Posts Tagged 'playfulness'

312. A man on a chair

The stage workers bring a heavy black chair onto the stage. The chair has stout heavy legs. The workers place it facing sideways. Then they leave the stage.

A man now comes to the stage and he is dressed in black. He turns to the audience and boughs. You can feel that he is preoccupied with something, as if not all of his attention is to the show, as so many people that we know are. Maybe we too are like that. Something bothers us even as we perform the movements that our society expects us to perform.

But this person is well exercised in doing all the necessary things and we, in the audience, get the feeling that he knows what he is doing and we don’t have to worry about the performance we are about to watch.

The hall is dark indeed. We do not look at ourselves. We are focused on the stage and our hearts just pump a little bit stronger than when we are at rest.

The person on the stage sits in the chair, facing sideways, as the chair is. He looks at us, to connect and to draw the attention he needs. We can feel it. He needs our energy in order to perform his miracles. Nobody says anything and there is not even any pantomime that suggests it, but we, in an unnoticeable way, become committed to giving this unknown man in black clothes all the energy that he needs.

To our amazement, while the man is still looking at us and we feel his preoccupation with something that we do not know, the legs of the chair start to become shorter, but the seat remains in exactly the same place in the space of the stage. It does not sink down. Indeed it floats in the air.

The person’s feet still touch the floor. If he was made of steel and if his soles were screwed to the wooden floor of the stage, this would be somehow physically possible, with a lot of stress. But this man just walked. His legs are not made of iron. How can he do this? What is going on here?

The man on the stage acknowledges our wonder. In fact he seems to be just as quizzical about this as we are. He slightly boughs with his head to us, but our attention is attracted now to something else that is happening.

Somehow, in a way that I cannot explain, another, slightly smaller man is coming out of the first man’s body.

At first it looks like a shadow. But the shadow immediately becomes a real sleek person, who climbs on the first man’s shoulders and sits there. This person is more extravagant. He smiles at us, tilts his head slightly forward to thank us and he waves his hands, as if he is conducting the applause.

We are still holding our breath, fearing that the two men on the stage might fall backward. How can this all be?

And before we even start slowing the clapping of our hands, another, smaller person comes out of the second one and sits on that one’s shoulders. The clapping goes wild. We do care about these wonderful people, who can do such miraculous things, and we want to be very careful not to excite them too much. But we can’t stop our gratitude from coming.

The last one is a child. Maybe he is a smallish teenager. He takes his cape off and waves it for us, as if to show that this is an easy thing to do.

The child is shaking his body up and down to imitate riding on a horse.

Then he folds himself back into the second man, and the second man disappears into the first man, who still looks at us, collecting our energies.

Only the first person is on the stage now, sitting in the chair that does not touch the floor. Some clapping still lingers. There is an expectation that the lights in he hall will come on and the show will end.

The stage workers appear on the side of the stage.

The chair, independently, starts to move from under the man to go towards the stage workers, as if they are its parents who came to take him back home. But the man’s legs prevent the chair from going to its parents. The chair tries again, pushing harder against the legs, and this time the man in black notices. He apologizes and lifts his legs from the floor. The chair runs to the stage workers who hug it and walk away.

We move our attention back to the man who, yes, there is no way to deny it, is still in mid air. Who knows how he can be floating there in the tense silence, still looking at us with the expression of not being sure that he did not forget something.

Then there is a puff sound, like that of a balloon exploding far away, and the man disappears.

Note:

You may wonder about the significance or insignificance of this show. It had a profound effect on me.

Walking home, moving from light to light in the night, I was not sure where my footsteps rested on the pavement. I still remembered the comfortable chair I was sitting on just a few minutes before, but the chair was not under me. Somehow my mind mixed the chair that I was sitting on with the chair of the show. And when the chair in the show became a child and ran to his loving parents, I felt that my own childhood was leaving me and all of its traumas became resolved. I felt as if I gave up the need to rely on my childhood’s experiences in order to explain my life. And I knew I did not need that part of my life-story any more. More than that, I did not need my whole life story. Instead, I settled into the flow of moving from light to light in the night, trusting the never-ending emergence of playfulness.

238. A story about idealism and reality

I was born in Israel and my parents were idealistic pioneers. They built Israel from nothing, with all the others there of course. They wanted social justice, a place to live and grow their food, a place where they could have a country and a piece of land and they wanted their children to be born in a country with a house and a field. I drank idealism with my mother’s milk. (This was long ago. Now it is a bit more complicated there.)

I was an artist from young age. I went to study graphic design. In Graphic Design you make art that is used immediately. Then I was an illustrator. As an illustrator you illustrate children’s books, for children to grow up with good stories, with knowledge and love of the world about them, with a good taste in art, as it makes for a better life. And you illustrate for adults so that they will think in a different way and they will laugh…

Then I got involved with Buddhist meditation, and the idea was to know what I am, so that I’ll live my true life.

And indeed, once you start to know something you start teaching. What can be more important than helping others know what they are, so that their lives will be good, and truthful? And that they will be good people, help each other and create a wonderful world for all of us, and our offspring…

Then I went to study art therapy, so I would be able to help people get rid of what held them back from being what they were. To show them how to become free of inhibiting ideas and thrive, so that they can live happily and lovingly etc.

And I did all these. I was idealistic and practical.

Then I started to know that every one of us has his own world, created by his own consciousness. We do not live in the same world. Our worlds meet with each other and it looks as if it is one world, but it is not so.

You can’t create a meaningful change in any part of the reality that is around you in your world. If you want this reality to change, you have to change yourself. The new thoughts and beliefs that you will have will bring to you everything that fits this new state of mind. So I cannot change or help change the people who come to do therapy with me. In one view, they are part of my outside world. I have to change myself, and as a result another version of that person will appear in my world, which will be a match to the way I have become. From another view, the patient is in another world, where he is the only one who can make changes in his world, by changing himself.

I always thought that we all lived in the same world. That there was one person in front of me, who suffered, and I helped him release the suffering and live a better life. But no.

And I thought that making art was a good thing for other people, to widen and deepen their experience, to give them the experience of beauty that will help them live a more beautiful life, with love, with collaboration, with understanding…

Now I felt there was no sense in doing anything. I always had a purpose for doing things and I missed it.

It felt like depression.

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Then I decided to ask August Moon about it.

August Moon is my inner guide. I have been connected with him for a while. He always answers. He is always there.

I asked and made a drawing, as I like to get the answers through the art. Sometimes I know through words, but if it is a big thing, I make art and read the answer in it. I just like it this way.

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And as soon as I started making the art, I knew the answer. The lines in the drawing spoke to me with the energy that is in them:

The reason to do anything, to do all that you want to do, is not that there is a need for it. You are not doing it for any idealistic purpose. You do it because it is your nature to be interested in doing things. It is your nature to love. It is your nature to be curious, playful, peaceful, capable and creative. This nature is what you are and it is expressed by what you do. So you do, just because you are a natural expresser of yourself.

So, you see? There is no outside reason for me to be happy. I am happiness.

And how can this be depressed?

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

235. Take the inner world out

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There are the lines and there are the color shapes. They seem to describe the same thing but they have very different perspectives.

Sometimes, in other paintings, the lines and the shapes do not necessarily describe the shame thing. If we compare this to music, then those paintings are like counterpoint. The lines have a tune and the color shapes have a different tune. But when they are placed on top of each other, the music makes sense. The music becomes richer by the working together of different tunes.

This painting is more like a tune with chords. The chords accompany the tune that the lines make.

If we look at the lines, trying to see the character of the tune, in my opinion, it is hesitant, even afraid somewhat. It tries to describe something but we cannot identify what it is. In a way it is like what toddlers do sometimes, when they pretend to be writing words and sentences but they don’t yet know how to write. So the lines only looks as if they are describing shapes. There is humor in that.

Now if we look at the color shapes, they don’t seem to be worried at all. They seem to be happy. They come together to share an activity and while playing together they keep their independence and individual identities. They seem to be playful and enjoying the game that they play.

If we describe the music here, it may be something like this: on the background of freely moving pleasant chords, the tune is hesitant. Its parts hold on to each other as if they are afraid to fall apart. There is no sense of freedom in the tune. It seems to be working hard, trying to fulfill some duty or necessity. It is a bit ridiculous in its efforts to describe everything in detail while it is impossible to decipher what it describes.

The chords in this piece of music are strange. They are a mixture of pleasant and unpleasant feelings.

I actually like that kind of music.

But if this were the description of a person, what would you want to tell him?

Maybe it will be, to let go of some of the seriousness with which it takes the story line, and give some attention to the deeper layer of himself, where the playfulness, freedom and maybe even the beauty of life’s experiences can be felt. This layer is so close…

But the story won’t stop. And we are here for the story, aren’t we?

So maybe it is possible to take some of the character of the inner layers of who we are and bring it with us outside, when we create the lines of our stories. Maybe we will then make lines that are a bit freer and happier than before?

234. Segovia and the quiet spot

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Mooji showed up in front of me, when I was going through videos to enjoy but I moved on every time. Now I stopped and let him speak. He is like an old friend that I love deeply. So my heart opens. What will he say now?

In everything that he says and in the way he moves, I feel that-infinite-space attending, just like my own one right now. I realize that I came to like the taste of this state. It starts to be familiar.

And he says that when a troublesome event comes up and we have a shock, a fear, or we are being shockingly and fearfully agitated, the thing to do is to find the quiet spot that is always there too, and go into this, stay in this.

 

And this is what this reminds me of:

When both of Segovia’s parents died and he was left alone in his world, he was some six years old, or maybe less. He was very sad, and I am crying for this sadness now because I feel some of it. Somehow there was someone there who knew what to do. He or she put Segovia (little Andre) on the train with all his belongings and sent him to his grandfather in another city.

Grandpa took him from the station and brought him home. For Segovia this was a strange person who he did not know. Grandpa sat Segovia on a chair and sat himself on another chair facing Segovia and in his hands he had his guitar. Segovia did not play guitar yet.

Grandpa made a chord.

Segovia cried.

Grandpa made another cord.

Segovia cried more.

And so they went. Grandpa played chords and Segovia cried, until Segovia smiled.

This was his introduction to his grandpa. And this is what brought the guitar to his life. And it was also his introduction to that different love that comes with insight and cannot be broken.

You see? Whatever life brought, whatever emotional response he had, he went to this direct-no-story effect of the sounds and this became his quiet spot. Maybe at first he did not even perceive the sweetness of the chord. Eventually he fell in love with it.

 

Maybe you do not immediately feel the huge, deeply joyful, childishly curious, absolutely peaceful character of the inner peace. But with many visits it becomes inevitable that the taste will come through. And there will be a sweet love that has just awakened in your heart, that will take you there again and again and it will be your home, the only place where there is no contradiction whatsoever between you and the place. And with no contradiction, you are the place and the place is you. And so it goes for everything.

(As for the story about Segovia, I hope it is close enough to the truth. I heard it on public radio long ago. The details may have been somewhat different but the core is true.)

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.

 

224.What really happens when we do not pay attention?

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In the foreground there is a gate and above it is the agitated activity of the lines that look like branches of a tree. When we come to the blue lines in the upper part, the character of the lines changes and becomes more like the movements of playing, wondering and inventing. See that?

The gate is closed, and some parts of it are broken, its color is light and there is no fence or a wall that the gate can open or close. It is only an idea that we cannot go in. In truth we can.

If we go in, we find strange, mysterious shapes that play together. They are trying to frighten us, maybe, but chuckle at the same time.

Both in the front parts and in the back parts, as we go up, we find more openness, more freedom and a suggestion of an infinite space.

In the front we have the more shallow aspects of life, the drama, the nervousness, the ideas of restriction. In the deeper part we find playfulness, joy and an interface with the endless.

Who is the protagonist in the picture?

Who invents the stories the dramas and the restrictions?

Who enjoys the game of the shapes inside?


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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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