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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fluid Design

The Scuba Lounge chair, by Brodie Neill
I came across the designs of Brodie Neill on the internet a few days ago and just had to share. This modern designer is from Australia, was trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, and partnered with the late fashion designer, Alexander McQueen.

Reverb Chair, by Brodie Neill
I love the fluid and continuous forms that prevail in his pieces. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they beg you to personally and physically experience them.

Here's a look at his latest gallery of work. What do you think?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Meditations: Interconnectedness

This is part of Cocoon's Monday Meditation series.

I took this picture at the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) Meditation Gardens in Encinitas a few weeks ago. It is such a beautiful, living example of how we are all connected in this world. Humans, animals, plants, fish - our energies all touch each other, weaving in and out, pushing us forward.

Here is a meditation on Interconnectedness by Madonna Gauding in The Meditation Bible. She says:

You are connected to everything and everyone else. This Interconnectedness Meditation will help you counteract feelings of alienation, loneliness or meaninglessness, and increase your sense of loving connection to all beings. 
Interconnectedness is not just a spiritual idea. Quantum physics finds you are intimately connected to all reality. In fact, physicists can only observe the particles from which you are made through their interactions with other systems. You may feel alone and separate, but rest assured, you are not.
Let's Meditate! 
1. Buy an apple at the market. Sit on a cushion or chair in your meditation space. Watch your breath for a few minutes to calm and settle your mind. 
photo from
2. Place the apple in front of you. Visualize the seed from which the apple came. Visualize a farmer planting the seed, carefully fertilizing the ground. Clouds come and go, and rain moistens the earth. For years the farmer tends the tree, which is also home to birds and insects, until one day it bears fruit. He hires farm hands to pick the fruit They pack your apple in a crate with other apples. The farmer drives your apple to a wholesale market. The wholesaler buys your apple and sells it to your shop. Another driver delivers it to the shop. A shop assistant arranges it for display. You arrive and pick that apple to use for your meditation.
3. Visualize the apple tree and all the people and equipment involved in bringing this one apple to you. You can extend this meditation by tracing every aspect of the process, including the people who built the vehicle that delivered your apple. At every given moment you are connected to an infinite number of beings. You can't exist without them. You are enmeshed in a cosmic web of creation.
4. End your meditation by eating the apple. Feel your connection to everyone who made it possible.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Dad's, you rock!

Enjoy your day, enjoy your kids.
(Daddy Luke sporting Cocoon cufflinks on Fathers Day, 2012)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Meditations: Deep Sound

This is part of Cocoon's Monday Meditation series.

I'm laying down on a yoga mat, eyes closed, a meditation cushion under my knees, and my body resonating with the vibrations of a huge gong and varied pitches of Tibetan Singing bowls. And I'm not dreaming. I'm at Taurus Moon gallery in Julian, California - three nights ago.

photo from meditation
I'll back up. A couple of months ago I got a call from a refreshingly enthusiastic, young woman who told me she had seen my fused glass jewelry at a shop a while back. She told me she wanted to carry some of my pieces in her soon-to-be-opening gallery, Taurus Moon, in Julian, CA. 

Kimberlee told me her vision was to create a small gallery and boutique to "nurture the soul and feed the spirit." Well, let's just say that after meeting Kimberlee, her husband Rex, and their sweet dog, Taj, it was an easy decision. Taurus Moon has been opened for two months. It's a small, stand-alone space with hot pink exterior accents and is full of beauty and love.  

In just the short time they've been opened, they have held two very cool events, the New Moon Circle in honor of the solar eclipse last month, and the Tibetan Singing Bowls and Gong Meditation last Friday evening.

I attended the meditation and had no idea what to expect; it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. To borrow from Kimberlee's description of the meditation:
The sounds created by Tibetan singing bowls have been proven to resonate at frequencies corresponding to the seven chakras in the body, align them for better health, increased focus, and relaxation. Sound healing is an effective and proven modality that uses vibrational sound to help reduce stress, alter consciousness, create a deep sense of peace, and to help treat all kinds of diseases and disorders.
How does it work? Tibetan singing bowls are struck in specific rhythmic patterns to create vibrational sound harmonics at the frequency of "AUM" (also written as "OHM" or "OM"). This sound frequency impacts the sympathetic nervous system as the brain waves synchronize to the vibrations of the bowls. The harmonic vibrations engage the relaxation reflex and slow down the respiratory, brain, and heart rates and disrupt the pain reflex, thus creating a deep sense of well being.
Deep Deoja took over the intimate space of Taurus Moon and after giving us a more thorough explanation of the meditation, he led the 10 of us (max capacity!) through a brief chakra mindfulness meditation. He then invited us to lie down (with our heads oriented toward the middle of the room), close our eyes, listen, and accept whatever happens. 

The varied-sized singing bowls were placed around the room near our heads. Deep then created a symphony of sounds by rubbing a padded mallet around the rim or sides of the various bowls to create the "singing" sound, or striking them to create the "gong" sound. The sounds and tones produced were sometimes soft, sometimes powerfully strong, and vibrated in waves throughout our bodies. (He showed us later how he altered the sounds even further by opening and closing his mouth near the bowls or adding water to them.)

At times I felt I was in a sci-fi movie where time and sound was moving in and out. It was soothing, deep, powerful, startling, and mesmerizing all at once! It's really hard to explain, and I guess I would just say that if you have the opportunity, go for it!