and a lifestyle in a certain way. But at the center of it all is this idea that I have the opportunity to grow as a person.
That may well be a privilege as we do not all always function fully mentally. If we are provided that privilege I think it is so, so important that we do an adequate amount of self-care along the way to really nurture that gift of the mind and its awesome powers. Essentially, we just cannot, should not take it for granted.
Granted in most people’s everyday lives, thoughts about the awesome powers of the mind are probably not on the top of the list. People everywhere have a lot to do, a lot to take care of to keep the ship of life afloat. That’s why I am finding that I like more and more to be a small, humble yet powerful voice in my own way that makes it a point to remind people to cherish that ability to function and carry out a potential flow in life that is all too easily taken for granted.
If you can read this blog post you are doing really quite good I would say and I want to tell you thank you for reading it. Writing it has helped me infinitely as does reading it hopefully does for you. I have a lot to write about this journey that I have been on. I have definitely learned to be more and more grateful for what I have. At the same time, and more recently, I am seeing how I have been given the keys so to speak to open doors to my life and drive in a way that feels like it is for the first time. In truth, it is not. I had this before but though I did care a lot about life, something beyond me intervened.
My strength has come from learning to learn from that departure from what I thought my life was going to be like to appreciate what my life actually is. The more that we can do that. The more that we can tap into the precious present as it has been called I think everything can blossom from there. It is a present we find within, that flowers without.
Happiness is healing. Our wounds may not go away but we can learn to relate to them differently. Depression was in a way my salvation. What in your life has challenged you to redefine your priorities? What in your past was a divergence that though it seemed to send you astray may be looked upon as a pivot of opportunity for growth? How can we make peace? Not simply observe peace but make it? Maybe it starts with getting out of the way of our own light, a light that is bigger than any one of us. Letting go and letting God can go a long way. What is hurting you?
I use these blog posts as a way to unpack all of the thoughts and considerations that I have in regards this conception that art is the craft of life. This post is no exception. And I may repeat myself sometimes but it is all in service of getting full on into what this conception has to offer. I feel there is truly an extraordinary opportunity to create a daily artistic practice for anyone interested in deepening self-knowledge, a transpersonal and larger social impact.
Sometimes it feels as though I am writing out into the ether. I hunger for conversations that feed the soul and the mind in ways that bring forth our innate sense of wonder. It’s that person-to-person interaction that can be so inspiring. Sometimes we can get that from reading another person’s writing. That is a good way, a very convenient and accessible way of getting involved with another’s thoughts. But actual person-to-person interaction is also very key in the end to how to bring about real change and transformation in the sphere we like to call reality.
And that can be a huge challenge sometimes. I know I find it a challenge for myself. I love conversations but I do not have as many of them or as often in quality or specified content as I would like to have. It can be a challenge to find like-minded individuals with which to share insights and epiphanies. And this after all, this kind of exchange is where the real genesis of change and transformation takes place. What if we could somehow meaningfully increase the amount of opportunities that we have to engage on topics of interest we have near and dear to our heart?
This is in part why I have been developing something called The Art Fire. It is intended to be a place for folks to interact with one another on themes that the book I have written, called The Art Flame, addresses. I am finding that I am called more and more to make podcasts and video blogs along with my writing, my blog posts and Medium posts in order to continue to unpack all of the truly inspiring content that goes along with the conception that art is the craft of life.
One of the biggest parts of this work is the idea of a daily practice. That, I am coming to understand. Meditation is a part of that but for our purposes it goes into meditation as an artistic act. And that to me is really exciting and something new. I have not seen that yet in my research and study. It gives us that much more leverage and flexibility to be able to nimbly engage with what life offers us and how best to respond to it.
I find that each time I do writing of this nature, though it is similar from one passage to the next that bits of genius emerge. And I of course do not use the word genius in an egoistical way. I mean it in a way that we all have genius in us. It is innate. And we are discovering more and more the extent to which that is true.
So I offer to you today some contemplation in regards how a daily practice of using artistic ways of thinking as a means for unlocking more and more of your day in a meditational way can better your life and being in some truly special ways. I come back to this saying quite a bit but it is as if we truly are painting with reality in this way. That is why as we go along it is so important to keep in mind compassion, kindness and gratitude as we help to allow ourselves the agreeableness of the present and come to life through right attitude, gathering truly all that is available to us with our mind, body, heart, spirit and soul. Be well.
I am writing this post as a seeker. I say that because I have a depth in me, I know, that is very attuned to a sense of wisdom, compassion, kindness and agape love. It is even more diverse and rich than that though. There are trillions upon trillions of wishes and insights that flower my soul in this way. Beauty, contemplation, spirit, awakening, true love and so forth are all a part of this inner awareness that I have.
So if I have these things within me, what is it that I seek? I believe I seek correspondence, interactions and resonance. I have had some experience with yoga in the past and do sense a profound power within that practice. For now though I have been content with doing meditation while supplementing that practice with physical fitness at a gym. I seek balance as much as anything in my pursuit of truth, in my journey of being.
And how precious is it that we simply are, in certain extents, plain and simple. We simply are. That is a fine understanding as well. One that cannot be underestimated. I think again there is a sense of balance to be gained in these regards. We simply are yet we also enact the world as we go and are able to get in touch with ourselves and each other. Perhaps that is a journey we all face. Perhaps that is testament to what it is we have to learn here in this body and state of being. I think there is a great opportunity to evolve with how we think of ourselves and each other rooted in kindness and compassion.
So what does this mean for life? I see in my own way that I struggle sometimes to keep up with the news for example. I am making strides in my own spiritual practice yet the daily grind of world events rushes onwards. I am trying more and more to strike yet again a balance with my inner calling to commune with divinity and the specified instances taking place in the world, some which are call for attention, deep attention and awareness.
So it is that I think we can come to utilize our awareness training through meditation when we come into contact with the news as well. It is an opportunity to spread outside of our comfort zone while still staying in touch with what is at our core. The more that we can do this I believe the more we become made supple to coalesce with world mind in fantastic and lovely ways. We can overcome the turpitude. We can radiate through all of the muck with a resilient strength that transcends even space and time.
To ground this all, I believe that a deeper and deeper understanding of our experience comes from getting in touch with our lives as a crafted artwork and learning the sacred power of that conception. We have an opportunity to truly alight in the mystery and shine on in beautiful and centrifugal ways. There is so much within us that we have yet to discover. A daily practice of meditation blended with an artful conception of life can allow for a fuller sense of balance and reckoning of what it is we are to do in this life and what we are truly and rightfully capable of doing in good and profound ways.
I am continuing to study meditation in regards specifically how art is the craft of life. I am mostly studying Andy Puddicombe’s work through Headspace. Currently I am reading one of his books called Meditation and Mindfulness. In it he talks about how meditation can bring you to be more mindful. He also talks about the ideas of approach, practice and integration in regards meditation. I see that very much for this idea that art is really just a way of thinking. That is also why I have taken to the idea of cognitive art.
In this sense, art is sculpted with the mind or perhaps better stated, crafted as life. It is so crucial that a sincere estimation of what this means be had and reflected upon. I seriously believe that when considered as art, life, through meditational practices, becomes renewed and brought into focus. It is a practice all in itself to be constantly aligning and realigning yourself with a notion that you are always influencing your life. You are always playing a creative role in what manifests in your world.
That is key. And I am sure that such things have been spoken of before in a certain sense. I have not yet found anything in the Western canon of art that poses and unpacks it in this way. It may be out there but I am not aware of it as of yet. In my own way, I am coming to know the depths and heights of how a positive attitude mixed with creative confidence can lead to bigger and brighter things in life. Also, from my conventional meditation practice, I get a sense of balance, calm, peace, stability and right action. I also draw forth compassion, kindness, happiness and a certain sense of wisdom.
I know that in this pursuit that we cannot turn away from the fact that horrible things do happen in life and that pain and suffering, whether caused by another person or otherwise, are a part of life, however my training in meditation and my experiences in life joined with an innate sense of doing right by myself and others ultimately are something that informs a sense of optimism, hope and faith in myself and the world around me. I think we have to stay true to that light if we are truly to come to life in all its fullness.
So when we say that art is the craft of life, we are saying a lot. And I believe that we are just starting to uncover a deep truth that will help guide us in our endeavors in life. Life itself, along with conceptions of life or philosophies of life or takes on life can be fickle, however I think the more we gain a sense of genuine optimism amidst the pain that we will bring forth the gem of life, the heart and the majesty. These are just words of course. I mean to say that we will be made whole in our pursuit and will arrive by becoming a path. We are each other’s expanses sometimes but we also hold infinity within ourselves as well. Art gives us a method to deal with this infinity.