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Monday, December 15, 2014

That Parallel World

On Saturday evening I was at the opening of a friend's new Art Gallery in Ancona. There was a duet playing, a young lady flautist and her husband on piano.

the flautist
Lately I find myself drawn into music. A sort of (almost) total absorption might best describe it, whereas previously in my life I had always felt somehow detached as a mere listener. And I remarked to a friend at the show that in the next life that I will want to be born in this state of immersion. And yesterday evening we went to a concert in our nearby town of Civitanova Alta, the inaugural concert of the season where the English violinist Charlie Siem performed. He is a superb performer; looks a bit like superman.
I was feeling groggy from some sort of flu bug I was fighting and after the concert I suggested to lili that we should take an aperitif in the bar next door and that I needed a whisky (which I never usually drink). And instead of heading for the salone with all the other folk, we decided to stay in the bar area. I noticed a guy sitting behind us and Lili whispered to me that he was a famous composer and then at the other spare table of the three arrived two ladies and a young girl.

the young pianist
Then the world shifted. It was as if the little bar became the centre of the Universe.
The young girl brushed past me and sat at the piano and began to play Rachmaninov. I must tell you that I have never heard music performed so beautifully, so perfectly. Then having finished the piece she simply stood up and began to walk back to her mum at the table and I said to her as she passed ' But that was so beautiful and she was almost aplogetic that she might have disturbed us. I asked her to play again and she did for us. And then we were chatting with her, this beautiful little girl, and were joined by the composer who was entranced too and came over to tell her that her playing was beyond perfection and was from another world.
Then our three seperate tables became one held in the beauty of this moment and I said to the composer that I love these rare times where art meets art but that it was just by chance that we were here at all. But he said no, it wasn't chance, it was somehow meant to be; that we had all entered this parallel world opened by this young girl who in her innocence held the golden key to its access.

the composer
 Wow! I have been teaching and talking about this parallel world of art and creativity for years now but this was the first time I had heard it from the lips of another.
We all left the bar at about the same time, not sharing visiting cards or contact details. It just didn't seem to be at all important. But the thought did occur to me that maybe this planet contains, in some strange way, Paradise itself (a word of ancient Persian origin, which originally only ever meant 'a place of great beauty and happiness'), that it does exist, in this very present moment, running alongside this so called world of normality which we inhabit, and that art, in all its forms, is the magic vehicle which takes us to its gate. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Minu and the poetic

'The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable'
....Robert Henri
This is a photo of Minu. She is one of three kittens we gave away some five weeks back, Minu to a family in town who live in an apartment. We were a bit apprehensive as Minu was born in our tool shed and had spent her first two months of life playing amongst the flowers in our garden. However they are a nice family and we though it would turn out OK as they had a big terrace. Well, the mother of the family called us three days back to say she was worried that Minu buried herself away all day and crept around with her tail between her legs and never played with the other older cats. So Lili went to bring her back and she said she was a sorry sight and utterly depressed, and what's more was locked in a bedroom every night with the other cats and put in a carry cage. But the story ends in a happy note because after three days back home she has refound her sparkle, is back with her mother (lots more to learn) and has been revisiting all her old hang outs; this afternoon she went back to the shed to the very spot where she was born. I have come to the conclusion that four months with here mum was what she needed and we know now that she has recovered her true nature and all is well in the garden
I love the remark by Henri at the top of this blog. It's my fall-back point and the one which I jump back on to every time I get intellectual hiccups about creativity.
So all my blogs from henceforth on this site will be on this theme; that to shift (back) in to the magical and parallel world of creativity is essential for the very survival of our species on this planet.
And it's such an adventure too. A journey, if you will, and one which is almost Hobbit-like in its twists and turns; and its labyrinths with monsters lurking around every corner to block you and gobble you up if you fall asleep and drift back to the dull world of rationality.
You see, creativity cannot be divorced from life itself. To be creative is to be fully human, fully alive. And our species has gotten itself into a right pickle because it has left the garden, the poetic garden of that wonderful state which Henri refers to above.
Image making is as old as our species. It is our nature and is fundamental to the very essence of existence. It is something we are born with and which never truly leaves us were we but to realise this.
So we need to vibrate again with fesh energy and re-connect with our unique creative poetic selves which have been patiently awaiting a timely re-awakening.
So what's the big question here? I'll tell you. It's to find a space, find a path, find a community of like souls to help us see again that which our culture has made us blind to.
On Monday next, I am running a painting workshop for a bunch of seven year-olds here in Italy. I love doing this. I do the same with adults who I magically turn into seven year-old by various tricks and games. You see, this is the age where children arrive at a critical junction in their young lives and are drawn away from the poetic creative by mainstream education and parental pressure. And to be creative with children at this age is a great reminder of how wonderful human beings are before the onslaught of dull rationality seeps in and sullies the soul.
But all is not lost, dear readers. Rescue is at hand. We will bring you back home to your true creative selves just like we rescued Minu, and free you from the dull corridors of constraint that everyday life has been forcing upon you.
Look out for our creativityworkshops in Assisi this summer
Write for more info for how where and when to... Michael

Friday, October 24, 2014

Malmo, the workshop on creativity

Coaching and the creative mind
Just as the world of Coaching broadens and deepens its involvement into social issues such as Recovery and Education (the coaching of teachers for example), my concern is that this is just an attempt to clean up a mess rather than avoiding it, and its consequences, in the first place.
So my talk addressed the issue of creativity and how this God given gift is threatened and virtually eliminated during childhood. And the paradox is that, currently, respected institutions such as the RSA and the TED series and business and industry everywhere are pleading the necessity of creativity in our daily and working lives, at the same time as (in UK) they have decided to test children at the age of 4 and 5 for competence in reading and arithmetic. (And its laughable and ironic that the younger the age at which they decide to force this tyranny on children, the worst their performance becomes.)
So I took my group at conference back to the age of seven in their imaginations and it is astounding how easily adults can and want to make this imagined leap. They are tired of being adults and want to play and laugh and work together...........And this is what happened.
They plundered materials, pushed each other aside, made a mess and produced images which were indeed almost exactly the sort of image children of that age would make. And how do kids of that age draw and paint? Why, exactly as their teachers have instructed. Shouldn't you put some birds in the sky Susan, and shouldn't your mummy be in the picture too? Dangerous stuff, because this interference programmes the child to conform and seek praise.
Here I showed them a short clip about parents and teachers in Australia who leave their kids alone to paint without any judgement or interference-

look------- Aelita Andre painting

Then I launched the group into drawing and painting ferociously on the floor, turned them into animals with face paint and introduced them to their daemons (mystic creatures which watch over us and our creativity in our lives) and most importantly of all, watched them plunge into the parallel world of the Creative Collective; (what I call the garden of NOW) those magical currents of genius which await us always, if we were but awake enough to see.
Here I showed them a video of a murmuration, this is the Autumn flight of starlings in Europe where they fly in thousands making art in the sky and I likened this to the feeling and thrill humans get too when they combine their creative minds and work as one. That you do not lose any individuality when you work together with others. On the contrary, the experience heightens individuality and creativity.

Look------- murmuration

The talk was all, and more , of this ilk but essentially it was a plea for Coaching to address creativity and about my intention to launch in 2015 a training course, in a small way at first, for those who wish to become Creativity Coaches; to take themselves firstly into the collective genius and to learn how to open this wonder to others.
Finally, it was a plea too (and this I hope to address in an Education Group with Martin Richards)
to launch a sort of underground concept/movement, 50:50 I might call it, which sees the value of both creative and rational learning as being of equal value; essentially play and innovation. Not as separate divided issues but merely representative of the two sides of human nature which should in no way be in conflict but instead blend and flow together.
Kids love this sort of learning
Teachers would too.
But keep politicians away!

To see Micheal's focus session at Malmo, click here

Michael Eldridge.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Yes that's what we are, or will be...Nomads! As in itinerant.
Have a peek at currently revamping StarStone site and all will be revealed.
Less programmed workshops but more specifically targeted as you will see.
What do we mean by Nomadic?
Simply this.That at the ICF Global Conference in Malmo (where yours truly spoke on the subject of creativity) I was asked by folks from Moscow, Athens, Istanbul, Sofia, Warsaw etc, to bring our workshops to them, Quiet chuffed I was but DONG! Struck I was too, with the realisation that it is so much easier for folks if we travel instead of them. So I am recruiting organisers. The idea is that an organiser can easily find a group of participants in their own City. And that these folks don't have to pay travel or accommodation coats. So a bargain all round.
Neat being a Nomad.
Of course we will still run our workshops in Italy, especially over summer, and you will find all the details on site by the end of October, after the grape picking.

Do write to Michael if you like this idea.
Or just write to me anyway. It's nice to do so.

A presto.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Daemons and Genius

I was focus speaker at this weekend's ICF conference in Malmo, Sweden; subject daemons and genius and mindfulness. But most importantly of all, playing with a bunch of lovely people making images of insects, daemons and telling stories about ourselves to others. Making rather than taking.
Took a nightime visit to Copenhagen with Lars and a group and really loved it, just drifting around and eating a very pleasant dinner together. Back home last night into the chaos of Rome. A stark contrast to the cool efficiency of Malmo.
Dream in anticipation of our programme in 2015, when STARSTONE goes global

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The white rabbit saga pt 2


As I get older I am drawn towards people, events and ways of living which are not fast or immediate but which show passionate involvement and concentration on the job in hand; with more concern for quality of product than money.
And below is a lovely reaction to my Mila the angora rabbit blog from a linkedin friend Warren A Reilly.

'I am with you there Michael...
Perhaps there is a sentimentality that comes at a certain time of life, however I (like you :-) am also no luddite to modern technology or community, and yet as I get older the 'value' of those older traditions are being raised within my own eyes.

Yes, I am aware that there may be more efficient materials than angora rabbit fur...
Yes, I am aware that I could probably buy a garment for a third of the cost - made in a sweat shop in Indo-china..
Yes, I am aware that this is labour intensive and you could not possibly expect to compete in a global market with a garment made in this way....(blah, blah, blah..)

But that is the point - I wouldn't value a culturally neutral & optimised product made under duress by a stranger..
I want the jumper that took 4 weeks from start to finish. The one that lasts at least 10 years if looked after lovingly.
I want the one made a person who made it for me - as an individual.

I know it is more expensive, I don't care - I really don't care.
If I don't have the money to pay for it, then just have to work a bit harder for a bit longer and save up for it. The anticipation only adds to the value... :-)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Those days back then

Yesterday we went to a festa of local artisans at the Fattoria San Liberato nearby. Now, I'm not exactly a Luddite by nature as I love the beauty of a lot of modern design, but I was deeply moved by the quality and sensibility of the old ways and crafts presented at the festa by a host of quite lovely folks; weavers, shoemakers, bag makers, hatmakers, watchmakers and many more. I got into conversation with many a kind person and was struck by their intensity of purpose and the presence they exhibited in particular the deep levels of concentration they portrayed.
Here's but one example which warmed my heart.

This is Mila (and her owner Stefano.) Mila is an angora rabbit and Stefano told me stories of how he used to go up to Treviso in the 50's with his father to fetch Angora rabbits. They would keep them and cut their fur with scissors and sell it to local weavers. This trade has long since died out but he has this one rabbit whose name is Mila. He has tried breeding them but they are so delicate that those he gives to people as pets seldom live long as folks do not realise how special they are and how much attention they need. He takes Mila with him everywhere and she sits beside him on the passenger seat of his car with a special seat belt. She is shy of strangers and buries her head under his elbow when feeling timid and sucks his thumb for comfort.

This is Camilla. She is a weaver but does less weaving nowadays as her fingers have gotten stiff.
Here she is weaving angora fur which she makes the occasional jumper with. She visits schools and talks to children about the times past and she says that they are always completely enchanted. And she tells them all about life the old days and questions them and allows all their questions too.
This made me laugh.. One of the questions she asked recently at a school was 'Where does yogurt come from?' And a little girl answered 'From the fridge' And then she went on to show them how to make it.

                  This is an angora fur neck warmer modelled by Liliana

                                  (photo Nicki on a One2One, May 2014, Pedaso, Italy)

Back to now. I love this photo, I think because it symbolises creativity as a singular pursuit;
a private voyage with the soul merging with nature. And there is no separateness. There is just timeless time, concentration which dissolves into pure presence. It is the same parallel existence which runs beside us like a daemon who cares for us. It is the same gift which we contain within us still, and which existed abundantly in those old days. But it only re-emerges in present times when we choose to prise ourselves loose from this modern world which herds us into ever diminishing corridors of constraint.

starstone one2ones

Monday, May 26, 2014

Three workshops in Tolentino

La Rancia is a Twelth Century castle near Tolentino in Le Marche. These are images from my workshops where adults were seven year olds and children their fellow artists. Art attacks and jungles (yet to come)

She is meditating on her image, or dozing, so we just left her alone

Group paintings in Art Attack game

Age group five to sixty

More on

For more info on our exciting workshops write to Michael

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Men in White Gloves

Beware of them, my mum always told me...but I jest.
Colin Tracy, Steve Bray (the author of Photography and Zen) and I, shared an exhibition in Marmaris, Turkey. It was great to be fussed over and welcomed in such a heart felt way and we wish we could have stayed longer. The gallery is superb as you can see and I think it was the nicest opening I've ever experienced. In fact it was.

Stephen and Irem the most perfect hosts and the Turkish guests so sincere and charming.
I have this idea of buying a boat and living there ;O)
You can see us on TV tonight (Wed) at 630pm UK time
Wearing white gloves



            ..rediscovering your unique creativity

                                      With Michelle Rumney and Michael Eldridge

Can you remember your childhood days when every minute was a wondrous realm of imagination and you were totally absorbed in the depth of each moment? Imagine, once again, finding within yourself a colourful creative garden of spontaneity and intuition . . .

Art makes art; creativity feeds creativity. Want to get all that amazing stuff out of your head and into the world? To share with the world? StarStone will show you how. And we do it with a lot of fun and laughter!

Our BIG PAINTING workshops provide simple ways to help you rediscover the original source of your creativity and to know that is it possible to live from a secure place within yourself that permits you to act from your own uniqueness. You paint BIG and thus become BIG in your imagination and love of creativity

You'll experience new ways of self expression and rediscover the precious core of your creativeness, which has always been there waiting to be re-awakened.

Ryanair flights to Ancona and Pescara are low low this week. But be quick!

'Ideas which stay in the head, die in the head'
                    What better way to welcome Springtime?

                                        Your creativity matters.

Michael at Starstone

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Coaching and the creative mind

                       the Sibillini mountains, our summer playground in Le Marche

I'm a guest speaker at the ICF Global Conference in Malmo Sept 18-20 on the subject of creativity, and how it is what everybody is talking about and yet few know how to do; how to enter this enchanting parallel world.
And here in Italy I am running a seminar (May 29 to June 1) where, if you are already a Creativity Coach, or aspire to be one, this will prove to be a fascinating voyage into the inner world of the creative artist. An opportunity to experience for yourselves the wondrously contradictory labyrinths of the creative mind, our working territory, where you will paint, you will write, you will get lost down the rabbit hole of creativity and be rescued.

Michael at STARSTONE

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fotografia e meditazione

 Con Mauro Magrini
Luglio 3 a 6
 La meditazione è una chiave per accedere alla creatività. Nello stato meditativo, nell’apertura a ciò che ci sta attorno e nella presenza all’attimo, si creano le condizioni ideali per vedere la realtà con i nostri occhi, sgombra da condizionamenti e preconcetti e per accedervi con la nostra sensibilità entrando in simbiosi con l’Unità. In questo stato la nostra creatività è capace di esprimersi in maniera originale e corrispondente a noi stessi.
 Fotografare in questo stato significa aprire in nostro terzo occhio, essere capaci di cogliere quello che realmente ci colpisce, nella modalità estetica più consona alla nostra sensibilità artistica.
Diventiamo un tutt’uno con ciò che fotografiamo e l’immagine diventa realmente espressione di noi stessi.
Nel workshop saranno sperimentate queste condizioni e questo approccio alla fotografia, per renderla più consapevole e più affine al nostro essere.
Mauro Magrini 
A starstone

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Photography and Zen

Steve's going viral, I'm sure of it. His new book 'Photography and Zen' has just been published, so check it out on this Amazon link.
And remember too that our retreat 'Zen and the Art of Photography' with Natasha Lythgoe is in October this year.
A year full of Zen
A blog full of links

And what's more.. Stephen Bray, Colin Tracy and I have our photographic show in Marmaris, Turkey just about the time that the hardcover of he book is ready.

Michael at starstone

Friday, March 21, 2014

The magic of words

Creative Discovery Weekend; Word and image

Word and Image;  May 15 to 18 and September 18 to 21

Ages ago, Colin Pink and I initiated our Word and Image workshops. Could have been a hundred years back but it was just five, or sixmy exaggeration a vain attempt to give weight to our accumulated wisdom. We began them at our famous Tiger Eagles retreats which are held in all sorts of exotic places but also France (slight jest here). And an extra famous one in Italia, that's two of us in this photo of the Gola D'infernacio, 'The Throat of Hell', in the Sibillini mountains, a favourite inspiration venue.
As we play in time, words and images collide together and create something manifestly greater than what they ever were or could be by themselves. Haiku, that marvellous liberator; that poetic device which colours like a paintbrush over a freshly prepared canvas of the imagination; the magic of words; that you can work with them as easily as you can with shapes and colours.
 And then...Playing with words, exploring the joy of liberating words from their everyday use. And storytelling; expressing ourselves as a language opens up within our minds, where words and then images begin to take on lives of their own, part of and apart from ourselves..
You will amaze yourselves with the way you learn to open up an avalanche of creativity; so much magical stuff hidden inside.
This emotive weekend is also, by its very nature, about laughing, daring ; meeting each other on a different plain and sharing thoughts and ideas.
This is what we did, is what we do.
And in Italy, that anarchic country where nothing makes sense, but where the senses run free, liberated from any constricting rationality.
Come along if you can, if you dare.
In the meantime read on my friends, read on

Friday, March 14, 2014

Be Kind to Yourself

 Eleanor Darley writes about her weekend retreat in June
'Be kind to Yourself '

Well, these four days in the warm italian countryside will be a place to breathe and let go. This is TIME OUT FOR YOU. We will create a safe nurturing space full of art, vision and gentle transformations - a space to really listen to the secrets of the soul, the wisdom of our true being, and what nature can tell you. This is a creative journey to encounter the art of communicating with ourselves - come prepared to feel informed, and to discover a good feeling about who you are. read on ...

at Starstone in Italy this summer

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fireflies in June

June is the perfect month. Summer is still young and the sea air drifting up from the Adriatic takes the temperature down at night. But best of all are the fireflies which hover beneath the olive trees at evening time and through our open windows where they dance their magical dance in the darkness of our rooms. It is in June that Maria Banks and I run our annual Creativity Retreats. It is when we subtract past and future from our lives and live for a short while in the Garden of Now, where our true selves dwell and our innate creativity flourishes.

I Cigni (below) is so very Italian. The food is homegrown, the wine and olive oil from the farm and the atmosphere friendly. It is tranquil with no traffic or noises which disturb our sleep and all in all it is conducive to what we come here for; to take off our masks, let our hair down and play. We paint, we write poetry, dance, sing and laugh a lot too. There is time to swim in the large pool any time we feel like it and for beach lovers there are sessions where we go down to the sea which is only 3K away

   Not forgetting a trip to the Sibillini Mountains (above)

Come and join us this summer, and dance and play with the fireflies!


Visit our starstone site for full summer programme

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I popped down to I Cigni to check out some details for our summer programme, and this was waiting for me.
A present!

I love getting presents especially when they are paintings.
It was from Jiven Banghar, (she of 'Purplestars') who came on a One2one weekend with me in the summer. These fast moving, and deeply emotional snatches of time blast away any obstacles there might be, or could ever be, to being at one with your true creative self. 
In practical terms they are about whatever
medium of expression presents itself, be it painting, photography, poetry, writing, but especially they are more than the expression of any particular art form; more about the art of living itself. The Art of living creatively.
This was Jiven's first ever painting in her entire life. And I am proud to be the owner.
It's hanging on my studio wall already.
Oh, and this was her kind thank you message

Michael at starstone

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


                                    BIG PAINTING May 8 to 11
                                         With Michelle Rumney and Michael Eldridge

Creativity, as we all know, is something which the world, business, industry, education, is crying out for. Problem is, few people know how to get achieve it; how to loosen minds from the more rational corridors of constraint which restrict out ability to embrace it.They talk about it but do not know that it is a parallel world just waiting for us to inhabit. It's been there all the time. Some secret!
Let me explain.
Take as an analogy baby in the pool; those videos we see, where babies swim happily under water. The amazing thing is that they don't have to be taught; it's an instinct they are born with, this experience is like going home for them, and in turn gives them joy and confidence and also takes away the fear of they must at first experience at arriving in a harsher new world, so much harsher than the warm sweet water that they had become used to, floating inside their mothers' bodies. And this experience is something that stays with them all of their lives, a love for water and something which gives them confidence too, essential in their new quest to survive and prosper
Creativity is somewhat like this. It is something we are born with and something we would float within forever, if it weren't for all the abrasive things which happen to us as we grow older, the infrequency of play with parents, the exposure to rational education etc.
So our technique, if you can call it that, is a sort of psychological unlocking, facilitated easily through play and games and group dynamics where I take people back to the tailing off point in their childhood where their natural creativity began to be squeezed aside and give them once again permission to be carefree and playful and thus creative; swimming once more in the warm pool of the creative unconscious.
Our BIG PAINTING weekend is a direct and powerful way to immerse yourself into this parallel world; to be released from the constraints of rationality and to float once more in the delicious flow of creativity which has been simply waiting for you to awaken to its presence. You will paint BIG and feel BIG and learn that art is life and that life is art. You will find that you can at last paint your life anew on every waking day of your lives.
So creativity is innate within us all, never leaves us, simply has to be re-awakened. What we also do is give people a sort of survival kit to take way with them, allowing them to source their rediscovered creativity at will and whenever in whatever form this make take; and not necessarily art but also in the art of living itself.

return to site... Starstone

Friday, January 31, 2014

Hunting the Heart of the Deer

April's weather will be just fine, surely it will, simply because I am flying over to England for the Breathing Space creativity weekend in Norwich and need sunshine because even one day of rain makes me feel depressed. Then I'm zooming over to Turkey for a Photography exhibition I'm sharing with Stephen Bray and Colin Tracy and then double zooming back for Eleanor Darley's retreat at Montefiore at Easter time, which I'm now going to tell you about now..

It's called Hunting the Deer and is a powerful quest into nature and your inner world to experience the healing that comes from observation, creativity, the heart and imagination.
This workshop is your chance to hunt down truths in your life and soul - using the artistic process. 
Eleanor writes;
'That it is inspired by the Mexican Huichol traditions, at the center of which is the practice of understanding the living archetype of the blue deer (Kayumari) which brings messages to the people from Spirit, a deep connection with the universe, your self, and life force as love. We will explore this philosophy through a revealing creative process, delving into art techniques with colour, charcoal, and other materials to enliven the senses, bring warmth and trust to experience a conscious connection to the images within, and force by which nature herself creates.  Over the few days you will awaken new powers of self observation, and begin your journey of enquiry, to prayer, to vision, to art'
More details 

So Easter will be fun..with sun 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Norwich in Springtime

I used to work for the Open University and we ran summer workshops at the University of East Anglia in the eighties in Norwich. They were part of the Technology, Art and Design course (TAD). My fellow leaders (we couldn't be called teachers because we didn't teach a thing in the conventional meaning of that word) were musicians, performance artists, puppeteers, inventors, Tai Chi trainers, photographers (me); a circus of talented people who would always turn up first day with scarcely an idea between them. Instead we invented a programmes as we went along, working democratically alongside our students who are best described as fellow anarchists, if truth be told. Tadpoles they called themselves. Now, these workshops, which were awash with money (ask for it, you got it) were a necessary component of the three year course, fail it and you had to repeat it the following year. Problem was that these Tadpoles would deliberately fail so they could come back again as is was all such fun. This meant that numbers burgeoned and the these workshops got bigger and fantastically out of control. I loved them. Sadly they closed them down. This makes me smile now. They were parodied in one of the Comic Strip series where the Tadpoles ended up burning a tutor on a funeral pyre on the campus grounds.
Those eighties!

 a starstone creativity retreat in Italy

So back I am to Norwich in April to run a retreat at Breathing Space for Women. And this makes me think how life has changed. Yes, well of course it has you will tell me, but what I am really referring to is is fun. It was all such fun. Fun? A waste of time then you will say. But no! What folks learned was to create together, play together, to unleash torrents of energy and to uncover mysteries within themselves and to discover talents which they never believed they ever had. I suppose I could say that they were given permission to be children again but that isn't it exactly. Playfulness, risk taking, mess making and sharing joyful moments are not just childhood things. All these wonderful ingredients still reside in adults and it is my job to restore them to their rightful place in folks' lives. This is what my experiences and my teaching has taught me. This is what I do.
Can't guarantee we'll get as far as the pyre burning exercise but I'll do my best.
The weekend is for women only by the way.
Except for me.
Sorry boys!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Zen & the Art of Photography

Don't know if you know this but our School of Photography at the then Bournemouth College of Art (now Arts University of Bournemouth) was referred to as the Zen School of Photography, not by us but by our educational rivals; jealous they were, of they knew not what. And you can read something about these times in Stephen Bray's new book 'Zen and Photography' which will be published soon and which I am writing a preface for (I think)
So here is some information about the perfect Zen Photographic Retreat for you this summer at Starstone lead by...

Natasha Lythgoe

She writes...

Zen & The Art of Photography

What is Mindfulness?
Bringing our full attention to anything is mindfulness. This kind of attention has no particular goal in mind and enables a sense of ease, playfulness and an openness to what is here and now.
How does it connect to Photography?
When we bring this approach to photography it leads us into a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us – our subject.
Using mindfulness meditation and photography exercises you will learn how to approach and come into relation to your subject and how to make the best use of your camera and available light.
This workshop is open to all level of photographic experience and all kinds of cameras.

specific dates soon on our programme 

at Starstone

coming soon.. 

Arte e Meditazione with Mauro Magrini