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. […]

Learning To See

The Power of Direct PerceptionMy predilection is to see, because only by seeing can a man of knowledge know. —Don Juan as reported by Carlos Castaneda First I must look, then I must learn. —Theodore Roethke We have become a nation of specialists. This is a good thing since it allows all individuals to find an area of focused interest that corresponds closely to their talents and predilections. My specific […]

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 […]