Art and Spiritual Practice

© David UlrichKaho‘olawe, HI © David Ulrich 1994

Art and Consciousness

The Search for Clarity and WisdomIn the last five minutes of a free public critique of photographs, a person asked me about whether we can trust the responses of others. We come (especially in Hawai‘i) from differing cultural backgrounds, experiences, and circumstances. Don’t we bring our own baggage to a response, any response? Can we actually believe that someone is talking about the work, or merely themselves? I answered him […]

Escalante Falls, UT © David Ulrich

Deep Perception

Cultivating the Art of SeeingWhy must we learn to see? Can we learn to open the gates of perception? We have lost something very special: the ability to engage life richly and fully through a concentrated, directed awareness. I believe that the one of the most dangerous elements of modern life and of our contemporary educational system is found in the rapidly decreasing attention span in our selves and our […]

Kealaikahiki Point, Kaho‘olawe Hawai‘i © David UlrichKealaikahiki Point, Kaho‘olawe Hawai‘i © David Ulrich

Longing for Light: Into the Heart of Vision

A month ago, I wrote an essay on this blog, Personal Stories in Word and Image, about my concerns and questions in attempting to write a memoir.  Now, a month later, I have completed six chapters and integrated an older manuscript into a book. The writing flowed; I felt in a white heat as the words spilled on to the page after thirty years of gestation. Never before has a […]

RothkoTryptichMark Rothko, Rothko Chapel

Mirrors and Windows

Finding Wholeness through ArtTruth is found in paradox. Nature seeks balance. Where there is a push, there is a pull. We cannot come to a mature point of view without entertaining the opposing side; we cannot stand for something without standing against something else. As we know from many conflicting positions, truth often lies in the middle, partaking of both sides and fully embracing neither. Our perceptions and thoughts are […]

Personal Stories in Word and Image

I look at a great deal of art. And have read my share of books over a lifetime of inquiry. When I was young, I was fascinated with reading about the civil war. That quickly led to reading biographies of the heroes and heroines who shaped our country and our world. When I was ten years old, my parents conceded to my well articulated whining for an adult library card. […]

Sistine Chapel, Michaelangelo

Intersecting Currents: The Artist and the Community

We live in an increasingly interdependent world that compels each of us to take responsibility: for ourselves, each other, and planet earth. Beyond our individual creative efforts, there is a world out there—that we interact with, that provides the material for our work, and that we communicate with through the results of our creative efforts. We are in debt to the society and the people who have informed us, shaped […]

Matthieu RicardMatthieu Ricard © David Ulrich

A Patch of Blue Sky

Excerpts from an interview with Matthieu RicardThe full text of this interview appeared in Parabola magazine Vol. 37, no. 2, Summer 2012, titled Alone and Together. DU: Matthieu, we are trying to understand how a larger intelligence is available to us, and how we can come together to contact this intelligence. Philosopher Jacob Needleman asks: “How to come together and think and hear each other in order to touch, or […]

Alan ArkinAlan Arkin © Suzanne Arkin

Broadening the Arc of Devotion

An Interview with Alan ArkinAlan Arkin has been a major star of stage, screen, and  television for nearly fifty years. Best known for his  roles  in such films as Wait Until Dark, Catch-22, Edward Scissorhands, and Little Miss Sunshine (an Oscar-winning role), Arkin is also a master teacher. Along with his ongoing work as an actor/director/writer, he has taught retreats at The Omega Institute, Bennington College, and Columbia College. I […]