The Great Release


The Great Release by Lidia Kenig

I often liken painting with being immersed in God, because when I am in the studio, it appears that the Universe orchestrates a joyful dance with the materials and processes so that the right procedure, the perfect color delivered in the perfect way, lands on a canvas without my physical involvement.

It may sound otherworldly, but I often feel like a puppet on a string, except that the strings are made up of pure light, and as painting progresses, light pours out in all directions, but I become the one generating it.  If I were to describe the overall emotion, I would call it love.

The studio is my happy place where I love openly and where I feel unconditionally loved. It is where, with unabashed trust I allow colors, textures and images to appear on the canvas. It is where I practice trusting life.

Thus, I was not surprised at the images in the completed canvas when I began the post painting meditation. I saw a bright sunrise above a fiery earth, facing a deep blue ocean below. Perhaps there are buildings in the distance, but there are no people about in this slice of Summertime.

My slice of summer was bittersweet. Long held traditions ended and relationships shifted or expired, yet I had many rewarding experiences reconnecting with old clients, successfully designing residential spaces, serendipitously finding places to exhibit artworks, attracting painting commissions and receiving heartfelt testimonials about my art and my designed interiors.  Like when I create, I was deeply present to what landed on my life canvas and in meditation, I reflected on the emotions that emerged and the people and situations that provoked the feelings.

I felt like I was being carried into a new life cycle, and consciously allowed all of it to coexist by trusting in its inherent rightness. As such, on the second meditation, I considered that the “fiery earth” I originally saw in the painting, could also be looked at as the very precious antique cloth that is my life.

I can’t prove that we have had many lives and accumulated what in Buddhism is called karma, which ripens in each lifetime. I noticed that not all the experiences and people that show up in our present life are a product of our thoughts and deeds in this life. Some seem to come from some other place and time. We can see strong patterns operating in people’s lives that can either help them grow in a supportive way or challenges them to become stronger. In all cases, when we become aware of these threads, often through meditation, that seem to run our lives and take inspired action, we gain much wisdom and can lead very fulfilling lives.

In my first meditation with the painting, I saw a starry sky receding to make way for the light of the sun. The land below is still smoldering from ravaging fires above the great ocean. The wind helps the ashes and debris to fly off into the ether. The bits blowing away depict the things, people, relationships, thoughts, emotions and life patterns being released from the mind, which is represented by the landscape. The rising tide washes away the last bits of live fire as a new day begins. The sun shines upon the parched land, spreading bits of light to help the ashes transform eventually into fertile soil.

On another day meditating with the painting, I focused on the textured “land” and began to see it as precious antique tapestry. All my life experiences, my mishaps and my triumphs in this or any other lifetimes have given my soul much material from which to create the rich cloth that is my life now and that could not have existed without such journey. Yet, in time, some threads on the cloth wear out and must be discarded because they no longer provide a viable structure to the tapestry. A good restorer can seamlessly weave new threads, place the worn-out ones into the recycle bin and lovingly return the cloth to its original glory.

I looked at the difficult changes that occurred this summer as worn out threads that needed to leave my life. In emptying the recycle bin I saw an opportunity to release old emotional baggage and lovingly weave new patterns into my life tapestry.  I appreciate what I learned from the outworn threads and admire the beauty and power of the parts that remain. Its overall stability accepts the new strength being provided by new material and trusts that, restored to its brilliance, it will gracefully carry me into a new life cycle!

I recently shared this painting, but not my interpretations with several clients as a meditation. In most cases, the revelations were quite powerful; all had to do with letting go of old patterns of thought!

The Great Release invites you to look within and let go of what no longer makes your life tapestry strong. Isn’t time to weave the shiny new threads to carry you, as if by magic into your best life?

Call it self-love and take inspired action; find the painting’s purchase options here in, The Great Release.

 

Moonlight Rebirth Meditation


A moonlight meditation in images
Moonlight Rebirth Meditation by Lidia Kenig-Scher

Awoke shortly after sunrise and as usual, I prepared for meditation. Instead of doing a contemplative exercise, I slid into the studio to make painting the contemplation. I picked a 40” x 30” blank canvas and as I sat in front of the canvas, some words and sentences bubbled up.

Arising, releasing pain, sorrow, guilt, shame, tiredness, frustration, danced in my mind’s eye. A certain pride for having persevered in spite of the many naysayers, including me; a visceral urge to break away, to say good bye to the past, without attempting to change it or squash it emerged, giving me a sense of peace and acceptance never before felt.

Eventually I was moved to pick up a jar of fluid Prussian Blue acrylic paint along with a flat wide brush. I loved how the inky paint flowed onto the canvas!

The last thing I remember was reaching for the cellophane that had covered the brand-new canvas and diluting thick Iridescent White acrylic paint with a little water and colorless polymer.

Twelve hours later I emerged from the studio and fell into a deep slumber. I awoke the next morning feeling lighter, smiling broadly and remembering a dream where Divine beings were guiding me to swim in loving waters of changing colors.

In the dream, the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin was showing me objects beaming with light floating in the water around me. I recognized some of my paintings, a home I had recently designed, students’ artworks, sculptures and photos of happy and grateful people. These were all things and situations that I created in my life and that coexisted with painful situations, interactions and sadness. I realized that Kwan Yin and all the other angels were showing me how blessed I am, as my past became the rich fertilizer that now helps flourish the life cycle I am sailing into.

For the next 10 days I looked at the painting before I turned in for the day and immediately upon waking. Each day I wrote in my journal, knowing that lessons and title would eventually come forth clearly. I noticed that the day I began to paint, coincided with a full moon and a partial eclipse, best observed in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Boston area the moon showed its fullness with alluring brilliance. It was easy to take in its beauty on a hot summer night.

The moon is a symbol of the spiritual aspects of femininity- intuition, psychic abilities, creativity and wisdom. Its phases remind us that all things on Earth have a natural cycle. Water evaporates from the ocean and falls down again as rain. Fruit falls from a tree, carrying a seed that grows into a new tree.

Because of the moon’s connection to water and the tides, it is said to represent our emotions and our subconscious mind – what we see on the surface often does not reflect what is going on underneath, nor does it reveal its vast depths. We must go deeper and explore.

When the moon is completely illuminated, it represents completion, the height of power, the realization of our desires and the peak of clarity. It is a time to celebrate our growth, take note of what progress we have made and reflect on how far we have come.

An eclipse invites us to see what is hidden and release it to the light; the art’s meaning and its title became clearer now.

Several decades ago I was privileged to learn a meditation called Moonlight Rebirth, from my most revered teacher, HH Lin Yun, Rinpoche. A few days ago, as I was again contemplating the painting, I began to practice it and immediately I knew that this is what I had painted!

Practicing this meditation, we are able to touch oneness, when spiritual powers can reach through time and space. A profound physical and mental healing takes place enabling us to “wipe the slate clean”, so to speak and begin anew. Aware of the effects of the moon upon the earth, this practice can improve luck, spur new growth, diminish anger and increase the sense of peace and well-being.

The meditation, the intention, the creative process and the dream are all depicted in the art. Are you the lucky buyer now willing to summon courage, unflinchingly look in the inner mirror and feel Oneness?

Even if you are not ready to shift yet, Moonlight Rebirth Meditation, with its colors, images and textures will infuse any space where it is installed, with bliss, peace and joy. Purchase includes the meditation instructions and one practice session with me to “wipe the slate clean”, own your gifts and sail into a new life cycle.

 

 

Surrendering is Key


Surrender by Lidia Kenig-Scher (c)
Surrender by Lidia Kenig-Scher (c)

Heavy snow blanketed the area where I live when I started this painting. White clumps sat heavily on tree branches and coated everything in sight. The hush that fell over the land made it easy to fall into deep meditation.

Seeing Peace; the painting that depicts the quiet time at the beginning of Spring was within sight. I chuckled at the moment’s perfection;  the calm of a deep freeze now would create space for what might unfold after the snow melted.

I unwrapped a 30” x 40” canvas as if it were the snow where I could play. After a few hours, I stepped back to notice that albeit hesitantly, I seemed to be yearning to get close to the Light.

Fast strokes of Phthalocyanine Blue acrylic paint were brushed toward a center, as if someone (me?) had scratched herself out of a beautiful cave to face the bright morning sun. Wow!

In my next meditation, I played with entering the warmth and opted for giving my fears away to the fiery glow. The cave was protective and filled with healing vibrations, yet I wanted to understand at the physical level, what inviting the light felt like.

The yellow spiral intrigued me. Did I have to merge with it? Yes, let it rip!

Not so fast…

Creating is a natural spiritual power we all enjoy. It has taught me that we can’t force anything, for if we do; we become depleted. Nature has its own timing and we are part of this principle.  Surrendering provides a flow for what needs to be created.

We are all creating something important with every thought and every action we take. These are the seeds we harvest sooner or later and that if we care to dig deep, will help us ascertain if what sprouts is aligned with Divine Light and therefore significant for the spiritual awakening of our planet, or guided by ego-based beliefs.

This process occurs inside our “cave” and it shows up when we look out and reflect on our interactions with others and in the life situations we face. Do we see the bright sunshine of helpfulness, kindness, love, joy and ease, or are we witnessing the menacing clouds of discord, dirt, lies and disappointment?

Everything we encounter is part of our path to align with our true selves; our Divine Light.

And we can’t strive for it; we need to allow it. Striving implies lack while allowing means flow, release and surrender freeing us to participate in the greater flow. It is the delicate dance between doing and being. Being is grounded in presence, gratefulness, stillness and wonder. The “doing” guided by these attributes transforms us into a magnet for manifesting spiritual joy and the gift it brings: love and abundance at all levels, peace and harmony.

When I next entered the studio I was ready to cultivate the qualities I sought to experience externally.

A human shape appeared, coated in flat Unbleached Titanium acrylic paint, looking deeply and curling up around the Light. She seems ready to disrobe and release all society-created mental concepts, as seen in the red fingernail at the bottom. She lets her hair out and surrenders…

When I later contemplated the finished painting above, it felt that by letting go, the light was now inside me. I experienced its warmth and brilliance and was willingly and gently sucked in.

I peered and thought that Spirit’s Light was at the other end…But no, there was no end. Skies upon skies opened up and an infinite sun emitted waves of Love.

In surrendering I became whole being light and reflecting it.

Surrender is a beautiful painting to install anywhere. It will suffuse the space with divine light and it may cause you to easily allow for the next cycle of growth in your spiritual evolution to unfold. At the very least, it will invite you to dance around with joy and peace, thus creating an enormous amount of light. Original or blessed prints are available by clicking on Surrender.

Not Easy to Let Go


The Golden Void by Lidia Kenig (c)2017
The Golden Void by Lidia Kenig (c)2017

When we like a situation or a particular object we associate with pleasure, we can’t imagine having to relinquish it. Being forced to change habitual behaviors we balk, and when we have to let go of a loved one, the pain seems unbearable.

In truth, whenever we are forced to change, most of us fight it with all our might. Letting go requires effort and if I can be blunt, it may even imply faulty imagination skills. Emotions play a big part too. What will it be like on the other side?

It starts with a thought and as the Buddha taught, “with our thoughts we create our world”.

We constantly create mental constructs about how things should unfold in our lives, and often even in someone else’s life. Our point of reference is always a story—thoughts we corralled from incidents that stopped us on our tracks, from hearsay, advertising, movies, family history and that left an imprint known as emotion.

Emotions are physiological experiences, or states of awareness that provide us with information about the world. When in the course of our lives we encounter circumstances that in some way recreate the original incidents, the thoughts get an additional charge and become feelings.

A feeling is our conscious awareness of the emotion itself. Feelings allow us to further solidify the original experience by qualifying it.

Repeated thoughts create beliefs that easily incorporate into our subconscious to form the very core of the stories we live by. When emotional charge is added, feelings become tightly wrapped around this energy mix. It is called pain and it renders us unable to discern what is real and what we made up.

Humans do not like pain. Just take a look at what opioids have caused in our society. From numbness we respond to the world in ways that do not serve the fluid nature of phenomena and miss the opportunity to grow and thrive.

We focus on the pain and miss the lesson!

We sink into fear when a relationship ends by creating a story of blame, either about ourselves or the other. We can’t accept it as good, because we are unable to imagine something better. We wallow in grief when someone we loved dies because we cannot visualize a life without them. We get angry when things don’t go the way we thought they would, and cannot consider that it was our unconscious thinking that attracted that situation to us.

Our attachment to our stories keeps us from living in fulfillment unless we become conscious and learn to relinquish them by identifying the emotion behind what we want to hold on, feel what it elicited, name it and contemplate its validity, and then take the action dictated by our findings.

Unwittingly, that is exactly how this artwork was completed and what I learned in the process. In preparing for an upcoming holiday sale, I wanted to create a realistic landscape. I told myself a story of how easy it would sell, that people are more drawn to realism, and that I should just create a “realistic landscape series”.

In spite of my considerable ability to depict a photo-realistic scene, it wasn’t coming together. As I washed out several portions, several times, until most of the paper was nearly blank, I realized that I was becoming emotionally entangled in making it happen and frustration set in. Soon I witnessed anger rise as I picked up red ink and allowed it to move through the surface in a somewhat random fashion. When I scanned my body to see the results of the emotional charge, I relax my clenched teeth, released the story and surrendered to the present moment.

I then played with the inks and the various tools creating texture and added little white circles and black lines without naming anything. I knew I that I would later learn when contemplating the completed art.

The calmness that ensued after I named the emotion: frustration and anger; gave me the space to redirect my thoughts and notice that the original story compromised my truth…What makes my art worth creating and installed on someone’s wall is the wisdom unveiled in the process of painting without mental constructs. This is what I offer my clients and collectors.

What I learn afterwards in meditation helps me to understand the message and the energy that those who purchase may come to recognize to help them lead more fulfilling lives.

I don’t want to reveal the entire plot, but…Spoiler Alert!

The art taught me about releasing densities in all forms, and offered a preview of what the Golden Void, the consciousness where Divine Presence is most deeply felt looks like. It instructed me about evolving, activating and awakening the higher brain functions. At such level, we understand and experience being Light and possess a fully functioning Light body that spills over our everyday lives. Our mind opens to our spiritual nature and ushers in the next phase of our human evolution on Earth.

This process would be more expedient if we can let go of the stories we created.

So… what do you think the red shapes bobbing about in the foreground represent?

As you ponder, I offer another hint said to have been uttered by the Buddha,

“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Click on The Golden Void to purchase it now!

Like Love Was Raining


Raining Love by Lidia Kenig (c) 2017
Raining Love by Lidia Kenig (c) 2017

This past weekend I was working on a commissioned silk tie, and while the art was drying, I started cleaning up the studio. I picked up an unfinished painting left over by a student who became disillusioned at her inability to “create what was in [her] head” and I thought…There is so much ink here, why not play with it?

Alcohol based inks are easy to reconstitute, simply by re-wetting all or portions of a painting with clear alcohol and, since I had nothing in my head, I began by rubbing off areas of what looked like stones on the shores of a pond.

Gently pouring more alcohol I encouraged some of the middle portions of the former pond to drip and expand. When I turned the image, I decided that what was intended to be the sky looked better at the bottom.

When I gingerly edged the darker shapes with a cotton tip, a beautiful yellow strip appeared among the clearest of blue tints. And by carefully spraying alcohol, the original edges of the “pond” were erased. The resulting jewel-like shapes were truly pleasing. I added purple dots with a stubby marker, and played with the rose colored tip of another.

With fascination I observed how five drops of Magenta ink “bloomed” into the typical spread when colored dyes land on the Yupo paper and an almost dry brush helped me mimic blossoms seeming to appear from nowhere.

It wasn’t until today, and after experiencing a powerful solar eclipse, that I understood the significance of what I had created and how it all reflected the celestial event.

Gazing at the art I instantly relived the physical, emotional and spiritual journey when I was, more or less in alignment with 2 significant forces; the yang sun and the yin moon.

Illumination and introspection collided at the moment when the moon covered much of the sun’s light; and even though just 69% of the moon blocked the sun’s glare, its power was profound.

The normally busy and noisy park where I was became quiet near and during the 2 minutes when the two celestial bodies reached the near totality.

In silence we beheld the sight of the waning black gibbous moon acquiring the brilliant orange headpiece formed by the sun.

The light turned a cool gray with green overtones, casting dusk-like shadows beneath the trees, and little jewel-like duplicates of what was seen above, showed up on the ground among the trees’ foliage.

As the moon began to move away from the sun, children and adults, many perfect strangers to one another, slowly started moving about, smiling and embracing each other.

There was magic as we witnessed darkness disappearing and the sun shining once again. Showers of light poured down and turned into bright pink spots on the vegetation and on people’s faces.

It was like Love was raining upon the earth.

Solar eclipses are magical gifts surprising us with a rare moment of darkness when it should be light. It makes us stop and observe our role in a constantly moving planet, orbiting around the sun, while the moon orbits around the earth. And it is the moon’s travel around the earth that impacts tides, flora and fauna and causes eclipses when it aligns in a certain way with the earth and the sun.

The moon also affects our emotional life, and solar eclipses offer a cosmic experience of introspection’s value and importance. It tells that we must honor the darkness within with gravitas, loving-kindness and perspective; trusting that whatever at a moment is shadowing our inner light, it will soon pass. In time, we will once again feel as if Love was Raining to heal the wounds and flowers may appear, as if from nowhere to add joy and breathe new life into the day.

Original art is available here, to be a constant reminder of the wonderful eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017. Who knows? Beholding it may cause you to always walk around with a smile etched on your face!

A final thought,

Never insist on painting what’s in your head. Take up a brush, or whatever, and let your heart guide you to what needs to be created through you.

Clearing the Path and Seeing Dreams Manifested


Clearing the Path By Lidia Kenig Scher
Clearing the Path By Lidia Kenig Scher ©2013

When I created this painting I was exploring feelings of discontent and I craved change. Searching for new ideas, I contemplated my history and looked into the stories I told myself about my life for clues.

I discovered unrealized dreams and decided that I didn’t want a new dream, or a new life. I wanted to release the dream and the life I left frozen many decades ago, and like Elsa in the movie Frozen, I didn’t know how. If I followed the plot, only an act of true love could unleash the magic I remembered experiencing when I paint. Yet my heart was filled with the doubts, fears and confusion that were part of that same plot.

From birth on, our lives are peppered with experiences that in one way or another create a tapestry we humans tend to use to define us instead of inform us. Based on our interpretations of the emotions we experienced at any given moment, we create our own version of a history book. Quite often we cling to this history for dear life and it is a written-in-stone quality that most often keep us from making our most cherished dreams a reality.

While acting the happy-go-lucky role, we are secretly beseeched by fears we perceive as impassable road blocks or impossible Himalayan peaks to scale. We move through graduations, jobs, relationships, marriage and kids, and these life situations serve to filter and re-define happiness and fulfillment. We manage to thrive and even appear content…until we find the specter of discontent. In 2009 my discontent reached a level of despair, for despite a successful interior design business and awesome clients, I was never quite happy. I worked too hard; I was too busy and had an underlying craving that neither food nor wonderful lovers could satisfy.

Clearing The Path is the name of this 24” x 24” acrylic and mixed media on 1.5” wrapped canvas. In the process of painting, I saw that it was precisely my history and my attachment to it that was keeping me from manifesting the life I desired. In an act of true love for myself I went into the studio and opened wide my personal book. I looked at my birth, my family, my friends, the things I love, the roles I played, the places I lived, my beliefs, the emotions and thoughts that supported them, and my dreams. I found that the more I retreated into my center, what I call the Spirit-Within-Me, the clearer I became. Upon completing the heavily impasto paint, the brush marks, the embedded wheels, the imps, the crystals, the broken chains and twisted shapes, I decided that in order for my dream to manifest, my personal history had to go!

The artwork helped me see what a true act of love is to clear the path by releasing my history. It helped me realize what can really shine when I can repurpose my stories, as in the “mixed media” I add to the paintings, and like Don Juan says in Carlos Castaneda’s Journey to Ixtlan, I decided to have no more personal history, for “how can I know who I am, when I am all this?… Only one thing is indispensable for anything we do; the spirit. One can’t do without the spirit.” Yes, Spirit is always within me dispensing true and unconditional love!

I invite you to open your personal book and carefully scan it to see which stories you can repurpose as mixed media, and move to letting go of your personal history. You may decide to purchase the painting as a powerful tool to help you, as Don Juan said, to have the desire to drop it and “harmoniously proceed to chop it off, little by little.” Then, you may uncover your true dreams and set out to manifest them. In the next few weeks I will be sharing more of the journey I started back in 2009 and have been recording and practicing. The practice led me manifest my dreams, speak my truth and achieve more joy and happiness than I could possibly imagine.

The painting is available by clicking on the New Works Gallery on LidiaScherArt.com and your comments are gratefully received. Have a great week everyone!

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!