Artist and photographer Diana Michelle knew about mental illness; she had observed it in her own family. However, that wasn’t part of the reason she started studying yoga with Paul Summerlin over five years ago.
âAt one point in the early days of our friendship, Paul just once said that he was diagnosed on the spectrum of schizophrenia,â she recalls. âI immediately wanted to know more. At first Paul was reluctant to speak up, but with further contemplation and encouragement, it was decided that we would produce a story together.
“His teachings and his music, combined with my still and moving photographs, are a great collaboration,” says Diana Michelle.
Fans of her work and Summerlin’s yoga practice can begin to see the results of their efforts on October 16. An event at Mount Sequoyah in Fayetteville will feature photography by Diana Michelle, music by Summerlin – he’s worked with artists like Seal and on “The David Letterman Show” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” – and “Breathing in Eden” Â», A 10 minute preview of their film projectÂ« It’s No Secret Â».
“The project” It’s No Secret “is based on the first feature documentary, focusing on the context of life and the fundamental teachings, and the second feature film, a direct representation of this teaching and of Paul’s unique and intrepid style for convey a message, âDiana Michelle explains. âThese feature films are pretty close to the end of production and should be released in the next few months. Editing, publishing and marketing have already started.
“Tracks of experimentation have emerged from this main project, involving breathtaking images of nature, as well as the practice of asanas and Paul’s musical compositions,” she adds. âOf the many shorter ‘film-art’ pieces taking shape, ‘Breathing In Eden’ is the first, a mind-boggling 10-minute collage of these elements. “
Diana Michelle says the films associate her unique style of photography with Summerlin’s ‘testimony’, which âaddresses her views on her condition and place in the world, leading to a more in-depth discussion of pain and karma, and culminating in a passionate discourse on the wisdom he drew from his struggles, which forms the basis of his spiritual practice and teaching.
âThe film is not an easy journey,â she adds. “There is tension throughout, but the payoff is huge, both visually and emotionally.”
Diana Michelle hopes the film project can help families and communities struggling with mental illness, “who may be looking for alternatives to healing, if they are frustrated with the post-modern treatment system in the world. field of conventional mental health â.
“It is Paul’s assertion that the world is in the chaotic state it is because every human being, at some level, denies much of his” true nature “and, therefore, does not ‘not fully actualize spiritually,’ she said. “And that all the negativity hidden within is projected into the world.
âAs Paul’s longtime yoga student, what I’ve learned from Paul is that we have a lot more to do than our physical bodies,â she adds. âWe are spiritual beings having a physical experience here on earth. This part is just part of the bigger lesson, as our soul transcends lives, other dimensions and beyond.
âOther people should learn from Paul, because put simply, this man is enlightened,â concludes Diana Michelle. âWith an open mind and an open heart, there is so much more to learn about our own spirituality. This man has so much to give. I aim to help move this forward because it needs to be shared. It’s a gift.”
“It’s not a secret”
WHEN – 5 to 8 p.m. October 16
O – Sequoyah Hall in Mount Sequoyah, 150 N. Skyline Drive in Fayetteville
No cost; donations are welcome
INFO – E-mail [email protected]
BONUS – Private appointments can be made to view the work until November 4. The next fundraiser will be on November 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Lane Foster Fine Art Gallery in Springdale, where the work will be on display from November 8 to January 8. 28.