Posts Tagged 'life'

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.

287. Only light

New

There is

no shadow under the bed

in my new room

No shadow

beneath

the table.

Only light.

278. Life can be woven differently

Life an be woven differently

Life can be woven differently

Time after time

Time in time

Different

I cannot write about it

Like trying to catch

A fish with a net that has

Too big holes.

265. My heart has been here already (the door)

You will have to imagine the picture for this entry.

Imagine a few wide horizontal lines, painted with a soft pastel in brown, any brown that you like. The lines overlap and, together, create one thing that travels now and now and now. It travels joyfully, like a dolphin in water. Sometimes one of the lines becomes bigger. At other times another one does it. Sometimes the colors change. Let it be painted by your heart.

Now in words.

The big picture:

I hear a bird outside. I don’t recognize it. But somewhere, in a deep place in me, Of course I know it. And I think: this bird sings from my heart. Then I think: everything that happens in this world comes from my heart. The buildings, the people on my block. There are many of them. I live in New York City. The street here is like a canyon. The precipices on each side are made of some eight floors apartment buildings that are more than a hundred years old. The number of people who live on my block is probably 300 times greater than the number of people who lived in the village of my youth.

And everything, all these people, the dust and soot, the funny and strange cars, the way the sunlight manages to come in and paint parts of the walls, all are coming from my heart.

This is the big picture for our purposes now.

The small picture:

What do I want to do?

For 14 years I was a designer, and changed to an illustrator. Then, after 17 years I changed to an art therapist. Now, 13 years later, I’m changing again. The change happens by itself. Usually people don’t let the change go through, because, logically, it does not make sense to start everything anew, when the old thing is working already and even gets you some recognition and acknowledgement.

But I learned not to stand in the change’s way, because I suffer if I do not follow my heart.

So the new thing was here already and was doing itself. It did not come from any ’sense-making.’ But I did not recognize this clearly yet.

At first I thought I wanted to live like an artist now. The studio was calling me. All the paints were getting excited.

But I also wanted to write and make books and children’s books. My life would be too bad without making them.

And what about living on the path that leads deeper and deeper into the truth of everything?

And what about sharing what I find with others who are interested? This is one of the most beautiful things that I can do. What else is there to do here, on earth?

And I wanted to make music.

And so went my thinking and I did not know what to do.

I’ve learned that when I have such a weighty question, it is best to keep it as a question and since this is after all a matter of the heart, I’ll invite the heart to answer. It always answers in its time. So every time the question came, I gave it to the heart: Here, this is the question I am looking for an answer for.

And one day, when I was in a short meditation, and the question was tickling, the answer came:

The blog.

I ‘work on myself’ all the time and the blog accompanies me as I go. I use artmaking and reading the art as my main method, so I have the art and the writing. It is already like a book. I can, at some point, collect some entries according to a subject that I’ll choose and make a book out of them. Or even more than one book. Sometimes it has illustrations too. Everything that I do from love and interest is already included in the adventure of the blog making. I have a conversation with other people too.

Everything that I did in my life was always about these same things, about development, freedom, beauty, living meaningfully. It is as if I have been doing this blog all my life.

And for income I can exchange the art that is created along the way with money that will pay for my life. It’s all very flexible. Things can be added, directions can change.

And in this way, with all these thoughts coming in very fast and quietly, everything fell into place.

When this clicked into place I felt a huge relief. I knew that everything was okay. And there was no need to change anything, as I was already there. For a while i made sure that I did only what I wanted to do. Tis opened the door for my heart to choose for me, and I was already where I wanted to be.

In my meditation when this knowing appeared, I saw an image in my imagination. I saw a few wide lines made with a dark brown soft pastel. The lines overlapped, just as the colors usually overlap in my paintings, and became one expression. This is the essence of this blog.

So I answered, for those who were interested. And now, back to life.

250.From a moon’s eye

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My father lived at the top

On the right

This is after he died

I came to live on the rocks

Where you can see the lake

I sit on a bench

The evening comes like love

I let myself feel the evening

On my skin

Trees and stones look with me

Quietly

With not even one thought

In them

The moon, an adventurer,

Will come soon

To fly over the Galilee

Sharp rocks and all

I wonder if the roads can melt

The sky – yawn

Me – sing in a few voices

My higher self is resting too

No matter what he does

His language does not understand

The war

The sharp

The past

The will be

Deep in peace

He folds a sweater

223.Many words about something that is really simple.

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When I started this blog, one of the first things I wrote, was about the question: What is art good for? Today it became clear to me in a different way, with the morning writing. Art is a way to experience fully what is usually covered and obscured by our filters.

Why is it important to experience anything directly and without obscuration? Because this is what we are here for. When we do what we are here for, we become happy and our unhappiness ends. If you want, you can turn what I just said upside down. Then it will be: Experiencing directly is what makes us happy, and because it does, we may say that it is why we are here.

I’m going to describe this slowly, step by step.

When we become more and more aware, and our awareness becomes subtler, we start to be able to experience our thoughts as if they are something material, passing in space, and we can experience our imaginings as something that you can touch and feel. This is when we start to see what is going on with us. Before this we don’t know experientially how life works.

Here is an example. In the quiet of this space (inside of which we see the thoughts), which is really who we are, and you can call it consciousness and awareness and anything, inside of this an imagination movie appears. It is very fast and almost unnoticeable. The imagination movie is a wordless thought. Because we are in a deep state, we are aware to that degree of delicacy that we can detect what it is about. Let’s say it is about turning our head sideways and looking out through the open window. We can see all of this in the movie of our imagination that happens very fast. We can know how it feels too. And immediately with it, we turn our physical head and look out through the open window. The imagination was a creating moment. The turning of the physical head was the manifestation. (The world outside that I saw through the window was another part of the manifestation. Both my body-mind and the sight outside must be there for an experience to happen.)

You can say that when the imagined action happened, we have already experienced what it was and maybe we do not need to experience it physically? We have already had the experience. This is true, but not for most of the people. Being here in a physical form gives us the possibility to experience it in a different way. This time it has become denser and can be experienced as a physical experience.

And here comes the second part, for which we are here. With our body we experience looking out through the open window and seeing something there that we understand as happening outside of us. The way this experience makes us feel is seen by our inner self, that infinite space that we are. In this space a stir occurs and its waves go far to be shared with all that we are. This is very pleasant. If we experience ourselves as this space, we enjoy this tremendously. It is thrilling and beautiful. We love this. We don’t need anything else. And then we become ready for the next created adventure that will be returned to us so beautifully.

So there was a circle of action here. From our infinite self arose the creation of a physical experience. The physical experience in its turn gave our infinite self some excitement and pleasure. I as a human being, I am in the middle between my infinite self and the created world. I am here to enable this circle. I am the physical body who receives the physical event and gives it back to my infinite self.

Before we develop this sensitivity to the tiniest movements of energy, so that we can detect all of the above, we miss the direct experience. The act of looking out through the window and the experience of seeing something, immediately provokes many subconscious beliefs. These respond quickly, quicker than our conscious thinking. They tell us what we see and what it is connected to and many more stories, and the experience becomes blurred or totally covered. So we miss the direct experience.

Being able to experience directly brings happiness. This subtle response in the infinite space of our consciousness is happiness and playfulness and curiosity and caring. Not experiencing directly, we will always feel that something is lacking and we cannot make this feeling go.

But we have a compensation for what we miss. It is the arts. The arts are capable of going deep into the more subtle-sensitivity state, where the direct experience has been felt, and they can bring this experience out for us, to where we can experience it consciously, through a metaphor or a simile. It is not the thing itself but good enough so that we can experience the tiniest variations of movement of energy in a magnified way, usually. And this is the role of art in our life. We make art out of the longing to feel the real, un-obscured experience. It is like a guiding sign that points us toward the direct experience. Art shows us the way to happiness. When we walk toward happiness with the help of art, We already feel that we live meaningfully and we have deep satisfaction.

Does the satisfaction last? For a while it does, and then we feel the urge to make another work of art.

To say it in a very simple way: We make art so that we can be happy. We are happy when we experience deeply.

You see? we don’t need that much to be happy. Try it out.


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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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