Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
One of my watercolor sketches for the mural
All my life I've wanted to live in a traditional indigenous village. I pictured it being somewhere in the amazon. Little did I expect it would happen this past year in the mountains of the Philippines. But it did. What an unbelievable experience. I mean, it has been off the freaking charts. First, it has been unbelievably tough. Running out of food, money, everything. Second, it has been unbelievably profound. You know how it is the modern-generation-x dream to sell everything and live in an Eco-intentional-community? Well, baby-- the village I live in is a last vestige of full out old fashioned sustainability and integrated indegious wisdom community and family. I feel like a fool for not integrating more deeply into the community sometimes.
But, that's me just being hard on myself. I have learned so much. What I take with me, the stories and the sights, are the type of profound wisdom that us modern-yuppy-hippies (I write from a Starbucks) need to integrate. And we are. And this experience surely has meaning and wealth to it far beyond what I can see from this plush couch.
I desperately need to process this. And so I am. I am doing a mural in my friend Vince's cafe. Vince is one of my best friends here. He's given me beer and food when I was tapped out. The mural will be an ode of grattitude, inspiration, integration and subconscious processing of the unbelievably rich life I have lived this last year.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
This has to be one of the coolest mandalas I've co-created so far.
The idea was sparked a month ago when my friend Irina made a visit to Sagada. We both lamented the dire lack of sexual consciousness and the dire toll that inexorable over population on the environment and quality of life in the Philippines. A personal experience involving two friends and an accidental pregnancy had brought the issue close to heart.
I reflected that Mandalas are all about raising consciousness. Why not put them to work here?
Why not build a mandala out of thousands of condoms!
It was a crazy thought, but within days the elements began to coalesce. The intention took on a birthing of its own. We met Tyronne and May in Bontoc who resonated with the idea and scheduled it in an upcoming conference. Irina returned to Manila and within a week had secured condoms. Funds then followed.
And... This past Monday, during the Youth Summit for Population, Health and the Environment, we pulled it off!
150 youth leaders from all over Mountain Province arrived and became involved in the co-creation. That morning, Paulo from Frenzy condoms arrived with 3500 condoms in a rainbow of colors. With the help of Lloyd, May and the 'Bontoc United Community for Modern patriots' we began sketching out the design. As the conference progressed, condom by condom, the mandala emerged.
It was a fantastic consciousness raising success! The process involved involved touching, opening, and inspecting condoms. You must understand that here, like many, many other towns in developing countries, most folks have never seen a condom, let alone touched or talked about them. Sex and protection are an unspoken of taboo subject here- despite of course it's ubiquitous inevitable reality among the demographic. Having the condoms around in this playful artistic context gave the youth an opportunity to socialize, laugh and joke around-- busting through fears and naivety.
The provincial Governor passed by to see what we were doing. In a speech praising the activity, he admitted that he too had never seen a condom before. Other speakers likewise talked about how this minimal sexual and reproductive consciousness has a major environmental and social toll.
It was an awesome example of how art and mandalas raise consciousness. The creative process meant the experience of seeing, touching and talking and joking about the condoms.
Irina had been skeptical about opening some of the condoms to add them mandala, thinking it a waste. I too! But at the end, she and I saw it differently. "Now they actually know how to open a condom. They aren't scared of them anymore."
Inspired by the way my lover Sarah does mandalas, we paused the conference, held hands around the mandala, and performed a ritual reading. Together we read and affirmed the intention/prayer: "May the youth of Mountain Province be empowered to be conscious and intentional about using their sexual and creative energy to make the world a better place."
Amen! Let it be so!
At the end of the conference as we processed the experience, the youth were effusive about how they enjoyed and learned from the creative process. A young man got the mike and made a joke. "Today I got a glimpse into the crystal ball of my friends' futures here... You won't be having babies any time soon!"
View the full gallery of photos on Facebook
Movie to come!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
After a recent visit to the Coloocan river, the youth from MCYPD we're deeply moved by just how polluted their river has become. The elders shared stories of how fish, turtles and people used to swim and play in the water. The youth felt strongly that one day they would like to see the turtles return. It will be alot of work, but we started today with a little step. Using chalk we drew fish, turles, and more marine life around a community drain. The drain of course flows to the river. And the river to the ocean. We must be conscious of our contributions to the river of life. And a little re-minder always helps! Next we hope to paint the creatures beside the other drains in the community.
Friday, April 1, 2011
A dramatic peace portrait of the General Secretary of the Japanese Embassy receiving a Lotus with one of your prayers from a Muslim youth
We then asked you, our 1Mandala followers to share your prayers for Japan on our Facebook page. The prayers that you posted, the youth wrote onto their papers before transforming them into lotuses.
The lotus were presented this week in a mandala interfaith prayer ceremony and ritual in front of the Japanese Embassy. It was attended by leaders of half a dozen faiths. The centerpiece lotus, shown here, was handed by Jafarri to the General Secretary of the Embassy. It is a beautiful multi layered symbol of our interconnectedness across times of renewal, catastrophe, and culture.
You can view the full album of photos from the event here:
tags: peaceportraitoftheday, 1actions, 1lotus, japan, philippines