Christopher Stewart
  • Québec, Qc
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RichardtheRaelian commented on Christopher Stewart's blog post In All Directions
"Hi! At least your not trapped within a corner being in all directions actually sounds nice."
May 6
WILLA NYOKA (ADMIN) left a comment for Christopher Stewart
Jan 25
Christopher Stewart left a comment for Ms. Down-to-Earth
"hey ! 😊 thanks for your consideration... the fires were actually well up north of where i am, so no real problem, apart from some smokey skies... i hope you're doing great... best wishes ! ☀️ 🙏🏻"
Nov 10, 2023
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Christopher Stewart
"I was wondering about you during the awful wildfires."
Aug 2, 2023
PITA SIKSIKA WARRIOR left a comment for Christopher Stewart
"welcome any time"
Jul 26, 2023
Christopher Stewart left a comment for Ms. Down-to-Earth
"thanks for the kind words... i hope this comment finds you well & good ! best wishes ! :o)"
Jul 25, 2023
Christopher Stewart left a comment for PITA SIKSIKA WARRIOR
"thank you for the birthday wishes ! much joy & many blessings your way ! :o)"
Jul 25, 2023
PITA SIKSIKA WARRIOR left a comment for Christopher Stewart
Jul 22, 2023
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Christopher Stewart
"Hope you are well and staying safe!"
Jun 29, 2023
Christopher Stewart liked Ms. Down-to-Earth's photo
May 9, 2023
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Christopher Stewart
"For you as well!"
Apr 18, 2023
Christopher Stewart left a comment for Ms. Down-to-Earth
"hopefully every day is friday... ;o)"
Apr 17, 2023
Christopher Stewart liked Ms. Down-to-Earth's blog post Self-care...again (a visual reminder)
Apr 17, 2023
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Christopher Stewart
"I agree...my weekdays and weekends often merge and I'm left wondering what day it is. lol"
Apr 17, 2023
Christopher Stewart left a comment for Ms. Down-to-Earth
"hey ! it's been a long while since there's been any difference between weekdays and weekends, but thanks for the kind thoughts... best wishes of inspiration and joy ! :o)"
Apr 15, 2023
Ms. Down-to-Earth left a comment for Christopher Stewart
Apr 14, 2023
 

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.

        

Profile Information

How did you hear about Warrior Nation?
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Add your social networking links like facebook, Twitter, other sites etc...
http://www.facebook.com/poligraf
Favorite Music:
Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, Deus Ex Machina, Arena, Mr. Bungle, Yes , King Crimson, Rush, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa, Mike Keneally, Opeth, Devin Townsend, UKZ, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Steve Vai, The Police, U2, Vissarion Shebalin, Igor Stravinsky, Dream Theater, Trey Gunn, Voivod
Favorite Movies:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I Robot, The Lord of the Rings, Punch-Drunk Love, Magnolia, Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amélie Poulain, The Matrix, The Fifth Element, Forrest Gump, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, Blade Runner, Highlander, Dune, Star Wars, Tron, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Fantasia, The Wizard of Oz, Lost
About Me:
i am a former software engineer turned indie prog rocker turning sci-fi author... 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...

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At 12:05am on January 25, 2024, WILLA NYOKA (ADMIN) said…

2nhhpp1

At 9:07am on August 2, 2023, Ms. Down-to-Earth said…

I was wondering about you during the awful wildfires.

At 11:38pm on July 26, 2023, PITA SIKSIKA WARRIOR said…

welcome any time

At 12:11am on July 22, 2023, PITA SIKSIKA WARRIOR said…

At 9:29am on June 29, 2023, Ms. Down-to-Earth said…

Hope you are well and staying safe!

At 7:33am on April 18, 2023, Ms. Down-to-Earth said…

For you as well!

At 7:50am on April 17, 2023, Ms. Down-to-Earth said…

I agree...my weekdays and weekends often merge and I'm left wondering what day it is. lol

At 8:57am on April 14, 2023, Ms. Down-to-Earth said…

At 10:07pm on April 13, 2023, WILLA NYOKA (ADMIN) said…

0DavidPenfoundNAmagicNatCat

At 10:21pm on April 12, 2023, WILLA NYOKA (ADMIN) said…

ALL MY PEOPLE
BLESSINGS FRIEND

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Christopher Stewart's Blog

In All Directions

Posted on March 28, 2023 at 12:58pm 1 Comment







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

Blessings To Count

Posted on March 21, 2023 at 12:47pm 0 Comments







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

Compass Towards The Grail

Posted on March 13, 2023 at 2:24pm 0 Comments







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

Accord With One's Nature

Posted on March 8, 2023 at 12:51pm 0 Comments







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
 
 
 

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In All Directions

Posted by Christopher Stewart on March 28, 2023 at 12:58pm 1 Comment

Blessings To Count

Posted by Christopher Stewart on March 21, 2023 at 12:47pm 0 Comments

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