Monday, September 28, 2009
A new pen and ink simple sketch.
GeoTagged, [N43.60041, W11.49885]
Cruising through Tuscany ! Fresh air, sweat, sunshine, dirt, grapes straight from the vine, water from mountain Springs, my goodness Russell what took you so long to get back to cycling? I camp again with the moon and my friends the stars tonight.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
A few weeks ago, i was standing on the edge of a cliff, looking out upon the Alps, with my lover Peggy.
A feeling hit me then and there. I knew I would paint the moment.
We had spent a magical weekend with each other sharing our hearts and dreams. The scene and the moment before us seemed to be a perfect reflection of our soul to soul dialogue.
Indeed. Here is the first pen and ink version of "Let me tell you my dream"
Saturday, September 19, 2009
A year ago, I had a dream. A dream of a mandala or yellow post it notes!
I was staying at the time with my lover Abby at her home in Holland. Abby would go off to work during the day, and I would have the house to myself to get 1Mandala stuff in order. However, this particular morning, I decided, to make dream reality! I built her a mandala of post it notes on her wall. The image of the mandala from my dream was remarkably clear. It was simple. Nothing fancy at all. Plane actually. Strange, I thought. It would have been more fun to make an extravagant patter! Abby didn't really notice though-- she was too worried about the glue I had used on her wall! But, she loved it. The mandala stayed. And of course, to begin all the mandala's notes were blank.
But, how can one not resist to write on a blank post it note? I left her a few messages, then friends started to also. In the months that followed, she opened the invitation wide open! She asked all her friends to write inspirational messages.
The blank mandala became a beautiful artistic coalescence of Abby and Russell's creativity. An of course, all of her friends. A collaborative mandalic web of good intentions evolved over the months. I have seen up close pictures of it. Its full of writting, scribbles, doodles, inspiring words, and... community. Beautiful!
Abby, however is doing something rather remarkable. She has decided to let go of her home in Holland, sell everything and follow her dream of living in Paris, learning French, dancing and living in a luxury apartment. I am overwhelming proud and happy for her. She is following her heart! Go Abby Go!
Over the last days Abby and I had the idea of photographying the take down of the mandala. She sent me the photos and I have weaved them together into a little animation.
I think we could do an even cooler one though Abby. This isn't the end of your mandala.
Its the beggining of a new one! I can't wait to see the one we're going to build on the soaring walls of your Paris loft!
--- P.S. Anyone have a loft with soaring walls for Abby for a few weeks while she settles in Paris?
Friday, September 18, 2009
I've got a lot to do these ways. Linear To Do list simply don't cut it. I think it has something to do with the linear thing.
Here in Monfalcone I am trying hard to finish up several major currents of work on my Macbook. I have several focuses that all compliment and build off each other. And, despite all these things to do in the future... I want to be fully immersed in my now!
Mandalas to the rescue!
I have developed this way of dynamically sketching my priorities over the last year. I start from a circle in the centre that says NOW. This Is to remind me that everything flows from this moment and ground me in the present.
I tend to have 4-6 major priorities-- Love, me, 1mandala, art, etc. These I sketch outwards as the main axises from the centre.
Then, I start to fill it in! I draw little boxes organically out from the centre and in each category. Over a day or two the mandala evolves with colours and shapes and words.
My intentions and the mandala beautifully blossom and unfold!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
GeoTagged, [N45.81545, W13.51453]
Yesterday I came down from the Slovenian mountain top where I have holled up the last week. I've been there getting some serious creative work done. Movies, paintings, websites and a flurry of new art.
Steve and I stopped in Trieste before heading from Slovenia back to his place. There, where we happened to park, we faced with some old art. A stupendous synagogue with a magnificient star of David rose window blossomed over the square.
You see plenty of mandalic rose windows in Cathedrals. This is the first I have seen on a synagogue.
On the 1mandala site we mention how mandalas are found in all religious traditions and are a universally human phenomenon. Indeed! Here in a beautiful example of refined Jewish spiritual art.
I gladly add this photo to my collection of cross cultural mandala examples.
Steve and I stopped in Trieste before heading from Slovenia back to his place. There, where we happened to park, was a stupendous synagogue with a magnificient star of David rose window. You see plenty of mandalic rose windows in Cathedrals. This is the first I have seen on a synagogue.
On the 1mandala site we mention how mandalas are found in all religious traditions and are a universally human phenomenon. Indeed! I will add this photo to my collection of cross cultural mandala examples.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The most amazingly beautiful thing happened this morning.
I set out early on a walk through the forest-- my intent to find a beautiful spot for my 090909 peace portrait. You see, today is the World Day of Interconnectedness and we're invitting everyone to make special portraits for today. I wanted to snap one at precisely 9:09 AM. Afterall you only get one shot at this!
I decided a little recklessly to go a way I wasn't familar with-- "always choose the unknown", that's what Osho says. As the special minute approached, I was a tad disapointed with the plain location I found myself in-- I was hoping for a spectaculaly beautiful place. But, I was going with my intuition and well.. There I was.
As I began to take my photo I felt something crawling on my arm. Taking advantage of the tall human stopped in the middle of the path, a spider had decided to start weaving it's web off my arm! I watched in amazement. With a leap it started to connect my arms as I held my camera-- exactly at 9 minutes past 9 Am on 090909 on the world day of interconnectedness!!!
Oh my! How beautifully perfect is that! So here is my 090909 peace portrait-- with a little help from a Slovenian Spider and the vast syncronistic power of the universe.
Because we are one-- even with the spiders! Little did it know that today it would be seen by hundreds of people around the world.
Take and send in your 090909 Peace Portrait today on our new system!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I've been making a lot of beautiful meals for people the last few weeks.
You know-- the type where you get not only the best ingedients, cook it up just right, but also meticulously labour over the presentation. Talking to a friend the other day it struck me that although I easily make these meals for those I love, it is disconcertingly seldom that I prepare one just for myself. Alas, cooking alone tends to lean towards quickness and convenience.
I've been working really hard the last week on the computer. Lots of 1mandala developments and of course Revamping my entire digital life to make the big leap from Macbook to iPhone. Basically, I've been way too computer connected lately! So much so that my friend Wout had to tell me I've been emailing him too much!
I am now taking a few days to chill and disconnect at a meditation centre in the mountains of Slovenia. Lots of deep breathing here.
And, today I made myself a beautiful meal. My mandalic salad is above and it's photo, as a remindr, is thenbackground on my iPhone.
Because I love Russell too!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Last night I did a little cooking for my Italian friend Stefano.
Friday, September 4, 2009
This past weekend I found myself in Ossopo Italy on top of a mountain.
There, my friends Steve and Stafano had planned and organized Italy's first festival of oneness-- il FestOne. They had been trying to convince me for a month that I should make my way back.
Boy, am I glad that I did.
I am still astonished by the beautiful and powerful moments that were manifested. I can't quite beleive we were able to do what we did.
You may have heared of my Dynamic 1Mandala Movie idea. The idea is to orchestrate and film real human mandalas around the planet in sync with the 1Mandala. I explained to Steve and Stefano how I wanted to film the first spiral mandala dance to create a tuturial for doing it in other cities around the planet. They got excited! They wanted to use the FestOne for the first vesion.
The Dynamic 1Mandala idea is pretty simple. People join hands and move around and around in the spiral. Marion back in Berlin had given me the idea, explaining that is was an ancient tradition.
Try as I might I could find NOTHING on this dance on the internet.
Yet, on the festival agenda was my name: "Russell Maier - Leading Dynamic 1Mandala - 5:30 PM"
I was slotted to speak to the entire festival and to actually lead a spiral mandala! Steve had also had me down to close the festival with a big version. I had nooooo idea what to do. I just couldn't quite conceive how the spiral would work.
I panicked a little. Then, I remember that my art is all about collaboration.
If I couldn't figure it out, maybe all of us could! I stood up infront of everybody and explained my vision and my ignorance. I explained that we needed to figure this out all together. I broke everyone in to small groups and we started experimenting.
To my amazement, the first little groups kinda got it. Then we all join hands and it actually worked! That was a magical moment. Afterwards, I pulled the participants together and asked for their ideas and feelings on the experience. All sorts of great ideas came out.
I mentioned in a previous blog that lover Peggy had come all the way down from Berlin to visit me. On Sunday, working with the ideas of everyone, Peggy and I set to work together to figure out how to do the big closing spiral mandala. I had been a little scared to work with someone I loved, yet this fear quickly melted as her energy combined with mine and a beautifully symbolic dance spontaneously developed over the course of the day.
We discovered that if you draw the dance pattern in the sand it actually makes two merging spirals. Just ike the Ying and the Yang. Peggy suggested a man and a women lay these spirals out in the beginning of the dance. She also had the idea of having a man and a woman in the centre on the tip of each spiral. Steve had the idea that they should play music. Before we knew it, we had found a male drummer and a woman with an incredible ability to rythmically sing.
The closing cermony began by forming a great big circle alternating male-female holding hands. The circle then folded into a spiral. The music began and the spiral began to move. People began to dance. A beautiful symbol of the harmonious merging of male and female energies came to life.
Above is a still frame from one of the movies taken of the closing ceremony. It wasn't just a success, it was an incredibly powerful experience. People have been euphorically sharing their joy with me on the experience. How beautiful and symbolic that Peggy and I, man and woman, with the harmonious love between us, were able to create the outline of this spiral.
They FestOne was the first coming together of Italians to celebrate Oneness and to embrace New World Consciousness. Many spoke of how special it was to have Italians from all over the very diverse country to be there.
This is the first FestOne of many to come. This was also the first of many to come in this 1Movie project.
We are working on the YouTube film this weekend. Soon to come!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I am on the precipice of a major life transition. I stand ontop of a cliff and prepare to jump. Or, more aptly, to toss my laptop off into the nether!
For the last two decades I have had a computer-- from our family's first Mac 512 to a constant succession of laptops over the last ten years. Including this one. My black MacBook that I now type on. It may as well be an appendage! I take it everywhere and crack it open for hours each day.
This means my computer life has given me all sorts of deeply entrenched life patterns-- coffee and computing in the morning, particular postures, a desperate need to check my e-mail once a day, etc. My laptop in fact determines a vast extent of my life-- from the way I spend a good percentage of my day to the way I relate and express myself to the people I love. I use the computer, but it also uses me.
I am going to let all this go.
Some of you may have read my previous post: I have an iDream. In it I offered to exchange my MacBook for an iPhone-- I had this crazy dream is to be able to orchestrate my collaborative art projects only using an iPhone. Less than two days after posting the blog my friend Stefano offered to do a MacBook/iPhone exchange. I have since been feverishly organizing my digital life to prepare for the leap off the cliff.
I am scared.
I spend so much time on my computer each day that it really isn't just about getting work done. Its kinda like a comfort drug. I get a certain pleasure from the comfort and predictability of being infront of my Macbook. Its even part of my identity, sometimes I open it up in a cafe just to make statement about me with the big apple logo.
Of course, Computers are supposed to help us get stuff done, not the reason why we do stuff. Just like painkillers are suppose to help us feel better, not the reason why we feel better.
Its an important distinction. The latter is called dependance! Dependence is seeped in unconsciousness. Computer use isn't necessarily bad-- it is bad however when you are unaware, dependent and unconscious of how a technology is dictating your life. Like me!
But no longer. I intend to face my fears, my dependence and my unconsciousness head on. No more will I be able to find solace hunched in front a screen for hours at a time.
Of course, I am not giving up on technology. The opposite. To do what I am about to do is in fact going to leverage the absolute latest technologies. I will be using my top of the line iPhone 3GS to orchestrate an incredible planetary project and work with my team around the world. I will be using the latest communication software, hardware and social media technologies.
My intention is that with the powerful communication ability of the iPhone, yet its inability to do complex design and web work, I will compell myself to step out of the centre of the 1Mandala project and make way for full out collaboration. I won't be able to type long e-mails. Instead though, I will be able to send much richer communications-- voice e-mails and videos and photos with ease. Since I won't be able to type as fast, I will need to focus on the most important communications.
My equipement load on my bike will also be drastically reduced! No more laptop bag, clunky charger, ipod, camera, and all the cables that come with each. Just a little iPhone for my pocket. In my quest to travel with less and less, this too will be a major step.
I see not only my load being lightening, but my time opening up and my opportunities to spend it! I already seen myself meditating more, learning languages faster, reading books again, working on my lucid dreaming, taking my yoga further, sending funner communications to the people I love, etc.
My friend Steve called today. My new iPhone is purchased and waiting for me to pick up tonight.
My running approach to the cliff has begun......
I took this photo cycling through Tuscany when I felt so fantastic I just had to stop an express it!