My name is Brandon Stanton and I’m a photographer in New York City. As many of you already know, several months ago I was approached by the fashion label DKNY, who offered me $15,000 to purchase 300 of my photographs. I politely refused the offer. But earlier this week, one of my fans discovered that DKNY was using my photographs anyway— in Asia. (Full Story:http://thebea.st/13ijYt6)
As atonement for this infringement, I publicly requested that DKNY donate $100,000 in my name to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, so that underprivileged children could attend summer camp. DKNY responded on Monday with a $25,000 donation.
Over the next three days, my audience stepped in and raised the full $100,000 themselves. Over 3,000 people chipped in, and raised an astonishing $103,710 in 72 hours. (http://bit.ly/YTy4h3)
I have no interest in vilifying DKNY. It is a company composed of thousands of good people. The founder, Donna Karan, is highly respected around the world for both her creativity and philanthropy.
But I would appreciate if you would REBLOG this post, and lend your voice to my request that DKNY raise their donation to match the $103,710 that we raised.
Together, we could create a $208,000 investment in the lives of children in one of New York’s most vital and diverse neighborhoods. Thank you so much.
“The tendency nowadays to wander in wildernesses is delightful to see.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
~John Muir from The Writings of John Muir
Read more about wilderness in “The Last Quiet Places” with Gordon Hempton
Photo by Jeremy Dunlop / Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0
Abundance. 2013 focus.
It all seems to have happened so fast. It didn’t though. In these quiet moments of reflection, the noise of the past rings in my ears. The volume was so loud for so long. The pounding of my heartbeat keeping rapid time as I fought to find life, meaning, and an end to my perceived suffering. When the memories flash across my daydream screen, I feel my heart wince. Sometimes it’s hurt, sometimes it’s longing. This week it has been letting go and detaching. Gently saying goodbye to all the people and experiences at this “party”. Thanking them for the lovely time or the thoughtful gift. Thanking them for teaching you. There are hugs, tears and laughs. There are butterflies in my stomach as I begin to realize this is the end.. I have worn out my welcome at this party, and I now I must go. I gently shut the door. A simple gesture for complex parting.
Endings are beginnings.
I am somewhat unsure of where I have arrived. A tad bit of vertigo looking back from where I came. Completely unsure of where I am going. Wise enough to know that this answer will always allude me, and there should be some comfort in that. This new wisdom feels better. The fear and loneliness replaced with a curiosity about each day as it unfolds. Some better than others.
The new wisdom has faith instead of fear. Forgiveness when there is pain. Gratitude when there is perspective. Forgiveness when I feel foolish, lonely, confused and hurt.
I know there is more learning coming. More growing. It all feels strange right now. Another waking. The first time I thought I “woke” up, I was awakening to an elaborate fantasy from another elaborate fantasy! A fantasy I just awoke from this week. There is no going back now. I love the fantasies. I love the daydreams and the safety of it all. It is, after all, a looking glass of sorts. However, there are monsters lurking on the other side.
I violate my truth when I am not living in the present moment.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, it is written, “When one is firmly established in speaking truth, the fruits of action become subservient to him.”
Living in truth is staying in present. It is recognizing the fantasy. It is staying away from the loneliness that is a birthing ground of dangerous fantasy.
I understand this now.
I want the loneliness to be the birthing ground of present minded inspiration and gratitude.
With age comes wisdom.
Teaching my first yoga class…..
I taught my first yoga class last Wednesday. I was having a hellacious week at work, and my mind was pretty much liquefied by the time I sat down to work on the flow of the class. I was incredibly nervous, more nervous than I had been for my practicum. I wanted to be courageous, despite the fear, so I accepted the challenge. I came up with a meditation to open the class, and then worked on the rest. I decided on a water theme as it was raining outside. The meditation was envisioning your thoughts as smooth stones that you would then skip across a calm pond. My delivery got a little jumbled, not very conducive to mediation, but at the end of the class one of the students shared her visualization with me, which was pretty funny involving Dick Clark’s face on a rock, and it made up for my feeling that i had been completely inept. Then there was the rest of it. All I can say is - there was a clock and then I seemed to have blacked out for the rest of the class. I finished my whole flow in 20 minutes, and then panicked. Hence the blacking out part. The main thing I learned is - build into the poses and learn how time the poses and how long to hold the students in the poses. Research the style more, and transitional language. Work out my savasana too!!!
In the end the experience was nothing less than humbling. At least now I have taken the first step. There was a time when i just would have poured it all into a daydream and never made it into reality.
“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”
—Arthur Conan Doyle, from The Hound of the Baskervilles
I think this is an inspiring quote for the effects of meditation.
For my practicum at 4025, I included this breath of joy sequence without the stretching. I was so nervous about the practicum, I felt that if I put pranayama in the practice with a focus on happiness and letting go, that it would make me and the students feel good. I think it was effective. I am realizing that as I near the end of my teacher training, that my practice is less about exercise, sweating and pushing my body to its limits. I need the yoga to boost my mood, help my self esteem and heal my body and mind.