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Supporting Spirituality Through Technology: Danielle Roberts on PYP 435

Danielle Roberts is a visual artist, technologist, and meditator. She's the creator of MeditationLab, whose mission is to support spirituality through technology, and AwarenessLab, which develops tools for awareness from a technological, artistic, and experiential perspective.

Following a personal crisis in her 20s, Roberts turned to meditation to try to “solve” the problem, and discovered a whole other paradigm of looking at life.

From this transcendent perspective, she reengaged, and has been exploring the interface between art, experience, and meditative states ever since.

One of her projects was a meditation suit, complete with multiple sensors and feedback loops with the environment, designed to optimize the meditation experience for the wearer.

Another project, Magic Tea, combined experiential art with mindfulness in the creation of a tea ceremony that included environmental feedback loops.

We talked about the goals of mindfulness, and whether technologizing meditation can help us achieve enlightenment, or just commodifies it into another “thing” to chase after, possess, and accumulate.

We also explored the carefully constructed tea ceremony, with its use of visual and action-based metaphor, in terms of design thinking. I was particularly struck by Roberts' use of the word “magic” to describe the experience.

And we connected her work on patterns of consciousness with architect Christopher Alexander's “pattern language” concept, to see how to employ mindfulness-inducing patterns in our private and collective spaces. (The kitchen and dining room, to use food-based examples.)

I hope you get from this conversation a sense of how you can design, construct, and live in spaces and rituals that enrich your life.

Links

MeditationLab.nl

AwarenessLab.nl

A Pattern Language, by Christopher Alexander

AwarenessLab on Instagram

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

Gratitudes

Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Anthony Dissen – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Christine Nielsen – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Wayne Pedersen – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – RuthAnn Funderburk – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Martha Bergner – Susan Ahmad – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Kelly Michiya – DeAnne Norton – Bonnie Lynch of Plant Happy Oregon – Sabine Kurtzhals – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Tanya Lewis – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Valerie Pelletier – Peter W Evans – Colleen Harrison – Justine Divett – Joshua Sommermeyer – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Valarie Hummel – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Günter Schmid – Marjorie Lewis – Kelly Moulden – Tricia Adams – Ian Cramer – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Rachelle Kennedy – Diana Goldman – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – Hollie Butler – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Olga Szydarowska – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – for your generous support of the podcast.

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