|Numinous The Music of Joseph C. Phillips Jr.|
The Numinosum Blog
Hearing about my composition a number of people have asked me, "Have you done the Vipassana meditation retreat?" or "Is the piece inspired by doing the Vipassana retreat?" I always have to answer "no, I haven't done the retreat." This is not from lack of interest however, but rather a lack of time as the retreat can be either a 10-day or 30-day stay (totally free, BTW). For those of you that don't know about Vipassana or the "noble silence" that is the Meditation retreat, in the very first Inside Vipassana series post (October 2009), I explained how I came to know about it through an article in TimeOutNY in which the author does the 10-day retreat, and which I hope to do myself someday.
www.dhamma.org explains Vipassana thusly:
Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living.
[A] non-sectarian technique...Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.
And while my composition Vipassana does not flower from the meditation, it does have similar goals as the above description. John Adams called his composition On the Transmigration of Souls a "memory space" for the victims of September 11th, 2001 and I think of my Vipassana functioning similarly, however as a space for a 'journey of reflection' toward one's self. It is not a hippie tune in, bliss out or new age-y crystals and chants, but rather Vipassana is a simple and humble medium that allows listeners to be active in reflecting on their own emotions and thoughts. Actually, my Numinous tag-line "Listen. Feel. Think. Know" is quite appropriate here, for after the hour-long journey through Vipassana and through the self, that one can emerge energized, refreshed, and inspired, is what I would hope listeners experience.
More information: Vipassana Meditation (www.dhamma.org) or Insight Meditation Center (www.dharma.org)
Numinous performs Vipassana
Wednesday September 22nd, 2010 8 PM to 9 PM
227 4th Avenue
Take the M, R Train to Union Street
Learn more about Vipassana by reading the other installments of theInside Vipassana series:
Inside Vipassana #11: Vipassana Reborn (recap of the 2009 Inside Vipassana series)
Inside Vipassana #12: Bang a Gong with Jared Soldiviero (Numinous percussionist speaks about Vipassana)
Inside Vipassana #13: Ever changing stillness (behind the melodies of Stillness Flows Ever Changing)
Inside Vipassana #14: Electric Lady (Amanda Monaco, Guitar, and Vipassana)
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To all things that create a sense of wonder and beauty that inspires and enlightens.
Thanks and credit to all the original photos on this website to: David Andrako, Concrete Temple Theatre, Marcy Begian, Ed Lefkowicz, Donald Martinez, Kimberly McCollum, Geoff Ogle, Joseph C. Phillips Jr., Daniel Wolf-courtesy of Roulette, Andrew Robertson, Viscena Photography, Jennifer Wohrle, Carolyn Wolf, Mark Elzey, Numinosito. The Numinous Changing Same album design artwork by DM Stith. The Numinous The Grey Land album design and artwork by Brock Lefferts. Contact for photo credit and information on specific images.