Each year I run a special dharma talk series – it might look easy, but there’s a lot to work on. Mostly the work goes on the PR – getting the word out. It’s not that we need a big crowd, but it would be nice if everyone who would like to attend gets to hear about it.

This year I picked the theme ‘Suspend Yourself‘. Why? – well for PR to work you have to tell a story, and I thought that a monk suspended in a wooden frame does that quite well. That was the theory anyway. But then came the reality of it….

suspend-1 It’s more tricky than you might think to make a suitable box. Especially with limited budget and tools. Everyone was scratching their heads, wondering where on earth I was going with this.

But that did not stop them from helping:suspend-2

After the box comes the chain. Since I had to carry it across town, I picked the lightest chain I could find that looked strong enough. And then screwed it to the box.

suspend-5 Suddenly, the chain did not look so strong!

This was the first tentative moment – would it spill me out? I could not ask other, more photogenic people to sit in the box. At least, if I do fall, there would be an interesting photo of that!
suspend-7 But I was not the only one to grow in confidence.

Next is the question of where to suspend the contraption (and how high up)suspend-8 We figured that it needed to be fairly high to be interesting. And with the stairs in the shot – to reflect the theme of the 8 STEPS of Yoga. suspend-9 In my mind this was the shot I wanted…. Remember, PR is not art. Research shows that good artwork does not sell product, or stick in the mind. PR is to attract attention. The goal is the ‘huh?’ moment that makes someone look twice. Then they remember it. suspend-10 Well, it might not be memorable for others, but it was for those of us who carefully clambered into the box and tried to look peaceful!suspend-11 This wound up being my favourite shot! But it did not really work well in the posters.suspend-12 I am not photogenic at all, but I do have an excellent silhouette. suspend-13 Many of the photos caught us at very awkward moments trying to get steady. The wood is extremely narrow, making it difficult to sit on. suspend-14 Mary tentatively trains herself in ‘letting go’.suspend-15 The team!

The final poster, though many of the various photos were used in facebook headers, and other places. 2015 dhamma talks