It is imperative for me to keep my body in good condition: otherwise my mind is unable to remain fixed on devotional or artistic concentration. A very strong mind, I know, can transcend all physical difficulties. As long as you struggle with your mortality, you’ll always be affected by the myriad mutations of Earth.
I’ll be the first to admit it: life’s not always easy. I get frustrated and temperamental and disappointed and angry just like everyone else (although breakdowns that used to be unprovoked while on pharmaceuticals and subscribing to a bad diet are now not only always warranted, but are always entirely manageable.) The sun isn’t always shining and I very often need to find ways to manage the stress that comes from being self employed by choice: I am always working, consistently chasing down paychecks, consistently confirming jobs, constantly searching, e-mailing, talking, explaining big ideas, taking responsibility and being prompt and professional 100% of the time. And while it’s not difficult to be nice to just about everyone, it does have it’s drawbacks when they are not entirely nice or respectful back to you. During these times, I’ve found that practicing earnest meditation and goal-realizing prayers doesn’t always seem like enough to personally bring me back to a peaceful state of mind, or they become more difficult with the clang and clutter in between my ears. However, lately I have added something to my Stress Management Regiment that I think is absolutely essential to actually getting me to the place and mindset I need to be… and that is Music.
Meditation with the right music is what it gives your power back. Mind by itself has no existence as such. It is a complicated group of thoughts: some thoughts are good, some thoughts are bad. Each thought emits vibration, positive or negative. When the power of the negative thoughts are more, you have stress.
Along with reading earnestly and taking nightly detoxing Epsom soaks (followed by a cold shower), adding new and calming Music to my day-to-day life, as well as playing music often, has been entirely helpful to keep me in the right mood to handle stress. I will share with you some of my favorite stations with the help of Pandora, which is a free music listening device available either online or on your smart phone! The App is 100% free, and a great perk is that a lot of their meditation stations are 100% commercial free!!
I truly love this man. Dubbed “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine” in the pages of Time, Deepak Chopra vaulted to international fame at the vanguard of the self-help publishing explosion, later expanding his multimedia empire to include a series of new age-themed albums recorded in collaboration with musicians including Eurythmics‘ Dave Stewart. In 1989, Chopra published his first book, Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, combining elements of Hinduism and Western science to posit the body as a “network of intelligence” that can fight off disease and aging via meditation and clean living founded the American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. After splitting with the transcendental meditation faction in 1993 amid allegations the Maharishi was attempting to control his writing and speaking engagements, Chopra published his breakthrough effort, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old, selling more than 100,000 copies the day after his appearance on television’s Oprah Winfrey Show. His calming meditation techniques over gorgeous sounds or nature sounds is all I need to start my day!
The National Park Service has a program called “The Natural Sounds Program” that protects, maintains, and restores acoustical environments in the National Park System. It focuses on increasing understanding and inspiring public appreciation of the value and character of soundscapes. They consider the natural sounds in the parks to be an important natural resource. Natural sounds like wind, water, wildlife, and vegetation are considered acoustic sounds and are referred to as the soundscape. They work to preserve the soundscape for the park visitor.
Michigan State University points out that there is a new scientific field called Soundscape Ecology, that uses sound to help people connect with the importance of natural sounds, especially when it comes to examining the health and integrity of ecosystems. It points out that many people in today’s society tune out and block natural sounds. The National Wildlife Federation points out the many health benefits that children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) receive when exposed to natural settings. They reported that these children have less stress, anxiety, and depression when exposed to green spaces. Their social interactions are enhanced as well, and they state that “nature makes you nicer.”
ESP [Deep Relaxation Mix]
This station is a lot like what you would hear in a Spa or Lounge and I play it for my morning showers because it doesn’t make me as sleepy as some of the other stations. Listening to relaxation music helps to quiet the mind, allowing you to enter into the place of deep stillness and inner peace that meditation brings. It has been proven that when the body and mind are relaxed, the body’s natural ability to heal itself is greatly enhanced.
I like this station because it is commercial free! By listening to deeply relaxing, meditation-based music, you can assist your body to release it’s healing powers. Studies have shown positive benefits when patients listen to relaxing music before and after surgery and in hospice settings. Certain pressures are part and parcel of the modern materialistic civilization. Perhaps you can not avoid them. But there are certain types of situations, which can be managed without pressure, but by mishandling those situations, and many times with imaginary fears, we build a fence around ourselves and lock ourselves within the fence, throw the key of the lock somewhere, and blame others for our plight! This kind of music can really help to center you and bring you back to where you’re meant to be.
Karunesh took an active interest in music during his youth in Germany, back when he was still known as Bruno Reuter. But it wasn’t until he was 23 and took a mean spill off his motorbike that Reuter received his epiphany in the form of new age spiritualism. A pilgrimage to India followed, where he reemerged as Karunesh (Sanskrit for “compassion”). He issued his debut LP, Sounds of the Heart, in 1984, and never looked back. Karunesh was remarkably consistent over the next 20 years, releasing numerous albums influenced by the windy landscape of world music and punctuated with breathy flutes, introspective guitars, and hints of vocal and electronics. He worked with the Nightingale, Oreade, Etherean, and Real Music imprints, among others; album highlights include Heart Chakra Meditation (1992), Secrets of Life (first issued in 1996), and 2001’s Zen Breakfast, which leaned toward the new age subgenre of music for massage/relaxation.
This, in conjunction with earnest meditation and an earnest diet and exercise program is guaranteed to change your life for the better! It is important to note that after an immense amount of time and practice, even a few days of slipping OUT of this mode will inundate your life and mind with challenges that may seem unfaceable. Just come back to your Center.
I also have marvelous friends who help me manage stress! Fleur of the wonderful NYHop and NYIllustration sent over an absolutely lovely ecofriendly package to me today and my best friend Rian and I exchanged some belated Christmas presents last night and he was so thoughtful! I am also planning a marvelous trip with my love and muse Kris to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree for the end of the month that is keeping me in wonderful spirits! Me and my dear friend Amanda of insta-fame got to pal around this week as well, and do some shoot therapy. I filmed another big music video yesterday again for a large record label and band and I’m super excited to share it! I also got to do a really beautiful Editorial (some photos below) with great talent that we’re submitting to a few magazines! It’s absolutely important to keep the most wonderful, creative, inspiring people you can around!
I am so happy to share that my own music is now available for download on Amazon or iTunes! Thank you all for your continued support with Visual Exchange and in all of my creative endeavors! I feel entirely blessed that this is what I get to do with my life!
Love & Light