Posts Tagged 'suffering'

293. Colors that run away from each other

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In this painting you can see the pain. It is in the lines, it is in the intensity of the colors, it is in the way the colored areas run away from each other, concentrating in themselves, as if the whole picture is falling apart. And you also see some environment: A horizon with two trees, a part of a cloud and maybe a fruit on a limb.

The drawing is of faces overlapping, worried and separate, in spite of the closeness, pressed into the presence of each other.

The white is like the knuckles of a clenched fist.

At some point I discovered some dirt that was somehow transferred to the paper after my hand touched some food. I erased some of it but could not get rid of it completely. Erasing vigorously leaves marks too. The solution was to place the signature on the stain. It is like placing myself on some mess that I had created, to cover it up. Here is one of the things that life seems to be about sometimes.

My artist friend H observed in my art that even when I speak about torturous pain, the paintings have some cheerfulness to them. He recommended, carefully indeed and lovingly, to express the pain more freely, and maybe there will be a physical relief from it, not to mention the psychological relief. Maybe this is why there is a bit more expression of suffering in this painting than is usually expressed in my art. Or maybe it is because I came to the table at 3 or 4 at night, when the pain made me jump out of bed, and I started to draw right there.

But I can’t escape myself. Even the suffering in my life is viewed from an aware place that is basically calm, curious and loving.

I love my friend for who he is and for how what he is, is being expressed in everything he does. And I also love myself enough to allow what-makes-me-nowadays, to express itself with all the facets that it has.

Maybe it is strange to many people that there is no full expression of the suffering in my art. Instead there is what looks like a distanced or muted expression. How can one not scream about his suffering in his art and indeed tear people’s hearts when they become witnesses to it? But this would be untrue to my experience.

Yes there is some distance when I experience being more than my body. My body shakes with pain many times, but there is the bigger me, to whom this looks like a fantastic, colorful, emotions-full, drama that I had created for myself, not knowing who I am. Yes, it is not the usual life, to have one foot in the body and another in a much freer place.

 -And what if I hit you on your toes with a heavy hammer, will ask an imaginary friend?

-It will hurt.

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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.

285. The dream and the life

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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.

244.Closing the door of this chapter and opening the door of the next one.

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And today it happened. Today I understood how you can love everything in your earth life, including the suffering. Because you see the beauty of the game that you, the bigger you, has and is still creating.

You are lead into a blind alley that you create and the keys are handed to you. And don’t worry. This is not a contest. The doors will keep appearing. The smells will cross the barriers of the ends of reality. The sun will rise in you, unstoppable. So don’t worry. Take it all in, as this is what you are here for: To take it in and to crack the walls at the same time. And you cannot even say that this reality does not exist.

What becomes clear is the reality of your experiencing and the opening of your expression of the truth.

Maybe this is a nice place to end this part of the blog, and to start a new part. Let’s see where it will go…

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.

 

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.)


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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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