Posts Tagged 'healing'

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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299.Three drawings

Swinging in endlessness

First started with a face. It is on the left.

I almost decided to draw a face in a way that can be recognized. I started in this way and as I went along I answered impulses from the heart and distorted the face beyond recognition.

Then I started drawing a little house. I thought about a tree and then thought that I always go for trees, so I decided to draw something else. A house came to me. I knew it was my house, where I lived with my wife and children in Israel. Then the tree had to be there, as we did have a huge pine tree next to the house.

And I remembered the swing with my first daughter in it, swaying extremely long sways.

Then there was no place for anything else, even though I entertained the idea of going on, adding more things. But the swinging child faced the open space and this was a complete cycle. There was no need for anything else.

First was the experiencing of a twisted flow, which means that the infinite emptiness flowed through preconceived ideas (the face). Then the drawing came closer to love, by touching on the home and the tree, and indeed my first daughter. And with this closeness to the heart, the swing swayed a long way and we came back to be face to face with the endlessness.

This one drawing has a whole process of healing.

Then came the exercise: Find the spot that feels the best and dive into it with a second drawing. I chose the space that my daughter faced.

This was the motivation behind the second drawing.

Expansion

The drawing shows expansion. The heart opens. The language changes from the language we usually use, like in this writing for example, into an energetic way of experiencing and communicating. You cannot satisfactorily describe this experience with any word language. But if you feel anything when you look at this drawing, it is because you too can experience things that cannot be described in one of our languages.

And what is the dot in the middle?

Maybe the feeling of being a local spot around which there is endlessness? Erase this spot and there is no time and space. And maybe the dot comes from a sense of something very far that the ‘I’ wants to reach, out of curiosity? Maybe the dot comes from the feeling that there is always more?

Then again: looking for the place in this drawing that felt the best, I chose the object at the top middle that looks somewhat like eyelashes or a line of cypresses on a far horizon.

Angels

Diving into this, I drew the group of what may look like trees that feel very good with each other, or maybe like a group of angels playing together in the sky, like babies.

Then it came to me to indicate some ground, to show that the first group was up somewhere, and as I did it, it became plants and ground and the plants look somewhat like the angels.

Now when I asked myself where is the place in this last drawing that feels the best, the answer that came to me was: The space between the ground and the angels.

So I see this space as the place that feels like home. From it emerge objects of fascination. They feel good too in another way. But once I entertain this fascination with the objects, I long again to the home space.

And maybe I should simply choose, for the best feeling place, everything. Just everything.

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.

184. The final acceptance of everything

Beautiful despair

Beautiful despair

I am starting this project. The final acceptance of everything.

It will be like Dzogchen throutgh art.

And I start from this painting, which I did at night, around 1 am, with the experience of this strong and crazy pain that was sharper than the usual, to which I have gotten used already.

I prop the painting up against the basket with the pencils and brushes on my table and the light from above is good to it, emphasizing the texture of the canvas.

My general view is that there is the group of many colors, heavy on the upper right and after some space there is that brown branch, maybe falling away, overwhelmed by the weight of that group and even breaking down .

Then there are two penciled dry and sharp branches and something strange, also penciled on the upper left. And of course there are the shadows, the areas I painted with pencil.

What do these do to each other?

The big multi colored area seems to have a lot of sadness. All the shapes are sending fingers or hands to nowhere, searching for something they already know they won’t find. Presenting again and again the idea of I want but I know I can’t. This creates a very disquiet, nervous cloud. It is beautiful in its sadness. It becomes almost like a tapestry or a physical “thing” and it even has some shadows, to show that it is real, it is three dimensional, and you can touch it. These are thoughts becoming things. There are a few places where a few parts become messy, blending into each other uncontrollably, crying into each other.

The introduction of the penciled branches into this area introduces another distinction into the game, between more real and less real or maybe between soft and hard. The bareness of the penciled branches feels poor, hungry for love, hardened by hard life. It seems that the lower penciled branch supports the whole cloud on its back and keeps it from hitting the brown branch harder. That brown branch is losing in a way. It is falling down, broken, as if escaping the vengeance of the colorful cloud.

The only hope that this falling brown branch has is that it will find something good when it goes up along the left side of the painting, but the place it comes to is empty. There is only darkness there, a tear-drop and an empty shape.

So where is the power in this picture?

The power is in the observation, in the ability to see all of this so clearly with all of its complexity and simplicity. It is like a poem on despair.

In summary the picture says:

I’m searching. I know I’m not going to find. I am beautiful but sad. I am helped by dry and dead sticks, which are searching just like me. But they are already hardened by the experience of not finding and they do not even have hope. Some part of me is afraid of this despair. It is trying to escape, still hoping to find love and fulfillment, but we know already, looking at the picture, that there is none of these in it.

It is funny that what looks in superficial sight beautiful and maybe playful and colorful actually describes sadness and despair.

So was I desperate when I drew this?

No. I was shocked by the intensity and sharpness of the pain that made me jump out from bed and come here, to this table at night, I remember what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to disperse the confusion that I felt and the shock.

It did this to a degree. After that I slept.

The beauty was very important to me. Without feeling the beauty I would be dissatisfied and restless. What does it mean to me?

When a painting comes out beautiful (For me, as I experience it), I know I have connected to my larger aspect, the non physical part, the real, what we sometimes call “home”. Connecting with the real, all that is not real will start moving. Movement is life, is health, is hope, is everything good. This is the principle of all healing.

I have to give some background.

Everybody believes that what I have is a degenerative disease. People who have this don’t heal. They progressively (what an unfitting word) become more debilitated. Living in this environment, I totally believe that I am healing. Parts of my feet that were totally numb for maybe twenty years are hurting now. All through this healing process they kept hurting more and more. For everybody else this was a sign that things were getting worse. For me it is a sign that life is coming back to where it was blocked. I don’t know why I wanted my healing to hurt. But I know that like everything else, this too is a decision I made at some point. I spoke about this little kid a few entries ago and he may be the source of this idea.

When the pain became too hard for me to take, I looked for some medications and I thought about it as some aid to help me pass these last stages. I needed to sleep. But the medications started to have an effect on my alertness and sensitivity to the subtleties of my perceptions. This was too much for me to give up, and I let the medications go instead. My sharpness of sensitivity is back and I have to deal with the pain without the help of the meds. It will be through the acceptance of my response.

170. Tuning in to who I am

Here is another example of reading art. As it was in the previous entry, when you look at the drawing at first it seems as if it will be hard to tell something clear about it. But as I started describing what I see, the vision became clear. This is the fun in this game. The truth is always hiding in plain sight. And my blog has turned into straight forward reading of my art, based on the most straight-forward approach to understanding subconscious content through art. It is: simply describing what I see. As I describe what I see, the connection to my life appears. The art had to be done intuitively, to reflect so clearly what is going on in the subconscious. Any thinking-guided part of the art would have stopped the flow of the description and obscure the clarity. We would have to read the thought first and let it go in this way, so that the next drawing will flow better. It is a method. I am describing the method that I use in art therapy. Everything in this blog, right from the first entry has to do with how I work not only on myself but with others, to clear blockages to their inner flow and allow them to find out who they really are.

The layers of different focusses

The layers of different focusses

It looks like a collection of creatures. They are very lively and have the sense of being absorbed in being who they are, as monkeys do, but without an awareness of it. They also seem to be agitated and about to jump at any moment. This is what animals do. They behave as who they are, without any hindrances, and they do not know who they are. It is a simple life.

They look like monkeys or cats or bugs.

There is the lower layer in purple and browns. Then there is an upper layer in green and light blue. And finally there are the two light orange creatures at the top of the picture.

You can see that the interest of the animals in the lowest layer is horizontal. They do not think about going up.

The interest of the green animal is in the process of changing. The animal stops going right, horizontally, and turns to look up. The blue lines that come out of it also turn in different directions.

The light orange critters at the top of the picture fly up into the sky, and you can see that they are fine with it. They are peaceful. They do not feel fear. You can say that they are enjoying the flight.

All these are different focuses of the animals and the critters. These focuses are available to every one of them, but they make a choice and focus in one way.

Other interesting elements in the drawing are the two places where there are the shapes in more intense orange. The one in the lower strata just creates an intense interest, presenting to the animals something intensely different. The one on the upper layer seems to be what has stopped the green animal from going to the right. It is sharp, and to avoid it the animal turned around.

All the orange shapes in the picture feel to me to be connected with what we call the spiritual pursuit, or seeking to know experientially who we are. At first it is something that feels different and provokes interest and wonder. Then it may be suffering of any sort that pushes us to change direction. And then comes the discovery of what was felt from the beginning, which is the sense of the true self, which shifts the focus away from the earthly bond.

Now looking at the beginning of this path again, the first animal, the one in purple, seems to be peaceful and in meditation. All of this happens in his mind. The not-knowing, the intense interest, the change of direction and finally the flight. All these happen on their own, without any effort. It is just the way things happen when you take your hands off them, and allow them to move. This is what I call healing.

This is what this art process does.

My book “Opening Intuitive Flow Through Artwork” will come out soon. It has the method in it and examples from my sessions with people.

109. Event

In two drawings that I did one after the other, though, with a day in between, there was a yellow part that seemed to be pushed away by the other colors. It was as if the yellow wanted to dance, but the other colors danced there and pushed the yellow away. Do you see that?

Yellow being pushed away

Yellow being pushed away

Yellow being pushed away again

Yellow being pushed away again

I wondered what was going on there? Who is the yellow and why is he being pushed away?

In the next drawing they were all mixed together but not with a comfortable feeling. I am not relating to everything in the drawing. Just to the fact that they are mixed and do not feel comfortable together. Do you see the density and the feeling that they are all going against each other?

Uncomfortable density

Uncomfortable density

I went back and looked at the first drawing in this series and asked: Who are you, the yellow? And made a drawing.

A man with conflicted thoughts

A man with conflicted thoughts

The first association that came to me, as I looked at this was: It looks like a man, walking from the left to the right, slightly leaning forward, with his legs hurting and his head caught up in a conflict. Since this was the first idea that came to my mind, I trusted it.

Then I asked: Well, Yellow, what do you want? And made a drawing.

This is what came:

I want to break through and flourish

I want to break through and flourish

It wants to flourish, to grow and flourish. But it has a problem where it starts. Things don’t go well there. Or maybe this was in the past and now this thing is beyond that.

Then I felt that what I drew did not really cover everything that was there and there was more that wanted to come, so I drew again.

Anger

Anger

This looks like anger. The yellow was upset at being stopped.

But there was something unique about this anger that burst out suddenly. I was not involved with it. It just happened there in front of me and I felt playful.

I wondered if I needed to draw again and let this anger go out all the way, so nothing will be left. This was a thought. But in terms of feeling I did not feel I wanted to draw. There was no emotional need wanting to see the light. I left the process and did not feel anything pressing.

When I drew again, later, everything worked together in the drawing, and it even expressed the experience of not being too involved in what was happening.

The appearance of the watcher

The appearance of the watcher

The brown shape is there, doing something different than all the other shapes. It points up and the other shapes mostly go to the left, and go past the brown, through it. It is a bit affected, but still doing what it does. You can see that the last green shape starts identifying with the brown. So these are two systems that live at the same place in a parallel way, each doing its thing. The greens and the orange are the system of all the things that happened before. I’ll call it “The Story.” It shows the way this system changed and how it looks now. Was the conflict in the story resolved? Maybe partially yes and partially not. The second system is the brown, being there in the same place, watching and allowing the greens and orange do what they do.

When I looked at this drawing I felt wonderful. I knew that an emotional event ended in the most wonderful way. Not in the way in which one side won and the other lost, but in the way that it became not important and left to be as it was, as my identification went to a deeper place.

And I remember now something that happened many years ago. I lived in a village in Israel. I had three kids. The eldest was out somewhere and the two younger ones, between the ages of four and six, quarreled, which was rare, and came to me to complain. Look at what she did to me, said one. Look at what he did to me, said the other. I told them that since both of them are my children, I love them the same, and I cannot be good to one and bad to the other, so they will have to solve their conflict on their own. The conflict ended right there.

There is something in this to learn from about what healing really means. You can say that I had an inner conflict and I needed to heal from it. Had I not healed from it, It would have created more and more problems, which in their turn would have cause my energy to not flow fluently throughout my system and this might have lead to illness.

But what I want to point out here is the way the healing of the conflict happened. It did not happen by having one side win. This would not have healed anything, because the losing side would not die but gather force again, which would lead to the next conflict. This kind of resolution always leads to turning the conflict into a perpetual thing. Maybe one encounter ends in “A” winning and the next with “B” winning. But the conflict stays. The only real solution is when we find that there is a condition of wellbeing beyond the conflict. For this wellbeing it does not matter which way the conflict ends, because it knows clearly that the conflict cannot even touch this state of wellbeing. It is the love, which is the essence of this condition, which both sides of the conflict seek. That’s why they dissolve in its presence. This is what healing means.


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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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