Archive for the 'letting go' Category

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.

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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.

286. How can you live in a house like that now?

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The house was at the end

When you started to climb

you needed to be very daring

You didn’t know

that if you fell you’d float

And then you saw

that every adventure

came from a belief that you had

The big view

the open view

the view of eternity

was the only view that helped

Every step was scary

and then funny

And the house at the end

how can you live in a house like that now?

285. The dream and the life

White House Dream

4:40, early morning.

I don’t know when it started. From that point on, I had the same dream all through the night, till now.

The White House exploded and burned down.

All the people who worked there came to work in my living room.

There was place for all of them but it was crowded. They rearranged the pillows on my bed and this made it possible for them to sleep there. Trump said to a reporter that they did not need that many people, that all those who left, only made the White House work better. “We don’t need that many people, he said, it is a simple thing to run a country.”

I think this dream touches on my getting rid of a big part of what I kept before, and how having stuff that conflicts with your freedom to be who you are, is slowing you down or even preventing you from being you.

And this connects to having mental habits that don’t support your free flight.

In the last period of my sleep, most of the pains in my feet subsided and if I was careful enough I could keep it that way and get some sleep. Only one pain seemed to stubbornly menace me. It woke me up and I sat up in my bed. The people from the White House were not in my bed any more, but I still was under the spell of the dream. I felt that unpleasantness of having uncomfortable things that fill up all the space.

I tried the stronger ointment on the top of the right foot. This will take care of it, I thought. I cannot use this all the time but now it is okay.

The pain did not stop. I put the ointment again.

The pain started to subside but the parallel place in the other foot started to hurt. I treated the new pain with the stronger ointment too. Now both feet hurt. It was a hard-to-live-with pain.

Nevertheless, sitting in bed, I fell asleep and started to fall. I woke up abruptly and avoided the fall.

This pain too, in the context of this writing, has to do with thought patterns that block flying. Have you ever considered that pain is a thought? We will have to talk about it some other time.

I went to the kitchen to make some coffee.

Long ago in this continuing fight with the pain, I made up my mind that I won’t succumb to suffering. If the pain keeps me awake, I’ll do something pleasant.

On my way to the kitchen, a bit more awake, my mind started to think with some coherence.

The thoughts that came to me were about the trauma. There was that time long ago, when I felt that I was succeeding in becoming like my father. For some reason, habitual most probably, I still consider that little sweet boy to be me, even though the only thing that we truly have in common is this infinite consciousness, who has always witnessed us from inside.

I was three and a half. I climbed all the way to the top of the structure in my new kindergarten. I stood there, at the top, and knew that I had made it. Now I am like him. This kindergarten was my new place. All the kids were older than those in the kindergarten that I left. It is happening, I thought. I am becoming my father.

He was in the war in the Galilee and in that same day he was killed.

My mom was shocked and did things in strange ways. Without talking or hinting at any reason, she brought me back to the baby’s kindergarten that I just left a few days earlier. I talked with her about it many years later and I know that she wanted me to be closer to her workplace so she could come during the work-hours and see me, in case I needed her. But in those days, in a child’s way, I understood it differently: By wanting to take my father’s place and by succeeding in being like him, I killed him. He had to go. There was only a place for one. My mother knew, I thought, even though I did not tell her (I believed that people could see each other’s thoughts), and did not want me to take my father’s place. She wanted him. What a disappointment. She knew I was dangerous and putting myself at danger too. People will know what I did and will come to kill me. I had to be protected against them and prevented from any further success. This was my understanding in those distant days. And indeed I understood it also to be a punishment for following my dream, not to mention the punishment of not having a father any more.

I did not talk. I did not feel anything accept for some resistance to this predicament. I accepted my punishment as just. My subconscious was quick to learn that he had to prevent me from succeeding. I also learned to be careful not to anger Mom, as who knows what else she could suddenly do? Every time I had the feeling that I succeeded in something, my subconscious interfered and some form of blocking appeared. I did not feel these blockages, Just as I did not feel anything in the beginning. The whole air around me was making it impossible for me to be able to evolve as I wanted. The air did not let me succeed. I only felt my resistance to the air in my back and the back of the neck, as if I was pushed backward to a wall and wanted to fight my way out of this.

This is how, in my child’s mind, I paved for myself a life of struggles and some significant failures. Today I look at all this as an admirable invention of a very talented mind. But I don’t want to jump far ahead so quickly.

Everything that started to feel like success, the sky stopped. I would discover that something shocking had happened again, only too late, when the failure had already happened, and I would turn to be emotionless. Sometimes when I thought that I succeeded in something, I started to see in my imagination an angry crowd coming after me to shame and punish me violently.

Every time my mother was a little upset, and later, when my wife was in such a mood, I feared that I was about to be punished and blocked.

So when I thought about the dream that continued all through the night, I felt that it was as stubborn as this disaster-bringing-fear that blocked me so many times, and also like the pain that presented similar characteristics.

On the other hand, the insistent dream forced me to experience the discomfort that is felt when you have a blocking thought pattern that takes over the space of your mind.

So what do you do?

The first thing to know is that you cannot change the situation, as long as you remain on the same level of consciousness.

This means that you can’t win against what you understand to be a war against you or against a fear that you have. You have to let go of the whole struggle, even if it feels like losing. Lose. Let the issue rest, no matter which way it falls. It will make you freer.

We need to go to a deeper state and witness the experience from there.

This is usually enough, when you deal with all minor problems. I wrote abut it in the past. But this one here is a major one. At least from the perspective of a normal human being, like you and me (as long as we see ourselves as such).

I wrote in the past about this deeper state as a child-like consciousness. Being flowingly curious without a practical reason, loving everything, playing with the reality about us as a natural expression of who we really are, and more things like these, including of course being in a creative flow. Creative flow includes all of these characteristics together (which is the real value of art making for everyone).

This child-like state feels so much better than the state in which we suffer, that naturally, looking from this state, we choose not to suffer. Yes, suffering turns out to be a choice, when you look at it through a child-like eyes and heart. It just feels bad, and you choose not to go that way. Instead, you choose to do something that feels better. The old habit comes back later several times, but after a while it just dies from disinterest in it.

But this case is more difficult because at the time that the trauma occurred I was in a child-like state. If I get into a similar state now, I won’t be able to see the difference between my good state now and the child that I was when the trauma happened.

So we need to go even deeper than the child’s state. Only from that deeper state it will become clear that this suffering was a choice too, and the deeper state that we are in feels so much better, that we naturally make the choice not to suffer. Then again, it comes back and because we are not interested in it any more it becomes weaker and weaker, and dissolves completely eventually.

What is the state that is deeper than the child-like state?

Being absorbed in who we really are. This state is the basis, out of which the child-like state arises.

We cannot even be aware of our choices if we are in the same state in which the choices were made.

What can I say about this absorption?

When in it, you know beyond doubt that you are deeply and permanently loved. Nothing can ever change this. All your choices are supported and appreciated. All possibilities are open before you and you can choose differently than that choice that you suffer from now.

In a way it looks as if a mixture of different “I”s are involved in what I wrote.

We have the child, The “I” that I am now, and the deeper “I”, the infinite witness from within. It is perplexing, but all these become one, when you choose to live in the physical world with a deeper perspective.

284. Narrow and wide points of view

fear first

Fear.

This is the subject of this painting.

You can see that it is dark. The lines quiver and are afraid to move. Trying to come together and collaborate, they can’t. Fear is like a cloud that covers the open sky of possibilities and free choice. No, you can’t do this, fear says, and you get constricted. You don’t see farther than your immediate confrontation with the thing that frightens you. It seems there is no way to avoid or escape it. It is hard to see anything anyway. This is a very narrow point of view.

Naturally, the relief from fear happens when somehow you manage to open the sky of more possibilities again. How about infinite possibilities?

Within our system of who we are, there is the open sky viewpoint, already a part of us that never leaves. All we have to do is enter the state in which we can experiece this openness. Making art is one of the best ways. (Meditating, Dancing, singing, remembering what you are thankful for, these are some of the other ways.)

So imagine: Something triggered your fear. Perhaps you started to uproot a belief that you had held for a long time, and used to think that it was very important for your safety. Now you start to see how this belief stops you from flourishing and you want to change the situation. The subconscious refuses to change, and suddenly you are afraid. It is as if you think very quickly: What am I doing? I am taking away my protection! A dark cloud covers your open view. There is nobody there to help and it is you against your fear. What to do?

Draw or paint the fear, if you like drawing or painting. Where do you feel the fear? How does it feel? How can you describe in visual effects the way you feel? Ask your intuition to paint for you. Be the hands and eyes of intuition. Whatever ideas come, do them. After all it is just a drawing.

As you paint, you pay attention to how you feel. And you can detect where in the painting your description is true to your experience and where it is not exact enough. So you correct yourself to make a good description, as only you, looking from inside of yourself can know.

From being totally engaged in a confrontation and a fight for life, you change your state to being curious, playing with effects that you invent as you go, and trying out expressions. You pay attention to what feels true and not. Inevitably you start feeling good as there is joy in following your intuition. You start paying attention to the composition, which indeed is a wider view of everything, and without any effort, you are already in a deeper state, a calmer state, a wiser state, a loving state.

Fear cannot stay in such an environment. Fear is the vibration of being cornered by danger. It cannot keep its strength inside of a loving, playful, and curious environment.

And while you are still in this loving state, which is your true nature, ask yourself: What do I really want to do now? What does my true nature want to do?

283. There, not there

The surprising power of green

There are two paintings in this entry.

The first gives a good feeling. All the shapes feel good with each other. They are very close together and whatever happens in the picture, they all take part in it.  But when I was painting, I knew that the big brown roundish shape in the middle of the lower half was a wooden wheel of a mill at the river, and I knew that in the water there was blood. In the painting it is violet. These belong to a traumatic event, not in this life, but I know about it.

So we have a trauma hinted at, but the context is like a quiet, friendly village, where the houses hold each other as they watch the bridge crossing the water. There are trees and the sky is playful.

In the second painting the shapes seem to be in shock. There is a house. There is a line in the middle that could represent a little bridge. There are trees, grass and sky. But the sky seems to be torn. Maybe there is a scream in the sky. A dry, dead branch, is pointing at the scream. And there are these warm colored shapes, orange, red and brown, colors that do not really belong in this landscape. They are in the painting to describe something traumatic that is just happening.

The composition isn’t settled. Everything is moving from its place. Where will the pieces fall? We do not know yet.

An event from childhood

Then, for a lifetime, the trauma that we had will be expressed in everything that we think and do.

Sometimes it will be hard to find, like in the first painting. In other times it will be strong and inescapable. Until we decide one day to let it go and we find a way to work on it till it is not there any more.

 

281. The beauty of the cloud of anger

A vague Anger

I have learned so much. I have painted so many paintings and read them. But I’m going to skip all of that and be current. I don’t like going back.

The last two paintings are about being fascinated by things that block the mind, the imagination and the openness. I am showing here one of them.

They tried hard to teach us this kind of attention in the meditation retreats. They would say: If you experience being blocked (which is what the subconscious does sometimes, to protect itself against change), do not fight it. Instead, become interested in what is in front of you. Look at that blockage. See what it is made of. Examine. Touch, smell, and experience without language.

It is not easy to do, when you feel being blocked. All you want is to break trough and this cloud is in your way, obscuring everything.

But how about using art?

In this painting I described a vague anger that I felt. I was taking some medication against the pain, so I could meditate (so I could sleep too). It was not a first solution. I meditated and worked with the pain without medications for many years until it became too strong to bear. The medication made me dull and vague. I could not dive deep. I did not feel the subtleties of the energies. And I was frustrated in this vague way, as everything was vague. Painting this anger became my way of coming out of vagueness. It is not that it is important to know exactly how the anger is experienced. It is the state of being interested itself that made the difference. To be interested, to be curious, is to participate in a characteristic of the true self, and this is what made me feel better and this is what opened a window in that inner blocking cloud, to let some fresh air blow in. Now I became aware of the space. I had a chance to make it my home again and what was in front of me became beautiful to me.

What is important in the painting is how the movement goes. It is slow and sticky. It does not burst out but bends and looses power by having parts fall off it.

 


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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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