I used to get some pretty heavy performance anxiety before a high pressure shoot or singing onstage. You get a chance to spend 20 seconds alone in a tiny room with Jay-Z, your lights and a camera?  Yeah, you might sweat a little. I needed to learn how to chill out and turn those mountains into molehills.

I dug around and found the The Art of Living Foundation, a volunteer-based, humanitarian and educational organization founded by a Guru named Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - a funny little wise man with a vision of creating a stress and violence-free society.  The foundation teaches millions of people how to meditate, worry less and genuinely minimize the intensity of difficult everyday situations.

These images document the festivities on the day I came out of spending five days in silence and meditation practices at the Art of Living ashram in Quebec. There’s a center in New York but we trucked it to Canada as the silence took place during Guru Purnima, a festival traditionally celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists where disciples offer puja (worship) or pay respect to their Guru or teacher. 

To this day, the more I do the meditation practices the easier high pressure parts of life become. It allows me to focus more on the creative and less on the nerves.

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