1) Investigating body & mind: Working with the sensory world while cultivating listening and equanimity
2) Intimacy with Phenomena: Accessing the invisible worlds
3) Contemplation of the internal landscapes: Subtle Alchemy, carving windows
Louise Bourgeois, Personages
1) Investigating body & mind
Working with the sensory world while cultivating listening and equanimity
Life can metamorphose into a massive cycle of unconscious movements and reactions that cause the mind-body to swing between dualities and disconnection. In other words, emotional states oscillating between polarities, generating feelings of separation and isolation, or overwhelming experience while touching the outside world.
It looks like an awakening process can open us for a possibility of recognizing patterns which generate suffering, and from the root cause, we can reconnect to our deep inside, creating awareness of it. Remembering there is a way to integration with a spacious quality between mind & body, where there lies a potential master key to the art of living.
Tunga, Woman with Lion Skull
2) Intimacy with Phenomena
Accessing the invisible worlds
The practice of meditation, in correlation with an artistic process, can help us to deepen the practice of integration and cognition, hence amplifying a healthy mental landscape along our way in life. Through contemplation, we generate space and connection between what is conscious and what is unconscious (hidden into our reactive mode).
ArtCura Lab intends to develop a new artistic vernacular based on the practices of nondual and undivided bodymind aesthetics. Promoting integration between artist & art piece, audience & space, life & art, we are exploring creation in a new juicy territory - where arts and alternative mindfulness practices can work together in a flow of continuous growth.
Once we open the simulacrum bodymind, we have a chance to observe reality beyond the trap of our conditioned repressive habitual patterns.
Through contemplation we also tap into the flow of life, facing an undeniable truth: life is an unstoppable continuous process of creation, and we belong to it. This is one of the territories where art resides and where it can help rearranging and/or creating new patterns for life.
I feel, there is an urgency to resurrect art with the root of its practice.
Kecya, Illustration Stonewoman, 2011 (inspired by this poem)
One window is enough for me,
one window to the moment of consciousness
and looking and silence.
The walnut sapling
Is now tall enough to explain
the meaning of the wall
to its young leaves.
Ask the mirror
the name of your savior.
Is not the earth that trembles under your feet
lonelier than you?
Forough Farrokhzad "Window", 1974
What are windows a metaphor for?
For investigations at Embryo Lab, we would like to point to the metaphor of carving internal windows for deepening our investigations into the self container.
In Ken Wilber's book The essential Ken Wilber, he offers some exercises for investigation of the self container:
"There are ways to dissolve the boundary between the mind and body so as to discover again this unity of opposites lying asleep in the depths of our being."
Ken also cites some words of Alexander Lowen:
"This split cannot be overcome, by a knowledge phenomenon and belongs to the realms of the ego. One has to feel the flow and sense the course of the excitation in the body. To do this, however, one must give up the rigidity of one's ego control so that the deep body sensations can reach the surface."
Here is an exercise Ken Wilber proposes called
Healing the Bodymind Split
Please click on the link to read the PDF.
3) Contemplation of the internal landscapes
Subtle Alchemy through carved windows
Traveling to Monterey Bay last month, I noticed that houses around the ocean tend to have as many and as big windows as possible. Why? This is a phenomenon that probably happens all over the world.
Why does a human being feel so connected to an ocean view or to an existence closer to the water?
Of all the elements of nature, water is probably the most comforting - nurturing, shape-shifting. Water can be moved and transformed by outside factors and elements - as an as iceberg, or a cold river, a dark deep ocean, or a shallow wave storm moved by wind. Water is a primary source for human life, and we can see it as a true metaphor to understand our constant movements related to the emotional landscape.
How are these internal landscapes affecting the way we experience reality,
and how do we act or react to them?
Noticing the transformation of internal landscapes, instead of reacting, we can create intimacy with this ever-changing environment.
When mindfulness arises, what is experienced often can be challenging or unpleasant:
Notice how difficult it is to maintain your heart open when fear arises, and how often you seek ways to escape from your body when unpleasant sensations arise.
The exercise of witnessing emotions requires a constant development of a state of contemplation and courage. In the midst of the wind of emotions, we can practice opening safe portals for noticing how the mind is often reactive and colored by thoughts of reality, layered by our interpretations.
With contemplation we can also observe how those layers can narrow our perspective, creating false concepts, even prejudices, guiding us to swing between moods, polarities and self and others judgments.
The more we are aware of this internal landscapes, the better chance we have for creating a positive perspective to start a process of cessation of what is causing the suffering. We can touch experiences in our everyday life, as meditation, art practices can establish a safe container for those investigations to see how emotions and reaction work coloring our experiences.
Receiving insight and wisdom from those practices, we can carry them to our everyday life. Here is what the Tibetan Master Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche has described:
"When you are aware of the conditions of pain and suffering in your life, that awareness itself is a seed. And when the naked, direct awareness of your anger or suffering allows you to release this and discover a deeper space, the more you continuously maintain clear attention to that open space in your heart, the more the seed of love grows. Space is where the infinite qualities are perfected.
If you can rest in the truth of the cessation of sadness with a sense of stability, being aware of it naturally gives rise to joy.
The space of cessation is the source of all the positive qualities, the antidote for whatever afflicts you.
When sadness releases, joy arises."
False Mirror by
insinuates how human vision can be limited. The eye is the symbol of selective and subjective personal view, covered by clouds of meaning.
Tapping into the territory of life's manifestation is to realize with a multi-eyed bodymind actively creating part of what we experience. This realization, actually, can be the first step to find medicine, dis-solving destructive behaviors and old patterns.
What does an open and fearless heart mean to you?
Carried by experience, I've realized that a fearless and open heart means to be able to meet reality as it is. Meeting our own suffering, or that of someone else, needs that courage: a kind of gentle force, carried by wisdom and compassion to hold the safe space for love to unfold in our actions and non-actions. We face the wounds of the world and perhaps can carry the medicine for what is needed as we connect to it deeply.
This is a process, and as every other one, it needs practice to bring fruitful results in the process of integration.
Released into a flow, once you have opened the windows for your perception, light will naturally penetrate into your internal landscapes - integration of bodymind will start to occur. The hard work is compensated by grounding into the body, sensing a quality of space, connection between inside and out, illuminated by bright light and new possibility of growth.
In life as art, the window can be a perfect metaphor for contemplation of emotions, experiencing the world from inside-out. Unconscious bondages are blocking passages to a clear view of an ever-changing reality. When you start looking through, you'll notice how old patterns of reacting are ready to show up as reactions. This actually can be a non-productive cyclic mood which leads us to deep insatisfaction in life. Being aware of it, allow a deep truth and insight to manifest - more integrated and with perspective, a more open heart to see a real transformation occurring, in real time.
Since I've started carving windows, I've realized how unaware of the present moment I tended to be: clouded by thoughts, disembodied, and generating emotions based on storytelling, victimization and not very productive reactions. I've experienced fear so many times in this life, but growing up exercising I've changed a lot of my attitude to it. Once I asked: how does fear feel in my body? Since then, I've realized: fear is what makes my heart shut. What kind of medicine can help to make it open?
Kecya performing Id, Rio de Janeiro 2013
Love and light,