Divine Nurture


Divine Nurture by Lidia Kenig-Scher

I felt quite content when I started this painting. It was the day before my birthday. The yellow gold strokes easily flowed onto the white canvas and later, reds blended into yellow to create orange. A wide brush laden with teal blue brought the undulating shapes we now see on the bottom. I don’t remember if at day’s end I had scumbled magenta on the upper right.

The following day turned out to be quite difficult, yet soon yielded a marvelous gift.

You see, sometimes our inner guidance leads us into darkness. Our consciousness constantly mapping our path, sets the stage so that we can learn something valuable. Perhaps we are stuck and unaware that we are no longer moving in alignment with our purpose. Or maybe out of pure unconsciousness, we either cause harm, or we receive it. Perhaps we face a traumatic situation and realize that we had been there before and felt as powerless.

In a sudden flash of insight, we could begin to see these conundrums as a way to heal old pain and past karma.  We could decide to mentally step away and hear our high heart, our connection to Spirit, asking us to integrate the lessons. We may be guided to heal ourselves by using the reappeared trauma as the fertilizer to enrich the soil where new seeds of love and light can sprout.

Finding myself at the receiving end of volatile anger, my instinctive reaction was to fight or fly. But something amazing occurred to me on that day amidst loud verbal attacks; I clearly saw the raw pain in the one hurting me and my heart opened up.

I became very quiet and tapped into the vastness, the place of potential, divinity’s abode and the realm of supreme wisdom. In the surreal inner silence, I prayed for guidance and expressed regret and bewilderment, as I can’t say that I understood then my role in the conflict.

What I knew for sure is that I did not want to manipulate or be manipulated. While I did not identify a perpetrator or a victim, I knew that I was no longer available to be unkind or be the recipient of unkindness. At that moment I perceived a bright light emanating from my heart and noticed that the other person had left.

The heart mind had done a great job leading me out of harm, however, over the next few hours, my body experienced what I can safely call “aftershocks”, so I began to practice Tonglen.

The next morning, I went into the studio and continued painting. I refined the shapes in the blue area and added the soft white layer between the yellow and teal colors, thus creating a foreground. The magenta hue in the upper right now became the background, green sticks were painted on the teal surface and, in the process, I felt divinely nurtured.

In such state I agreed to meet with the other person and lo and behold, we both came away knowing that the situation provided us both with profound healing. We each had faith in our bond, but saw that in order to move forward, we not only had to be fully present; we had to trust in that bond as we are now. We had to let go of thoughts and emotions based on the past, on fear, guilt and shame and we had to forgive ourselves and each other for past unconscious beliefs and behaviors.

In the end we both realized that the past is now the compost that will help us build a more wholesome relationship. We had grown from the harrowing experience and released the accumulated toxicity by surrounding it with pure love and utter compassion. We both remarked that this was a marvelous gift!

That afternoon I completed the painting I call it, Divine Nurture.

It is my wish that those who are called to purchase the original or a print for a home or business, allow themselves and all who behold the art, to be divinely nurtured.

Follow this link to purchase Divine Nurture.

Additionally, I will include a copy of Tonglen meditation with the original or prints, and I will be glad to personally instruct the person who purchases the original in the practice of Tonglen.

Avinu Malkeinu


Avinu Malkeinu by Lidia Kenig Scher
Avinu Malkeinu by Lidia Kenig Scher (c)

I worked on this alcohol ink painting on Yupo over the past few days, and when completed, I realized that the timing coincides with what in Judaism is known as the Days of Awe, the days between Rosh Hashanah (New year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

During the Days of Awe, Jews say prayers and contemplate their relationship with God, with themselves, with the other humans and with all that surrounds them.

Born in a contemporary Jewish family, I am quite familiar with Avinu Malkeinu, “Our Father, Our King”; loving the melody of the prayer and blessing that plays an important part in Jewish liturgy. Is it recited on all fasting days and on each of the 10 days in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as a tool of introspection and a call for hope and transformation. The prayer itself is a series of supplications and requests for forgiveness and pardon, usually done as a litany or as a call and inward response.

What I created portrays in vivid color, the central meaning of the prayer it is named after. As in Avinu Malkeinu, I am invoking the ultimate because in doing so, I recharge my inner compass and recognize forgiveness for myself and toward others as a gift of divine healing.

The painting shows how Divine Love (“our father, our king”) enables us to see that “we are ambassadors of Grace for one another” (Cheryl Richardson). By saying the blessing over and over again, we begin to see everyone as partners and teachers in this lifetime. As such, we can move to transform this world by acting both with justice and compassion and trust that we are thus creating heaven here on earth.

I invite you to purchase the original Avinu Malkeinu, connect with your inner light and begin to experience revelation and wonderment. may you have a fruitful holiday!

If you like to hear the prayer, check Barbra Streissand‘s version

Grace


Grace by Lidia Kenig Scher
Grace by Lidia Kenig Scher

I love to offer a great explanation of the symbolic meaning of each shape, texture and color in this mixed media painting on a 30” x 30” canvas I call Grace. But I can’t.

I am still very close to the experience of painting it, I have some ideas about what it all means, but I prefer to allow you to view it and derive whatever meaning you choose.

I am not sure exactly how long it took me to create it. I believe that I worked on it for about twenty to thirty hours on two different days; time when I paint is meaningless.

I know that in the process of creating it, I continued further into the theme of my last painting, Traveling and moved past even beyond what is known as the fifth dimension of perception, to a state of being I can only call Grace.

I went to sleep after completing this painting, and I dreamt I was a magic brush able to speak to every part of the colorful canvas and inspect every element in the work. I could easily crawl into the red nooks and catch a ride on the white and yellow crannies. I could twirl with every spiral and swiftly hang on to every drip. My eyes marveled at the light that emanated from each little piece of blue foil glued on to the five central figures who promptly whispered their sweet secrets of a world beyond the worlds. They said it was not the world of the unknown, but the unknowable.

I eagerly ventured layer by layer of texture and sauntered behind the blueness, filled with unconditional love, joy, peace, compassion, acceptance, kindness, forgiveness and infinite gratefulness until tears rolled down my cheeks and I knew with certainty that I was in the arms of Grace.

I awoke and still felt the same feelings. I was a little shaky at first, as if I was a newborn and in a way I was. I felt light as a feather. I felt changed.

How does it feel to be in Grace’s arms? You will need to experience it yourself, but I can tell you…It is a feeling and not a thought. It is not the unknown, but the unknowable!

Click on Grace to order the original or blessed giclee prints and tell me of your experiences with Grace.

I love to know.
Blissfully,
Lidia

Journey to Forgiveness (c) by Lidia Kenig Scher

Journey to Forgiveness is an Abstract Painting


Journey to Forgiveness   (c) by Lidia Kenig Scher
Journey to Forgiveness (c) by Lidia Kenig Scher

Trying to make meaning of an event that sideblinds us is like trying to find recognizable forms in an abstract painting. In either case, the difficulty rests in the source of the meaning. The tools we use are honed in the past; in what we already know.

Similar life situations were earlier given a label by a mind that latched unto an emotion. It then stored this construct in a library where ego loves to roam. When a present situation resembles what we then felt, ego readily serves it to us on a silver platter.

When you look at this 11.25″ x 7.5″ mixed media painting on cork, what do you see? Come on…Your ego-mind is feverishly roaming “the library” for images you know and can attach to the painting, so you can “understand it”. You may even look at the title for a clue and then, ahhh…all is right. You got it!

I know, because as i sat to meditate with the painting, the difficult scenes from the day before danced on its rough surface. All of a sudden, my thoughts became recognizable shapes filled with meaning, unintended when the art was created. Like the situation i faced, I found myself looking at a roaring stream I could choose to cross.

I heard my anger rising in concert with the loudness of the bubbling waters my mind construed. The foaming liquid became the mirror where I could face and accept the hurt I was feeling. I even saw that I could hide in the dark bushes, choose to cross to the other side and explore that shore, or travel up the seemingly perilous middle path of forgiveness toward a brilliant day dawning just beyond the tall spruces. An abstract painting can do all that?

Anger, sadness, misery are all familiar states. Jumping on branches and boulders to explore what is on the other side of self-pity takes courage. We could decide to work with the feelings and emotions and transmute them, but this means to embark on an adventure into unknown lands. The ego, ever alert is poised with advice on all the cons of undertaking such a journey. Best to safely remain in the dark bushes, we are told. After all ego says, it is “their fault”. We were wronged and can be mad as hell.

But the water is a mirror, reflecting what is real and true. It presents us with an opportunity to see and accept the pain, learn from it by forgiving ourselves and “the other”. and move to a place where we can be free and practice our newly minted skills.To get to the land beyond the horizon, we must tiptoe on crackling branches fearing a painful death. Yet staying in the bushes is a death of a different kind…

I decided to venture on the rocks, staying fiercely focused on the journey, knowing that every step matters. Every now and again, i glanced at the blazing sunshine to remind me of thrilling possibilities ahead, if I can shed on every rock, some baggage from the past and give the new a fair chance.

I decided to call this abstract painting Journey to Forgiveness. None of the images I describe are real or intended. However, if you decide to purchase and meditate with it, you may write the next post. Click on Journey to Forgiveness,

Wishing you all courage and peace at the dawn of 2015.

The Joy That Comes From Forgiveness


This Is Joy © 2013 By Lidia Kenig Scher
This Is Joy © 2013 By Lidia Kenig Scher

Someone asked me to define Joy, at my prescription to heal her pain through it. Fittingly she commented that at the moment, she was unable to summon what she understood to be joy. Her heart was hidden behind a mind filled with frustration. The frustration was framing the person who caused her the pain. She felt powerless to think that forgiving this person would actually release them both from the chain of anger and sorrow. She dwelt in hate and could not comprehend that hate could not assuage her anguish, and in fact, it was ensuring deeper wounds. I knew this all too well.

This past year, I undertook a deep study of the Heart Sutra, one of the most important teachings the Buddha gave in his time, about 2600 years ago. I read, I contemplated, I meditated, I painted and I journaled in these very pages. Throughout the process, I learned and experienced the opening of my heart to unconditional love and compassion; I practiced healing anger, sadness, sorrow and deep longings for people and events in my life to be how I wished them to be. I saw the foolishness of my mind and dared the ego to assist me in more skillful ways and healing thoughts. The Grateful Heart Series is a testimony to the lengthy and fruitful process that led to abiding in Joy. As a human having spiritual experiences, on most days, I abide in Joy.

I knew from the start, that just like in creating the art works, it requires patience, practice, time, and seeing as an artist sees; beneath and beyond the obvious. The first step was to forgive myself for all my incorrect perceptions that led to unhealthy behaviors and life situations. As I could not change the past, I also forgave all those who knowingly or unknowingly hurt me. It is not in my nature, nor in anyone else’s to wish harm unto others. We wage war when we think that hurting others will help us feel better. It never does. Forgiving entailed letting go and looking at life as a blank canvas.

Facing a blank canvas necessitates emptiness from the artist, because it involves a conversation with unseen forces. Some call it the muse; others call it Spirit, God, or the Universal forces. If the mind is ruled by strong emotions, there is no room to hear anything else and this canvas will be all about strong emotions. Afterwards the canvas may be sold to people who need to experience strong emotions, but all that the artist learned was that there are strong emotions on a canvas. Self-reflection allows for transformation leading to growth. It is like when an artist steps away from the canvas and makes compositional adjustments; in life we look deeply into our pain and see what is behind it and what we need to learn. The real gift in expressing creativity is precisely that: creativity. It demands originality brought about through brainstorming, exploration, detachment, unusual viewpoints, fearlessness and enthusiasm. It took a while and as Indian Mystic Meher Baba said…”it is not for the faint-hearted”.

It took much meditation time and lengthy contemplations on the Heart Sutra with its teachings on emptiness and inter-beingness. I allowed the healing tears to wipe the toughest wounds. I became alert to the whispers of my heart, the knot easing at my solar plexus. I looked at the paintings that came out of that period and saw the progress. I noticed who and what showed up at my door. I faced what came, I learned to let go what no longer fit with presence, love and compassion.

Letting go does not mean condoning those who “wronged us”. It is releasing the suffering attached to what we cannot not change and put love in its place. I started with going into the studio with abandon, looking deeply into the source of my fears. I explored and embraced the concept that we all have the capacity to hurt another because we are asleep at the wheel of life, and unable to see that who we hurt is as lost yet as Buddha-like as we are. I saw that I needed to learn to value myself just as I am and accept all of me. I needed to love and take care of myself, or I could not care for anyone else. In time I saw that whether I welcome it or not, everything that came into my life was part of my journey and dismissing anyone or anything would have caused me to miss crucial growth. I became grateful for my life just as it is. In some cases, I released and cut ties with those who could not partake in unconditional love. In some cases, I loved silently and from afar. In any case, as Meher Baba said,  “…love and forgiveness is not for the faint-hearted, but someone has to stand up and say, it stops with me. I will not pass on to my children this sorrow.” The painting above was created while I silently loved from afar hearing Spirit-Within-Me.  It is my best expression of Joy: unconditional love, total forgiveness and a wish for a Happy New Year to All!

God is Light and in Him There is No Darkness at All….


WalkingAboutSpreadingJoy By LidiaScher
Walking About Spreading Joy ©2013 by Lidia Scher

“…Yet on the part of the people, there are times of light and darkness, fidelity and infidelity, obedience and rebellion, times of being a pilgrim people, and times of being a people adrift.” Pope Francis spoke these powerful words in his Christmas Eve sermon, the first since his election as the head of the Catholic Church.

I took one look at this week’s painting, a 12” x 12” mixed media and acrylic on wood, and saw that it uncannily reflected the Christmas message, as Francis continues, “…in our personal history, too, there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light. But if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us, and around us. Whoever hates his brother — writes the Apostle John — is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Last week I wrote about appreciating the powerful gifts we all have and often disregard. I called it, the jewels we have for creating a joyful life and spreading the wisdom and beauty we bring from Spirit. I said that this can only happen when we forgive ourselves and are able to let go of perceptions born in the mind that color our lives with the wrong hues; what Apostle John called that which “has blinded his eyes”. As we allow the universal energy of Love to penetrate our core, we see the dark spots, we own them and are able to heal and let go of anger, sorrow, jealousy, pride and the past-all the “dark moments”, and walk with God, in the Light. The painting is aptly called Walking About Spreading Joy, and is available to purchase on www.LidiaScherArt.com. Those who have been working with the image already will agree that it inspires us to open our hearts and spread Joy and Light. I invite you to try it and visualize your own face and body in the painting, as you consider Pope Francis’ message. Allow the darkness to be diluted and disappear within your compassionate heart that loves all unconditionally. I for one, humbly thank Pope Francis for giving me the perfect words to write this post.

Consumed By The Mind and Unable to See Truth


Consumed By The Mind by Lidia Scher-Collage and Mixed Media on Paper
Consumed By The Mind-2013, Lidia Kenig Scher

The day I created this piece I was meditating on the trajectory I traveled as an artist since the tender age of 9 or 10. I saw how many times I restarted it and I peered on the instances when my impulse to speak visually, just melded with something else that felt “artsy”. I observed how I allowed this powerful force to become thwarted and buried at times. Given my present resolve to fully unleash it and learn, I marvel that time has not mummified my skills. I regale at the ease with which I can still dive into “the zone” without any need to come up for air, accepting cheerfully what shows up and emerge from a painting session as if I had awakened from a peaceful sleep. So at the end of the meditation, I went into the studio and looked around.

This looking around allows my body to react to textures and my senses to linger on colors and shapes. As I write now, it is hard to recall exactly how I go about deciding what to use, in terms of media and ground. Can I say…it just happens? The trust implied in this “just happens” is actually quite empowering and it is a feeling I endeavor to duplicate in all areas of my life. However, it doesn’t always happen. By looking at the choices I made on that day, I can see this theme’s presence on the painting.

A richly patterned background-the world around us?, holds a multi-dimensional red and gold vibrant form. The background and the form interact in several places as a few recognizable shapes become visible. A seemingly frustrated figure seats on a low bench contemplating a bright red crystal-her gifts? The hands holding the crystal seem connected to a stream that moves within the larger shape-her connection to Source? There is a brilliant bird-the extraordinary view from above? But this bird is midway up the stream and caught in a downward flow. Can this represent bringing the higher view down to Earth?

It looks as though the bird swam from above, where a butterfly, a fish and other living beings are part of a transformational wave that seem to emerge from the anthropomorphic shape. The stream splits right below the bird and it appears to wrap around the seated figure-her inspiration? Just outside this flow, there are some hearts and a fiery yet calm face is looking ahead, away from the seated figure. The sad being does not see them. She is consumed with her gifts and the quandary of how best to use them. She cannot even see how they are interconnected to the larger form-Spirit? God? She does not allow herself to see the rich tapestry that exists in the world. She is fully entrapped in the workings of the ego mind.

The painting expresses the ability or lack thereof to acknowledge one’s worth, talents, and skills. Deeply embedded within Spirit’s wave, the figure seems to know that she is “connected”, yet she is not looking up. She chooses suffering. Her pain is directed inward, and it’s borne from her perceived inability to diligently carry out Spirit’s guidance. She understands that she is here on Earth to learn about self-love and appreciation of the gifts she brought. She also knows that these gifts have to be given away, yet wonders who would want them. She is ashamed to have craved love from outside herself and taken Spirit’s love for granted. Caught in the egoic mind, the most rewarding experiences inherent in her creative sessions became a sort of punishment and she stopped, buried the gifts, and appeared content with life as it was.

One day she became aware that her gifts were taking up oppressive space in her subconscious. The urge to paint became excruciatingly painful. She had to yield and in the act, she became happier, softer, and kinder. The woman knew that it was Spirit –Within; the seed of the All that was clamoring to be freed. Yet she fought it, but this time she felt the very bosom of Divinity above her head, showering the golden milk of love. It was a love she could not ignore and that is how she became grateful for her experiences, her gifts, her mind, her family and friends. She became in love with her life, just the way it is.

It was then that she noticed all the red around it. Red for passion, red of the heart, the hearts of love. She reached out to pick up the new head and placed it up above her shoulders. She looked at the jewel in her hand and saw it as the real power. It was the power to design her life and spread the wisdom and beauty she brings from Spirit for all to have. The figure realized that she was the I AM THAT I AM and that it was time to let go of perceptions borne in the mind that colored her life with the wrong hues. She began to love the dark and the light and allowed the universal energy to penetrate her core. She forgave herself for allowing others to oppress her. She let go of the past, went back into the studio, painted a masterpiece and smiled. It just happened…Spirit was freed!

The artwork is available for closer view and purchase @ www.lidiascherart.com/Newworks, just in time to help you notice your own gifts before turning the page to 2014.