Tianyi Shi



An exploration of Buddhist ritual in digital age

It’s so easy to get lost of yourself in modern days with endless distractions, tasks and a mind that never ceases to think. To catch up with the pace with social, technological and cultural progress we are investing all our energy and time in doing so, without giving a thought to mental wellbeing. Traditional Buddhism rituals, such as chanting and mediation, have great distressing effects yet they are not commonly employed amongst us. Some do not believe in the power of a ritual practice, and some are not fully dedicated to continue it ritually. 

My project therefore is informed by those in need of seeking their peace in the middle of a bustling world. Its foremost aim is to provide a guidance to the users to engage in performing the ritual.

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My aim is to capture the vitals signs of being, in this case the heart pulse, to convey the reverberation of practitioner’s mindfulness for the present moment. By doing so, users are fully engaged with their own heart for the duration period, therefore guiding them to reconnect themselves with their own existence.

To trigger the LED, user place his/her finger tip onto the pulse sensor until Arduino detects the heartbeat. Once the heartbeat is confirmed, LED will turn on and gradually filled up all characters. The speed of which LED travels depends entirely on user’s heartbeat. Thus a tranquil and steady mindset is preferred before practice. To unveil the whole text, user need to interact with pulse sensor for the whole duration,which reinforces the idea of being present with themselves no matter how tedious and time-wasting the ritual might seems.

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Sensors used in this device include 260 LEDs distributed among 14 strips, along with a pulse sensor. Additional 5v 20a power supply is attached for the LEDs. 

The artifact is made from pine and birch, finished with European oak veneer and Danish oil. All LED are soldered together to form a single directional voltage flow.