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 […]

One Hundred Images

David Ulrich Photographs 1971-2011I have been taking photographs since I was 11 years old. The nature of light fascinates me. My earliest memory was of the light of the world, and how it also existed within me. It was palpable. I quickly came to love the dual yet paradoxical nature of photography. On the one hand, having a camera was and is a strong encouragement to explore, investigate, and interact […]

Becoming Whole: Education and Ecstasy

Seven Principles of Contemplative EducationIn what way do we cultivate the intelligence of the mind, the wisdom of the body, and the knowing of the heart? Where and how do we learn to make well-reasoned, responsible, and ethical decisions? Did you learn this in school? I certainly didn’t. And . . . why not? We must face the facts. They are staring us in the face, with a wrinkled gaze. […]

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. […]

Encountering the Teachings of Gurdjieff

A Young Man’s SearchOn my college campus in the late Spring of 1970, I witnessed the death of four Kent State students from National Guardsmen’s bullets. Something changed in me. I was snapped out of complacency, sharply distanced from my comfortable middle-class normalcy in one shining though painful moment. I was aflame, and opened to an elusive longing. I began to search for meaning and direction in my life, and […]

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 […]

Creativity and Consciousness

Silence Bursting OutwardArt serves to reflect a society back on to itself; it reveals the shape of our inner and outer lives; and honors the beauty and contradictions of the world. Art can be an expression of our identity as individuals and as a culture. The arts of today reflect a myriad of social, natural, and political realities. However, beyond expressing what is, art may prefigure what can be. It […]