In the beginning, the concept of this project was around a coffee style photo book focusing on how lay practitioners manifest their practice ‘beyond the cushion’, hence the name of the project. But as I interviewed people on their journey on this path, I realize that their passion and authenticity should be captured with video. Given the format of these sessions and the nature of being a one man show, the individual video clips themselves wouldn’t be that interesting to watch in it’s entirely but i think i did figure out a way to make their stories digestible in this age of short attention spans. Although, it is still in the early stages of development, I have expanded the scope of this project to be multimedia in that it will be a book, a documentary and an interactive website. Each platform has its own pros and cons so my plan is to leverage each medium’s strength and emphasize different aspects of the narrative for each medium.
Although it is still too early for me to articulate the emphasis of each medium, ultimately, the goal is to provide a rich resource for all stages of the development in the practice. Naturally, I suspect that beginners will get more value out discovering the diversity and power of the practice but I hope that others may benefit in understanding the more immediate stages of this life long practice.
Even though I had been literally ‘sitting’ on this project for over 10 years when I got the inspiration during a meditation retreat at Spirit Rock, this month marks a major shift for the project. Over the past few years, I have worked on this project as a hobby for a lack of a better word, squeezing in shoots on weekends and etc. Given the ambition of the project and the rate of progress, I was thinking that this was going to take 3-5 years to complete. In addition, what started as coffee table book has now expanded to multimedia project which would ultimately culminate in documentary movie around the subject manner. Having lived in the Bay Area for over 20 years and have been thinking about leaving the area for numerous reasons, I am aligning the expansion of this project with my own pivot of leaving my comfortable lifestyle behind to engage deeper with this project. With things moving very fast for me during this transition, I am scrambling to lay the ground work for the infrastructure of this project such as revamping the website and starting the social media platforms so that I can start producing regular updates on the road. Yes, I am doing a road trip across America for the next year to highlight practitioners and find brotherhood on the path.