Trailer with lettering: BAH DAH

Tag: spiritual

08/08/09 GOD I AM I AM GOD / San Francisco, CA

07/28/09 OM BENA SATO SAMAYA / Santa Monica, CA

Trailer with lettering: OM BENA SATO SAMAYA

100 syllable mantra, the chanting of which is used in rituals of purification.

07/01/09 NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO / UC Santa Cruz, CA

Trailer with lettering: NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO

Chanting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo–also known as “Daimoku”–is the primary practice of some 12 million SGI Buddhist members throughout the world.


05/13/08 CHAZAK CHAZAK VENIT CHAZEK / Charlottesville, VA

Trailer with lettering: CHAZAK CHAZAK VENIT CHAZEK

Hebrew blessing: “Strong, strong, and let us be strengthened!” follows the conclusion of each of the five books of the Torah.

04/12/08 JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

04/09/08 YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

03/28/08 Setting Up the Mantra Trailer / Durham, NC

This is the first day of the cross-country tour. The kick off is tonight at the Center for Documentary Studies. I’ll be presenting the project during the Fresh Docs program. “Setting Up the Mantra Trailer” was shot in January with Erika Simon in Atlanta, GA. We edited it this week for it’s premier tonight at Fresh Docs.

03/19/08 OM BHUR BHUVAS SUVAHA / Durham, NC

Trailer with lettering: OM BHUR BHUVAS SUVAHA

Gayatri Mantra

Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life,
Remover of pain and sorrow,
The Bestower of happiness,
Oh! Creator of the Universe,
May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light,
May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.


01/07/08 The sacred vs the image / San Sebastian State Park, FL

sand sculpture

I took the day off and enjoyed the beach at San Sebastian State Park. When I walked over the crest of the boardwalk I saw salmon blue clouds and the peep of the sun over the horizon. I had decided to get to the beach early enough to watch the sunrise and it was astounding. There were multiple flocks of sea birds worshiping the sun at a single point on the beach. My first impulse was to grab my camera and try to capture the image of natural beauty in front of me, but then I would miss seeing it for myself.

On this journey I decided not to image the “natural” landscape without evidence of human intervention. The experience of witnessing nature is a sacred event when it moves the heart. This is not an experience that I can bring to you through an image. I thought about the way images dilute the sacredness of a place. With better and better imaging technology we are tricked into believing that seeing the image is just as good as experiencing the real thing and more convenient to boot. If people choose not to experience nature first hand there will be no witness, which can lead to inaction, to the deadening of the spirit, and to the diminishing of our sense of and desire for the sacred.

I’ve also decided not to take any images of the interior of the Mantra Trailer for the same reason. It’s a space to be experienced, explored and witnessed from the heart. Like our own interiors, like nature, the interior of the Mantra Trailer is not a curio or spectacle to be merely viewed, or examined.

For those who do not have the opportunity to experience the Mantra Trailer in real life, I invite them to look inward to imagine the interior space. Imagine a comforting oasis, a warm, bright womb.

12/07/07 I’M WALKING IN MY SPIRIT / Wings Community Arts Ctr, Durham, NC


This is a sufi chant that means “I offer myself as a vehicle of the One, who is Mercy & Compassion.” Here’s more about the Meaning of Bismillah

Mantra Trailer appearance hosted by the Art Musuem of Western Virginia.

11/28/07 Signboard Heaven / Lynchburg, VA

Filmed during a residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in November. Lynchburg is the home of Liberty Universtity, founded by Jerry Falwell. Fast food empoyees say “It’s an honor to serve you and have a blessed day.” There’s a church signboard on every corner.

11/21/07 I WANNA CHANGE MY LIFE / Downtown Durham, NC

11/17/07 JESUS JESUS JESUS YOU ARE THE WAY / 9th St, Durham, NC

11/12/07 RUNNING IS FREEDOM / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

10/29/07 CHOOSE HAPPINESS / Blue Mountain Center, NY

10/25/07 OM TARA TU TARA TU TARA TURE TURE SVAHA / Blue Mountain Center, NY

10/19/07 GREAT SPIRIT / Durham, NC

10/14/07 I AM ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

10/14/07 GOD IS PEACE WITH JUSTICE / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

10/14/07 YOU ARE EVEN NOW EXACTLY WHERE YOU NEED TO BE / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

10/14/07 A SEED OF GOD TURNS INTO GOD / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

09/30/07 OMNAMSHIVA / Blue Mountain Center, NY

09/19/07 OM IS THE BOW THE ARROW IS THE SOUL / The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH

This is a quote from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.