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Body - Mind - Heart - Spirit

Christopher Stewart
  • Male
  • Québec, Qc
  • Canada

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Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

In All Directions

joy is feeling looking upwards skies enrapture the sorry selfand its grievancejoy is seeing looking westwards social fracture healing itselffrom insurgencejoy is knowing looking eastwards proper culture relieves oneselffrom ignorancejoy is seeing looking outwards events mature the early selffrom quiescencejoy is feeling looking inwards divine nature express itselfto give guidancejoy is seeing looking backwards how the future bootstrapped itselfin existence§See More
Mar 28, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

Blessings To Count

joy is knowing the best of views fuels volition to climb the mountjoy is having freedom to choose which obstruction one must surmountjoy is knowing hearing the muse is like drinking from the youth fountjoy is having nothing to lose and yet having blessings to count§See More
Mar 21, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

Compass Towards The Grail

when gloominess deflects the gale joy is the wind that fills the sailwhen despair is tricking the scale joy is the clue that tells the talewhen spleen is thick and hopes are pale joy is meaning that lifts the veilwhen no reason can find the trail joy is compass towards the grail§See More
Mar 13, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

Accord With One's Nature

though worries hurt and fears injure joy yields healing beyond measurethough gloom has roots deep in culture joy at all times sages nurturethough the reasons may outnumber joy is the wealth wise ones treasurethough the mundane exerts pressure joy is accord with one's nature§See More
Mar 8, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

Respite On Heavy Days

when the constraints the spirit faze joy is a door out of the mazewhen nobody offers their praise joy is moving on anywayswhen challenges the psyche daze joy is clear sky after the hazewhen upheavals disrupt the ways joy is respite on heavy days§See More
Mar 2, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

A Friend Halving The Load

when there is fault at the crossroad joy is knowing the cosmic goadwhen the ciphers the wit erode joy is insight breaking the codewhen through hard work seeds have been sowed joy is seeing blessings bestowedwhen there's burden and a long road joy is a friend halving the load§See More
Feb 25, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a video

Midday Meal At The Skatepark - excerpt - [Fingerstyle Guitar Originals]

here's a short excerpt of a jazzy composition called « Midday Meal At The Skatepark » captured this past July during an outdoors rehearsing session...the ful...
Feb 24, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

Breakthrough From The Standstill

when there's no vim the land to till joy swells the wind running the millwhen there's no verve the page to fill joy lights the spark moving the quillwhen obstacles challenge the skill joy marks the path leading uphillwhen restrictions deter the will joy brings breakthrough from the standstill §See More
Feb 23, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

The Secret Of Silence

joy is being given the secret of silence after the hard lesson and the heavy penancejoy is being driven to relay radiance and this way forgiven for past indifference§See More
Feb 21, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

Without A Cloud

joy is presence when strings are bowed joy is purpose when fields are ploughedjoy is keepingto what was vowedjoy is a calm voice in the crowd joy is the truth humbling the proudjoy is freedomthat is allowedjoy is quiet when life is loud joy is wisdom piercing the shroudjoy is the mindwithout a cloud§See More
Feb 18, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a blog post

You Hear Me Now

should you ever o my darlinghear that i am forever gonedo not be vainly ponderingthat you will miss our liaisonfor upon you i lay no blamenot knowing who i'd come to bewhen before you i make the claimnever will you truly miss meunsettled by futures unclearwithheld by self-worth glaucomaencircled by vultures of fearbrooded over childhood traumapeering beyond self-sabotagecommonplaces and conventionis the end goal only miragefigment of imaginationexperiences recurringwill the lesson ever be…See More
Feb 15, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a video

Northern Lights for Strings and Winds [Upcoming Releases]

the last few months haven't quite unfolded as i had hoped, yet there's been many positive developments on the music front. most notably, i'm happy to report ...
Feb 14, 2023
Christopher Stewart posted a video

While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles) - excerpt - [Fingerstyle Guitar Covers]

busking performance of an arrangement in progress of « While My Guitar Gently Weeps » originally released by The Beatles on the White Album, and written by G...
Sep 2, 2020
Christopher Stewart posted a video

You Can't Hurry Love (The Supremes) - excerpt - [Fingerstyle Guitar Covers]

busking performance of an arrangement in progress of the Holland–Dozier–Holland classic « You Can't Hurry Love, » originally recorded by The Supremes, and ma...
Aug 28, 2020
Christopher Stewart posted a video

Themes from the Tron Soundtrack (Wendy Carlos) - [Fingerstyle Guitar Covers]

originally inspired by a MIDI file approximating Tron's Ending Titles Themes. The actual soundtrack, as written my Wendy Carlos, is actually much more richer...
Aug 16, 2020
Christopher Stewart posted a video

La Isla Bonita (Madonna) - excerpt - [Fingerstyle Guitar Covers]

working on an arrangement of Madonna's « La Isla Bonita. » my phone actually captured the whole thing out of focus, but using the sharpening filter in Shotcu...
Aug 12, 2020
 

Music and Spiritual Practice - An Overview of Poligraf

Music has been an essential part of my life since the end of the 80s.

The adventure began during the second of my four years of studying electrical engineering at Université Laval in Québec City. Through various friends and contacts I reconnected with progressive rock, a form of music to which I had already been exposed to in my youth thanks to my older brothers and sisters. Hearing the music of bands such as Yes, Rush, Genesis, and King Crimson felt like meeting old friends, and quickly I knew I just had to do as those musicians did, although my prior experience with music had been minimal at that time.

The feeling was so strong that not only did it led me to buy various instruments so I could learn how to play, but it was also the main force that made me decide to change direction after my first semester as a graduate student in computer vision and systems so I could build my life around music. And perhaps more importantly, when it became clear that I would compose music of my own, it spawned the question « what should the songs be about ? » which powered me into many years of exploring a multitude of domains of knowledge including science, philosophy, psychology, art, mysticism, and the occult.

Music for me is also spiritual practice. The inspiration and elevation it provides is undeniable, and the many insights I have had while practicing an instrument or rehearsing a part are too numerous to recount. Music picks me up when I let reason bring me down, restores my energy levels when I feel tired, sustains me through lengthy work sessions, and generally brings me to a state of inner peace and deep joy.

My objective as a musician is to communicate that energy in the hopes that listeners will experience that very same elevation and inspiration. It is also my intention to share my experiences and discoveries and thus hopefully help others reach understandings that can they can use on their own journey.

Buddhism has been an essential part of my life since the mid-90s.

The adventure began when I stumbled upon a feature in an encyclopedic dictionary that highlighted the Four Noble Truths. That finding immediately sparked my curiosity and a few days later I was buying a copy of The Dhammapada at a local bookstore. While slowly digesting the aphorisms in the weeks that followed, I found that its teachings were in continuity with a process of introspection that had begun during an introductory course on neural networks (i.e. systems designed to emulate some of the capabilities of the human brain, such as pattern recognition and associative memory), the study of which had triggered the question « what does this tell me about my own inner workings ? »

From then on I pursued my explorations and plunged into the Tibetan Book Of The Dead, which was quickly followed by various Mahayana sutras. I also bought a guide to learn how to meditate and started experimenting with the practice.

During the years that followed, I plowed through most of the major Mahayana sutras, progressively adjusted my lifestyle and behaviour to accord with the precepts, refined my meditation practice, memorized mantras, and became a vegetarian.

Poligraf has been an essential part of my life since its inception at the beginning of February 1998.

The adventure began after the collapse of a band that arguably never really existed as it only had a handful of rehearsals, but for which I had already written a lot of material. Left alone at the helm, I connected with a group of experienced musicians via a co-worker friend and after agreeing on a general aim and formula, we raised sail and headed to the terra incognita of progressive rock.

Over its eleven years of activity in various incarnations, Poligraf has yielded enough music for over five full-length albums, but never really had a chance to officially record any of them, although some of the material has been demoed and performed on stage on various occasions.

Most of the music documents my own spiritual path and presents some of the lessons that life has taught me on the way. Some pieces are directly inspired by Buddhist texts or teachings. For instance, « Between Worlds » is directly inspired by the Tibetan Book Of The Dead, and « The Idler » and « Creeper » have been inspired by aphorisms of The Dhammapada. « Void » illustrates the Buddhist concept of emptiness, and « SubjeKctiv » serves as a reminder of the subjectivity of experience and the coextensivity of worlds. « Entering the Stream » is a trilogy, counting a total of nine chapters, that depicts the trajectory of an individual fed up with the mundane who decides to retreat into an ashram for some heavy introspection before returning to the ordinary with a renewed perspective on life.

Throughout all these years, if the Mahayana has provided the vehicle, then Poligraf has certainly provided landscapes, path, and drive, while the buddhas have completed the picture with their timely, serendipitous, and often magical interventions.

I don't know why I feel so strongly about music, progressive rock, and Poligraf in particular, but I just know I do and I trust that feeling to the best of my ability. My connection to Poligraf runs so deep that whenever I let hardships or circumstances turn into reasons to believe that there's no viable future for the band, then I retreat into apathy. That is, until that unmistakable feeling breaks through the veil of confusion to drive me again. To the best of my present understanding, my own self-realization seems to be linked to that of the band, if not as the culmination of my spiritual practice, then at least as an essential stepping stone towards it.

March 2020 Update: Poligraf is currently hibernating, and probably not coming back to life, at least for the foreseeable future. Still, I have been writing new music steadily since the band was last active, a mix of songs and instrumentals influenced from progressive rock and which have been written for Poligraf, and also singer-songwriter tunes that are closer in their essence to folk-rock or even pop, pieces for solo classical guitar, and occasional electroid experimentations.

If you'd like to know more about my musical activities and support me in my efforts to bring more artistic beauty into the world, please visit my website (see the first icon below) where you can learn more about my various projects.

For me, your support represents an opportunity to go to the next level, reach a wider audience, and ultimately become a self-sustaining music producing unit that can function independently of a record label.

Thank you for reading thus far, and best wishes to you on your journey.

        

Christopher Stewart's Blog

In All Directions







joy is feeling

looking upwards

skies enrapture

the sorry self

and its grievance



joy is seeing

looking westwards

social fracture

healing itself

from insurgence



joy is knowing

looking eastwards

proper culture

relieves oneself

from ignorance



joy is seeing

looking outwards

events mature

the early self

from…

Continue

Posted on March 28, 2023 at 12:58pm

Blessings To Count







joy is knowing

the best of views

fuels volition

to climb the mount



joy is having

freedom to choose

which obstruction

one must surmount



joy is knowing

hearing the muse

is like drinking

from the youth fount



joy is having

nothing to lose

and yet having

blessings to…

Continue

Posted on March 21, 2023 at 12:48pm

Compass Towards The Grail







when gloominess

deflects the gale

joy is the wind

that fills the sail



when despair is

tricking the scale

joy is the clue

that tells the tale



when spleen is thick

and hopes are pale

joy is meaning

that lifts the veil



when no reason

can find the trail

joy is compass

towards the…

Continue

Posted on March 13, 2023 at 2:24pm

Accord With One's Nature







though worries hurt

and fears injure

joy yields healing

beyond measure



though gloom has roots

deep in culture

joy at all times

sages nurture



though the reasons

may outnumber

joy is the wealth

wise ones treasure



though the mundane

exerts pressure

joy is accord

with one's…

Continue

Posted on March 8, 2023 at 12:51pm

Profile Information

Sex:
Male
Relationship Status:
Single
Birthday:
July 22
Hometown:
Rivière-du-Loup, Qc
Country:
Canada
About Me:
i am a former software engineer turned indie prog rocker turning sci-fi author... i began studying and practicing Buddhism in the mid-nineties, and immediately felt a connection with the philosophy... most of my efforts are aimed at sharing the knowledge i am acquiring along my journey, via various artistic media including music and poetry, and writing...
Website or Blog
http://poligraf.tumblr.com/
BMHS Profile: BODY (Physique, Health and Senses) – How do you keep or would like to keep your Body Healthy, Well and Personable?
eating healthy food, vegetarianism
BMHS Profile: MIND (Thoughts and Ideas) – How do you keep or would like to keep your Mind Uplifted, Calm and Creative?
meditation, creative work, aligned thoughts
BMHS Profile: HEART (Emotions and Feelings) – How do you keep or would like to keep your Heart Loving, Kind and Compassionate?
friendly interactions, avoiding to nurture conflict, compassion
BMHS Profile: SPIRIT (Access to the Source of Creation) – How do you or would like to access to your Spirit – the source of everything?
music, creative work, meditation, nature

Comment Wall (1 comment)

At 10:24pm on June 23, 2012, Bijay Raut said…

Hello Chris:

Welcome to HigherCons!

I read your Bio. Impressed by your spiritual journey. Hope this site is an aid to your spiritual path.

Welcome again!

Bijay Raut

Founder, HigherCons.com

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