Gravity Glue, the Art of Rock Balancing

Interview with rock sculptor Michael Grab
Author: Paulina Amador
Photographer: Gravityglue.com

Michael Grab fell in love with the art of Rock Balancing, a mind-bending discipline in its core. The simplicity of his approach to this discipline has brought him many valuable and meaningful adventures and experiences, inspiring contemplations of detachment, beauty and patience. This art has also revealed to him the unspoken dialogue between rocks and the mystery of nature all in connection with his creative flow.

His discipline has evolved into a therapeutic ritual, cultivating meditative presence and mental well-being. Michael is mastering the feel for balance points into realization, the gravity that holds the structures together. His mind must not argue with the natural shapes of the rocks and how their innate spontaneous connection builds a single structure, resulting into an out-of-the-ordinary union.

He founded Gravity Glue as an outlet to share his experiences. His vision grew through his astonishment of what this art has done for him personally. He encourages others to seek their “still-point”.

SuperConsciousnes spoke with Michael Grab about the journey of the art of Stone Balance. And how Gravity is the only “glue” that holds the structures in equilibrium.

SC: What inspired you to start the “Gravity Glue” project?

MG: I did not really plan to start anything. I created gravityglue.com, initially, as an outlet to share my rock balance practice, which had already been growing for 2 years before gravityglue.com. I guess falling in love with rock balance inspired the project.

The rock balance itself, however, began one day hanging out in Boulder Creek, quite unexpectedly. I feel it was a little bit of fate to be in that time and place and with a particular friend.

SC: How has your experience deepen and your sculptures evolved?

MG: My experience has deepened significantly through constant practice. As practice grows, so does skill, technical difficulty, AND the focus which is required. I view each balance as a necessary stepping stone of experience on my path to the next. Over time, my sculptures have generally grown much more complex, especially in recent years. I enjoy pushing the limits of my ability and having mastered the fundamentals of rock balance, I now find myself playing and experimenting more often. Sometimes experiments yield something amazing, and sometimes they just collapse.

Also one important factor in my own stylistic evolution is sharing photos online with other balancers around the world. Each person has a unique style of balance. Many styles overlap in some ways, but sharing photos allows everyone to see the possibilities and practice themselves.

SC: I notice that many of your sculptures stand still above the flow of a river. Is there a purposeful intention of why you choose that specific display?

MG: No, there’s not really any purpose, initially. The creek is simply a local abundance of rocks of all shapes and sizes, and the creek has the luring sound of constant water flow, which naturally clears the mind. I had been visiting the creek on a regular basis in the summers for years before I started balancing. Some say it is my astrological sign of Cancer — whose element is water — that feeds an innate attraction to water. Who knows? But, I have grown to love working in the creek. The moving water provides a perfect juxtaposition for the stillness of the balance.

SC: What has been your learning and mystical experiences working side by side with Nature?

MG: Working so much with natural materials, in mostly natural settings, and often in solitude, has really developed my meditative experience. Being among the elements — sounds, colors, flow — has a powerful way of pushing consciousness into the moment, which is a fundamental aspect of meditation. Rock Balancing is simply meditative application. Some of the mystical experiences include the energy that some structures create for me as a viewer. Experiencing the input of effort and focus really amplifies my appreciation when I stand back and look at the finished creation, as if the rocks take on a brief collective sentience.

SC: I love your contemplation about the small point inside the heart muscle that is a microscopic black hole, generating the magnetic field of our bodies. What is your perspective on the theory that our soul weighs “21 grams”?

MG: Hmm. I am unqualified to speak about this scientifically but it seems possible based on my own research. If the “21 gram” experiment was valid and the results accurate, then something has to explain the loss in mass. Maybe it is possible that a microscopic black hole is responsible for those 21 grams. Death may simply be a collapse of that connection between finite and infinite reality when consciousness collapses back into the vacuum from which it emerged.

SC: How did you override your own doubt and the arguments of your mind about how the rocks should stand in equilibrium? From your experience, what triggers the connection to zero point or the silence within yourself?

MG: Any doubt or arguments are overcome through experience. The simplest part of rock balancing is just DOING it. Don’t think about it; through practice, the skill and possibilities evolve naturally.

While balancing, the zero point or stillness is triggered by fully embracing the moment. It is very hard to describe these moments in words; they feel infinite. Internal stillness is required for the heightened awareness leading up to the zero point. I like to call the zero point the moment at which the balances finds it’s own equilibrium.

SC: How do you envision the progression of your work? And is there anything else that you will like to share?

MG: The progression of my work is a by-product of practicing regularly. The most interesting creations and new ideas come to me in the moment. However, there is also an intimate interplay between past experience, and presence in the moment. Like I was saying about each balance experience becoming a kind of stepping stone and potential inspiration for the next.