Latest news from Imagine Clarity
June 24th, 2019
How can we find the spark of transformative freshness that opens up new possibilities? What are the levers of creativity? And how can meditation help to unleash the flow of our creative potential?
Discover some answers in our blog: Boredom, meditation and creativity
Creativity needs space. We need moments when we let our mind ‘breathe’. The practice of meditation puts us in deep contact with ourselves and with our life, and opens the door to new horizons of fulfillment. For Matthieu Ricard, the meditation often called “open presence” can be a catalyst for spontaneous inspiration to emerge. Charles Hastings offers a simple introduction to this practice here: A simple presence. (You may need to click through the other sessions of the course to unlock this one.)
Maria João Pires insists on the importance of listening to the present moment, and constantly keeping a connection between mind and body. Every day she takes mindful walks, being aware of her surroundings, listening to her mind and body : “There’s a moment where this connection between inside and outside is flowing and makes things so much easier.”
Listen to Maria here: Flow and Presence
A tip from Alan Wallace:
“Whatever arises simply observe its nature and let it be without seeking to modify or change it in any way… Simply observe the events as they arise from moment to moment. Always fresh, always unprecedented.”
We are not all creative geniuses or expert meditators. However, we can create spaces in our day, giving ourselves time for our own reflection, time to listen to our loved ones and to listen to ourselves. Our meditation can become relaxed and spacious so that there is room for transformation. Gradually we can allow ourselves to trust our mind and the potential of what we receive. Could one call this moments of grace?
May 29th, 2019
A frequent question from our users is how do I meditate, and how can I progress and develop a more mindful, compassionate and altruistic mindset? We recommend using the app’s Favorites feature, which enables you to create your personal learning path. A good start to explore meditation and its potential to train your mind would be to add the following sessions for your favorites.
In Matthieu Ricard’s first two video courses How to Meditate and Mindfulness, Meditation and Genuine Happiness, Matthieu explains the benefits of mind training and introduces a variety of meditation techniques. He explores the inner conditions for authentic well-being and how to overcome obstacles that can slow your progress on mind training. Genuine happiness is explored as a cluster of key qualities, such as inner peace, altruism and strength of mind.
To back these up Matthieu asked his friend Charles Hastings to devise a series of simple progressive meditations based on the notion of “caring mindfulness”, in which kindness and compassion are at the heart of mindfulness right from the start. Meditation Practice Foundations, a one-
Key term: Genuine Happiness
Happiness is an optimal way of being, an exceptionally healthy state of mind that underlies and suffuses all emotional states, allowing us to embrace all of life’s joys and sorrows. It is not a temporary state of euphoria or a pleasant sensation, but a way of life deeply rooted in the pursuit of wisdom and compassion leading to inner freedom, inner strength, and mental clarity.“
April 30th, 2019
Train the mind in a range of desires and aspirations oriented toward one’s own and others’ happiness with Dr Alan Wallace. The term conation refers to the faculties of intention and volition. For example, the intention to spend more time with one’s children and the intent to lose weight are both cases of conation, with intention, or a goal, implying a stronger commitment to the action than desire alone.
These practices are designed to spend time in discursive meditation. What is practised in Alan’s foundational Mindfulness of Breathing course is nondiscursive: stabilising the mind and bringing vividness to it -marketable skills when progressing towards the discursive meditation.
On the basis of these upcoming practices, conative balance entails intentions and volitions that are conducive to one’s own and others’ well-being.
Key term: Psychological Flourishing
A sense of well-being that is not contingent on external or internal stimuli, and is qualified by serenity, joy, and contentment, rather than excitement and arousal. Derives from conative, attentional, cognitive, and affective balance.
April 29th, 2019
Matthieu Ricard explores essential qualities in leadership. Who are the most admired leaders? He discusses how “caring mindfulness” offers a compelling, entirely secular means of benefiting from meditation in the corporate world. This exploration is part of his series of in-depth discussions and meditations on altruism and the potential of mind training at the individual level to solve our time’s challenges.
“We all suffer from being stuck in a so-called normal state. What we want is not some extraordinary state, some supranormal faculties; there’s an optimal state, which best expresses and actualizes our capacities. That is a huge margin for change and transformation.”
KEY TERM: CARING, COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP
Caring leadership aims at meeting the sustainability goals of the any enterprise or corporation without harming society and the environment, while providing adequate livelihood for those working within it. These goals ideally serve the greater good by proving useful tools and services for humanity to prosper in meaningful ways while conserving resources for future generations.
April 10th, 2019
We are happy to share two new practices from Alan Wallace focused on the development of benevolent states of mind, which you will find under the title “A Boundless Heart“.
The word for loving-kindness in Sanskrit is maitri, or metta in Pali, which is related to the word for a “friend”. A prosaic translation for this word is simply “friendliness”. In English, friendliness describes a mode of behavior—a friendly way of behaving. That’s certainly a component of the meaning intended in the new practices, but loving-kindness is primarily a quality of the mind, although of course, it expresses itself in behavior.
In these practices loving-kindness is directed towards oneself is a preamble to cultivating loving-kindness for all beings. There are good reasons for beginning this practice with ourselves. Nowadays when we are stressed or having low self-esteem, the constant stream of surface thoughts may be strongly negative. This prevents getting in touch with a deeper feeling of wholeness. To get in touch with the deeper peace and love inside oneself leads to a more profound understanding and appreciation of our interconnected nature.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need advice in your meditation practice or in any other topic related to the app.
April 5th, 2019
Each lesson of Charles Hastings’ first course, ‘Meditation Practice Foundations’, is now accompanied by a brief introductory description, to help beginners to find their way and those who have already followed the course to come back easily to particular points.
‘Meditation Practice Foundations’ is a series of daily guided meditations to develop basic mindfulness and stability with an emphasis on ‘caring mindfulness’, motivated by genuine love and compassion.
As Matthieu Ricard says
“When we we seek mindfulness we should clearly, from the start, say we are talking about caring mindfulness, and embed that concept right from the start so there is no ambiguity.”
March 30th, 2019
The home-page of Imagine Clarity has been enriched with more “Thoughts of the Day” from Matthieu Ricard and our other authors, plus a larger selection of the artworks of Matthieu’s mother, Yahne Le Toumelin.
In her earlier career Yahne le Toumelin was appreciated and exhibited by André Breton as part of the surrealist movement. Her later work was closer to the lyrical abstraction of Georges Mathieu and Zao Wou-ki, involving vibrant direct expression through broad uncorrected gestures.
Forty years ago Yahne surprised the art world by becoming a Buddhist nun, pursuing the same path as Matthieu in Darjeeling, India. Later she returned to painting in her native Brittany and then in South West France, where she quietly combined her meditative life with artistic creation. Some of her most iconic works belong to this period. Now in her nineties, she still delights all who meet her with her warmth and joyous spontaneity.
Pictured: Yahne is surrounded by friends at her 2016 retrospective exhibition in Bordeaux
Photo Charles Hastings
March 22nd, 2019
Some news for our Canadian friends! Matthieu Ricard and Maria João Pires are coming to Montreal.
There will be a ‘Meeting of Minds’ organized by Karuna Canada in collaboration with Emergences, the organization that has created these events in Belgium for ten years, on the theme “How to take care of life in all its dimensions” followed by a concert with guided meditation, given by Maria João and Matthieu. In French, of course, but the language of music is universal!
13 April 2019 from 09:00 to 17:30 Conférences Maison Symphonique de Montréal, 1600 Rue Saint-Urbain, Montréal, QC H2X 0S1, Canada
13 April 2019 at 20:00 Conférences Maison Symphonique de Montréal, 1600 Rue Saint-Urbain, Montréal, QC H2X 0S1, Canada
March 15th, 2019
Last weekend, Charles Hastings took part in a day with patients suffering from congenital cardiomyopathy, a cardiac anomaly that can cause sudden death. It was also a day for their families, who, in addition to being on the front line as carers, are often symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers of the gene responsible for the condition.
“These patients, of all ages, must avoid certain activities and have a continuous system of protection and emergency care to cope with possible cardiac arrest. In France, there is high quality care for this condition, combining advanced technical support with logistical and psychological support not only for the individual but also for the family.
“It was moving to listen to children, parents and loved ones talk about their experiences and how they help each other. They were keen to discover meditation, above all as a relief for stress. However I felt that, faced with one of life’s most fundamental challenges, they already had a certain depth of experience that is often lost in the usual habits of our high speed lives. It was wonderful to spend a quiet moment together, to be just present, and to generate love in a spirit of solidarity and sharing. ”
March 5th, 2019
Alan Kozlowski is a photographer, filmmaker, cinematographer, and music producer. He was filming Matthieu Ricard’s first English video recordings for Imagine Clarity in Southwestern France at Yahne Le Toumelin’s beautiful art studio. Surrounded by a magnificent landscape, it was an extraordinary film set filled with wisdom and art. Here he focuses his camera with the assistance of Imagine Clarity founder Heidi Sederholm. Alan sums up his – Finding the Moment- approach in an inspirational and meaningful way.
Alan has been at the forefront of innovation in film making for which he has received extensive recognition. In 1984 Alan co-founded Pacific Ocean Post, a leading film and television post-production studio in Santa Monica, California. Under Alan’s leadership, Pacific Ocean Post helped bring home the Visual Effects Oscars for Independence Day (1997), Titanic (1998) and What Dreams May Come (1999). In 2002 Alan created On The Path LLC, a performing arts center, gallery, and multimedia production facility in Santa Monica. Through his continual travel, deep exploration, extensive relationships, vivid imagination, and unending curiosity Alan Kozlowski remains to this day…On The Path of discovery.
March 1st, 2019
Imagine Clarity is delighted to introduce you to the latest member of our team: our head of artistic communication, Lilit Grigoryan. She is now available through the app to answer your questions about music, whether you are a musician or a listener.
Lilit is a concert pianist and has performed across the globe. She believes that music is an essential part of listening to life and responding to all of life’s experiences. She is also a close friend, student and collaborator of Maria João Pires. We feel that Lilit can make a unique contribution to furthering Imagine Clarity’s values: appreciating our beautiful planet, and developing the extraordinary potential that each of has to unlock the qualities of our own mind and care for those around us and our world.
Find out more about Lilit here: https://blog.imagineclarity.com/blog/2019/2/26/introducing-lilit-grigoryan
February 18th, 2019
We are happy to announce the new Android version of Imagine Clarity, which now joins the updated Web and iOS programs to give all subscribers full access to all content.
A reminder of the available new features:
- Explore: quickly access all authors and all courses
- Favourites: Easily find sessions that you would like to come back to.
- Complete access to Creative Journey, to discover the unique approach to music and life of Maria João Pires, in addition to unlimited access to all the meditation courses.
February 17th, 2019
With Charles Hastings’ daily 10 minute meditations in Meditation Practice Foundations, anyone can learn to meditate. His series Awakening the Heart can unlock your inner potential for kindness, clarity and compassion. With his new series, Stability and Clarity, you can refine the skills acquired in the previous courses to deepen your relationship with your own mind.
October 23rd, 2018
The first course of Creative Journey, where Maria João Pires shares her reflections on music and life, now features videos edited in the longer format including previously unpublished content in the last two modules. Additional text and visuals are provided to further support the interviews.
“Even if you practice a lot, if your body movements aren’t right and if you practice only with the brain, you will end up always repeating the same mistakes… We need to practice very slowly, always being aware of the musical phrasing and conscious of our body movements.”
The videos have optional French subtitles accessible through the “CC” button.
October 18th, 2018
Charles’s new series for meditation, reflection, and training the mind, entitled Knowing yourself to know the world, invites us to explore areas of our daily experience which ordinarily we might reject or not notice. A clearer understanding of our own subjective experience naturally transforms our relationships with others and our vision of the world.
September 27th, 2018
Matthieu Ricard has been involved in Emergences, a yearly gathering in Brussels, since its inception ten years ago. For this year’s edition he was joined as usual by his dear friends Christophe André, Alexandre Jollien, Maria João Pires and founder Ilios Kotsu, along with other meditators, musicians, artists and engaged activists in the fields of education, ecology, animal welfare, care for the disadvantaged etc.
The theme of this year’s gathering was “Taking Care of Life” which clearly expresses the collective atmosphere, strongly focused on altruism in action. Many members of the audience already give their time and energy to projects to help others. Profits from the event go to Karuna Shechen, the NGO founded by Matthieu to help disadvantaged communities in Nepal India and Tibet.
Charles Hastings was joined by American author and meditation teacher Elizabeth Mattis Namgyal for a week in the beautiful lakeside setting of the Fraueninsel in Bavaria, as “contemplative fellows” at the Mind & Life Europe Summer Retreat Institute, meditating every day with this gathering of scientific researchers and philosophers. The theme was Kinship, Conflict and Compassion. It was remarkable to see a group of scientists with a deep interest in the subtle science of first-person inner experience, and a heartfelt commitment to creating a better world.
Elizabeth emphasized the interdependence of all phenomena and its implications for our perceptions. Charles indicated the way in which, by drawing on our own innate capacity for empathy and compassion, we can come to see everyone as part of our own group, with whom we feel a natural sense of solidarity.
September 25th, 2018
The music and meditation concerts in Arles with Matthieu Ricard and Maria Joao Pires were a great success. The ancient roman amphitheater was filled on both evenings. Matthieu took the moods of the inspiringly rendered music as a basis for meditations on love, compassion, joy and impartiality, culminating in a moment of simple clarity and peace.
Charles led a guided meditation in the vast bamboo pavilion on the banks of the Rhône, surrounded by Matthieu’s photos. It was a great pleasure to meet members of our community, some of whom had come a long way for the occasion.
July 20th, 2018
Creative Journey with Maria João Pires is an innovative new program for pianists and music lovers.
In the intimate setting of her beautiful country retreat Maria João Pires exchanges with her students and friends. In Creative Journey you can discover her insights on the technical aspects of music, the nuances of interpretation, the role of the artist in society and the potential that music offers for a meaningful and compassionate life. Creative Journey is a must for pianists and of great interest for all lovers of classical music.
The initial Creative Journey release is now available for you to discover at imagineclarity.com/music. The first part, Music and Ethical Life, in which Maria shares her vision of life and her values, is available free to all Imagine Clarity meditation subscribers.
July 7th, 2018
Please note that the meditation in Arles on July 29th will be at 9:00 AM as originally planned and not 9:30. Ticketing is now open here.
Meditation for All with Charles Hastings and Imagine Clarity will be a group meditation, open to everyone. We see this as a beautiful moment of solidarity and sharing. Non-meditators can learn how to meditate in a simple and accessible way. We encourage all members of our community for whom it is not too far to come along with friends.
Meditation will take place in the bamboo pavilion, surrounded by Matthieu’s photos of the Himalayas. The innovative design of this extraordinary space means that we will keep cool without air conditioning! It is important to book in advance because space is limited.
Let us know if you would like to come (and if you need translation in English). We are looking forward to meeting you.
July 6th, 2018
Music and meditation evenings with Maria João Pires and Matthieu Richard on July 28th and 29th at 8:30 PM in the Théâtre Antique, a Roman amphitheater dating from 12 BC. Maria João Pires will play a selection of preludes and fugues from Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier and Matthieu will share his reflections and meditations. The Art of the Fugue and the Art of Meditation is a meeting of two worlds promises to be an unforgettable event. We note that both Maria João Pires and Matthieu are now limiting their public appearances, and this is an exceptional opportunity to see and hear them both together.
For more info and tickets: CONTEMPLATION is an event combining art and spirituality through photography, architecture, music and meditation.
July 5th, 2018
The beautiful ancient city of Arles in France hosts a major photography festival every year. From July 2nd to September 23rd, the CONTEMPLATION event will showcase a series of Matthieu Ricard’s photos in extra-large black and white format in a vast meditative space, a 1000 m² monumental bamboo structure on the banks of the Rhône designed by the architect Simón Vélez. You will recognize some of these beautiful images from the Imagine Clarity app. Printed on huge sheets of traditional Japanese Awagami paper, in such an evocative setting, their presence is truly remarkable.
“Matthieu’s camera and his spiritual life are one, and from this spring these fleeting and eternal images.”
June 25th, 2018
Now available: Everyday Meditations is a series of simple 15- and 30-minute practices to come back to day after day, based on Charles’ Foundation course. Repeating the same practice every day is the time-honored way to build confidence and develop stability. View course.