…and the more we give the more we receive. When the world appears to crumble around us and we are left feeling powerless in the face of disease, wars, feuds, greed and politics, there is something we can do. When we feel frustrated with our relationships and personal life situations; there is one place we can always retreat to where we can feel whole and powerful. If we can shift our thoughts to giving what we have in unlimited amounts, we can heal and help others heal as well.
A sleepless night rendered me grumpy on this steamy August morning, when I decided that sitting on my cushion to meditate and maybe paint afterwards, was a better way to alter my mood. The ancient Buddhist practice of Tonglen- sending and receiving in Tibetan seemed the most appropriate medicine, where I could take all the suffering I was experiencing and release it into the world as love. Problem was, I could not summon any love!
In tears I moved into the studio and in an instant, something changed. I picked a new canvas, I poured water in to the containers and I looked into the drawers. I then gathered some brushes and allowed my heart to open wide. As I breathed in and out, strokes of color made their way on to the surface. A coarse pumice gel became all the pain I could not heal, and a large Swarovski crystal followed by 5 little ones got glued somewhere in the middle of the surface. They represent what I now know are the chakras in alignment at the high heart where Spirit dwells. This is the source of unconditional love; an inner light always available to experience and to share as divine healing truth.
The practice of Tonglen is aimed at teaching us to have a kind relationship to suffering; ours and that of others. As we touch pain with a trained mind we are able to meet sorrow and envelop it in the pure light shining within our hearts. The more aware we become of this light, the brighter it shines. The more it shines the harder it becomes to hide it, and then it becomes a source of healing. The more we give of it, the more we get.
It took a visit from my grandson to realize that some paint strokes had a particularly discernible form. Can you see what he saw? He called it Earth, Sky and Fire. I called it Tonglen-Sending and Receiving, in honor of the practice that inspired it. I invite you to see a close up version of this large painting, where you can take advantage of many ways to purchase it and work on your giving skills to receive more healing than you can ever imagine. Please click on Spiritual Art Gallery and email me if you like to receive instructions to practice Tonglen. Do have an awesome week!