My involvement with ON MEDITATION began as many things do in my life -- it began when Rebecca (my longtime and closest collaborator) presented it to me as an idea. I believe in Rebecca’s vision as a director and quite often respond to her concepts with an open heart and a willingness to pursue them further. I have to admit though when she first presented this one I was a bit skeptical, as I could not quite see her vision. And it was not until we shot and then edited our first portrait, The Venerable Metteyya that I was, fully, deeply on board and could get behind the project as a whole.
ON MEDITATION has been instructive for me through the realization that as a producer, sometimes parameters make for better, more creative work. We made the decision that we would shoot each portrait in only one day. This decision gave us some financial assurance in that the cost of each portrait manageable. And, we found that from a creative perspective we are forced to make every decision carefully, how we shoot them, where we shoot them and the questions we ask are extremely specific and thought out. Once we make each decision- we allow the space and the comfort that comes with these parameters to encourage the deepest truths to come out. Each time, we create one of these portraits; it does not feel like work, but rather the service of something bigger.
One of the goals of my work is that it be healing in some way, either through the process of making it and the direct relationships in that process and/or in the people that watch and experience it. This project has profound, immeasurable potential in this realm and I find that hugely exciting.
On a personal level, I am always searching for things to deepen my life, to enrich my relationships and to help find an inner sense of calm. As a result of these pieces I have become a meditator and it is truly transformative. While I sometimes have trouble fitting it in, I find that when I do it, even for five minutes, my day is always better, brighter and filled with more ease. It is my wish that everyone could share in this experience.
On Meditation was presented to me by two dear, longtime students as a way to educate and inspire, and to connect more of humanity to meditation as a simple, accessible healing practice. Recording my piece for them helped me articulate my own relationship to the practice, and I signed on as Executive Producer to help spread awareness and invite more people to share their stories, experiences and practices of meditation.
My dream: Children and parents across the globe are building time for meditation into their daily routines, and meditation is now known to be a useful tool in healing illness and discomforts associated with illness, and practice of meditation is extremely commonplace. On Meditation is being viewed in hundreds of thousands of schools across the globe, as part of Eastern studies curricula, anti-bullying curricula and Wellness curricula, among other uses in childrens' educational settings. The films are being viewed in hospitals, childrens' hospitals and residences for senior citizens and the mentally disabled.
To me, meditation is when I'm seeing most clearly. It's a time for me to release back into myself, to feel the impressions of my recent actions, sometimes to dream the future into focus. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, it's my breathing and meditation that bring me back. It's time for all of us to be comfortable and familiar with even the briefest and simplest meditation teachings, and our films all point to that simplicity in a most elegant and realistic way.