Void Contemplation Tactics (2020-ongoing)

A virtual mindfulness installation series from your friend Cosmic Chambo


Void Contemplation Tactics is an ongoing series of guided meditation videos combining video art, heavy mellow music, and readings from Zen teachers. This initial six episode sequence features 15-minute excerpts from my White River, Slow Flow project.

The kaleidoscopic images in each video are made from multiple overlapping slow motion videos of Prairie Creek Reservoir and the White River, mostly from sections that are a short walk form our apartment in downtown Muncie, Indiana. I captured the video in the late winter and early spring using a phone camera and a DSLR equipped with a macro lens.

The project began as an exercise in learning my way around video recording and editing technology. It eventually became an experiment in manipulating mundane amateur video to convey something elusive and transcendent about a small endangered river that has special meaning to me and my partner. There isn’t much protected land in this region of the Midwest, so the White River Greenway that passes through our city is a frequent refuge and an opportunity to encounter herons, beavers, geese, ducks, whistle pigs, and other Munsonian creatures. It’s also where Wife Rachel wants us to clandestinely spread her ashes after she’s gone; thankfully, she’s quite healthy at the moment. 

The music for each episode of Void Contemplation Tactics was contributed by some of my favorite ambient, drone, and New Age artists including Wife Signs, Lunaria, PJS, Inner Travels, Mary Lattimore + Ornament, and itta. There is much to explore in each of their back catalogs, and I encourage you to support them on Bandcamp and elsewhere. Connecting and collaborating with them has been one of the highlights of this extended period of self-quarantine. You can find links to more of their work in each video description, and in my Bandcamp library

The guided meditation is a combination of my Zen and yoga practices. It’s inspired by my time living at the Indianapolis Zen Center, sitting with my dharma comrades, and useful things that I learned from my dharma teachers (and former housemates) John Melvin, Lincoln Rhodes, David Culp, and Nick Terry. The readings are taken from Joko Beck, Ezra Bayda, Lewis Richmond, Zen Master Seung Sahn, and The Tao of Physics.

I’m especially grateful to my lifelong friend Amy Peddycord and Invoke Studio for their generous support of this initial six episode series. The videos are included as part of Invoke’s new online curriculum at invokestudio.com/onlinestudio.

The 20200420 episode of Void Contemplation Tactics features music from itta, a South Korean artist who plays a unique experimental pop-noise music for voice, toy instruments and electronics. Together with the Japanese noise musician Marqido, she performs as TENGGER.

Explore more of her transcendent New Age drone magic at auralcanyonmusic.bandcamp.com/album/enter

This meditation practice is rooted in the Zen tradition, and informed by Chamberlin’s time as a resident of the Indianapolis Zen Center. Today’s meditation includes an excerpt “The Authentic Life,” an interview with Zen Teacher Lewis Richmond.

Continue reading at tricycle.org/magazine/authentic-life/

The 20200413 episode of Void Contemplation Tactics features music from Live in the Rain From the Russian Woods, a “mainly improvised duo set” from Mary Lattimore and Ornament, a solo project from Growing’s Joe DeNardo.

Sustain the vibe at marylattimoreharpist.bandcamp.com and ornament-music.bandcamp.com.

This meditation practice is rooted in the Zen tradition, and informed by Chamberlin’s time as a resident of the Indianapolis Zen Center. Today’s meditation includes an excerpt from The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra.

The 20200406 installment of Void Contemplation Tactics features music from Inner Travels, the “peaceful electronic music” project of Wisconsin-based artist Steve Targo. We’ll hear selections from Panorama Set (2020) and Nature Spirit (2019).

Find more sounds from Inner Travels at innertravels.bandcamp.com.

This meditation practice is rooted in the Zen tradition, and informed by Chamberlin’s time as a resident of the Indianapolis Zen Center, where he practiced “together action” with dharma teachers John Melvin, David Culp, and Lincoln Rhodes. Today’s meditation includes an excerpt from “Ordinary Mind,” a 1990 dharma talk from Joko Beck.

The full dharma talk can be found at youtu.be/ojR0IMhXef0.

The 20200330 installment of Void Contemplation Tactics features “Witches Brew” from PJS’ 2020 album Precipice. PJS is the electronic music project of Patrick Dique and Jordan Christoff. “All sounds created live with synthesizers, field recordings, and effects,” they tell us. “No computer sounds, screens or presets present during the creation process.”

Find more sounds from PJS at pjsmusicsound.bandcamp.com/music.

This meditation practice is rooted in the Zen tradition, and informed by Chamberlin’s time as a resident of the Indianapolis Zen Center, where he practiced “together action” with dharma teachers John Melvin, David Culp, and Lincoln Rhodes. Today’s meditation includes an excerpt from Zen Master Seung Sahn’s Compass of Zen (1997).

The 20200323 installment of Void Contemplation Tactics features music from Lunaria’s 2018 album Water Mind. Lunaria is the ambient electronic music project of Daniel Guillén, an artist based in Zaragoza, Spain.

Find more music from Guillén at lunariamusic.bandcamp.com/music.

Chamberlin is a student of Zen and a former resident of the Indianapolis Zen Center, where he practiced “together action” with dharma teachers John Melvin, David Culp, and Lincoln Rhodes. Today’s meditation includes an excerpt from Ezra Bayda’s Beyond Happiness (2010).

This debut installment in the Void Contemplation Tactics series features music from Wife Signs, the ambient project of musician Kellen Perry.

Find more of Perry’s music on Soundcloud.

Chamberlin’s meditation guidance is informed by his time as a resident student at the Indianapolis Zen Center, along with the work of Seung Sahn, Katsuki Sekida, and Ezra Bayda.