Artists Defend Our Water

“Beauty is nature’s tool for survival, because we protect what we love,” Louie Schwartzberg once said. He has created many powerful short films to encourage humanity to defend our waterways and keep our water pure.

August is National Water Quality Awareness Month, so start protecting what you love by watching this short film from Louie and the spoken word artist IN-Q.

Artists & Leaders Team Up

also teamed up for a short film for the One Drop Foundation whose projects have touched lives in 13 different countries and improved the living conditions of more than 2.1 million people.

This month, water leaders around the world are leading the way toward clean water for all with innovative solutions to raising public awareness. Through artists like Louie and IN-Q, they can spread a change in consciousness.

The number one problem faced by water leaders is how to make water issues more accessible and approachable to the public. They needed ways to quickly illustrate the dire crisis of public water systems.

Artists have risen to the challenge with murals, photographs, and other public art that challenges passersby to get involved.

Artwork Around the Country

In Santa Cruz, California, ecologically inspired murals have appeared on the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The art features ocean creatures like fish, whales, octopi, and egrets. Visitors to the site can enjoy the beautiful artwork while learning about the fauna that inhabits the ocean in Santa Cruz’s backyard.

In San Jose, California, artist Robert Dawson has created a series of works that document local water treatment plants. His photographs capture the complexity of the systems that treat public water. Dawson’s vision is that his artwork can help educate the public about water treatment facilities.

The City of Santa Monica treats and recycles urban runoff with a facility designed by artist Richard Turner. In his artist’s statement, Turner notes that “one of the most extraordinary things about this project is that the city wanted to showcase the process rather than hide it away.” The facility includes diagrams and viewing platforms that allow visitors to witness water treatment firsthand.

Even cities located away from the ocean are using art to highlight water issues. The City of Ames in Iowa is running a public art contest to solicit engagement and creative contributions from the community about the role of water. Artists and water leaders working together can create more engaging campaigns for the public.

A Meditation on Gratitude

Do you have a mantra? Mantras are ancient chants meant to focus your mind. They are also known as “words of power,” or repeated chants that can bring you more endurance, strength, or power.

Now watch Louie Schwartzberg’s short film, “Gratitude.” It contains some simple but powerful mantras that you can repeat as you go about your day: “Open your eyes.” “Open your heart to all these blessings.” “Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you.”

The Power of Gratitude

That simple meditation has inspired millions of viewers to think about their lives in new ways. Repeating these simple phrases as you walk through your day can bring the gift of gratitude into your life.

The word “mantra” originates in Sanskrit, and it means “instrument of thought.” While the word mantra began as a religious concept, it can help people in all parts of life.

The short film contains these beautiful “instruments of thought” that can guide you through daily life. These inspirational quotes come from the great David Steindl-Rast, a Catholic Benedictine monk who focused his work on the interaction between spirituality and science.

Just repeat these life-changing ideas quietly as you go about your day:

“Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to us.”

“Do you think this is just another day in your life? It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you: today.” 

“Everyone whom you will meet on this day will be blessed by you, just by your eyes, by your smile, by your touch, just by your presence.”

Mantras for Strength

Mantras can give you strength as you go through these transformative times.

For instance, many marathon runners recite a mantra over and over again while they run.  The writer Haruki Murakami explained:

“If you don’t keep repeating a mantra of some sort to yourself, you’ll never survive … Here is one: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself.”

Many artists and writers also have creative mantras they recite while working. The great author Cheryl Strayed always told herself “Who is tougher than me?” while writing Wild. Here’s a scene from her book that became the award-winning movie, Wild.

“I made it the mantra of those days; when I paused before yet another series of switchbacks or skidded down knee-jarring slopes, when patches of flesh peeled off my feet along with my socks, when I lay alone and lonely in my tent at night I asked, often out loud: Who is tougher than me?”

Every Friendship Is a Cosmic Connection

How will you celebrate World Friendship Day? For this holiday, people around the world celebrate friends both near and far. It’s an especially important holiday during this transformative moment in history.

Even though many of us are separated right now, we need to remember the friends who bind us together. They are part of our human mycelial network, and we support each other across distances.

Who do you miss the most right now? Take a moment to think about your friends around the world. Then watch this 30-second meditation from Louie, reminding us of the cosmic connections that make a single friendship possible.

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A Tribute To New York City’s Spirit

New Yorkers are some of the most resilient people on the planet.

Early in Louie Schwartzberg’s career, he followed the adventures of a bike messenger throughout New York City.

That short film stands today in tribute to the spirit of New York’s great spirit!

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A Celebration of Visionary Art

Moving Art director Louie Schwartzberg will receive the American Visionary Art Museum’s highest honor, the Grand Visionary Award on August 2.

Louie’s work will be on display at the museum through January 2021, part of its 25th original mega-exhibition, “The Secret Life of Earth.”

In this video, American Visionary Art Museum founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger takes you on a video tour through the exhibit, including Louie’s work.

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GR Arbor Day

Connecting to the Oneness of Nature

“Mother Nature is the ultimate teacher,” said Moving Art director Louie Schwartzberg. “Filming nature has always been the thing that makes me connect with the divine, makes me feel connected to the Oneness.”

Louie spoke about his career and his connection to nature in a podcast interview with Dr. Lauren Macdonald on The Holistic Healing Project. “You see these repeated patterns over and over in nature,” continued Louie.

“Whether it’s the grain or a piece of rock, or the nebula in deep space or the mycelial network, or the neurons in your brain—they all look the same. Connecting with that universal truth is what I love to do. I’m making the invisible visible.”

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Sleep Meditation with Moving Art

“This is one of the greatest pieces of entertainment on Netflix,” wrote one fan of Louie Schwartzberg’s Moving Art, testifying to the power of visual art to help them unwind.

“It generates a very tranquil atmosphere, and rekindles awe in nature that many of us have forgotten. I regularly watch this when I am trying to relax or sleep, and it brings me into a great mental state each and every time.”

If you need to sleep, visual imagery can provide the perfect solution. It works for adults and kids, and parents have even seen great results with the youngest viewers! 

“I love the Moving Art Series on Netflix, and so does my toddler,” wrote one parent. “I would put it on and he would quiet down and fall asleep. My son would hear the opening strains of ‘Flowers’ and immediately stop crying.”

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Gratitude Lab Louie Schwartzberg

A Forgiveness Meditation

Meditation is a powerful tool.

At this transitional moment in history, we need to remind ourselves of the power of forgiveness. Forgiving yourself and forgiving your neighbor can have a powerful effect on your life.

Start by watching Malynn Utzinger’s forgiveness meditation, a Moving Art film that pairs Louie Schwartzberg’s unforgettable images with a directed meditation from a doctor who is double board-certified in Family Medicine and Integrative and Holistic Medicine.

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Moving Art Visual Healing

The Power of Virtual Nature Therapy

“These films quiet my mind, relax my body, and allow me to easily flow into meditation or simply release any negativity or resistance from my being,” wrote one Moving Art viewer, explaining how virtual nature therapy changed their lives.

“I have a 3-year-old autistic boy with serious sleep issues, wrote another viewer, sharing an intensely personal story about playing the Moving Art series as her son falls asleep. “He nearly instantly mellows out and can fall asleep. He’s absolutely mesmerized by the time-lapse flowers opening and closing.”

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seeing world with a child's eye

Going Back To Nature with Children

Around the world, people are celebrating Children’s Art Week this month. In this unprecedented time, the event will be held online this year—encouraging kids to go back to nature.

The great Pablo Picasso once wrote, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” 

We’ve rounded up some ways you (and the children in your life) can join the fun this year. But first, as a bit of inspiration, here’s a short meditation from Louie Schwartzberg called “A Child’s Eye.”

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Biomimicry: Enter Nature’s Laboratory

“One day, we will wake up to find that the energy that powers the alarm clock came from the breeze through the trees the night before. We will go to work that morning, riding the rays of the Sun.”

That’s an inspiring vision of humans living in harmony with nature, a short film called “What’s Possible.” This vision of the world shows human beings imitating nature’s example, rather than trying to tame it.

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Louie Schwartzberg, Gratitude Revealed

IN-Q’s Message of Hope

“One little dot in trillions of stars. One little dot. It’s all that we’ve got,” said poet and spoken word artist In-Q during a special Fungi Day presentation. 

His message and representation of human consciousness has never been as urgent as it is now. 

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Growing Back To Nature

As we face unprecedented challenges this year, the next generation of creators is pushing for a change in consciousness.

These artists show us how to seek shared humanity and interconnection, our only hope to heal the deep roots of racism and divide in our country.

“If we don’t experience the natural world as part of our external self, we will continue to create waste, practice harmful economics, and lead lifestyles which are not healthy for us or our planet,” New York-born filmmaker and ethnobiologist Anthony Basil Rodriguez told us in an interview about hope and cooperation.

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Beauty and Wonder Will Always Defeat Fear

Sometimes, our darkest moments can help us discover a profound purpose.

Inspired by his parent’s example of gratitude and resilience, director and photographer Louie Schwartzberg wanted to make the world a better place and fight for social justice. He photographed a generation in turmoil and bore witness to an epochal shift in American values. Along the way, he found a more meaningful life.

Louie told this deeply personal story for the first time at TEDxKC, an independently organized TEDx event in Kansas City—sharing how he found a more meaningful life during a period of great uncertainty. His beautiful words of gratitude have transcend across borders.

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Organizations That Support African-American Farmers

During this time of great uncertainty, many people are looking for ways to help our African-American communities. We’ve seen the deep roots of racism and divide in our country, but we are recognizing our shared humanity and interconnection. Proving the importance of bringing the focus back to nature.

Leah Penniman, the founding co-director of Soul Fire Farm, has written about the struggles of black farmers in America. Here is some of her research:

“Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices have roots in African wisdom. Yet, discrimination and violence against African-American farmers has led to their decline from 14 percent of all growers in 1920 to less than 2 percent today, with a corresponding loss of over 14 million acres of land.”

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Learning Nature’s Language

Nature has been sending us messages for centuries, but it takes a special kind of awareness to understand them.

Louie Schwartzberg has been shooting time-lapse flowers continuously, nonstop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for over 30 years. Through his footage, we can see nature’s dance, immersing ourselves in the conversations between the different kinds of life around us.

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Fantastic Fungi

How Fungi Can Help Fight Pandemics

There is magic beneath our feet—including not only plant medicines, but possibly the next game-changing vaccines that we so desperately need now and will always need in the future.  

There’s a rich history of plant medicine discoveries that have helped humanity throughout history. People have been using mushrooms to combat infection for centuries as one of nature’s wonders. 

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The Shaman Approach To Wellness and Consciousness

In Western medicine, we have mostly abandoned the traditional methods of indigenous communities. But has modern medicine led us off-track, pulling us away from spiritual and medical consciousness?

Perhaps we need to change the way we think about wellness. Instead, we can follow the example of ancient spiritualities that have fostered natural healing for centuries.

As this exclusive clip from Fantastic Fungi shows, mycology and transcendent medicine have been intertwined throughout time.

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Mushrooms Emerge from Underground

From more magic mushroom research, microdosing and retreats – to a profusion of superpower mushrooms infused in foods, drinks and beauty products

The 2017 Global Wellness Summit kicked off with a serious dose of…mushrooms.

Award-winning filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg’s opening talk sneak-previewed his extraordinary new film on the unappreciated power of mushrooms: from their crucial role in Earth’s ecosystem to the mounting medical evidence that they’re uniquely effective human medicine. Largely hidden from our eyes (mushrooms only come to the surface to “fruit”, i.e. spread their spores) the kingdom of fungi – neither vegetable or animal, but somewhere in between – is actually the largest set of organisms on the planet. A vast underground network (like the “Internet” of nature), mushrooms are Earth’s main decomposers and their constant “munching” makes possible soil – and all plant, animal and human life. And while most westerners only toss a few white button mushrooms into their spaghetti sauce (unlike Asian cultures that embrace so many mushrooms as food and medicine), Schwartzberg detailed the surging medical evidence for so many mushroom breeds: From lion’s mane’s ability to regrow nerve cells and prevent dementia to strong evidence that turkey tail mushrooms help our immune system fight cancer.

Schwartzberg also analyzed the ancient history, and eye-opening new clinical evidence, for that most “underground” variety of all: psychedelic magic shrooms, those 200 species containing psilocybin that alter the mind by forging new neural pathways in the brain. For thousands of years magic mushrooms were used in cultures worldwide: from the Ancient Greeks (yes, Plato and Socrates) to the Aztecs. And, in the 1960s, leading medical institutions like Harvard undertook studies indicating magic mushrooms’ serious promise for things like depression and addiction. All of which came to a crashing, counterculture-fearing halt when many countries, like France (1966), the U.S. (1970), and the UK (2005), made them (and other psychedelics) highly illegal drugs, putting the kibosh on this important research for decades.

Well, now the research is again on fire, with dozens of studies coming out of top universities like Imperial College-London, NYU, UCLA, the University of Zurich, and Johns Hopkins (with its dedicated Psilocybin Research institute) on magic mushrooms’ too-powerful-to-be-ignored impact on everything from nicotine and alcohol addiction, PTSD, headaches, OCD – and especially depression and anxiety…often with a single dose, and with the positive effects lasting months. As Roland Griffiths, PhD, one of the top U.S. psychopharmacologists and lead psilocybin investigator at Johns Hopkins, put it, “It’s a Rip Van Winkle effect—after three decades of no research, we’re rubbing the sleep from our eyes.” Important research is just ahead: Compass Pathways (with high-profile investors like Peter Thiel, Mike Novogratz and Christian Angermayer) is about to start major clinical trials testing magic mushrooms’ impact on depression in eight European countries in early 2018 – the largest clinical trial of psilocybin ever. Non-profit Usona is also in the development stages for new studies on psilocybin’s impact on depression and anxiety.

So, if Louie Schwartzberg’s opening presentation at the Summit on the unique “magic” that mushrooms deliver to our brains and bodies may have at first seemed far out, it’s anything but.

Because the rediscovery and creative uses of mushrooms – in mental wellness, as true superfoods, and in beauty products (and more) – will be a top wellness trend in 2018 and beyond. “Brain resetting” magic mushrooms will start to emerge from underground: more people will microdose them as creativity and brain boosters (a Silicon Valley “start-up” practice now spreading around the world). And, yes, magic mushroom retreats (like MycoMeditations) will keep popping up in places where legal (whether Jamaica or the Netherlands), where the “trip” gets combined with increasingly luxe wellness experiences. And we’ll see movement on the legalization front, making this magic mushroom moment reminiscent of the early days of the cannabis-as-wellness trend.

And as medical evidence also ramps up showing that non-magic mushrooms are magical for human health (with adaptogenic, anti-aging and other powers), we’ll see a new world of mushrooms like reishi, chaga, lion’s mane and cordyceps get worked into so many more foods and drinks, from coffee to chocolate – as well as a growing profusion of shrooms in beauty products. And on both the psychedelic and non-psychedelic fronts it’s a trend driven by new medical studies…how welcome in an era with so much “evidence-free” wellness.

 

References:

Mushrooms | 2018 Global Wellness Trends – Global Wellness Summit

 

Lindsey Stirling & Louie Schwartzberg, Crystalize

Lindsey Stirling & Louie Schwartzberg, Crystalize

Enjoy this full length amazing version of Lindsey Stirling’s Crystalize, as filmed and directed by Louie Schwartzberg.

Discover the power of visual healing. Experience the wonder of nature’s balance. Know serenity of heart and mind transformation in the blink of the eye.