How the United Nations Is Harnessing Nature for a Sustainable Future

We Can Save The World For The Next Generation.

“We can make today the day we stop thinking that the changes required are impossible and beyond us. We can start realizing that they are not only possible, but what the future requires of us. We must stop turning from the warnings of science and fear and denial, and instead, turn toward the solutions and partnerships we need.”

That’s an inspiring vision of humans living in harmony with nature, a short film called “What’s Possible.”  The world celebrated United Nations Day this month, remembering how millions of people can work together to carve out a better tomorrow.

Capacity Building Programs

The United Nations organization has been a symbol of global unity and interconnectedness. They are taking the lead on international discussions about sustainable development and peace initiatives. All too often, technology has been a tool for war and violence.

But technology can also be a tool for harmony and eco-friendly development. Read on to see how the United Nations is harnessing nature for a sustainable future.

You might be wondering how these kinds of programs harness nature. Knowledge transfer is one of the most ancient and significant practices on the planet. When new generations are born, they learn from the collective wisdom of past generations.

As countries and communities around the world work to become more sustainable, the UN is supporting capacity building programs that train and support local activists. This helps every new sustainability project become much more effective because no knowledge is lost. 

Clean Water and Sanitation

The United Nations continues to study and apply lessons from the natural world to water sanitation projects globally. For instance, mushrooms can be used to help clean up oil spills and purify tainted water.

Biomimicry has much to teach humanity about ways to access underground water or create habitats inhospitable landscapes. By learning from the natural world, the UN can invest in sustainable and natural solutions to some of the most pressing environmental problems.

You can get involved with many of these initiatives, too. Start in your own backyard or join a global association. Let’s all start harnessing nature for a sustainable future! It takes every voice, and there’s no better time to get involved than today.

Meet Genevieve Vincent on the Moving Art Season 3 Soundtrack

Now that you’ve had a chance to listen to the sounds of Moving Art Season Three, we’re taking you deeper into the music by interviewing the composers behind each piece.

Today, we sat down with Genevieve Vincent, who created pieces for the Hokkaido episode.

Enjoy a bit of her music before we start the interview!

Here, we discuss the composing process and drawing inspiration from nature with Lisbeth Scott.

How did the visual imagery of Moving Art inspire you to create music? How does nature influence your musical work?

The first time I watched Hokkaido, I was struck by it’s frozen beauty and the sense that it was larger than life. I wanted the score to have melodies that floated and echoed through the canyons as the camera did, and support those with walls of strings and deep bold percussion.

Almost mimicking the architecture of the scenes. As we go farther into the episode we meet different animals, so I tried to give them a voice in the melodies and evoke their personalities through the music. 

I love the geometry of nature, and it has a significant influence on my music. Something so tiny can be incredibly impactful but I also find musical inspiration in the vastness of nature as well.

I am always trying to see my surroundings from new perspectives and seek out environments to draw inspiration from.

What was the process of creating the music for Moving Art like for you? How long did it take? How did you keep the visuals in mind while composing?

I think we spent about 4 weeks on the music.

I don’t normally do things this way, but for this project I had 4 small recording sessions throughout the process with violin, viola, cello, woodwinds, and one big one with a percussionist, instead of one big session at the end. I didn’t want to use almost anything in the box for this score.

Something about how it looked screamed that it wanted to sound organic, and I wanted to hear the humanity coming through every layer. I recorded in some instances 17 layers of each instrument to create walls of sound that could reflect the magnitude of the cliffs, geysers, and overhead shots of the landscape.

For the percussion, I created essentially a custom sample library of Japanese percussion instruments which I then sampled and moved around the score in a modular way.

Do you believe that the combination of music and natural imagery can have a calming or healing effect?

I think music and nature are the original healers.

Whether it’s getting some air, vitamin D from the sun, calming our minds with tones, voice, or music, I think we all need both in our lives to stay healthy and happy.

What are your favorite pieces of music or artists that you turn to for inspiration?

I listen to lots of different kinds of music. I could list a thousand artists who have made music that I absolutely love but this is the list that is top of mind today!  

Philip Glass, Gabriel Fauré, Lauryn Hill, Bill Evans, Kendrick Lamar, Lambert, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Nina Simone, FKA Twigs, Max Richter, Francis Poulenc, Flume, Taylor Swift, Cliff Martinez, Sia, Dan Romer, Selena Gomez, A Winged Victory For The Sullen. The list is long, and all over the place in terms of genre. I love any music that makes me feel, and I’m constantly looking for it everywhere. 

Urgent! Preserve the Brazilian Rainforest

Losing Rainforests Can Damage The Entire Ecosystem

If the earth could speak, it would say “Urgent! Preserve the Brazilian Rainforest!” As wildfires ravish the West Coast of the United States, it’s easy to forget the wildfires that rage in other parts of the world. The Brazilian rainforest has been particularly affected by wildfires, among many other threats to its biodiversity.

As that brief meditation shows, each rainforest contains a delicate balance of interconnected lives.

A forest is far more than just the plants contained within it. The Brazilian rainforest is home to many indigenous inhabitants and an incredible amount of biodiversity that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. Facing threats from deforestation and wildfires, the rainforest is at high risk of disappearing. 

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The Role of Mushroom Agriculture in Fighting Poverty

What Can Mushrooms Do To Help Society?

Around the world, mushroom farming has provided opportunities to people in poverty-stricken communities. In East Asia and Africa, mushroom agriculture is being used to combat poverty and create sustainable agriculture practices. Read on to see more mushroom agriculture in fighting poverty

October 17th is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, so today we’ll share several inspiring mushroom farm projects in honor of this holiday.

Changing the Lives of City Kids

Louie Schwartzberg’s Fantastic Fungi film highlighted the work of William Padilla-Brown, the founder of MycoSymbiotics. He found a way to change his life and his neighborhood through mycology.

“I was a city kid, I just played video games. My parents never really took me on hikes or went outside. So finding mushrooms to me was like a spiritual journey.” Today this self-taught “citizen-scientist” is one of the most respected mycologists in the world. He discovered a more sustainable food supply and a life-long passion.

Disabled Mushroom Farmers in Bangladesh

Whereas crops like wheat or soy require labor-intensive care, it doesn’t take much heavy lifting to grow a hearty crop of mushrooms. This makes mushroom farming a very appealing choice for disabled people or people with limited mobility. Mushrooms don’t require very much space to grow, meaning that farmers can start their own mushroom farm at home.

Without the need to access large swathes of land or enormous amounts of startup capital to buy seeds, mushrooms are quickly becoming the go-to solution in impoverished communities. In Bangladesh, mushroom farming has changed the lives of many people. Now, they can provide an income for their family without going into debt or contributing to climate change via methane gas.

Women Mushroom Farmers in Nepal

Mushroom farming has empowered Nepalese mothers to feed their children and earn extra income. Access to food is difficult for many families, but a home-based mushroom farm provides essential nutrients.

Mushroom farming is a natural fit for the western Nepalese climate, as many families have access to a warm and mild outdoor shelter that is perfect for cultivating spawn. With a small investment in education and spawn from PHASE Worldwide, women farmers in Nepal are fighting off poverty one mushroom at a time.

Kigali Farms in East Africa

This organization is training farmers and creating a market for East African mushrooms. Now there is demand and cross-country trade of fungi and farmers are earning a good income.

Look for locally grown mushrooms in your area and support a local farmer in honor of this holiday. It’s time to aid mushroom agriculture in fighting poverty! Poverty exists in every community, so let’s all commit to doing what we can to fight poverty in our own backyards today.

Studies Show You Need More Time in Nature

Nature Is Good For Your Mind And Body

We all know it feels good to spend time in nature. It’s rejuvenating to take in the fresh air and gaze on the landscape, coming back into balance within our bodies. But it’s not just psychological.

There is a growing body of work showing that your brain needs the experience of nature to function in a healthy way.

Our brains are actually hardwired to receive nature’s beauty, and nature deficit disorder is real. Read on to see why studies show you need more time in nature.

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How Smiles and Gratitude Can Change Your Life

Smiles can really heal!

Take a deep breath and coax a smile onto your face. October 2nd is World Smile Day! It’s a holiday about celebrating happiness during this transformational time. Smiles and gratitude can have a powerful effect on your life. Smiling can even boost your immunity! Read on to see how smiles and gratitude can change your life.

Here’s some inspiration for World Smile Day.

Gratitude quotes to help you smile!

“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” – Connie Stevens

“A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others.”– Dalai Lama

“Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.” ​– George Eliot

“If you’re not using your smile, you’re like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no checkbook.” ​– Les Giblin

“Smile at the obstacle, for it is a bridge.” ​– Medusa

“Of all the medicines in the inner life, a smile is by far the best medicine.” ​– Sri Chinmoy

“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” – Oprah Winfrey

“If you’re reading this… Congratulations, you’re alive. If that’s not something to smile about, then I don’t know what is.” – Chad Sugg

“A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.” – William Hazlitt

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“Everyone smiles in the same language.”

– George Carlin

“Look back, and smile on perils past.” – Walter Scott

“If you smile when you are alone, then you really mean it.” – Andy Rooney

“Smile! It increases your face value.” – Robert Harling

“The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

We hope this was a source of inspiration to make you happy and see how smiles and gratitude can change your life!

Mushroom Movement: Making the Invisible Visible

“When people see my images, a lot of times they will say, ‘Oh my God,’” says filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg.

“Have you ever wondered what that meant? The ‘oh’ means it caught your attention, it makes you present, it makes you mindful. The ‘my’ means it connects with something deep inside your soul, it creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard. And God, ‘God’ is that personal journey we all want to be on, to be inspired, to feel like we are connected to a universe that celebrates life.”

When was the last time you sat back and watched something grow?

Although growth can sometimes seem imperceptible in real time, it’s happening inside us and all around us, all the time. Take mushrooms blooming in a forest, for example. The mushrooms shoot skyward by degrees and the underground mycelium that they emerge from is also growing, searching, and forming networks out of sight from human eyes.

Louie Schwartzberg is a storyteller and filmmaker who has been shooting time-lapse photography of nature, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, non-stop. His work compresses time and put you in sync with different forms of life within our interconnected world.

His work makes the invisible visible. 

Louie’s photography adds scale to the growing process. It increases the viewer’s capacity to perceive time to a larger level, thereby permitting us to witness the growth of organisms like these mushrooms. 

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” So wrote the great essayist Anaïs Nin, speaking on the way humans grow. Although it’s easy to see the way this observation applies to our own lives, the same could be said of growth in all natural things.

Traveling With Louie Schwartzberg’s Moving Art Series

Best Things To Watch During Covid

There’s nothing more delightful for an armchair traveler than getting a high-definition tour of the globe, on-demand.

On Netflix, the Moving Art series is the perfect armchair tour of the world’s ecosystems. From deserts to waterfalls, Louie Schwartzberg explores hidden habitats and the interconnectedness of life on earth.

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Meet Lisbeth Scott on the Moving Art Season 3 Soundtrack

Now that you’ve had a chance to listen to the sounds of Moving Art Season Three, we’re taking you deeper into the music by interviewing the composers behind each piece.

Today, we sat down with Lisbeth Scott, who created pieces for the Macchu Picchu episode.

Enjoy a bit of her music before we start the interview!

Here, we discuss the composing process and drawing inspiration from nature with Lisbeth Scott.

How did the visual imagery of Moving Art inspire you to create music? How does nature influence your musical work?

Nature has always been a healing and inspiring force in my life.

When I was little, I would sneak out of the house and walk a mile and a half to a nearby river just to watch the water move and calm my mind.

So when I first saw Louie’s imagery, I felt like I was home! For me, creativity flows easily when my mind is still and open. It is then that every movement I see creates music in my brain.

The entire world is a musical creation! So in watching Louie’s brilliant work, there was an immediate and organic flow.

What was the process of creating the music for Moving Art like for you? How long did it take? How did you keep the visuals in mind while composing?


To create the score to the music for Moving Art, all I had to do was press play. As soon as the images were in front of me, I heard music with them. I couldn’t write fast enough.

I would be running back and forth from guitar, to piano, quickly setting up the vocal microphone and recording my parts while watching the visuals over and over.

I added other instruments as I went, (the gorgeous flute playing of Pedro Eustache!) always tracing the journey of the film with music I was creating. I think the whole process took about 3 weeks for the Machu Picchu episode.

Do you believe that the combination of music and natural imagery can have a calming or healing effect?


ABSOLUTELY!!! No question in my mind that music and natural imagery heals the mind, body and soul. Nature helps us to ground ourselves, calm our breath, open our hearts. Moving Art fills a huge void in the lives of many people on the planet right now….people who are stuck in one place due to covid, people who are unable to travel to places of beauty in the world. Moving Art brings the beauty …and sound!…of nature into the homes of everyone and does so in an intimate and unusual way. Louie Schwartzberg shows us the world inside of nature, that we may never see otherwise. His work is breathtaking and absolutely necessary in a world that is losing touch with nature.

What are your favorite pieces of music or artists that you turn to for inspiration?


First and foremost I turn to Bach. Anything and everything he has ever written inspires me. And then the list is endless!!!

A very abbreviated list:
Max Richter, Dario Marianelli, the Beatles, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Nick Drake, Laura Nyro, John Martyn, Thomas Newman, Bon Iver, Debussy and Ravel, Brahms, Schumann, and of course Steffen Aaskoven’s work always inspires me! I could go on and on but that’s a start!

The Lesson of the Ant: Making the Invisible Visible

“All the best work is done the way that ants do things — by tiny but untiring and regular additions.” So wrote the author Koizumi Yakumo, commenting on the way ants accomplish herculean tasks slowly, little by little.

This time-lapse ant film is making the invisible visible.

Let’s talk about ants for a moment.

To us they may seem small and insignificant, but ants are great instructors on the subjects of community and working as a team.

Although much of their lives take place out of sight from human eyes, ants build massive colonies, raise innumerable offspring, and provide for themselves working in tandem, making sure their efforts are coordinated and efficient. These tiny creatures can bear a great burden, and they can move things together when the load is too heavy for one individual to carry.

Louie Schwartzberg is a storyteller and filmmaker who has been shooting time-lapse photography of nature, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, non-stop. His work compresses time and put you in sync with different forms of life within our interconnected world.

His work makes the invisible visible.

Louie’s work directs the viewer’s focus back to nature, taking a closer look at subjects we encounter every day but do not often pause to consider—such as ants. Louie’s photography adds scale and scope to these subjects, allowing us to understand them on a deeper level.

“I think we need to do some deep soul searching about what’s important in our lives and renew our spirit and our spiritual thinking, whether it’s through faith-based religion or just through loving nature, or helping your fellow man,” says Louie.

Perhaps we can learn from the example of the ants.

Keep checking our Making the Invisible Visible series for more time-lapse films.

“I’ve spent my life capturing beautiful images,” says Louie. “And whether in wilderness or in the downtown of a giant city, I find connections, universal rhythms, patterns and beauty that I recognize as a part of me, a part of all of us that celebrates life. It’s my great pleasure to share with you that energy which inspires me; this great visual beauty of our world.”

Disrupting the New Normal: Meet Activist Artist Ruth Westreich

Disrupting the New Normal: Meet Activist Artist Ruth Westreich

Healing can come in many shapes and forms.

Just ask Ruth Westreich, president of the Westreich Foundation, who works to bring arts programs to hospitals and creates her own activist art.

Ruth is an artist, philanthropist, and activist. For many years, she’s brought art into the world of healthcare and education, and she has been a supportive partner for Moving Art’s Wonder & Awe podcast since the beginning.

Her new book is called “Creating Conscious Conversations of Consequence.” As she writes in that book, both her art and her philanthropy share an important goal:

“to create discussions that disrupt the new normal of unsustainable choices that have been thrust upon the people and the planet. The timing of so many disruptive events – our environment, our health (before and after the pandemic) and our diversity, equity and social norms – are all reminders that now is the time to open our hearts and minds to a more holistic and inclusive way of being.”

You can meet Ruth on the next episode of the Wonder & Awe podcast

Why Art Matters

For Westreich, the secret to healing from disease is not just about doctors and medicine, it takes a truly integrative approach that involves mindfulness and a connection to creating art.

“The arts play such an important role in reducing stress dealing with PTSD at every level, including hospice,” says Westreich.

“You can go from babies to preschool, all the way up to people who are in palliative and hospice care, when you introduce arts to them, they do better.”

In fact, patients that participate in healing arts programs require less medication, heal more quickly and overall are more alert. “If you are in the bone marrow transplant unit, you’re there for months,” explains Westreich. “What do you do with yourself?”

Ruth Westreich

Westreich has established an art cart program for patients in hospitals around California including at UCSD, as well as Cal State University San Marcos’ Institute for Palliative Care.

Art carts include materials such as coloring pencils, watercolors, paint-by-number, paper and adult coloring books – creative tools that patients can use that will not spread germs. At CSU San Marcos, Westreich is underwriting a curriculum to train artists and other professionals how to deal with this kind of art.

“It’s not art therapy,” explains Westreich. “You’re helping people express themselves with no intended outcome.”

Activist Art

Westreich has been working to bridge the gap between science and art for many years.

In 2016, she co-authored the book, Creativity Unzipped: Why Your Thoughts Matter, a work that uses stories, science and social research to explore the power of creativity to debunk the idea that left-brained people are analytical and right-brained people are intuitive. Our brains are, in fact, much more complex.

In recent years, Westreich has created her own art that challenges the modern medical industry’s “linear way of thinking.”

Her activist paintings are inspired by global issues including plastics in the ocean, the influence of big pharma, and government failure to stop the ravages of global warming. The paintings are colorful and complex, yet depicting in great detail the issues we face today as a society and inhabitants of Mother Earth. 

For Westreich, who has spent years focused on whole person care and integrative medicine, planetary health also has a direct impact on personal health.

“Planetary health and human health are inextricably connected to each other,” she concludes.

“The toxins in the environment hurt not only the people, but the plants, all of the animal species and Mother Earth. If we don’t address the root cause, we might as well all go home. It’s not going to matter.”

The Fight to Save the Bees

Who Is Championing The Bees?

“At times, we forget the importance of pollination,” writes one Moving Art viewer who was inspired by Louie Schwartzberg’s passionate defense of pollinators. We all need to join the fight to save the bees!

“We depend on pollinators for over a third of the fruits and vegetables we eat. Bees and pollination are necessary both for our world and us. Their vanishing will be the most serious issue facing mankind, so we should plant some seeds for pollination and to drink, tweet and smell the flowers and rediscover that sense of wonder,” wrote the viewer.

Watch this video and think about the interconnection of our flowers, our pollinators, and our food supply.

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How to Build a House Out of Mushrooms

Mycelium For Building Materials?

“One of the giant lessons I think we’ve learned, which we probably took for granted, was the human need for connection,” said Moving Art filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg on the Quarantine Creatives podcast.  One mind-blowing thought, could we as humans possibly one day build a house out of mushrooms?

“What nature has shown me in the decades that I’ve been filming is that everything is interconnected. There are all these symbiotic relationships, and nothing in nature lives alone. That resonates strongly anytime you do a deep dive into nature into biomimicry.”

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Meet Moniker on the Moving Art Season 3 Soundtrack

Now that you’ve had a chance to listen to the sounds of Moving Art Season Three, we’re taking you deeper into the music by interviewing the composers behind each piece.

Here, we sat down with Conrad Wedde, member of the New Zealander trio known as “Moniker,” who created the piece “Ray Of Lights” with its beautiful orchestral synth and driving rhythms.

We discussed the composing process and drawing inspiration from nature.

How did the visual imagery of Moving Art inspire you to create music? How does nature influence your musical work? 

Nature is a very inspirational force, it’s obviously very broad in scope, so in that way it can inspire very big, wide and majestic sounds and in turn can be very intimate and delicate. This Huge dynamism is really inspiring to play with in musical terms. 

What was the process of creating the music for Moving Art like for you? How long did it take? How did you keep the visuals in mind while composing?

I can’t quite recall how long it took, a month or two…We were always working with the visual elements literally front and center, watching as we play and compose. After a while working with a particular scene and it’s range and scope, like mountains or something…you tune into the character of that scene, the weight or lightness, the sense of gentleness or force. These elemental things become what makes up the character of a scene.

Do you believe that the combination of music and natural imagery can have a calming or healing effect? 

Yes, when approached in the right way.

Nature is an extremely healing force in itself, as is music. The art is to have these two elements conversing in an elegant way together, perhaps finding ways that the music can breathe in accordance with the natural imagery.

Nature is the star of the show, so anything musical needs to be in support of this and honoring this as much as possible.

What are your favorite pieces of music or artists that you turn to for inspiration?

Brian Eno is always pretty amazing, especially how his music often seems to complement and be able to breathe with life going in around you.

Heroes of the Local Food Movement

How Else Can We Get Back To Nature?

“We’ve got to get out of the way and let nature heal itself,” said Moving Art filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg on the Practice You podcast, pointing out ways we can change our agriculture practices and make a more sustainable world.

Louie has been covering the rise of community gardens for decades. In these videos, he covers heroes of the local food movement.

In 1977, he created this short film about a city farmstead.

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How to Grow Food Indoors

How Can You Get Back To Nature Without Going Outside?

“You can change the world and change your community by growing your own food and becoming sustainable,” said Moving Art filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg in a recent interview.

“You can grow tomatoes on your back porch. You don’t have to grow them far away, have them sprayed, and travel on a truck. You don’t have to use all this fuel and create all this pollution for you to have a tomato on your sandwich.”

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The Time For Clean Air is Now

What can we do to heal the earth now?

“We need to reboot and come up with more positive solutions of how to create reconnection,” said Louie Schwartzberg during a recent conversation on the Quarantine Creatives podcast with Heath Racela.

One silver lining to the recent pandemic has been the reduction in air pollution. 

People are beginning to understand how quickly nature can bounce back if we simply cut back on polluting behavior that damages the ecosphere.

More than ever, the time for clean air is now!

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The Beauty of the Butterfly: Making the Invisible Visible

Butterflies experience a metamorphosis in order to become the beautiful winged creatures we admire, but we often lose sight of the changes that they experience along the way. This time-lapse butterfly footage is making the invisible visible.

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty,” wrote author and activist Maya Angelou.

For a butterfly, the journey is as important as the destination.

Louie Schwartzberg is a storyteller and filmmaker who has been shooting time-lapse photography of nature, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, non-stop. His work compresses time and put you in sync with different forms of life within our interconnected world.

His work makes the invisible visible. Keeping checking our Making the Invisible Visible series for more time-lapse films.

Louie’s work captures important parts of the journey that organisms like butterflies experience in the natural world. We see the unfettered beauty of the butterfly in the video, but we also see it change from pupa into its adult form.

This sequence captures the scale and scope of the butterfly’s journey and brings the viewer along for the ride.

Butterflies begin their lives as caterpillars, foraging among leaves to grow and mature. When the time is right, they enter the chrysalis stage, undergoing metamorphosis inside of their cocoons.

They emerge as the beautiful fluttering insects we think of them as.

“I’ve spent my life capturing beautiful images,” says Louie. “And whether in wilderness or in the downtown of a giant city, I find connections, universal rhythms, patterns and beauty that I recognize as a part of me, a part of all of us that celebrates life. It’s my great pleasure to share with you that energy which inspires me; this great visual beauty of our world.”

The Truth About Sacred Geometry

The Truth About Sacred Geometry

What is sacred geometry?


Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg has spent the last four decades capturing nature’s patterns—powerful figures repeated throughout our world. “I’m showing you rhythms and patterns of nature that live inside of every cell of your body,” he said on the Third Wave podcast.

This is the truth about sacred geometry! Sometimes we see patterns in nature, sometimes patterns from nature, or maybe there is nature in patterns we see. Some nature patterns include tree, waves, spirals, stripes, cracks and symmetries.

“The patterns in the mycelial network mirror the pattern that’s in your brain, circulatory system, and nervous system—and in outer space! You’re looking at a mirror, and you’re going, ‘Oh, my God, I recognize this!’ because it makes me feel good. It’s truth,” he said.

Recognizing Nature’s Patterns

You probably know about the Fibonacci sequence, a ratio that results in spiral shapes and which appears throughout the universe, in forms big and small. But there are many beautiful and naturally occurring patterns found in nature, across environments. Some evolved to aid in the dance of pollination between bee and flower, whereas others help animals camouflage. Here are some of the awe-inspiring ways these patterns shape life and the environment on Earth.

Scientists are mystified by some of the simplest patterns, like the hexagonal snowflake. The six-sided pattern that appears in frozen water is consistent across all snowflakes, and yet every individual flake has incredible complexity and individuality. Philip Ball’s book, Patterns in Nature: Why the Natural World Looks the Way It Does, explores these ideas in greater detail and tells the story of historic researchers and their study of natural patterns.

From the savannah to the plains, striped animals have evolved in concert with their environments to aid in their camouflaging efforts. Consider the zebra and the tiger, who rely on their stripes to blend in. It took many years of symbiosis and evolution between animals and biome to result in this highly effective camouflage. These are definitely mysteries of the unseen world!

Patterns are not only limited to animals, but plants, too. Pinecones, pineapples, fiddlehead ferns, and galaxies all manifest a spiral-shape pattern as they grow and expand. When a plant grows in a spiral pattern, it allows each new growth to have shared access to the life-giving sunshine. When plants and flowers follow specific growth patterns, it helps bees identify them based on leaf arrangement. Many flowers have specifically evolved in their environments alongside their pollinators, such as hummingbirds, to enable their beaks to access the nectar.

Ball’s book originated from his deep respect for and admiration of natural patterns. “When we make patterns, it is because we planned it that way, putting the elements into place. In nature, there is no planner, but somehow natural forces conspire to bring about something that looks quite beautiful,” he notes.

Where have you found the truth of sacred geometry?

Interconnection Meditation

How often have you run into a friend coming around a corner at the exact moment in time to intersect with you?

“This cannot be a coincidence, for each moment is exactly as it should be,” says Moving Art filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg in a short film about friendship. These are called synchronicities, or meaningful coincidences that we can use as guideposts in our lives.

Use this visual meditation to reflect on these moments of synchronicity in your life!

Meditation expert Sharon Salzberg brings decades of meditation experience to the table to teach people how to focus by staying still while in motion in their busy lives.

“Consider for a moment who all has been in any way involved in your being here in this room right now watching this online,” she asks people in her interconnectedness meditation.

“We’re here because of relationships, encounters, connection. So, who all comes to mind? This moment is actually like a confluence of all that interaction, all those connections, as is every moment. We might feel so alone and so apart, but the truth is our lives are embedded in this greater fabric.”

Sharon currently offers guided meditations, courses and retreats in nature where it is easier to unwind and connect to the seasons.

Her wisdom helps bring guidance on many subjects including working through thoughts, finding compassion and kindness, as well as working with the breath through activity-based meditations.

In her upcoming book, Real Change, Sharon shares practical advice on how to embody the fundamental principles of mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation to create a better world for all.