No matter how many times I see this stuff, it’s like I’m seeing these structures for the first time.
I think it’s because they are so unlikely! Gravity is just not supposed to allow these rocks to do this!
Now, some might see these as symbols of human arrogance, as a boast of some kind of mastery over the elements.
But I would argue that anyone who suggests such a thing has never actually tried to balance rocks.
I have tried, and I can tell you that it is frickin’ HARD! The first time, my family and I were on a beach in Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We came across a guy doing his own, we thought it looked fun, and so we gave it a try.
Fun, Michael Grab will tell you, isn’t exactly the primary objective or outcome.
Over the past few years of practicing rock balance, simple curiosity has evolved into therapeutic ritual, ultimately nurturing meditative presence, mental well-being, and artistry of design. Alongside the art, setting rocks into balance has also become a way of showing appreciation, offering thanksgiving, and inducing meditation. Through manipulation of gravitational threads, the ancient stones become a poetic dance of form and energy, birth and death, perfection and imperfection.
So, I’ll admit it. Despite the fact that I normally consider myself to be a very patient person, trying to balance rocks felt very similar to the struggle to quiet my monkey mind when I’m on the cushion meditating. In meditation, I’m never able to stay focused on the breath for very long, and while trying to balance rocks, I could not hold still long enough to find the “gravitational thread” needed for the more dramatic of structures.
So, I post the following video of Michael Grab at work, along with some photos of his work, in total reverence for and appreciation of his achievements. And, I find it fitting that the video ends the way it does, a reminder that, even if balancing rocks IS an arrogant attempt to master the elements, the elements get the last laugh in the end, a beautiful lesson in impermanence.