New Blog

Hello friends!

I've imported this blog into Wordpress and will be continuing to post art-icles through my new site!

Here's the link to my new blog: http://condensedcloud.wordpress.com/

my website: www.condensedcloud.com

my Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/condensedcloud

and facespace: http://www.facebook.com/ben.wuest1




Buddhism is a soul business primarily dealing in ancestor death. Graveyards are man made religious landscapes. Buddhism believes in anatman or no eternal seperate self/soul but they are not burying the dead and performing rites for a soul, they are helping those that are living and grieving the passing of a part of themselves and thus by animating the soul they are able to assist in the rebirth and facilitate the ever-changing transfer of energy.

When staying in a shingon temple atop of Mt, Koyusan I had the opportunity to be guided through this graveyard and led through the Ajikan Moon Disc Meditation. Shingon meditation activates visual references such as mandalas by empowering them with mantras to harmonize the voice mind with the visual embodiment.

The Ajikan meditation consists of approaching an image of the moon and performing three prostrations followed by sitting and viewing the moon with a relaxed gaze. One than can chant "Ah Vi Ra Un Ka" 100 times to stimulate the cakra body. Following this should follow 100 homage mantras to ones guru or god and than begin chanting the seed syllable "Ah"Ah is the empty, free, eternal ah-ha. After a short period the meditator closes their eyes and continues to envision the moon in their internal vision, opening their eyes as much as one needs until able to sustain the vision.

Transforming the disc into a tiny sphere, we take the sphere into our heart center and begin breathing into it as it slowly begins to encompass all of our organs and eventually our bodies. Than allowing the ball to encompass our neighbors without judgements, we continue then to expand to the size of our building, city, state and eventually the entire world, moon, stars, galaxies until all is one within. Exit the meditation with a rapid reverse and don't forget your final prostrations!

Want more? Here's a link to a mandala of the Shingon cosmology!

And here's art on the Bardo Thodol or Land of the Dead

And the lord of the dead


Playing the game; BlackJack and Dominos

As in life, art is a space of unlimited and often unpredictable possibilities. When one approaches art with open spontaneity and drops the self-conscious analytical mind they allow for the natural rhythms of life to manifest in their work. By allowing the strokes of a brush to dance freely the artist may find an effortless effort which allows for their true self to create itself through the quietude of intuitive knowledge. The allowance required to let go begins with an embrace of the entire life of spirit which far transcends artistic skill into the art of the soul.   The process of discovery is not knowing the outcome but being open to change and seeing new possibilities which require leaving behind preconceptions of form. In essence, one must sense what they did not know they knew. This is the transition from becoming to being, intuition to realization, a trust and receptivity which allows the idea to reveal itself.

To illustrate chance and more specifically to the nature of taking risks I chose to print a sword swallowing Jack.  Taking risks is opening yourself up to change, accepting the possible outcomes and to try. Taking a risk is a practice of faith that demonstrates your trust and willingness to overcome obstacles such as fear of rejection, failure and a need for approval.  Risk taking allows release from the isolating  box of over dependent certainty. A very karmic coincidental occurrence happened during my class critique and that was that our own class magician Patrick Burke had printed an Ace and together we had blackjack.  I hope this piece can encourage you daily, to take a chance.

Singles:$21 Double Composition:$30

For more art on the nature of chance and risks check out this link!!


Giving Practice

Corepower yoga has given me the greatest gift I've ever received and that is the gift of a Vinyasa Yoga practice. Vinyasa is not calisthenics, aerobics, gymnastics or simply stretching but really something much deeper. Vinyasa yoga directly translates as Nyasa"to place" and vi "in a special way" or "moving with intention" Practitioners flow through a sequence of various movements and asanas(postures) while concurrently linking the breath to every movement. The mind following suit becomes immovable in that it stops for nothing and is always moving in relationship with the present inhaltion and exhalations.

Yoga can be exclusively used as external exercise, or to control the external senses or even purify the inner nervous system and distill the mind. The mental support of physical assertion allows clairvoyance of perceiving ones direct nature. There is no one "right way" to practice yoga however a consistently humble practice with the best intention allows for a firm foundation for cultivating the cessation of fluctuations of the mind.

 The best intention is not to get rock hard abs and than drink jag bombs til your shirt comes off. That is an ok intention but whats the best intention? Could it be to end suffering? Shanti(peace)?Moksha (liberation)? To synchronize body, mind, and spirit? To have the the opposing energies in the body balanced and shot through the sushuma channel to purify our mind and realize our true identity as god? That's a question only the yogi can answer as yoga is a self critiquing subject. Only after a yogi allows them-self to receive and perceive the present that is their practice are they than able to see, criticize and study their self to know themselves and their best Intention.

Still need a hint? The best intention is in your self and bigger than your self.  Try giving your intention up to someone, something bigger than yourself and humbly receive your gift, your present, your practice.

"And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give"-Paul Mccartney

Inspired by Shel Silversteins Giving Tree

T.K.V. Desikachar
Pattabhi Jois
B.K.S Iyengar
and the teachers at CorePower Yoga

Check out more of my Corepower art!
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Yoga Power


Teeny Teens

To capture the essence of teenagers I illustrated the youth of America. Here I present Attitude and Babies Having Babies. This imagery happened to remind me of a reputable Zen Parable, Please enjoy.

Is That So?

A beautiful girl in the village was pregnant. Her angry parents demanded to know who was the father. At first resistant to confess, the anxious and embarrassed girl finally pointed to Hakuin, the Zen master whom everyone previously revered for living such a pure life. When the outraged parents confronted Hakuin with their daughter's accusation, he simply replied "Is that so?"

When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility. "Is that so?" Hakuin said calmly as he accepted the child.

For many months he took very good care of the child until the daughter could no longer withstand the lie she had told. She confessed that the real father was a young man in the village whom she had tried to protect. The parents immediately went to Hakuin to see if he would return the baby. With profuse apologies they explained what had happened. "Is that so?" Hakuin said as he handed them the child.


Vincent Van Gone, the After Gogh

I placed an airbrush artist (Kasper), a painter(Willard Malebear), three models(Allicia Christensen, Zoee Taylor, Melanie Hunt), two acrobats (Brandon Wharton & Rebecca Yale, a harpist (Andrea), and a latex specialist mask making performer(Brently Davis) all in one place and said GO

This is Vincent Van Gogh experiencing the land of the dead.

For more on the Bardo Thodol (Land of the Dead)

and Yama, the lord of Death


Project M; Welcome Home

Project M is an international summer intensive program that came to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design this past summer. The project M team encourages design students to think beyond pre-deterministic linear thought pathways and enable them to utilize their potential to benefit the community through art.

The Minneapolis team chose to make Minneapolis more welcoming and homely by distributing door mats reading "welcome home" on sidewalks, apartments and homeless shelters to give the people a sense of belonging and what it feels like to be welcomed. BI hosted the show in their gallery space and gave every MCAD student a blank card with the instructions to write something to inspire the homeless during the holidays and turn them in for a chance to win door prizes. For every card donated 10$ was given to St. Anthony's homeless shelter. I didn't score a new Ipod but the real things worth winning aren't things.