Art and Spiritual Practice

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 […]

Akron, OH © David UlrichAkron, OH © David Ulrich

What is Photographic Vision?

Finding your Artistic Voice In any MediumWho are we? In teaching art and photography, I am always struck by the fact that we have reached adulthood without fully understanding how to see, without having discovered our intrinsic vision or voice. Human vision contains enormous potential that we have not yet fully realized. And how can we open our vision, open the doors of perception to the inner and outer worlds? […]

© Kanani Ann Daley© Kanani Ann Daley

Creativity and Yoga

Exploring the Creative Process: Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center on MauiLaura and I are currently planning our Creativity and Yoga workshops for later this month at Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center on Maui. And we are asking the question: what serves what? Are we using yoga to stimulate creativity, or are we using creativity to assist in one’s yoga practice. The answer is neither and both. Both disciplines are equal […]

Paradoxes of Creativity

What is this state of being human? There are many paradoxes and contradictions inherent in the human condition, and by extension, in the creative process.  Through creativity we are called to be more, not less, of what we are; to embrace both our angels and our demons; and to arrive at a larger perspective, one that contains many contradictory impulses. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that the sign of true […]

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Reconciling the Dance of OppositesInner work is paradoxical. We are asked to delve fully into ourselves to see the shape of our inner being and the myriad manifestations of our conditioned selves. Yet we are asked to transcend ourselves and the unconscious, habituated parts of our nature. We need both discipline and surrender, assertion and receptivity. We are guided by the force of great ideas, but growth of awareness moves […]

Diamonds and Rust: Art and Inner Life

A Conversation with David Ulrich Art is a non-verbal communication between artist and viewer, and yoga is a means towards connection and wholeness within a field of fragmentation. And from the simple act of conversation and creative collaboration between two people can emerge a completely new entity. David Ulrich and I have shared many conversations about art, yoga, and inner work over the past year, which is in fact, how The Slender Thread began. […]