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 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?

Fall Mandala

The Shift in Consciousness We Need Now

“Mushrooms can shift your consciousness and make you feel this ultimate connection with all living things on the planet,” said Fantastic Fungi director Louie Schwartzberg.

“That’s the shift of consciousness we need right now, to care about everybody and everything. This interconnection between us is what makes the world go round. We need for our economy and we need it for our mental health.”

Celebrate the release of Fantastic Fungi on Apple TV and watch the rest of Louie’s conversation from The Harmonic Convergence, a 10-day meditation to drive a global shift in consciousness.

Are You Part of the 17%?

Now more than ever, humans live separately from nature. Our food systems are limited to grocery store shelves and the occasional farmer’s market. We might get out for a hike every once in a while, or do some yoga when we’re feeling stressed. But the feeling of dissociation from self and others is all too common.

Enter author Daniel Grauer.

A writer, researcher, and organizer based in the Catskills, Grauer has been passionately exploring the relationship between plants and human consciousness for years. His research on sacred medicine and collective transformation has led to one major revelation—legalization of psilocybin therapy could cause a global shift in consciousness.

“If we legalize and integrate psychedelics into our culture through rituals and guidelines, we benefit from an estimated 17% of our future adult population having a unifying experience,” writes Grauer in his new book, Psychedelic Consciousness: Plant Intelligence for Healing Ourselves and Our Fragmented World.

“If this same 17 percent—of the national and eventually global adult population—then cultivated such a unifying experience through a daily practice of meditation or yoga, it should provide enough momentum to help us navigate the crossroads and shift from an unnatural ideology of fragmentation to a natural ideology of unity.”

Grauer’s new book explores the very nature of consciousness and the role that natural tools and practices can play in bringing individuals into harmony with systems. The book covers historic uses of sacred medicine and goes a step further, pointing out how safe access to transformative mental experiences could become the building block of a better future.

Psychedelic Consciousness looks at how natural plants and fungi can help us re-establish a lost ideology of unity. Interdisciplinary in nature, readers will be treated to a diverse array of well-researched tools and practices that can help transform individual consciousness.

Covering yoga, meditation, sacred plants, and psychedelic fungi, Grauer’s book is a hopeful and inspiring ode to connection in an age of disconnection.

With the right tools and the right mindset, Grauer offers up a path for finding symbiosis with nature. Tapping into the zeitgeist, Psychedelic Consciousness is a balm to every weary individualist who is ready to come back into balance and feel the unity inherent to all life.

Poetry and Water Meditation

Director Louie Schwartzberg has been exploring our waterways with his camera for more than four decades, showing us the healing power of Visual Healing with water imagery.

Millions of viewers around the world have relaxed with Louie’s very first episode of his Moving Art series, “Oceans.”  

A few years ago, he created this gorgeous ocean meditation he made for the organization, 1% for the Planet.

Sweet Water Poetry

As we celebrate National Water Quality Awareness Month this August, we also highlight the voices of artists around the world who lead the way towards clean water for all.

Water is not only an element necessary to survival on Earth, but it is the substance that connects all beings to one another. Across geographic distances, across species, and across time, water connects us all.

Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds is a brand new poetry anthology that gathers the voices of poets from across Canada, the US and the UK who have written work inspired by water. “Bottled, clouded, held in rain, in river, estuary, and lake, sweet water is the planet’s life force and the poets here examine it from every angle,” states the editorial page.

In Laurie D. Graham’s poem “Antler River,” the juxtaposition between humanity’s reverence and disdain for nature is stark. The excerpt below speaks to the delicately fraught relationship between the humans and birds that share access to the river:

“Mallards and their escaped domestic kin and the bright,

rasping horns of Canada geese in false spring, in glacier-

turquoise water. Hundreds and hundreds of sharps sinking

into the banks.”

In this excerpt from “Parts Per Billion,” Canadian writer Joe Zucchiatti meditates on the generational differences in how his family handles water treatment in rural Ontario:

“the living water,

my uncle proclaims proudly, defiantly,

as if purified water

was only for sissies,

and impurity and pollution

somehow nutritious”

Solveig Adair, a scientist, teacher, and writer, contributes her poem entitled “Grandmother River.” The excerpt below calls into consciousness the oneness of all life, even after death:

before she died she

knelt in the river and when

I blinked there was no

distinction between her and

the water             body

fed by veins and arteries

wild as water returning

always to the heart

Some writers contribute odes to the creatures who inhabit swamps, whereas others meditate on the destruction of waterways and the future of Earth’s ecosystems. As an anthology, this collection is the perfect way to honor National Water Quality Awareness Month.

It offers the special gift of presenting diverse and international experiences with different bodies of water, calling readers to engage with its themes and be moved into action.

Why You Should Start a Gratitude Journal

“When you experience wonder and you’re in the moment, you feel the divine. And what that does is engender gratitude,” said Louie Schwartzberg.

Scientific studies show that being in nature reduces stress, anxiety, and worry while improving focus, creativity, and sense of connection.

Watch this simple meditation from Moving Art, and start making a list of everything you are grateful for…

The Science of Gratitude

A study out of the University of California, Riverside, reported that grateful people experience more optimism, joy, enthusiasm, and other positive emotions, and they have a deeper appreciation for life’s simple pleasures.

These researchers also found that by expressing gratitude for people in your life, like a friend or romantic partner, you can report higher levels of satisfaction in relationships. The most intriguing fact to come out of this study though was that gratitude is a skill that can be learned and nurtured, much like perfecting your Grandmother’s secret recipe.

One of the best ways to practice gratitude is by journaling. This exercise helps you develop a greater appreciation for the good in your life. In fact, people who routinely express gratitude enjoy better health and greater happiness. The best part—there is no right or wrong way to keep a gratitude journal.

We recommend starting out with writing 15 minutes per day, at least once per week for at least two weeks. Soon you’ll figure out what works best for you and discover the impact on your happiness level.

Starting a Gratitude Journal

What you give attention to will grow. Gratitude journaling is a powerful, research-backed practice that can bring more health and happiness into your life. You don’t have to do it every day. In fact, some studies show that three times per week is more effective than daily. But you do have to do it regularly to see results.

Here’s how you can create a gratitude journaling practice.

Start by choosing a place to store your gratitude observations. It can be a computer file or a handwritten journal. Make sure it’s an easy place to access so that it’s easier for you to sit down and write.

Now try to think of five things you are grateful for. The key to gratitude journaling is to be as specific as possible. Depth is more important than breadth. Write about the full experience. If someone gave you a gift, write about why it was important to you. Write about how it felt to receive it.

If you get stuck thinking of five things, try to imagine what your life would be like in the absence of something. For instance, you could be grateful for clean water or your pet or the tree outside your window that shelters you from the sun. Try replaying your day in your head and thinking about what you took for granted. You can be grateful for the mug that held your tea or the socks on your feet. Don’t overlook simple things.

One final tip: try not to repeat anything in future entries. It’s okay to mention the same person or thing, but try to note the specific experience that made you feel grateful. Maybe you noticed the artistry of the mug and how smooth it felt in your hand. Perhaps you noticed your friend’s gentle and supportive nature, and not just their cleverness in selecting a gift for you.

You can expect lots of benefits from gratitude journaling, including a more optimistic mood, better sleep, and a generally positive outlook on life.

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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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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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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