We interview established & up and coming artists & fashion designers across the globe. Yoga Art and spiritual transformation. Interviews with emerging and established artists and designers. Sally Adnams Jones
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YOGA AS INDUSTRY Today I was reflecting on how industry has developed it’s own kind of energetic force within our… The post Karma Yoga and the #MeToo Consciousness appeared first on Karma Tops.
Today I was reflecting on how industry has developed it’s own kind of energetic force within our psyches and has therefore effected how we live as a society.
This led me to ponder how Buddhist and Hindu practices are becoming popularised; and an industry unto themselves, as a by-product of and also a solution to Industrialism.
‘It’s all relative’, said Einstein.
This led me (of course) to thoughts on Karma.
It’s a big jump I know (from industry to Karma), but someone has to do it.
Many of of us think of Karma as ‘what goes around comes around!”
Great so when Mandy treats me bad, I don’t have to do anything “Karma’s going to get her.
As the founder of KARMA Tops, I better have a good understanding of what karma really is, or it might come and bite me on the bum.
So as we go deeper into Yoga, beyond the asana and into the contemplation
As we become mindful and aware
What were you thinking came from a process I was undergoing at a time in my life when I was questioning how our mind creates our reality.
I was watching my thoughts and when a negative thought came up I replaced it with a more life affirming and prosperous thought.
This went on for days. It is hard work.
I documented this and saw before my eyes how my life was actually changing for the better. What I was thinking was coming true!
Sorry I got off track again – I think it’s my karma. Ahha that’s it! That answers the question:
Let’s Keep it simple.Like all good Yoga.
Karma translates literally from Sanskrit as ‘action – work or deed’. As humans we experience this as, thoughts, words and actions. So our thoughts words and actions make up our karma.
That was easy. After all these years of suffering. If someone had of told me that this big bad Karma out there somewhere was in me, i could have saved myself a lot of trouble.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the saying “one door closes and another door opens.”
It’s a good and true philosophy – A Buddhist practice is to contemplate impermanence – it helps us to be more accepting of inevitable change in our lives.
Did you know that this saying was actually coined by Alexandra Bell.
Alexander Graham Bell had a lot failures and setbacks in both his career and private life.
However, he never quit.. His actual quote is
“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
I drew this one day just as I was about to open another door
A karmic door
An elephant came to me in deep meditation.
I was struggling at the time with sad emotions that were spontaneously arising. The elephant energy moved through me and I felt a sense of the strength of the elephant energy within me.
I spent the next few mornings drawing this elephant.
I felt I was integrating the strength of the elephant within my psyche.
I began to find clarity in my emotional upset.
Elephant medicine teaches us the power of gentleness, communication and commitment in relationships. Three vital elements to all relationships that attribute to the longevity trust and lovingness of a relationship.
Perhaps I wanted to be heard
Which brings me to the #metoo topic.
I know it’s not your usual coherent article style. It’s the yoga you see. It has a different flavour. It makes one real. You become less like a sheep and more like an elephant.
The experience of frustration.
Holy crap! you may say (possibly even literally); what does this have to do with Yoga Industry and Karma?
For a long time I was very upset that Yoga was becoming industrialised, mainstreamed. It actually made me angry. I thought “another bastardisation of truth and now Yoga is going to become another eaten up beauty in the Capitalist machine.” I had forgotten Einstein relatively and timelessness.
or points to union.
Left brain and right brain merge and oneness is experienced. In relative terms.
Union with higher consciousness, source or the divine. Consciousness as it were.
Then I remembered Karma means my thoughts also. So I began to look deeply. There’s that yoga again.
Or is it my good Karma
I was researching Micheal Angelo and the influence he had on art.
I realised he was employed by the Pope of the time and was under orders to convey Catholic messages. He asked for specific freedom to paint his own ideas upon his Sistine Chapels commission, which the Pope eventually allowed.
He painted a scene ‘The Creation of Adam’, apparently inspired by the ’Book of Genesis, depicting God as a white bearded man reaching out to Adam (a naked man) with his hand. It is one of the worlds most renowned artistic works which finds thousands lining up each day to marvel at this piece..
I looked at this picture long and hard and was compelled to redraw the image with a feminine interpretation to show how our psyche reacts to image.
I used the long fingernails to show how we have structured gender around certain unnatural expectations. My interpreting the female ‘hand of god’ with painted nails and Micheal’s painting god as a white man are equally oppressive of truth and the beauty that both may have to offer.
I added the quote “Your in good hands” as a pun on ‘The hand of God’ to express the maternal nature of the mother of creation, a nurturing element (that may be hindered by the fake painted nails) and one that is not represented in the christian era.
And thought it was a refreshing gesture
Megsie can you get to the point?
I began to realise that it was all ok. That for a system to break down and transform, the change would have to come from deep within and slowly, the same way it had been built. The process of reconditioning would have to happen from the inside out, through the movement of yoga as industry. Which was deeply linked with karma. And happen in increments, one conscious or unconscious asana at a time.
That we were in good hands
The universe works in mysterious ways.
I drew this woman some time ago when I researching classical painters, I think she came from a merging of Picasso and Da Vinci, I was strongly attracted to their styles and colours.
I was going to add the better half of a quote to this one – A woman is like a tea bag – as I thought it would be playful and funny. From the quote
A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.- Eleanor Roosevelt.
But when I first decided to use this pic “metoo came to my mind and each time i thought about the pic my intuition kept drawing in #metoo… and eventually I decided to listen to it.
In hindsight it is probably better than “a woman is like a teabag’, as we all know the derivation of the #metoo campaign – objectification of women – and calling a woman a teabag isn’t really going to help.
So too as the system breaks down, as yoga takes over industry; so to will the social changes organically break down a system that isn’t in alignment with the flow of the universe. And we may begin to honour the women who birthed us into this non-dual reality.
In conclusion, in case you have become confused. I’m blaming the #metoo movement on Industrialism and all its patriarchal implications), the industry of Yoga (awakening consciousness slowly through the system) and Karma (the unfathomable).
Everyone must engage in some sort of activity in this material world. But actions can either bind one to this world or liberate one from it. By acting for the pleasure of the Supreme, without selfish motives, one can be liberated from karma
Baghavad Gita chapter 3 (karma yoga)
I’m sorry, Ive done it again thrown in an entirely different spin “Karma Yoga”
May the #metoo movement bring peace and union to all sentient beings
INNER PEACE “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ― Gautama Buddha Wikipedia defines Inner Peace… The post Inner Peace, a fashion or a goal of Yoga? appeared first on Karma Tops.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
― Gautama Buddha
Wikipedia defines Inner Peace as: “( Inner peace or peace of mind) refers to a deliberate state of psychological or spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressors.”
Fashionable perhaps, like a yoga pose on a Sunday, most people are seeking peace in life, usually from some stimulus or an external situation. So they keep going after more more more.I mean is it even attainable in this day and age, not more but less?
The yoga’s say it is within – they point to the inner self to find peace.Buddha clearly states it is within, Lao Tzu says its the natural flow within you, The yogis say that it is without You? So what is this yoga everyone is talking about? Do i bend over and everything is going to be ok?
What on Earth are they all talking about?
Consciousness is the first stage of Inner peace or going within. It’s a new word that’s been around for centuries, fashionable. New science has a term ‘the hard problem of consciousness”. The problem is consciousness (or awareness) is not measurable. And if it can’t be measured then it isn’t Science. So it doesn’t exists. Sounds particularly nondualist to me.
Modern physicists are staring to admit that they may never understand consciousness and with each new discovery they know less. Some are even turning towards the Hindu and Buddhists texts to get inspiration (another immeasurable).
It’ a bit of a conundrum we have found ourselves in.
This brings us back to the yoga, The idea that Inner peace is found through consciousness (awareness). It’s a bit like the Zen koan “The obstacle is the path”. According to science awareness doesn’t exist so how on earth are we to find inner peace?? Oh it’s an obstacle. Of the mind. So the problem is the mind.
So I found the secret to the universe ooops I mean inner peace. I’ve saved the scientists millions of dollars and the lay person thousands on yoga retreats. I’m not very fashionable you see.
When I sit and be, I am in pure consciousness (no mind chatter, no identification with self or events), I feel into consciousness, spaciousness. This is were I find the bliss and the peace -with no desire to measure it!
This one is called “Somewhere between Byron Bay and Nimbin”. Let me explain 🙂 Nimbin is a famous town (One… The post Byron Bay and Nimbin – Art appeared first on Karma Tops.
Let me explain
is a famous town (One hour from Byron) in NSW . Nimbin is surrounded by lush green hills and valleys as is Byron. Nimbin however is inland and is filled with rivers and creeks and rainforest and Byron is a beach side town.
It is full of rich Aboriginal history and sacred story – it is the land of the Bundjalung people and this is respected by most of the locals that live here.
Nimbin is an alternate town, with original hippies moving there in the 70’s on the forefront of trying to create a utopia, a society that lives consciously with the land. It’s a down to Earth rural town with a twist that promotes liberation;being free and true to your true self – whatever that may be.
With a huge advocacy for legalising cannabis, it prides itself on environmental initiatives such as permaculture, sustainability and self-sufficiency as well as the cannabis counterculture.
Hence, I call it ’Australian’s accidental Amsterdam’. It has the raw Aussie working class vibe to it!
is a thriving beach side town that has a vibe of liberation with an underbelly of Aussie locals and spiritual seekers and some charlatans – its a mixed bag of materialism an freedom.
But, the beach and the vibe have something magic that brings people from all around the world back again and again.
I recently (spontaneously) took a week off to regenerate. I took my tent and bare minimals and camped by the river in Nimbin for three days. With no one around I meditated by the river in the thick of the rainforest, eating Bunya nuts and wild tomatoes and brewing my tea on the fire.
I then caught a bus to Byron, an hour of winding roads amid sweeping valleys, rivers and hills of lush green with the occasional duck on the back of a cow in meadows and farms galore.
When I arrived home i grabbed the paintbrush and an old canvas. And, this arose from my subconscious within 10 minutes. I called it ‘somewhere between Nimbin and Byron’ as I has merged the two together. The peace and tranquility of the rainforest and the beauty of the beach, a happy medium.
So, As the Buddha says ” The middle way”
Also, notice in the middle of the forest there is a mystical scene. It represents the non-local world – that which goes unseen. The magic of both places is in this scene Byron Bay art
Kundalini Awakening Kundalini awakening is becoming a pop culture phenomena, usually misunderstood. With western culture aggrandizing it into a sexual… The post Kundalini Awakening – Art appeared first on Karma Tops.
Kundalini awakening is becoming a pop culture phenomena, usually misunderstood. With western culture aggrandizing it into a sexual or manifestation power that can be forced and controlled, for ones own purpose.
As introduced by the Yogic texts, Kundalini is a powerful life force. It is beyond the conception of the human mind and is that which creates us, not us it!
Therefore, Kundalini awakens in us. Not us it!
Means a “spiral” or “coil”. In Yoga, Kundalini or Shakti means the “coiled power.”
Usually, it is compared to a serpent that rests coiled, while resting or asleep.
Often, it is said to rise through the energy systems (when awoken), in the body (often fiercely). Also, It’s purpose is to clear the energy systems. To dissolve our conditioned self, to become a higher Self; our whole Self.
The Kundalini phenomena is found in most traditions and mystical cultures. But, with different names and cultural story lines.
The task of Kundalini is universally acknowledged as the transformation from material or matter to light or spirit. Or to our limitlessness. The Divine conscious power that resides within us is seen experienced and lived.
Also, In Hindu it is said to be a feminine power- a creational force! Known as Shakti.
Hence, in many cases a Kundalini awakening is not an easy path. As, it shakes up our reality. This energy can force us to reassess our lives. Enforcing us to let go of identification with our conditioned self.
Consequently, this is not necessarily an all blissful and joyous journey. Although, it can be. It can take a long time to readjust. It is always best to seek help. Take a look here at the Kundalini Emergency page for more information and resources.
Personally, I had a spontaneous Kundalini awakening or experience some 15 years back. At the time I had no information, no idea at all what was happening. I had no yogic or spiritual knowledge beyond my early Catholic years.
Fortunately, it was a blissful experience and I had no fear what so ever. Yet, it shook up my world and the blissful experience was just an experience. Therefore, following it was intense psychological upheaval and a period of the dark night of the soul.
Now, after many years of meditating and reconditioning the mind, I live an ordinary life. Yet, one of Seva. That is, helping others. As well as, enjoying a deeper connection to life/nature and the unknown; all with a deeper sense of creativity and flow.
So, I drew this recently, as I was processing how long this spiritual journey has been and how I am still always evolving.
Accordingly, if you would like to learn more about Kundalini, from a scholar of Sanskrit, Indian philosophy. And, someone who has personal experience, watch this video
Take a look at our Kundalini streetwear range
The Ouroboros The Ouroboros, from Greek οὐροβόρος (οὐρά, “tail,” and -βορος, “devouring”) is an ancient symbolic illustration, of a serpent… The post The Ouroboros appeared first on Karma Tops.
The Ouroboros, from Greek οὐροβόρος (οὐρά, “tail,” and -βορος, “devouring”) is an ancient symbolic illustration, of a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.
Each moment we are changing, as a natural evolutionary process. Our cells are continually regenerating, without us doing a thing. Our brains are changeable,we can actually change our brain by our will and our thoughts. This gives us the power to create a new reality, a new perspective, new thoughts that can become new habits. How exciting :).
Was adopted as a Hermetic symbol and used in alchemy, from the ancient Greek magic traditions. Also, it often symbolises introspection, the eternal; especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself. What the new age refers to as rebirth, Also, found in transpersonal psychology and spiritual circles. It represents the infinite cycle of nature’s endless creation and destruction – life and death.
So, Ive used the early alchemical Ouroboros illustration, which normally has the words ἓν τὸ πᾶν (“The All is One”) in the centre. From the work of Cleopatra the Alchemist (c. third century, Egypt), as it is my favorite depiction of the Ouroboros.
Incidentally, this symbol is found in all traditions and religions either in the form of a snake or a dragon .In Yogic tradition the Ouroboros symbolism has been used to describe the Kundalini. Also, in the medieval Yoga-kundalini Upanishad, “The divine power” (Kundalini), shines like the stem of a young lotus. Like a snake, coiled round upon herself she holds her tail in her mouth and lies resting half asleep as the base of the body” (1.82).
Hence, it seems the ancient mystics understood the cyclic nature of life. And, perhaps the brain, without modern scientific instruments or the tiresome academic processes. Also, they all seem to be consistently pointing to the same thing.
YOGA ART Interviews with emerging and established artists and fashion designers When Megsie met Sally One begins to serve others… The post Relax, Let Go – do Yoga Art, Why? appeared first on Karma Tops.
One begins to serve others spontaneously, as one’s identity begins to expand. – Sally
I remember the day I met Sally; it was a balmy Sunday afternoon, a quiet and relaxed atmosphere in the air.
Sally, a stranger at the time, soon appeared from her room. The moment I saw her time slowed down and I could hear myself telling her a lengthy story about a mystical experience I had undergone some 12 years previously.
I was like a shadow of myself, removed, watching from a distance; enduring my own voice, timeless, lucid and totally aware of her presence. She was with me in every syllable, calm, entirely present and luminous to some part of me that remained alert. It felt magnificent.
I had no idea what had happened that afternoon and as I drifted into the evening’s reflective contemplation I was left none the wiser. I did however feel deeply blessed, with a gnawing feeling that I had met a Life teacher. But, as the months passed and I got to know Sally a little better, I realised I had been in the presence of an extraordinary human being, a deeply conscious and compassionate woman who has Self realised AND is a beautiful artist.
When I do my own work, I love to use images of growth in nature. This helps me externalize the transformation I feel occurring in my soul. – Sally Adnams Jones
Hello Darling! Thank you Sally for taking the time to chat with us at DEEP.
I’m really excited! Your knowledge and deep insight into the arts, as well as spiritual wisdom, is extraordinary and I feel very privileged to have this opportunity. You have quite a fascinating story. So can you give us a short introduction of yourself? I believe you are an arts educator working at the University of Victoria, Canada but are currently dedicated to writing books on this topic – at what point did you realise this was yr path and how did you transition?
Thanks for your time Megsie and for your generous introduction. Yes I am an artist, and teach and write about how art and creative practices transform us. I grew up in Africa in a creative family and loved all the arts from a young child. I was also drawn early to spiritual practices including yoga and meditation.
I soon noticed that both creative and meditative practices were transformative. I then went on to study how transformation occurs, and researched particularly how creativity transforms us for my PhD. Some of my art shows this human transformation through biological or ecological visual metaphors.
I have worked in several communities with art therapy , including wood carving with indigenous Canadians, architectural mosaic work in Australia, and mandala work in the tradition of Jungs depth psychology.
My book on art making with refugees and survivors of global traumas comes out in March 2018. This book shares stories about making art with those who have lived through war, genocide, tsunami, climate change, pandemic, gang warfare, poverty etc. It explains exactly how art can heal trauma.
What are you seeking to portray in your work? What is fundamental to your art practice/education – your philosophy and your approach?
When I do my own work, I love to use images of growth in nature. This helps me externalize the transformation I feel occurring in my soul. I also do my own visual dream work or spontaneous expression from the subconscious in order to understand myself more deeply.
When I work with others, I facilitate projects that help to visually narrate autobiography, and personal meaning. This is deep identity work for my students. When we use our visual voices to reframe our stories, we transform and empower ourselves. We can go on a journey through making images that reframe who we are, from victim to survivor to warrior to evolutionary.
Can you tell us a little bit about your PhD and how it relates to your journey so far. How it has effected your inner life and your life work?
For my research, I went to live in an African village that was living with the trauma of the HIV pandemic, and processing grief and loss through an extensive art practice. Their richly embroidered tapestry work told their stigmatized and silenced story of being HIV positive.
They had developed their own creative practice as a kind of therapy and I went to study the many ways their art had transformed their village, both psychosocially and economically. It was a truly empowering story they shared with me.
(Sally’s experience in Africa is rich and full and is described further in these interviews. I’d thoroughly recommend listening to them : Interview 1 – Sally Adnams Jones and Interview 2 – Sally Adnams Jones.) Here’s a little synchronicity for you – About 2 weeks before I met Sally, I listened to the above podcast (interview 2 ) and thought to myself “I really want to meet that woman”. When I met Sally, on her trip from Canada to Australia, 2 weeks later, I had no idea she was the same woman. It dawned on me some time later.
I have noticed a strong desire, in you and your work, to contribute to ‘making the world a better place’ or to helping us as a human race overcome suffering and/or hindrances to a positive evolutionary process, can you elaborate and tell us where you believe this desire is coming from or what this means to you?
I also see you have an integrated and beautiful expression of spiritual wisdom in your person and your work. Can you tell us a bit about this side of your journey. You said you grew up In Africa, how has this effected your path? and also I read somewhere that there was a large Hindu community in your African town, I find this extraordinary, It feels very karmic. Can you tell us a little about this and how this may have impacted your life journey?
I grew up in South Africa practicing yoga with a Hindu community well before it was popular in the west – almost 40 years ago. This path lead me later to study extensively with several Indian Gurus in America. Later I did my Masters degree in Yoga education and became a director of a residential yoga community in Canada. This yogic path influences how I see the world – that we are literally one.
I also understand from studying psychology and education that as one transforms, ones circle of care naturally increases. One begins to serve others spontaneously, as one’s identity begins to expand. Our sense of meaning and pleasure shift to include helping others as we transform. This is one of the delightful side effects of spiritual practice – which for me, include both my creative and meditative practices.
That’s beautifully humble of you. What are you working on now or what is your most recent art project? Can you tell us about the medium you used and how the project is relevant to fashion and art and possibly spirituality?
I have recently been involved in an art exhibition called “Disobedient Women” . My four paintings each included five portraits – so 20 portraits in all- of women through history who changed the status quo by being Disobedient – by breaking the rules, by using their heads to break the glass ceiling, to oppose patriarchy. I wanted to celebrate this tradition of emergent female wisdom and power – that requires we disobey that which does not serve us , and rather obey our own callings and instincts.
In the show I used irony to lighten the tone – each woman had essential “headgear” for breaking the glass ceilings. Hats are usually a symbol of status and power for men , and veiling or glamour for women, and so I noticed that as women disobeyed the rules they put on the hats of power – Queen Elizabeth the first , for example, or Joan of Arch, or Queen Hatsepshut etc wearing the headgear previously only worn by men. I also portrayed modern heroines putting on astronaut helmets or knitted Pink Pussy hats.
I love it! They make my heart sing. My favorite art piece of yrs is the one of the woman and the avocado as a symbol for a personal journey you underwent. Are you able to tell us about this artwork?
The painting is of a naked woman, almost white, perhaps in death. Her heart however is regenerating with a seedling- it happens to be an avocado, my favourite food and related to my childhood in Africa. This painting is a visual metaphor of my own transformation or rebirth, when parts of me that are no longer functional have died, temporarily showing up as depression, and new growth has then followed.
I have come to recognize that “Dark Nights of the soul “ serve as portents for deep transformation. Seeds need the dark in order to sprout – and entelechy – or the realization of potential – can then occur. In each acorn there is the potential for a fully grown oak tree.
I have been known to weep at an early Egyptian scarab ring I saw, or at Gustav Klimts female forms half revealed by geometric gold fractal patterns – Sally
That’s truly beautiful Sally. OK, let’s have some fun! What’s your favorite quote?
“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” Einstein. This implies constant creativity is necessary – thinking has to be new and vital to uplevel our problem solving , especially relevant now , as our world becomes endangered.
Whats yr favorite outfit (fashion) at the moment?
Always yoga pants – so comfortable, you can be undisturbed by zippers, belts or crutch riders.
Crutch riders? That’s a new term. We call it Camel’s Toe fashion here
What is your favorite art book?
I can get lost in the classics- gazing at a piece of renaissance marble that looks like real flesh, such as the work of Bernini. I have been known to weep at an early Egyptian scarab ring I saw, or at Gustav Klimts female forms half revealed by geometric gold fractal patterns. My taste runs to the lavish sensuality and generosity of work that worships robust curves.
Most transformative spiritual practice or wisdom you can impart?
Lose your mind to find it. Relax. Let go.
Who is the funniest woman you know?
You run a close race with Ellen de Generes – except your humour is also a truly teachable moment- your illustrated, contemporary aphorisms border on the Sahaj practice of divine wisdom madness. Truly brilliant. But Ellen is merely hilarious.
The practice of Boderline Spirituality Syndrome !I think we’ll end on that note! Thank you, this was really amazing and so much fun! I love your authenticity and appreciate the DEEP (ness) of your art and your Life work. You’ll have to come and spend some time with us at the Women in Need retreat!
I’d love to Megsie. Thank you for this, you are so funny and wonderful! Awaiting actual response from Sally
Take a look at Sally’s Art Therapy website
or if you are up for some challenging Theorisms grab a big cup of tea and dip into her PhD article here
Listen to her juicy interviews about her experience in Africa:
Order a copy of Sally’s book Art making with Refugees
WE HOPE YOU ARE GOING WITH THE FLOW.
See you in April when we get down and dirty with Malinda Swain traveling artist and mud maker!
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