Posts Tagged 'meditation'

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.

236.The energy is left with no job

All the colors stand around me, in bottles, tubes and pencils. They are looking quietly at what I do. What will I say? They are my audience now.

I love them. They can do infinite things. They do not really look. I know. It is the whole who looks. The infinite listening-with-the-heart. The heart-of-listening. His name is I.

When the light of seeing is bright and strong, everything that is non-transparent burns into non-existence. Its energy is left with no job. It gives itself back to be used for creation.

The name of the creator is I too.

P1000269

It seems the light in the middle of the painting (the yellow and orange) is marred. It has been hit on the head.

Darkness (on the left) makes a threat. But the little child-who-flies is not afraid. He flies into the darkness to repair his past. He will find his love that he rejected in those old times. It is like the soul-retrieval that shamans do.

The goodness and the freedom-filled-joy, which is the lost part of him, will be found where it went to hide when it was not permitted to act in the world. It will be invited back and respected, loved, accepted, joined.

Again the lines tell the stories. The color shapes tell the emotions. The composition says that all is blessed, with all its tiniest details.

The white always looks with endless love and curiosity, with awe, with pride and marvel.

There is confusion there too, on the right, projecting a yes-no feeling.

Everything is okay.

 

The big yellow mother would like to say: Be careful!

But she knows that daring requires love and trust, and not carefulness. So she does not say a word. She admires her child.

#####

Yesterday in the morning I sat on the window seat and meditated. With all the lack of sleep that I collected, because of the pain, I fell asleep. I lost my balance and fell. I opened my eyes in the middle of the fall and saw the world turning around. But I was still asleep when my forehead hit the floor.

Then I woke up.

I felt fear and this conjured up memories from an event in my childhood, that now I saw more fully than before. Doors that were closed before, opened.

Fear cannot come if there is no story behind it. Falling cannot happen without a belief or a few beliefs that invite it. I know this is strange for some.

 

After some time I did this painting.

 

233. How the “I” moves to a wider view

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Being tired and in pain I became sad. Pain is a simple thing but living with it creates additional problems. Now all of them weighed on me. I thought: I can’t go on like this any more. I did not even paint yesterday and today.

My friend from Germany called. We started to talk and the phone line went dead.

I pulled a new piece of paper onto the table, dipped the brush into the water and into the first paint that my eyes saw in the watercolor box. It was olive green. This is how I choose the first color.

And then there was the drawing. No time. No pain. Brush, water, paint and the composition, the story with no words. The energy of the truth. Everything is good.

The olive green lines and the white of the paper are the best of friends. It is a holy connection. The lines, strikingly, appearing out of the white. The white does not have inside and outside. It is everywhere. It is all-there-is-everywhere. Even the word everywhere does not fit here. Is the green line real? And my eyes that see it: are they real? And my heart that has just become so full and so delighted, what about it?

(The other colors came later.)

 

Now in a different way:

Pain is part of the illusion of life, together with the body, with time, with good and bad.

The true self cannot have pain. Its essence is joy. Its essence is love and playing and being curious. The true self cannot be affected by the illusion.

For the “I” in the illusion pain is real and hard.

The good thing is that everything is connected. All I need to do is to change the way I focus and switch my identity to the true I.

Instead of focusing on the pain and automatically trying to escape it, to fight it, to prevent it, to change it, Instead of these, I find my curiosity and make the olive green lines. I find my playfulness and play with everything that shows itself. I look for the beauty in everything and find it easily. I look for my joy and it is right there. I am joyful. I look for my love and indeed what else do I have? This is how I start to identify with the true self.

And as I do this, I find that I have forgotten the pain. I don’t even feel it. Or if I do, it is not significant. I am in peace. The vibrations of the pain, the waves that streamed through the legs calm down. My hands that clutched one foot fall down, relaxed. The body rests. The energy of creation flows flawlessly everywhere it has to go. The body heals. The specific thinking processes that hold on to the body and its suffering become weaker. I am not so dependent on the body and the world around it. I witness them and I am free. In my mind I am already walking down to town, where the galleries are. I am going to see an exhibition. Right foot, left foot and I dance.

 

232. Come

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Be the light in you

Beyond the clouds of thinking

There are playgrounds

With no words

The sun will speak with you

Of being wild and transparent

Look

The sun has made a boot for you

And on the boot it wrote:

Come.

230. Who is the free one?

P1000247

It is on the longish side today and a bit psychological.

I started to draw when I had a very strong pain. I held on to the act of drawing as to something that saved me from sinking in a bog of pain. I did not want to loose my humanity. I also held on to drawing because I wanted to have some sort of a backbone, when everything else was breaking apart to meaningless good-for-nothing, directionless pieces.

The top left part, where I started the lines, is a possible visual interpretation of pain, sharply spreading, attacking everything in all directions.

Then I left the stage, so to speak. The first spontaneous burst of drawing calmed me down a little, and my by-now-natural-tendency to go deeper into myself, to allow for a deeper view to emerge took over.

This created, still in the ’lines’ department, a pen-like thing, thin and clumsy, self-guarding like a soldier in uniform, standing straight and holding with one hand this grand explosion, almost as if it is a flower. I did not think this thought when I drew. I just drew what came to me, basically not knowing what I was doing. Or you can say, I was trusting my inner guidance.

This soldier is supported by a complicated and inefficient scaffolding, in yellows and browns. The yellow color does not give a sense of strength to the scaffolding.

This scaffolding has another shape, in green, connected to it on one side. In that shape, there are teeth that are pointing inward, like an aggression that is directed inward.

I can almost say that it feels as if the scaffolding is trying to push this green part away, but can’t get rid of it. (The colors don’t feel good together.)

The color areas create two layers. To say it in a short way, the blue is behind everything else.

The layer of the pink, browns, yellows and reds is like an emotional echo of what the lines do. In the middle there is the aggression in all directions (in pink), and the rest are all the broken parts, including the spectacularly dramatic yellow in the upper left corner. There is drama there, no doubt.

In blue there are bridges above and under each other in what can go on forever without giving a sense of meaning, since it does not seem to matter if you go up or down. This adds to the meaninglessness.

So what did the diving-in bring up?

A big confusion, happening without any clear purpose, destructing something emotional while holding on as much as possible to the figure of the soldier, as the protagonist, who is being propped up somehow by a needlessly complicated scaffolding and showing off its anger as a flower.

Wow.

Or maybe I should say woe.

Isn’t the soldier like the ego? So fearful, so lost and confused, but pretending to be strong, accompanied by self-hatred, and displaying some dramatic fireworks while feeling so limited.

So what good is that for? What did I gain from drawing?

Seeing that this pain event creates such a sorry state requires two participants.

One is the event itself with all that happens. The second is the seer, the one who witnesses. And you have to admit that the seeing is pretty comprehensive, psychologically speaking. The pain has become a richer event, with self-hatred, with the inflexibility and fear of the ego, with all that is constructed to keep the ego in place, with the complexity of what holds the ego in place, and with displaying the drama almost as a way to decorate the ego.

First came the initial scream. The viewer at that point was the ego himself. Then, with calming down, it became possible to choose a different perspective to look from, by using a different style of consciousness. Instead of the narrow style, of one thought after another, of cause and effect along the same path, the attention started to be given to everything at once, to all the participating shapes and the way they relate to each other.

When there is a strong emotional response, one thing becomes the most important one, while everything else disappears from view. But from the wider view, the relative importance of the pain diminishes, and all the parts and their relationships can be seen at once. So you see the whole structure of the event. It does not have a purpose and it does not have a hero.

How does consciousness change?

Just by making art, in which composition is of the most importance. If you want to make something that has beauty for you, you must pay attention to the composition. When you do that, the diving into a wider (and deeper) state happens on its own. I am talking here about why art is so powerful as the initiator of wellbeing.

With this deeper view and with the associations that arise, you start to know the complete situation, or you see in a more complete way than before.

Being in this relatively deeper state is pleasant. It gives a sense of control, of knowing, of peace and of being strong and unaffected by the suffering. It surely is a better state than the one it depicts.When I came to this stage, I did not feel the pain any more.

Before, when the pain was the most important thing, getting rid of it seemed to be the prerequisite for feeling better.

Now you become interested in changing the situation, not because you do not want to feel the pain but because you want to be in a different state, the state of the viewer. It is a totally different ballgame. You don’t need to have no pain in order to be happy. Happiness is yours by changing your perspective. It is insight. It is wisdom.

It is a big and meaningful change that is right under our noses.

If you do this many times, it becomes a habit. Suffering then leads you deeper and you feel better. You teach yourself to be free.

 

 

 

 

125. It is so close

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When I illustrated ’The Chanukah Tree’ I was in a period in my illustration in which I was very aware of every single brushstroke that I made. It had to feel a certain way. I can remember the feeling that I sought. Now imagine: How many brush strokes were there in the book and in all the illustrations I did through many years? Numerous. right? And I did this every single day.

Here in the room I hanged an illustration from this book.The picture at the top is part of it.

The people of the story and a few unknown characters run excitedly, on their main street at night, to see the stranger and his strange car driving through their Christmas-night village-center.

Before starting with the individual colors of each person and object, I did seven layers of under-painting that covered the whole area of the illustration with brush-strokes, and I paid attention to how every brushstroke related and combined with the other brushstrokes.

This created the darks and lights of the illustration. It was a night scene and I wanted it to have the darkness feeling of the night. I did all these in one day between eight in the morning and something like seven in the evening, almost non stop. Then I walked through the neighborhood to another home there, to bring my daughter home from her friend.

I did not think about it at all but I was in a deep meditative state. A group of four big-bodied youngsters stopped me. One aimed a pistol at my heart and told me to be quiet. Another strangled me from behind, so I won’t be able to move. I was peaceful and had no fear. I looked into the eyes of the guy with the pistol and nothing was going through my head. The pressure on my throat felt uncomfortable. I took the strangling hands away from my throat with no much effort (he did not resist) and started to walk , as if nothing happened, continuing toward the house where my daughter was.

If you are into every brush-stroke in an artwork that you make, if you feel them all, you are meditating, and it has a very good effect on you.

If you feel everything that you do to make sure it feels as you want it to feel, and it is up to you how you want it to feel, you are meditating. It means: You are coming from your true self. It is so close.

201. The vividness of the present moment

Radiating

Radiating

This time I’m not going to write about this painting and the other one down the page. I added them here to decorate. Maybe they are connected?

These words came to me:

As long as you send out, you do not receive.

The elaboration is below.

I am doing short meditations during the day, of relaxing all the focuses. I look inside and find where I am focused and let it go. When I first came to a state without focusing, it felt a little frightening, because as it turns out all or most of our habitual focusing is about wanting to be safe. We are afraid all the time and watch out for whatever might happen. This is why, when I relaxed the focuses, I felt the fear from which they came.

After some time of doing this, I suddenly felt the vividness of the present moment, in a way I have never felt before. I felt how much it is alive. I can’t describe this in words but it is wonderful. So now I understand what it means to be in the moment.

It means first to let go of the fears and trust that you are okay without being on guard. And when the experience of the vividness comes, you know experientially that you are much more than okay. You are in wonderland.

Connect it to your intuitive flow method, says my inner guide.

So I do.

Being in the now happens on its own when you follow only your sense of beauty while making art. It is much easier to be in the moment through artmaking, than to do it mentally. When we do this, we also feel that it is okay to be without our fear focus. Instead we go to our interest, curiosity and love. This is a good way to let go of the fears. You can’t act out of curiosity and out of fear at the same time. If you act out of curiosity, you are not afraid.

And as we go on following the sense of beauty, we stay in this state of experiencing the vividness of the moment for the duration of the artmaking.

When we read the art, we do this while being-in-the-now for a second time, and experience the vividness of our artwork. This is experiencing how it felt to be present a few minutes ago. But the experience of this happens in the present, because it is based on looking at the art now.

Another issue that arises is the idea of “the present.” This idea belongs to the way of understanding that thinks that there is time, there are past, present and future. But what is meant by saying “to be in the present” is not to be in the middle of that line of time. It is about being in a different, deeper state, in which the understanding that there is time does not happen. When we look at it at first we think that this is a strange way of understanding, and that we need to shut off some important capacities in order to imagine that such a state, in which we do not know about time can exist. Eventually this strange state, we come to realize, is the truth of how things are. And the thinking process that we developed as humans, and that has the idea of time in it, is one ingredient of the state of affairs and not the basis of everything else.

Now I think that it is a very good idea to read the art, to find the fears or any other unhappy feelings, and paint them.

As we paint them, we release them. And I have written about this a lot.

In this way there is a complete practice: Draw what is going on inside of you now. Be guided by your sense of beauty only. Read the art, also from the state of awareness and flow, as I teach in many other places, including the book “Opening Intuitive Flow Through Artwork.” Find fears and draw them to release them.

End with a new drawing of “what is happening now” so that you can see that you have changed. When you know that you have changed, the change stays.

Floating landscape

Floating landscape

Curiosity, as it turns out, is openness to receive. It is a burning desire to receive experiences from the universe. Being open like this and receiving experiences is abundance. This is what abundance boils down to. We want to be rich so that we can be unafraid and open up to experience the present moment. We don’t know that this is what we want but it is so. Experiencing the present moment with all its richness and depth is happiness. We do not have to wait until we are rich or until something that we believe will make us experience joy will happen. We just have to release our fears and open up now.

The fear and the caution are defensive activity aimed at what we perceive as outward. It is a pushing away activity. As long as there is this pushing away, there cannot be a receiving.

The trust in the truth of now starts when we discover experientially that the truth has to do with love, with acceptance, with fun, with fulfillment. When we discover this, our attitude starts to change from fear to a desire to have more of the truth. So if you want to help people change their attitude toward the truth, you have to bring them to experience the love, the fun and the acceptance that are in the truth of the moment.

By making art from your sense of beauty, you yourself become the accepting and the curious entity. You experience being awareness in action. You don’t make art from the feeling of wanting to push things away, but from the openness that wants to experience.

So the question now is: How do you bring people to realize that what they do in the artmaking, as they work from their sense of beauty, is the expression of the truth. And how can you bring them to the knowledge that they can become that entity that acts out of the sense of beauty all the time? How can you bring people to relax their judging, and let themselves be this eager and accepting curiosity?


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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.