Pack & Dip

So, as I wrote in my second to last blog, this semester is my final semester at MUM. Therefore, this coming block in May will be my final block.

But you know what? Instead of feeling nostalgic, weary, or anxious, I’m actually really happy.

Not because I didn’t appreciate my time here. Goddess knows I’ve grown so much. But because I’ve grown so much, I can earnestly say that I can perceive my past, present, and future with wizened and loving eyes all around.

And so I pack. And come across papers I wrote years ago. And I marvel at the passion behind my ambiguous and searching words that were, nevertheless, elegantly formed. And I relish in my artwork, whose aggressive strokes and cliché themes reveal even more clearly the undercurrents of that period in my life. And I feel my being smile as I read my poetry, look over my doodles, and think about answers that I have now, for the questions I had then.

And a desire to share bubbled,

And below lies it’s expression.

Enjoy;)

Here’s a poem I wrote in March of 2010, reflecting on my base camp experience at MUM with an associative MVS (Maharishi Vedic Science) point.

“Rest and Activity are the steps of Progress”

Rest and Activity

Progressively so,

First run then skip

Then transition to slow.

Down spirals of action

Into calm place connect.

Correct, reflect, re-set

& as one we get

Deeeepppperrrr.

:giggle:

& here’s a line from a poem I wrote from another class that year:

“Are we the winners?

Yes, We Are One.”

 

& finally, in February of 2010 I was given the assignment in my first course at MUM to write four big questions regarding my life.  They were supposed to be questions that I didn’t have answers for but hoped to gain insight into while attending MUM. I distinctly remember willing myself to be as general as possible with my words (having a tendency at the time to specify everything in regard to the present movement I was apart of.) I look at these questions with deep warmth, especially as I perceive the answers I have gained. Below is that past/present dialogue:

1. How can I inspire people to become active in the evolution of social humanity?

By emanating and culturing my own evolution through meticulously expressed metaphors of the harmonic wholeness of all of existence.

2. What is the best way for me to help bring about a sustainable world?

The world doesn’t need to be made sustainable, the world is the source of sustainability. It is our relationship with the world that needs transformation.

Our relationship with the world is presently unsustainable because it is based out of perceived scarcity.

However, while semantically the opposite of scarcity is abundance, an abundant relationship with the world is not a sustainable one.  Both abundance and scarcity are projections that we make upon the world, and either one will only further our delusion of separation and control, which is, as reflected by our present society, at its core unsustainable.

An effective story to create a sustainable relationship with the world is a story that honors the deep wisdom of and guidance from nature/the world/the universe. Seeing all as one organism, a celestial symphony within which we are an endlessly fluctuating chord, we will intend to and culturally support bringing our awareness to the ever present harmonic wholeness that pervades all of existence.

The best way for me to bring about a sustainable world is to, not project that the world needs me to make it sustainable, but to bring my awareness (through intention and culturing) to the ever present guidance from the world as an aspect of the world, to participate in this Journey of All Beings integrative and beyond my most nourishing dreams.

3. What form of expression works best with my personality?

My personality is fluid. I shall express my truth in spiralic authenticity.

4. Which Rest/Activity combination works best with my physiology?

My physiology is fluid and integrative of more bodies then my mind’s eye perceives presently. I shall let the harmony of the universe guide my actions and rest.



 

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Pace, Walk, Run, Fly

Pace the Walkway

Walk the Runway

Run the Flyway

Fly! You got it.

 

 

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Steps into the Unknown

Sometimes it’s easy to forget there’s another world beyond simply being a student.

Especially, when things are going so well like they are here.

But like one of my new favorite artists, Cree Summers says in her amazing song Savior Self, “time’s steady changing” and if I want to keep growing, learning, and discovering, I must prepare to take my next steps into the unknown.

And I gotta admit, it wasn’t the easiest choice.

Don’t get me wrong. I have plans, BIG plans. But where to begin? What’s my next move? I had only a vague clue.

Up until 2 weeks ago, that is:)

…Yup, you guessed right!

Another amazing course at MUM that has transformed and fueled my journey.

This course: Career Strategies.

Don’t let the name misguide you. (I let it misguide me and was happily redirected to appreciation very quickly)

The class is as interesting as any art or media class I’ve taken as of yet.  Actually it’s even more interesting, because not only am I creating “art” that expresses me, I’m also art-ifying myself with a purpose!

In this course we developed our resumes, cover letters, personal and professional goals, and then did final projects of our choosing.

And let me tell you, while creating and honing in on my own skills and intentions was great and all, listening and being inspired by my peers was even better.

We really do have some amazing people at this school, from people starting non-profits for Haiti to people building retreat centers for healing, all the students in the class have amazing “gifts for this shift.”

I chose to create a portfolio website as a part of my final project. And I just can’t get enough of tinkering with it. It’s just plain fun, and I’m reveling in all it’s implications for connecting and explaining who I am and what I do.

Yes, yes, yes!!!


So, with a clear vision in my mind, and the inspiration of not being alone on this journey, I prepare for what possibly may be my final course at MUM next block, Geometry:/….for the artist;) (Honestly i’d like math either way, the artist part is that wonderful icing that MUM so often supplies)

ps. here’s a link to my portfolio, enjoy, engage, expose!

http://ldotifeproductions.wordpress.com/

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Me.dia Projects

I used that title play before, I know…but it’s so hard not to use it again when there’s so many opportunities here to delve deeper into…me!!

And if your battling with the feeling that “selfishness” is a negative thing, I challenge you to ponder on the concept that as I embody my own wholeness through integration, my authentic Self effortlessly affects the development of the consciousness of those around me.

So perceiving and grounding in Self? Top Priority.

…And back to the actual topic of this blog.

My latest class: Media Projects.

A class that allows the students to work on whatever media project they want, with the support, advice, and encouragement of the students and the professor creating a wonderful space of direction, focus, and expansion.

From Films to Music, Photoshop to Web Design, I am immersed in creativity and genius.

I love this school for the endless opportunities to dive, relish, and express.

Here’s a short music video I created in this class that embodies just that:)

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Dumplin’s @ MUM

DIY Dumplings!!! And lots of great people:)

Enjoy pictures from our 2012 Chinese New Year celebration!

 

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Endless excuses to look within.

It’s January 27th, a Thursday, and the last day of my first block at MUM in 2012.

I’m already finished a block? How is that possible? …you may ask:)

Well, it wasn’t a full block, but half a block, what’s called a forest block.
We have them in the beginning of every semester, and if your particularly acute you may have noticed that forest can also be read as for-rest. Which is precisely what these blocks are intended to do.
Integrate us back into the school environment in a easeful way.

Someone once told me back in the day Maharishi would lierally take students into the forest for this rest, but considering the source of nature is within ourselves, a class that inspires deep introversion and reflection is just as valuable as going to the forest any day.

Well..maybe not..I do love my occasional tree hug and climb..can’t get that in a classroom.

Either way, this forest I was given lots and lots of time to climb the jungle of my mind, through reflecting on any rich transcendental experiences in my life and creating an art piece that could embody one of those experiences.

I was also given lots of inspiration through listening to other people’s transcendental experiences, be they making music, sewing the White house for their land (yup, you read that right) or simply, and profoundly sitting at Maharishi’s feet and getting indirect and yet oh so direct tasks that not only stretched their time and energy, but also their will and soul.

It was wonderful, and I commend my professors Nynke and Cullen for letting us talk to real life people instead of watching videos (which is what they did in previous years) and also on holding such supportive space while we all created our pieces.

For my project I decided to reflect on the last 4 years of my life with a 2 minute metaphor. But it didn’t start off that way.
I initially wanted to create a realistic animation of the last 4 years, but as I worked with the project and talked with the professors, I realized that the project would take much longer then 2 weeks to complete (more like 2 years:)), and decided the feelings of the experiences were much more important then the details, and therefore was harmoniously inspired to use the metaphor of a seedling blossoming and the process that comes with it.

So here it is, all complete and ready for your enjoyment.
Feel free to comment below!

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The Grand Opening of Vishwa Café


Free Co-op tea area?

Live Music?

Atmosphere inspired and created by students?

What else could you ask for in a university Cafe?!


Well, with organic fire oven pizza, an awesome chill area (with sofa’s-n-everything!), fresh warm drinks like coffee, hot cocoa, and chai, and cold drinks like smoothies, a stage area, and much, much more, the Vishwa Café goes far beyond expectations of a typical university café.

Recently they just had their grand opening, and even though the café has officially been operating for the last 5 months, they finally feel that it’s complete after adding final touches like decorations and organizing the tea co-op.

They also took this opportunity to honor some of the people that helped out.

Big up’s to Bob Daniels, Rianna Kopel, and Zach Dean among the many others who brought this idea to life!

 

All in all it was pleasant and sweet,  we got to hear about all that went into the development of this great new addition to the school and share in the celebration of it’s completion through music, cookies, and lots and lots of smiles:)


& considering that I eat there practically every other day for lunch, and find myself hanging out there every once in a while after class with friends, I can already say I’m enjoying the benefits.

 

They plan to start having performances there like concerts and poetry events, so stay tuned for updates on those superduper potentially epic happenings;)

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Understanding Art and Me.dia :)

Yesterday was the first day of class this block, and I’m taking a course called Understanding art and media.

I came into this class kind-of hesitantly because I initially didn’t sign up for the course, and was going to do a directed study instead. But considering that I spent all of last month practically by myself in my own personal studies, I felt a huge pull to be with other people and learn something orchestrated by another.

So there I was, first day of class, and I’m not even sure I want to be there.

Regardless, I get to class early and have an opportunity to bump into the professor.  I tell him my name and we chat a bit about the origin of my name and how it comes from the Ife tribe of Nigeria and how awesome the art is from that tribe.

I love the professors here because so many of them want to connect just as much I do, so the conversation was rich and by the end of it I was made aware of another awesome professor at Yale who studied African cultures and taught them in a very unique way.  This exposure brought out something very significant and serendipitous to my journey that I’ll bring out later on in this post.

Anyway, so there I was at the beginning of class.  And we all know what happens at the beginning of class right? You know, the most awkward part of class… those initial introductions!

 

 

Like, even when you know everyone in the class, which at that point I practically did, it’s still soooo awkward to say your name and try to describe yourself in a couple of sentences. At least it is for me anyway.

 

 

 

But this is where it’s gets juicy.  The professor, Matthew Beaufort, asked us to say our names and experiences with art thus far…like if we were artists what kind-of art medium we used or what courses around art we’ve taken before.

 

So of course, me being me, I start to get all revved up to introduce myself.

And of course, I stutter and don’t say what I really mean.

I mean, I say my name yes, and I think I called myself a musician and a filmaker, which I am, but afterwords I got to thinking…does that really describe me?

Am I musician? A filmmaker? Is that really all that I am in regards to art or all I want to be.

And this is where the epiphany of self discovery happened!

I realized and remembered my dream and was able to give it a name.

A Production Artist!

 

Ok, I admit, it’s not that glorious of a title…

But it REALLY embodies everything I want to do! Which is to collaborate with other artists and create performance pieces that expose the audience to a culture of wholeness in an entertaining and enlightening way, through various mediums of art.

And it related serendipitously to the yale professor that the professor of my class, Matthew Beaufort, mentioned to me prior because that professor uses performance art to teach about African cultures.  He recognizes the value of all the many layers of art and is able to be fluid enough in his expression to give his students a full experience and really transform his students.

Here’s an article on this amazing professor here:

They call him “The professor of Mambo.” :)

So, to bring this all together, I love the first day of class and even the awkward introductions because they give me a chance to reflect on who I am and what I am bringing to the class, and even more so, they give me an opportunity to reflect and redefine on my intention for the future.

With all these reflection in the first five mintues of class, I can only imagine how much unveiling will happen moving forward.

How I love this school and the depth of experience I acquire in every moment!

Thank Universe, MUM, and Professor Beaufort!

:D

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Ela’s Self Play

This is Ela.

hmm, well sort-of.

She’s doing a Self Portraiture Studio course this month:

She says:

“As an artist, it’s my natural impulse to push my perspectives.  For this studio course I chose to focus only on Self-Portraiture. The category can have broad implications and when I began the class I sort-of expected that i’d get really abstract and associative with the art, but that hasn’t been the case.  I’ve mostly been drawing my face in different mediums, taking photos… For the first 2 weeks I took pictures of myself everyday hoping to just capture the wider content of my personality.  What has happened instead is that I became fascinated with the face itself.”

When I walked into Ela’s studio space, I was blown away by the work she was doing.  It was so illuminating and entertaining to see all the many facets of her personality captured in these little snapshots of herself, and then put together in this mozaic form of liquid awesomeness.

This is my favorite:

I mean how can that preciousness not warm your heart?? :)

Ela says:

“None of the masks I wear are Me – they are all just potentialities that get expressed for a while and then are replaced by others.”

And when she says masks she literally means masks.

“As students at MUM we are taught the value of Self-Referral.  There’s a lot of potential here –  we’re encouraged to dive into the information that is taught to us and to make it our own, not just to recite facts. The whole concept and teachings of ‘All things in terms of the Self’ has been really potent for me.”

And indeed it has! As I continued to revel in the artwork of expression that embodies Ela I began to feel a sincere sense of comfort in connection that only an authentic expression can give. I began to relate, not only to Ela as a person, but Ela as a being beyond that physical person, that same being that I identify as myself.

I love this school and the meditation technique, TM, because it offers a simple way to identify with that which is the core of everything…and in identifying with that I am able to appreciate all expression of it as well. Especially when it’s as funky as this!!


 

“Nothing you see – my art, my body, my face – is the Wholeness, me. It’s just what you see.” ~Ela

Thank you Ela for what we see and all that you embody!

 

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Being Blown Away

Endlessly.

To experience someone in a new light, a clear reflection, an old light refurbished.

To perceive someone’s essence shining through the fog of today’s typical version of humanity.

This makes life worth living.

“Shock me, Surprise me with Bliss” I beckon to She, the Universal Wisdom of the Mother.
And I am heard and given this:

http://ericsalisbury.tumblr.com/post/12284417700/music-and-inspiration

This blog, this man. Passionately, intensely writing about his love for music, his connection and inspiration. In an eloquence that I haven’t seen in ages, an eloquence that rings the bell of my heart and womb and reminds me of the genius of humanity.

Inspiring me to want to write when all I have to offer is simple praise. Hesitating thinking what will come out of this novel space that I’m in, and yet not being able to not write.  To not express and share this feeling with the world.

What makes my experience with this blog even more powerful is that as the person that I have met outside of this web he is wonderful, and in my experience very quiet, so to read his words in such depth and clarity and intelligence transformed and shook so many of my realities in regard to how I perceive people, him and of course this reverberated to all my other relationships as well.

Inspiring me to reflect on this school I am attending and the wonderful people that I have met while here.

People like this:

…whose authentic smiles are seamlessly seen as light, bliss, & poetry.
…whose expressions are the embodiment of what it means to experience a moment in joy.
And I look to my facebook page and I scroll my news feed and all I see are things like this:
…and I am moved to tears and bliss at the quality of friendships that I have gained.
I knew, coming here, that I was coming to a school where all the hippies, weirdoes, peace-nicks, and freaks have gathered and just want to feel love and consciously apply it to their education and future.  I knew that these connections would extend beyond my imagination.
I didn’t know, however, that they would change, extend, & transform my appreciation for life in such a profound way.
Tomorrow is my Birthday, and it is the first time in years that I truly look forward to connecting with my friends, with my new family, and enjoying the day that I came from my mother’s womb.  A day that usually for me is immense with reflection and almost sadness for the world that I live in, but this year it’s very different.

This year I approach my day with an intention and an acceptance of joy that I will experience, because that is what the people in Fairfield bring.

My MUM & Fairfield family are embellished with golden lockets of joy around their necks, and they wear their hearts and their passions on their sleeves as they hold their arms wide and embrace every aspect of this Universe and I, being a inextricable part, feel held.

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