“When you open up to the ultimate, immediately it pours into you”, said Osho in Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt. “You are no longer an ordinary human being-you have transcended. Your insight has become the insight of the whole existence. Now you are no longer separate-you have found your roots. Otherwise, ordinarily, everybody is moving without roots, not knowing from where their heart goes on receiving energy, not knowing who goes on breathing in them, not knowing the life juice that is running inside them…Your inner being, when it opens, first experiences two directions: the height, the depth. And then slowly, slowly, as this becomes your established situation, you start looking around, spreading into all other eight directions…then, you can look around to the very circumference of the universe. Then your consciousness starts unfolding in all ten directions, but the road has been one.”
When I completed this painting in late 2012, I did not know how to relate to its message. I meditated with it several times and…nothing. When I took it to be photographed, I had no name for it. The photographer like it so much, he pronounced it my number one painting. So it was filed under Number One. I wrapped it and stored it, and now and then, I would contemplate it again, and even journal with it. Once, I thought I understood, but I had misplaced the digital file, so I could not use it to publish. Thank goodness for Tom Grassi, my wonderful photographer, who had it in his files. I took this as a sign of my lack of readiness, so I put the painting back in storage and I felt Spirit’s benevolent smile.
A week ago, on deciding what to show for the upcoming exhibits I brought up Number One to once more, look deeply into it. I saw that the being dominates the canvas foreground, and an airy background portrays a gentle wind. A brilliant eye looks leftward, showing the sharp-nosed profile; but we can’t tell if it is smiling or not. The mouth has melted into interesting dripping watery crystals, maybe to alert us to only speak “pearls of wisdom”. We know that this not an ordinary being, yet it is a breathing being by the soft squiggle swaying out of the nose. The same oval crystal in the eye is a stand-in for the nail on the index finger of a right hand that wraps over the upper chest and points upwards so that we do not miss the missing mouth, nor its sameness with the eye. Could it be showing us that the being possesses “right view”, or “right understanding”, or has “right intentions”, or can abide in “right concentration and right mindfulness”? Is it possible that it wants us to know that it is committed to “right effort” and takes “right action”, and only utters “right speech”? What is this being’s role? What does it stand for? Is this being showing me what it means living and breathing the noble eightfold Buddhist principles? It appears to be so.
A little bird made of light-a hummingbird and the symbol of love, joy and beauty, gently flies out of the hand guiding the viewer to the heart where more light seems to be cleaning debris from it. The paint finish on this mysterious figure has a pearly texture, indicating that this one is also a being of light, reflecting it in the ten directions. Gauzy, airy fabric easily moves between the heart and the open sky, telling us that there is a connection to a greater realm and that this being functions in an allowing mode. We don’t see the rest of the body. It appears to have merged with the all. So as I sat with the painting for several sessions I decided that its livelihood appears to be deeply connected to Spirit, and that it may be revealing a lesson in wholeness, but I didn’t have the right words until this past weekend when I casually opened to chapter nine in Osho’s 1988 book, edited by Swami Deva Ashik.
In reading the text, it became clear that it was describing Number One and giving me the right words to understand its message. I knew that in this painting, there was “no ordinary human” depiction of me, and that in order to make sense of what I had painted two years ago, I first had to learn where my “heart goes on receiving energy, knowing who goes on breathing in [me, and know] the life juice that is running inside [me]”. I could not have seen it before the intense work I have done in the past two years and the incredible transformation I underwent. I can now own that my consciousness is unfolding in the ten directions, but that “the road has been one”. I have embraced both the shadow and the light and they exist side by side, and I know that my intentions and my actions are guided by my heart. I have roots tightly connected to heaven and to earth through forgiveness, acceptance and trust. And no words are needed when the wisdom of the loving heart speaks the truth, then I have insight into the whole existence and live like I never lived before.
Although I painted this picture in 2012, I was not then living my truth, still Spirit presented me with a glimpse of what was possible but could not see it. In co-creating the piece, the Spirit-Within-Me guided me through several attempts to live in truth. Through consistent and patient meditation, I stayed on the road and traveled a little longer. There is more to travel with my now clear eyes and heart and truly, no more words are needed. Shall we then call this 30” x 40” x 1.5” mixed media on wrapped canvas, No Words Needed? It will be posted later on the website, under New Works. You may click here to get a closer view and decide to purchase it, live with it and like me…learn a lot! Spirit-Within is always available. We are not.
Have a great week everyone!