“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
Inspired by ancient meditation pods in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, Open Vessel has created a contemporary version. Meant for places where people are consistently in a hyperactive mental state, such as airports, corporate offices and other co-working spaces, Open Vessel’s meditation pod provides a protected space from which to access stillness in a busy world.
Being inside the vessel feels like floating in an ambience of soft lights and therapeutic vibrations where one is guided to a more peaceful state of mind. The experience is undoubtedly immersive based on three layers of engagement- sound vibration, guided meditation and light – each layer working in tune with the others. On the sound level, crystal bowls, didgeridoos, chimes and bells combine to create a long, clear sound that diminishes naturally, like the ripples of a stone falling into a lake. The lights are soft and enveloping, working with the therapeutic vibrations and guided script to tune chakra frequency.
The scripts guide the meditation and serve as a platform through which meditation teachers can introduce their voice and grow beyond their local communities. In this sense, the pod can be conceptualized as a seed that not only provides an unequivocal experience of what meditation is from within a cocoon-like space where the mind can let go and expand but also serves as a platform for the mindfulness community to grow and create connection both locally and at large. According to Donato Helbling, meditation teacher and engineer behind the light detail and layers of sound, this is the inspiration of the seed – to connect, expand and support each other to grow.
Mark Alan Díaz, mastermind behind the design, also takes inspiration from the vision of the seed, “all flowering plants produce a seed – as individual souls – we are all flowering plants of intentions. Open Vessel is the soil by which to plant your intentions and sit in stillness while cultivating and observing the flower which is the self.” For Díaz the complexity of the vessel’s design is hidden within its simplicity. The meditation pod is designed, internally and energetically, around the Torus, a structure that represents more than just a form. It is representative of a process mirroring our own energetic field and the connection between the material and metaphysical worlds.
For Jonathan “Yoni” Marcoschamer, strategist and vision keeper of Open Vessel, profit is measured by how many people can be positively affected. Marcoschamer was originally inspired by an eye-opening and life-altering experience at the Vipassana Meditation Retreat in Texas. Vipassana, meaning to see things as they really are, is also one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation encouraging self-transformation through self-observation. This is what Open Vessel means to him:
“That a lot of things that you think are not possible actually are possible. This project has been a lot about surrounding myself with people and bringing out the best in those around me. It is a vehicle for me to practice the theory I’ve put forward – that the most important thing in life is the quality of my relationships with family, friends, colleagues, etc. If your focus is there, you’ll be successful.”
Now, that’s some insight!
Driven by a history of collaboration and good intentions, Open Vessel was introduced to the Miami community at the Sacred Space during the ModernOM Mindfulness festival on October 15, 2017 by cofounders Mark Alan Díaz, Donato Helbling and Jonathan “Yoni” Marcoschamer. The vessel was housed at product/81 Creative Lab, one of the first testing grounds for the seed, and nurtured by the p/81 team. It is set to be reaching new testing grounds in New York and L.A. by January of the coming year.
WORDS BY: Catalina Ramírez