Zen, Mathematics, and the Art of Rock Relationships

Robert Krulwich, always finding and sharing wonders we might otherwise miss, has a post on the process demonstrated in the video link below:

But how? How does he do it? First he says, you’ve got to “know the rocks.” I think this is a zen thing. Or maybe a sculptor’s thing. On his website, he says he is hyperaware of possible nooks on the rock’s surface:

“The most fundamental element of balancing in a physical sense is finding some kind of ‘tripod’ for the rock to stand on. Every rock is covered in a variety of tiny to large indentations that can act as a tripod for the rock to stand upright, or in most orientations you can think of with other rocks. By paying close attention to the feeling of the rocks, you will start to feel even the smallest clicks as the notches of the rocks in contact are moving over one another.”

After that, he says he has to “find a zero point, or silence within myself.” I’m not sure what that means, but it’s my sense that the man’s got great hands, hands that can feel the exact weight of a stone and a mind that can concentrate, and somehow get inside these stones, and, as he puts it, “Become the balance.” I think Michael, when he does this, crosses the line between animal and mineral. For a brief time, he is what he builds.

Read the whole post here, with slide show and link to related Radio Lab podcast.

One thought on “Zen, Mathematics, and the Art of Rock Relationships

  1. Pingback: Using Gravity as Glue | Raxa Collective

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