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The Rock Balancer’s Guide

The Rock Balancer’s Guide

Travis Ruskus

San Francisco based artist Travis Ruskus combines temporary rock balance sculptures with photography, freezing into infinity the ephemeral moment. The healing energy of the meditative work showcases a transformation of stress to clarity; scarcity to abundance. His editions and workshops investigate the reconnection of human and Earth.

July 9, 2019 is the release date for his new book,  The Rock Balancer’s Guide (Watkins Publishing, 240 pages). See

By Travis Ruskus

If I could teach you one thing, it’s to remember to breathe during moments of peace. Then, remember to breathe during moments of chaos. Focus calmly on the air entering and leaving the body.

Be careful, as this moment will only happen once. Rock balancing reminds you to use this moment wisely. Like most meditation practices, rock balancing is about the power of the breath.

We experience a state of physical and mental clarity whenever we stop to simply breathe for a few moments. This state of being is mindfulness, reached by quieting the booming voice of the ego to listen to the true voice of our soul as it interacts with the wisdom of the Earth.

Rock balancing is a form of the soul’s interaction with nature. It requires patience and focus, which makes it a powerful form of moving meditation and mindfulness. Since this practice cannot be rushed; it invites you to connect with the present moment. After all, everything that ever happened in the history of time has led you to this moment.

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Practice the Seven Keystones of Rock Balancing

Through countless hours of balancing, I have found that all rock balances embody a set of principles. By following these seven keystones of rock balancing, you can tap into the flow of energy that surrounds us all in every moment:

1. Breathe: First you must experience how the breath connects you with the energy of each moment. Discover your true power, one breath at a time. Throughout this process be sure to bring your attention back on the breath.

2. Opportunity: As you select rocks and start to balance them, discover what your internal fears are and how to overcome them in order to unlock your abundant potential. Failure is a discovery process.

3. Believe: In my experience of teaching others how to balance rocks, 95 percent of people say “I can’t” before they even pick up a rock and try. By switching your internal mindset to “I can” before receiving external validation, our positive actions begin to manifest what was previously labeled “impossible.”

4. Balance: As you engage in the physical movements of balancing, you will enhance your connection with the Earth. A balanced rock creates a balanced mind, body, and soul.

5. Limits: Reconsider what your true limits are. When you think you’re done, try to add just 1 more rock. Then maybe a few more. Be careful not to get caught up in the “just 1 more” mindset. If you do, you will never be satisfied. A finished rock balance is simply the point at which you feel happy and content with yourself.

6. Release: In the circle of life, everything that is created will eventually be destroyed. Letting go is one of the hardest things to do, but it must be done. Knocking down your balance—despite the hours or even days it took to create—is an essential part of this process. The more you release, the easier it becomes. You will likely find being free from the past allows you to move towards the future in peace.

7. Evolve: I believe rock balancing can help change the way you see the world and your role in it. Each moment affects the next one. By doing something you believed impossible, you can discover how to evolve into your true self and manifest your dreams.

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These seven keystones of rock balancing are designed to shift your perspective on what is possible within yourself. No one else can do this but you. My intention is to give you the tools required to succeed at this art form, as well as experience its wider impact on your life.

You might balance your first rock and then go wild sharing this gift with others (like I did). Or perhaps you keep your insights to yourself as you start to incorporate this art form into your daily meditation practice. Of course, you might not even touch a rock, but one of these sentences resonated with you at exactly the right moment.

Whatever the case may be, this practice will help you transform stress into clarity. Every moment is a fresh start, including this one. Peace to you!

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