Diary of a Rock Balancer :: 

Stone Balance Art created and photographed by Michael Grab — 13 April 2016 — Colorado, USA ::


sometimes i get email from people who start balancing and tell me that balancing changed their lives..

..so i’m curious..

balancers / regular practitioners, how has balancing affected other aspects of your lives and/or your general headspace / outlook / approach to challenging situations. . . ?



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94 Responses
  1. Du bien être! c’est ce que je ressent. Une satisfaction d’avoir été au bout. Dans cette période tu ne ressent rien d’autre que toi! Besoins de se retrouver. Essentiel pour équilibrer sa vie! J’aurais aussi pu opter pour le jardinage mais cela fonctionne sur du moyen terme. Je préfère les pierres car elles sont nobles est tellement plus belles lorsqu’elles s’élèvent vers le ciel …

  2. finding the moment in a busy life can be difficult…

    But once I start grabbing rocks to stack…
    everything else boils away…
    with each rock I grab, I find a bit of the stress in my life disappear… and once I start arranging the rocks, that’s all there is in my head…
    my ears can only hear the nature around me, and the clicks of the rocks settling into their niche.

    the temporary nature of stacking them reminds me that I need to enjoy the moments of peace that I find in my life, for they do not last as long as I would like.

  3. Working with stone has turned out to be one of the most important aspects of my life. It is an indespensible meditative practice. I can go to the river, angry and depressed and leave in a state of elation. The mood altering effects of working with stone are beyond question. What I also find is that it is an art form that is rare enough that it can still delight and surprise the few people who see it. I don’t stack for other people, but I have witnessed people’s reactions several times, and it is refreshing to see their delight.

  4. I have shown my 13 year old daughter your posts recently. This past weekend, on a family trip to a nearby state park, I couldn’t hardly get her out of the creek! She enjoyed the challenges each stack brought her and looks forward to practicing and posting on her Facebook account to share with her friends.

  5. I began balancing stones as a direct result of encountering your work. Like some of the others here answering your question, I was recovering from a traumatic life event. I think the main thing that drew me to even attempt a first balance was the sheer improbability of looking at what you had done. I often chuckle, then feel profound sadness when people accuse you of trickery in your balances. We who DO this, know the magic, those who doubt, never will. What I have learned from balancing is that when you actually attempt it, you realize very quickly that you must first balance yourself in a deep place.Finding stones that appeal to you is very helpful. Then, you must forget about instant gratification. And finally you need to tap into reserves of stubbornness and tenacity. My favorite part of balancing is feeling a heavy stone, little by little becoming weightless in my hands as it reaches zero point. I thank you for showing me that what seems impossible is only an illusion. That lesson in stone, has spilled into other areas of my life.

  6. I have had the pleasure of staying in this beautiful sanctuary /spa just outside of Brisbane, Australia. One afternoon instead of going to a talk I took a look at the bubbling creek that ran through the property, all afternoon until sunset I wandered in the shallows, building leaf boats and dams, having races, and generally feeling so unbelievably blessed at being in that moment, thankful to nature and God for the peace it gave me, I also balanced 3 rocks which also just gave me joy, the next day somebody had added another rock to the collection. Peace and laughter.

  7. I get anxiety and depression sometimes so badly I can’t answer the phone or door. When I go to my balance space all that dark headspace melts away. I’m calmer and more accepting when things don’t go well. Rock balancing like life for me is as much about letting go as holding on. You can hold on as long as you like but there’s no better feeling than letting go. Especially when your stack or balance sticks

  8. I started reading before I saw what u was talking about, imagine my confusion BALANCING? Then I saw the picture. Wish I could do that don’t have materials around where I live. I guess I’ll have to go out and find a place and try it. I’m not holding my breath on being able to, but I’d very much like to try.

  9. You are an inspiration for patience, silence, and the metaphor of balance, powerful force for self transformation and keeping the flame burning for real possibilities to manifest out of chaos and uncertainty. Thanks for your work.

  10. As someone who is naturally inclined to drift into speculative, wistful philosophising and idealism, encouraged no end in this by nature’s fiery stars, her clean air and nebulous oceans, balancing stone eases me back to earth, gently reminding me that without my limbs I am nothing but dreams.

  11. I’m very new to balancing – in the last 6 months – introduced by your video! I was mesmerized and knew immediately it’s something I wanted to try. I’m LOVING it. I’ve never considered myself a creative person…and yet I do feel creative balancing. I love that it’s allowing me to access this part of myself. Also, when a hard day comes along…and I complete a balance, even a small one, it brings a smile inside and out…:-). It’s such a beautiful practice. I’m also noticing that it’s helping me learn to let go…because sometimes I’m trying to get a certain group of rocks balanced and after trying several times to stack them in a certain way or order, I have a small voice inside that says “those aren’t going to stack that way”…and I try a different configuration that works and that I like as much as the one I was initially “determined” to make. Sometimes in my life I try to force something that I think needs to be…when it would be better for me to let go…:-). Thanks for asking the question!

  12. From my first simple balances in the mid-1990s to literally today, balancing has continued to open up my appreciation for what is possible. Unfortunately, it eats into my TV watching and chip eating time, but I’ve made peace with that.

  13. It leaves me frustrated!! I just don’t have enough time to balance as much as I would like too. ;)

    When balancing, I can feel my patience being tested, but when it finally stands, the sense of achievement and relief is something else. Then it’s a race to get the camera out and record that achievement.

    I also enjoy the interaction of passers by, so many nice people out there.

  14. My husband died 5 years ago. Our home had a stone wall around the property. It was the house I grew up in. When I had to sell it …among the many losses was the loss of my garden and the time we spent together in it. Going to the local metropark and spending an afternoon at the creek reading, writing and balancing has brought me a great peace.

  15. curious eh?… i have been playin with rocks for 12-15 yrs now.. never did take too many pics of them, thinking that others may not like them.. With some physical challenges that i have, i find my zen/release from life, pain, damn near anything.. it gives me focus, something to concentrate on.. when i make a stack/balance i feel somewhat proud, happy and quite often mystified tryin to figure out how the fuck it is actually standing..A long time ago, i learned to let many things go after balances fall.. oh well, shit happens…learn, move on same goes for bad shit in one’s life, I enjoy sharing the pics of the weird stuff i do, some even seem to like them.. I do wish i could travel further afield to meet and stack with others that have a passion for it just to experience and learn from others who do this..one day… one day. I might even have sorta profound and meaningful phrases to accompany my pics… mmm…. naaaaa… well, you were curious…good reading..

  16. My wife and I started doing this around the time you were having legal problems in Colorado, I think it was. We find it relaxing, and helps improve focus. Almost like yoga.

    And then, as I have mentioned before, I started to use it in my counseling sessions, with ADHD, Bipolar, and Autistic kids and teens. Some don’t have the patience to do it, some just enjoy watching me do it while we talk, but many hop right on in and do some really good work!

    I have found that the kids with Asperger’s tend to really get involved in it, and can do some amazing balances, learning fairly quickly, and asking me if we can go out to the nature trail and do it again this week!

    For confidentiality, I have removed as much of the client as possible from the picture to protect identity, but I couldn’t pass on sharing some of the good balances.

  17. It reminds me to find time to balance a stone when I find one that needs balancing, the act requires calm and focus that our modern lives give scant regard for. It sometimes needs to be done at unexpected times, sometimes the stones can be very demanding! :-)

  18. Honestly I feel like balancing is a lot like centering clay on the wheel and it is a form of meditation for me which helps me relax and also helps with having a good attitude

  19. I have not practiced the art of stacking stones much (yet). My draw to this (beyond the physical beauty) has to do with the metaphor of “balance”. My work is in breathwork, and background in Cardiopulmonary Science. So, basically, health. Health is about balance. Everything is…. Down to our atoms. I imagine it would be difficult to balance stones while holding your breath? How important is it to breathe while doing this?

    1. I’m looking at some of these and just thinking there’s no way they did that one at a time lol and the fact that people are balancing MULTIPLE stones at a time, well that’s just crazy. Can’t wait for my trip to Stoney Brook this summer I’ll be stacking all day lol

  20. I find it very calming. You get out of your own mixed-up head-space and can meditate, concentrate and just relax and that naturally helps everything flow smoother. You live in the moment more. You gain perspective.

  21. Balancing affected my perception of time. I mean: spending hours trying to feel when the vectors, the forces, become correlate have changed my feelings about what i’ve considered important and what not. Now i know that everything has a meaning.

  22. Put my first stones on stones March 19, 2016, when my grief at my dog dying in my arms felt like it would kill me

    I had to be very quiet

    Balancing the stones is a perfect practice although I am a clumsy balancer

  23. It has helped me learn how to slow things down is all aspects of life. When I get to a spot and I see rocks I get excited and light. I’ve been involved in mediation for awhile and stacking fit right in with me. The feeling that you get when everything gets into perfect balance and your hands are slowly letting go of your creation and you take a step back to take a look and you just lose your breath for a second. “I made that” :)

  24. I was so inspired by your work and others that I’ve encountered since that I launched a business @ http://www.crystalbalancestones.com with stones I cast from real rocks. I’d love to send you a gift set, Michael, no strings attached, just to say thanks for all the inspiration! You can pm me with an address if you’d like them. I’m working on a new set modeled after stones Peter Juhl gave me to cast :) PS. They make great travel sets!

  25. Helps me get out in nature more than I would have before, and this gives me a better connection to our world and the other creatures living here. I feel more a part of nature than I did a few years ago. I also lived in Kansas City back then, so that may be a big part of the nature thing. I attribute it to balancing though.

  26. Balancing became my main form of therapy after a friend’s suicide. It has also helped me envision new ways to overcome challenges in life.

  27. Balancing reminds me of the sound deep below. The one the pulls this energy deep belong. Let your mind go and pick up the rocks, listen and they’ll tell where they go. Listen now let go, and see if it rests. If not what is next, I rearrange and shift. Marvel at my skills now its tipping. Balance regained. Heaviness on top keeps the crooked path right on its own. This heaviness is rock. Become it. Now now it will sit.

  28. I’ve been stacking since I was 17 in rural Cabot cheddar-ville, Vermont. I mainly started in my backyard along the winooski. And it became an escape and kind of.. Rejuvenated my mind and dare I say, soul. I’m rounding the age of 21 in June, and GG- I’ve only just discovered your balancing photo graphs in the past two years. And it has not only inspired me to push on, but made me feel less alone in this personal meditation. Now, I’ve gladly stacked in Canada, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Boston, RI; the north east kingdom (NEK). But my dream is to keep working with maintaining equilibrium not only with parts of this earth, but myself as well. Thank you for the inspiration Gravity Glue. Here’s a photo I would like to share with you. After stacking this long winter in the snow, I finally achieved one of two arches in the past two weeks. Here’s the second by Sleepers River, in Vermont. I plan to continue my adventures, as you have. – Maelily

  29. It has made me a calmer person, helped me open y eyes, be one with nature, and I love the expressions and the reactions of other people I love to make people smile and his has been the best way for me, it’s also a great outlet for me I have slowed down on my drinking problem a lot and this is helped me the most…I really owe it to you mike. You have helped more than you know and for this I thank you.

  30. Bonjour Mickael :) pour moi faire des tas de cailloux c’est méditer sur l’équilibre, c’est prendre conscience de la façon dont mes postures physique et psychique sont connectée avec ce que je crée..c’est être dans l’instant ,pleinement présente à tout ce qui est, c’est respirer lentement,sentir la verticalité et la magie d’être là dans la nature et rendre visible le lien entre le ciel et la terre. En les regardant Je ressens une profonde gratitude et me sens pleinement satisfaite d’être là. Aussi le lien que ça crée avec les passants est intérressant car la vision des cailloux debouts permet d’échanger avec l’âme d’enfant de chacun ,le filtre de la raison se tait un moment..l’emerveillement permet a l’espace de s’ouvrir un peu…et de respirer.;Merci pour l’inspiration que ton art m’apporte dans cette pratique, WELCOME en BRETAGNE/FRANCE…Love, light & peace

  31. Two things stand out:
    Stop and interact with the most ordinary and ignored objects in your life and you might find out how extraordinary they can be.
    Also, don’t invest too much of yourself in what you do; it’s all going to fall down some day anyway.

    1. I agree with ur first statement. The second one not so much. If I could do that, I wouldn’t care that it’s going to fall down. I would feel like I accomplished something I hadn’t before.

    2. “It’s all going to fall down some day anyway” – that’s almost like saying what’s the point of living – you’ll die anyway. Nah it ain’t like that. It’s the journey moreso than the destination.

      Invest yourself into everything you love. Why not? What else are you saving it for?

  32. It’s helped me formulate endless metaphors through balancing while bringing joy to others.

    Teaches me the power or gentleness and calmness.

    You know… Zen as fuck stuff!

    1. Find a nice place where is lots of stones. Sit down comfortably. Pick up a stone and place it on another one. Feel how they stay or not. After a while you will get the knack and you will start trying uprights and other more difficult stuff like triplets or more. No rocket science involved, just a calm mind, patience and feeling.

  33. Good morning, and thank you for asking.

    I balance everywhere. You will find balanced stones on my front porch, a balancing practice table in my front room, my bedside table, my altar, at work, and of course out on the trail or at the beach. I have a sitting meditation practice, and balancing stones, for me, has a more powerful and relaxing element of fine-pointed concentration. I did a lot of stacking at work yesterday to ground myself and clear my mind. I’m grateful for this simple practice.

  34. I just get peaceful…it’s a meditation…the stones begin to “tell” me where they want to go…it’s amazing…I like to sit in or near the river and stack…whoda thunk?

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