Photography

The Reenchantment of Vision

Opening the Gates of PerceptionWhen I was growing up, we hungered for the sight of the soul—to witness the invisible, slender threads that interweave all things and to search for a connection to the underlying sacredness and mystery of life. Many of us took drugs. A lot of them. I didn’t. I meditated. Either way, we longed for a taste of the infinite. “This is how one ought to see, […]

What is Inspiration?

A sudden answer to a long perplexing problem, a burst of insight that deeply informs your creative work, a moment of wisdom that changes the shape of your life forever or even the fabric of society; these moments are highly inspiring. As artists and creative individuals, we seek to know—and come to rely upon—these stunning moments of epiphany and insight. It is said that Beethoven could “hear” the music, and […]

5 Ways of Self-Knowing Through Art

Adapted from Art and Spiritual Practice: A Pathway Towards Consciousness by David Ulrich Working with an art or craft, or engaging any activity with passion and care, can be a path toward self-knowledge. What gifts and challenges can creativity offer an individual on the way toward self-knowledge? 1.)  Art is a search for what is our own—our essential nature, the kernel of our true individuality. Our genuine beliefs, innate talents, and deepest […]

Devotion: Giving and Receiving

With the holidays upon us, we’ve been thinking a great deal about devotion, and what it means to give and to receive. The holidays are meant to invoke feelings of connection, peace, love, and joy. Even so, the streets and shopping centers are wretched with anxiety-ridden consumers. The act of giving has lost its significance as a symbol of love and devotion. Giving can be an act of gratitude, a […]

Photography for Social Change

Chaminade University, Spring 2013The following images were drawn from the final portfolios in my Chaminade University class, Photography for Social Change, Spring 2013. The class is an introduction to photography with an emphasis on using the camera as an instrument to reveal social issues or to assist in seeking positive solutions to the problems which vex us all. —David Ulrich Alanah Torre: “In this series of photos, neglect is not […]

To Question . . .

Poet Rainer Maria Rilke writes: “Try to love the questions themselves. … Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” To question is life itself. I wrote this ten years ago. And understand it more clearly now, as I likely will find greater clarity ten years from now. Our insights are evolving—always—if we seek […]

Authenticity: Seeing the Truth

“Know Thyself.” Socrates words, derived from the Delphic Oracle of ancient Greece,resound with an inner force as clear and direct as their first utterance over twenty-five centuries ago. These two simple words lie at the heart of the world’s great teachings and have had a profound impact on the thought and inquiry of western civilization. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my own — my path, my […]

The Artist and the Yogini

“It is an audacious notion to put forth in this age of science and willful determination that one’s existence is somehow inspired, guided, and even managed by unseen forces outside our control. Whether called fate, destiny, or the hand of God, slender threads are at work bringing coherence and continuity to our lives. Over time they weave a remarkable tapestry. … These are the mysterious forces that guide us and […]