Thy first year say of plunderfest got all sorts a scurvy wervy. There be a camp fer space pirates, dead pirates, regularrrr pirates, vikings, lost boys, booty bay bucaneers and a course the pirates worst enemy, the ninjas. With all sorts of sheninjagans the madness set in quite nicely. 

Tharr be a numbarrr of secret ninja missions but parrhaps the funnest parrrt was thy search for tha booty. I happened to intarrrcept the clues midway when my friend sweetness received harrr paarrrt of thy puzzle that said "bring me something sweet" I just so happened to of brought the vendor coconut bliss to the festival and was able to snag a full tub of bliss for a coconutcase. She slipped me the next clue which was to bring a musical instarrment to the prince of the lost boys. I happened to know peterpan personally and brought him a tune from my didgeridoo. The prince of plunder presented me with the next clue which was to bring a jolly roger to ase. This stalled the search for a mere minute, I wasn't quite sure where to find a jolly roger but I came to thine realization that I could simply draw one on a rolling paper. I rather suddenly then just so happened to find a ninja wearing an ace on his shirt dancing amongst the madness. He gave me a skull ring with a red bandannarrrr painted on and said this be yarrr final clue. Being as the ninjas flag had a jolly rogarrrr with a red bandanarrr covering is grin I knew I would needs ta find my ninja Justice. When I ran into my mate he laughed and said he hadn't even given out the first clue yet, how ye be arrrready at the finish? I decided then that I would be a humble ninja and give the booty up and become a piece of the puzzle. I told him to give the clue, find the stingers of the sea and yer plunder shall be as I was camping amongst the jamfish and I would then give the hint to say "Justice and power must be brought together so that whatever is just may be powerful and whatever is powerful may be just"

I alas regret to say that I had to leave the festival due to a misunderstanding...  It is not love that is blind but jealousy. Love sees sharply, hatred sees even more sharp, but jealousy sees the sharpest for it is love and hate at the same time and yet it is nothing but fear of abandonment which lives off doubt. However doubt is just as important as faith or we will always be limited by our beliefs and thus we need to doubt our limitations and doubt our doubts so that we may have the faith, which is not blind but a willingness to try, faith in action is realization, faith is stronger than destiny. Jealousy is a dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive. The tiger who devours its pray and its own heart, troublesome to others yet torment to one self.

The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice. 


Plunder Fest 2010 : LED jellyfish installations from Mallory Lighter on Vimeo.

$10 T shirts
$5 Bandanarrrs
$15 Jamfish or 5 for $50

Installation designed by Mallory Leider, Chris Lyle and Ben Wuest


Fireworks and Works of Fire; The big bang made me do it!

This Independence day Chris Lyle and I decided to celebrate by painting with fireworks and fire by blowing up paint bottles, melting crayons and colouring with smoke grenades. Which was followed up by fireworks and a fire performance by Justice Draconis of Dragons Fire Theatre. Justice and company is available for booking on facebook or by e-mail at justiceofdragons@gmail.com. Some photos also feature Ashley Sweetness whom can be booked at sweetpadiddle@hotmail.com

Independence suggests the nature of free will, but in an interdependent self organizing structure is their really such a thing? The world consists of basic physical laws that govern the entire universe. You are built of an electromagnetic, carbon based life form which is  subject to the laws of the universe. Matter, such as a seed or semen, comes with an inherent set of properties from an ancestral chain which dictates how we will grow and we can thus not really call our structure ours. How well we grow is dictated by outside forces such as our family which we cannot choose and thus stems a chain result of conditioned responses to whether we agree or disagree with these outside forces. It would seem the only way to influence these factors is the choice of surroundings that determines the environment of conditions.

 You can't control the nature of the universe but merely arrange the laws to benefit all sentient beings. A human being is part of the whole, one with the universe. Feeling separate is not freedom, but an optical delusion that actually works as a prison trapped by our own personal desires. In a dream for example you believe your dream self to be separate from other characters however when you awaken you realize that you were in fact both the same consciousness existing in an infinitude of possible dream worlds. Realization is true freedom. Once the normal checks imposed by the conscious mind are abolished by sacrificing the ego, the unlimited scope of unconscious mind comes to play which can appear as a chaotic riot and be very frightening in that the illusory freedom of the Ego is eliminated which reveals our own transubjective reality. AnAtman or no-self is not to say that you don't exist but that you don't exist as a singular form. We are empty in that we may make use of this space and be a selfless being, one with the interdependent arising surroundings. This is borderless borders that can be perhaps best described by trying to define the end of the sun being as the heat and rays of light extend far beyond the fluctuating surface. Free yourself of this cage and embrace the universal energy.

Every object is a particle and a wave, existing in a "set place" as well as all over. The uncertainty principle states that we may not know an object speed and placement at the same time, which points to the mirage of reality. The double slit experiment reveals that unobserved particles have infinite potential where as the observed has only one possibility. A particle is not determined but by the mind that perceives it and thus all that we are is the result of what we have thought. Our mind-matrix actually creates our worlds,  reality does not exist except as unlimited potential of the mind, reality is a projection of the mind. By simply observing the world we change it and when you change the world changes. 

The main factor that distinguishes human beings is the large frontal lobe in the brain that enables us to focus attention and concentrate which is essential for making decisions and holding an intention. The frontal lobe enables us to draw information from our environment and storehouse memories to process and make decisions different from past choices. Although many actions are far from free and consist of habitual conditioned responses such as the flight or fight response, or lighting a cigarette, or reacting to a friend you know. These responses can barely even be considered choices, however there is a second way of making choices and that is to consciously separate ourselves from our environmental stimuli and stand back from our habitual and biological behavior in the roll of the observer. The brain then has the opportunity to reason from a quiet vantage point and can process experiential as well as intellectual knowledge to build a new design. The observer has tremendous amounts of power, although it may seem that observations are also subjective to repetitive habitual conditioning to the point where they can barely even be considered observations, but once recognized, you can discover that by your choices you can actually alter, restrain, and change what you see "out there" By turning off this "autopilot" one begins to discover possibility and be enabled to use the brain rather than be used by the brain, turn response into creation, reaction into action. 

To hear the sound of one hand clapping is to hear the sound that already exists before you make it. Do not try to listen to it, the sound is all over. If you try to see the quality you have no quality. Before you take the form of a human being, you are already there, always there. Because you are already there, you are here. Similarly it is not possible for something to disappear which does not exist. You may think when you die, you no longer exist, but this is impossible. If we are looking at something it can vanish from our sight, but if you do not try to see it, that something cannot vanish. If someone is watching you, you can escape him, but if no one is watching, you cannot escape from yourself. So try not to see something in particular; achieve something special, because you have everything in your own pure quality. Understanding is to be without fear, as you cannot lose anything, there is nothing to lose.

Atoms are 99.999999999999% empty space but appear solid by their force. Thus you are not really sitting on your chair but are in actuality levitating slightly above it. Although all dharmas are ephemeral, changing, and empty they are real just as they are. The phenomenal and the void are equally real and codependent. Emptiness is an infinite field of potential which every possibility arises. Emptiness is form and form is emptiness. The signified and signifier are both dual and non-dual. The emphasis is form, not minor or universal but all forms inner-reflecting the interdependent nature of reality which is not to be seeing as an illusion but real as is.


More Core

Although I had priorly been cleaning as my work for trade with corepower yoga and had come to love the meditative art of totally just cleaning mirrors, mats, floors and consciousness I have found an even greater love of combining my two passions of art and yoga together.

For one of my murals I painted a of portrait Sri Pattabhi Jois, a student of the grandfather to modern yoga as we know it today , Krishnamacharya. Pattabhi is the father of ashtanga yoga which he began exposing the world to in Mysore India. Ashtanga is a set series of asana which synchronizes breath with movement and has been thus modified into a less fixed structure known as vinyasa yoga and furthermore to the physically toning power yoga practiced at corepower yoga today. Pattabhi Jois mantra was "Practice and all is coming" so I thus wrote this mantra over and over until the smiling portrait of Pattabhi manifested.

Another Mural I painted was that of a Zen parable which I have found to be a fountain of inspiration as pursued with Juicy Zen and my Tiger Berries. The parable reads: A man being chased by a tiger takes refuge on the side of a cliff only to realize there is another tiger below. Death is certain and yet the man takes notice of a strawberry growing on the cliff side and has the tastiest, sweetest, juiciest meal of his entire life.

I then erased the strawberry and in exchange drew a butterfly with a quote saying "Happiness is a Butterfly which when pursued is always beyond grasp but which if you will sit down quietly may alight upon you"

Then erasing the Tiger I painted a brush and included the Patanjali Sutra: An object is only known by a consciousness it has coloured otherwise it is not known. Patanjali is a person or a group of people who were the first to systemize raja Yoga around 250 B.C.E although it should be noted that Patanjali did not create yoga as yoga had been recorded as early as 500 B.C.E The sutras exist for one purpose and that is to aid the practitioner along the spiritual journey of re-connection

Following this piece I painted a number of other bamboo and included the quote "The Taller Bamboo Grow the Lower they Bend" Signifying not only the gaining flexibility of an older bamboo but that of a more humble one as well.

I also did live painting at our franchised Corepower Yoga in Edina in celebration of our 2 year anniversary since our opening. Corepower held donation based classes all day, live music, free spa treatment, discounted merchandise and food which all benefited towards the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and Research!

I started painting my Sun Buddha during Ella Chisotti's class on realizing the inner guardian angel which was accompanied by a harp.  I then painted a moon over the sun at night with glow in the dark paints while heart-beat yoga played the patio and thus captured the hidden mother to the father.

Yoga means union, to yoke or to join two things together, hatha yoga is meant to join the solar-masculine and acitve energy with the lunar- feminine and receptive energy producing balance and greater power for an individual and by balancing sun and moon one facilitates the awakening and arising of Kundalini, and thus the awakening of a higher consciousness. 

When the polarities of Ida and Pingala in the 6th chakra are aligned and balanced along the cosmic pillar, the dance of life plays out over the dance of shiva in harmony, and a bridge is created between the Sun and Moon of the physical realm. Thus the energy in the central channel (Sushumna) ascends to the 7th chakra making activity in that chakra available to the incarnating Soul. This Merging of the universal Sun and Moon is reflective of the merging of Spirit and Matter, making the divine bliss of the universe available to the Soul through its physical counterpart, the body.

Through kumbhaka*, that is breath techniques, the kundalini sleeping serpant energy is awakened and the sushuma is unblocked of impurities by the chakras and knots splitting for the union of Hatha.

Taking padmasana inhale prana with the moon, the ida or left nostril, hold and exhale slowly with the sun, the pingala or right nostril. Hold... Than inhale with the sun and exhale slowly with the moon. The practitioner who practices in this fashion will have purified the nadis, energy channels. within three months.

Contract the sun and make the kundalini serpentine mother energy move. Where is the  fear of death even for one inside the mouth of death? The serpent is only deadly when coiled. The practitioner should take jalandhara bandha at the end of inhalation and uddiyana bandha at the begining of exhalation to raise the Kundalini upwards towards the brahma nadi where one will meet kali the creator of creation and destruction where neither hunger, thirst, lethargy or old age will appear. Make the comfortably sleeping energy move every day and be rid of disease. Playfully conquer death in the play of shakti.

As the external breath dissolves so does the internal, without a doubt. Breath and mind achieve stillness in the sushuma and the mind dissolves, without a doubt. Drench the body with nectar. It is truly Shiva's beloved, take the khecari bandha by covering the divine sushuma with the tongue at the back opening where the stream flows from the moon. Always reside in a divine place, know the proper opening of the sushuma and make the breath go into the middle restraining in the Brahmarandhra. With eyes half closed take the protected shambhavimudra sight to the nose and gaze through the third eye for even greater results. The Sun and Moon give time the form of day and night, sushuma is the eater of time. To prevent the sun from eating the moons nectar practice inversions and draw the energy upwards. Full release is full freedom, the Yogi in Samadhi is not eaten by time, bound to karma or overpowered by anyone. Samadhi is the destroyer of death and giver to the bliss of Brahman.

Do not worship the Atman by day. Do not worship the Atman at night. Always worship Atman by halting day and night. Take refuge in the non-duality, the changeless, O Rama you shall find peace.

*Kumbhakas: Suryabhedana, Ujjayi(constricted throat), Sitkari, Shitali, Bhastrika (knot/granti spliter), Bhramari(sharp inhale buzz), Murccha (at the end of inhalation take Jalandhara Bandha), Plavini

Akers, Brian Dana Akers (2002) The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (orinal Sanskrit by Svatmarama.  Woodstock, NY. Yogavidya.com

White, David Gordon. Kiss of the Yogini

White, David Gordon.  Tantra in Practice 
Newman, John, Vajrayoga in Kalacakra Tantra
Foot photograph by Andy Richter  http://www.andyrichterphoto.com/