Archive for the 'letting go' Category

304. An easy way into awareness

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Maybe you wonder who is this little line in the picture that I called, in entry #301, the baby with the orange light?

He represents, for me, awareness, which is always newly born. Right now it is looking at the rest of the painting in 301, where there is some struggle. But he is from endlessness, which is free from the difficulties.

Just the fact that he looks heals what he is looking at, because he looks in a way that only awareness can. He lives inside of every one of us. But we need to bring his view to our normal consciousness, so that it too will heal.

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Why drawing and painting are good ways to dip in our larger aspect, which is usually called awareness?

Other art forms are also good for this. But drawing and painting leave marks on paper or other materials that we can look at after they have been done.

This gives us the opportunity to understand (by reading the art) with our narrow style of consciousness, what our aware state has already known.

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Let’s look at why we are not in the deeper state all the time.

Our consciousness is made in such a way that we are very focused. We think only one thought at a time. We concentrate on only one thing at a time. For us this is the way things are, and we do not even consider a different way of experiencing.

We never see a wider picture of our experiences (unless we shift into awareness, which we actually do, spontaneously, many times).

While we live with this narrow way of observing, there is something that keeps making the choices for us about what we are going to concentrate on.

It is what we call the subconscious.

Based on our experiences of the past we have taught the subconscious what is important to us. Now it brings to our attention only those parts of the whole picture that it knows are important to us.

Of course it is a wonderful thing, not to have to examine our experiences whenever they emerge, and decide again what, among all of them, is important. On the other hand, because this is how the human mechanism works, we are prevented from experiencing a wider version of our experiences.

What is so good about the wider version?

When we observe with a wider, more inclusive perspective, we become relieved from the worries of the narrower view.

The subconscious still gives us its usual alarms that were created with the narrow view. But since we are in a more comfortable place, we don’t care about these alarms that much.

This is just one benefit. Observing with the wider view is so different from observing with the narrow view that it is really impossible to explain it while using the narrow view.

We can only talk about one aspect at a time. But awareness is a multi aspects thing.

So I’ll point at a few characteristics of awareness, but remember: It really does not do justice to it.

The wider view is the only way we can experience beauty. Beauty has to do with a complex relationship of many parts. We all can experience beauty in our unique ways. It is different for each one. But we all can experience what is beauty to us.

So it means that we all are making use of our awareness.

When we are in nature, for example, which is so filled with details and multiple kinds of relationships, the subconscious does not, usually, have any special instructions about the view.

It may have some warnings about snakes, crocodiles, bears, tick-bites, etc. But just looking, when there is no immediate specific danger, does not, usually, come with instructions.

This allows us to slip into the deeper, wider, relaxed view. We see beauty. We feel good. We become activated in a much fuller, more rewarding way.

So being in awareness feels good. Holding a narrow awareness is stressful in comparison.

When we feel good, instead of being weary of others, we love them spontaneously.

Instead of feeling pressed to fix this or that, we feel like playing. We feel like children. We laugh easily, we imagine whatever we want and we can even feel being taken care of.

All these are healing states.

So now imagine making art by following your individual sense of beauty as your only guide in the art making.

As soon as we give our attention to our sense of beauty, to watch whether what we make is beautiful for us or not, we slip into the state of awareness. There is no escape for us from using a wider attention, to perceive beauty.

This is (awareness is) the fundamental condition that is the only one that can heal our emotional and even physical suffering. There is no way to heal us without entering awareness.

So this is the instruction: Make art just by choosing, step after step, to do only what makes your art more beautiful to you. Stop when you feel that adding anything to your art will not feel beautiful any more.

Be loyal to this and see how it makes you feel.

This is an easy access to what all the meditation teachers call awareness.

I’ll end here with something that my Chinese meditation teacher said once (not precisely in these words): Keep being aware and awareness will keep you.

If you want to have one practice that is simple and will make you freer and freer, this is it. Develop the habit of awareness (in whichever way you choose to reach that state).

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298. Sliding story

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They are dancing and I want to dance too. You see, it is about being together, loving and loved. Somehow this protects you from sliding into the fire.

But I am isolated. My skin is screaming. My mood rolls into itself and as a stone on the road it lets the little monsters play on its top.

This is all okay indeed. It’s just a story among the multitudes, except for the light inside, the light who does not care about a thing, and the light who cares about everything.

“They” are the brown and the ochre

“I” am the blue line with yellow inside

“Sliding”: Everything slides, the whole story. All the characters are in the same story and they all are about to fall. The light of the fire is already seen on the edges of things. It is also a part of the story.

“My mood”: the purple

“The little monsters”: Fear ideas

“The light inside”: You know what it is. It is the only thing that you cannot invent.

The truth is inside out.

297. A flying cow

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A reading of the drawing:

 

Bye…

I’m on my way folks

With a horse’s head, with a bandaged foot

Stepping off my pedestal

While trees still give away their leaves

To the barren earth

Don’t think too much, land

Allow the dark cow jump off and fly

The black and blue will disappear

In time.

Note:

I am not leaving the blog. This is just a reading of a passing mood as it presented itself in the drawing.  You can read the drawing too, in your own way, and it will be true for you. It is fun.

Here are some of my interpretations of the poem’s lines:

Horse’s head – intuition

Bandaged foot – Still hurts

Trees giving away their leaves to the barren earth – Everything continues

Barren earth – not real

Don’t think too much – An advice to the people, made of earth

Allow the dark cow jump up and fly – observe from beyond the thoughts, and the cows will fly

The black and blue will disappear – All wounds will heal.

In time – Only in time can anything heal. Where there is no time, there are no wounds.

294. And there we are

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What happens here?

It looks there is wind, coming from the right and everything that we see is effected.

It is a strong wind. Little things are being blown away to the left.

If the wind goes on like this for a longer time, what are we going to be left with?

Maybe some branches will break?

Maybe the light green figure will run away? Or, will it stay all the way to the end, to see how everything else has disappeared?

The empty space will seem devoid of things to look at.

So the figure will eventually give up on trying to see physical things.

With nothing in its environment, the figure too will have no reality. With the impossibility of a contrast, how can anything be?

Aren’t we creatures of contrast?

We say: This is I and this is you or this is the world. But without a world, who are we?

And there is that grey shape that may look as if it is the thought of the figure. As I was painting it and as I had gotten to this point, something from inside of me stopped me. Enough said, it told me without words. Don’t add any more.

So the grey shape remained unfinished, as if there was no point any more in believing in what we thought was real.

When the figure’s last thought stopped before it became full, when the belief in thought and the reality stopped, what was left?

Try it out.

There is a power that makes everything be, and it comes from our thoughts. You feel it in your guts.

In time it also blows everything away. Then the last thought is never completed.

And there we are.

292. Parade

Parade

So you still have those monsters… she says.

But I meant this to be a flower. It has some strange dark side to it. It’s true. It gives you a bad look.

And this, I meant it to be a branch, a tree, and a piece of the sky is caught up in it.

And this is some kind of an animal walking with its nose down to the ground.

Something with bad vibes is coming out from the water.

Why is one leg red?

And that long necked creature at the front, why is it looking back? Is it like a member of a gang, making sure he is not breaking a rule?

It does have some monstrous feel to it.

Or is it a colorful parade on the street?

Are they pretending to be bad?

Are they the audience for themselves?

And where am I in all of this?

I am the vibes that invite all this into my experience.

Look at the lines with all the sharp points aiming inward and outward.

Only the monsters are invited to the game today.

And what is the music in the background?

Is it quiet?

Will there be a scream soon?

Why is the sky so pale?

Can a scene like this exist?

It can, if you invite it. Can I invite something else?

Let’s see…

And how come it looks so peaceful and playful suddenly?

Like poor children, playing with dolls that they had made from barbed wire and junk? What do they dream about?

What do you dream about?

289. Encumbered flow

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My mood improved this morning when I gave a name to the painting of yesterday. The name is Encumbered Flow (I wrote this a week ago).

I had a not-so-good feeling about this painting and I thought about different ways to change it by adding more things.

I didn’t.

Maybe I could change the contrast between the brush lines and the squarish shapes of the colors, by painting the background. This would leave the drawing’s flow more clear. But I would loose the truth of the picture. So I left it as it is.

Eliminating the white ‘windows’ inside of the flowing shape was another possibility. It could let the drawing flow better too.

Do you see this?

The white little spaces are like interesting out-of-context things that attract you to them while making the complete flow less important. So the flow feels hesitant.

Maybe it is not important to finish the flowing shape’s rout? This may even be a good thing, when, for example, you walk in a new place and the interest in the local details causes you to not finish the rout that you decided to take.

But a painting is a whole route thing, isn’t it? You have to see all of it if you want to feel the composition. The composition is the most important thing in a painting.

And maybe this is not true any more? A person can choose to live in one interesting place all his life and never visit any other towns or villages, and he can have a fascinating life. In the same way, he can define his own little composition in a part of the painting. It all depends on what interests him and what he wants to do or be or experience.

You see? This is where this painting is coming from. Everything I thought before is being challenged now.

Not that there are right things and wrong things, and my job is to find the right ones. No, there is not even one right thing. There is not even one wrong thing. There is the choice. So I chose to leave the painting as it is. By giving it the name Encumbered Flow I acknowledged what I did not like about it before. Now I like it for being a truthful description. I don’t fight with it any more. I am at peace. And I am free now to start another painting.

288. The stuff of life

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I painted it mostly with my face very close to the paper. This is how I love to make art. From close up I feel that I am in the space of the painting. This is where I’d like to always be. Every area of color is like a place, a version of mood that I can choose to walk into. Then come the spaces among shapes and lines, where you can smell freedom. You can enter these and see how it feels. Colors overlap to create new colors. How does it feel to be in a place of a mixture? How do the clear paints feel near mixed ones? Do you want to run away from places like this, or enter? And there are the placers where the pink guiding lines that I made before putting in the colors show through the layers and cause the surface to feel like leather.

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When I look at it from so close everything feels alive and happening right now in front of my eyes. I make myself a little world and get lost in it, just as we all do with our lives.

I started, as always with the drawing. I chose to describe the way I felt. What is my experience of this moment? This is the question that I ask before I start. Who do I ask? I ask the deeper parts of myself.

Nowadays I take some medications to reduce the pain. It does not reduce all of it. But I get longer periods without pain and this enables me to do things. There are side effects. One of them is that the strength of all nerve signals is reduced along with the signals of the pain. It makes it harder to meditate. The effects of being alive come as if they had to pass through a blanket before I sensed them. I learned to become aware of weaker signals.

(I also get tired from thinking. I had to stop at this point because my mind found it hard to continue.) In the afternoons the effect of the nightly medications dissolves and I become clear again.

What can I say about this picture?

Let’s imagine that it was not me who painted this. I tell this to myself, so I can shake off habitual fears about exposure.

I feel, in the shapes of the colors, this same tiredness and inner deafness that I feel in the mornings. Every shape is like a blanket. Or maybe the shapes are like the heavily filtered signals, when I finally get them.

Yes, this is the view.

If you looked at the drawing before I added the painted shapes, you would see suffering and despair. Then a deeper state ensues, just because I was keenly aware of my experience, and I start the colored shapes from a standpoint from where I feel the movements of energy that bring about the outer layer of experience that I described as suffering. At this moment I sailed away from fears and the outermost details of my life. Going on deeper, if I did, I’d come to silence. For me, while doing this layer I already feel the silence. So these energies, as you probably know, come from thoughts, beliefs and expectations that originate at this point from my very long and deep subconscious. Becoming aware of this layer, just being aware from the place of silence, is enough for dissolving these thoughts that create the movements of energy, which eventually bring about what we perceive as suffering.

From this perspective, making art like this is healing. And even though I stopped officially to show in the blog how I heal myself with this way of making art and reading it, the truth is that I have continued all the time. The flow in art-making leads you deeper, to the place from which being aware heals.

And this is helpful indeed psychologically and spiritually at the same time. The more clear of thoughts that mask the truth I am, the more free of suffering I become, from the psychological perspective, and the more free I become, at the same time, of whatever habitual thoughts I have that filter the knowing of my freedom. Freedom is always in me (and everyone). You can never take it away. Some call this freedom love, because, being free, you can’t but love everything.

So this is what we have: despair on the surface and heavily masked signals from inside and outside. What is not shown are the peace, play, curiosity and even joy that are the essence of seeing from a deeper place. You have to guess them from seeing the details of creating a mood with movements of energies that come from thoughts. This is the stuff of life.


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The healing process

Entries 1-58 show how I use the method of Intuition Through Art to heal myself from Peripheral Neuropathy.

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