Friday, July 6, 2012

The Mystic Heart


If you could get rid of yourself just once,
the secret of secrets would open to you.
The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe
would appear on the mirror of your perception.
                                                  Rumi     

This post is more about the "why" of producing art than the art itself.   Since the beginning of the year, I have had a profound interest in exploring my own spiritual orientation.  It's a mystery and I'm still looking.  I consider it a great adventure, though it is internal instead of external.  My spiritual base led me to a "centering prayer:" group.  I have to admit that I initially rejected the idea of prayer.  However, by keeping myself open, I learned that centering prayer is very close to zen buddhist meditation, which I practiced in the 60s.  So, it was kind of like coming home again to my true spirit, and I am very comfortable with it.  I am learning that centering prayer is another way of getting in touch with my spirit.

My friend Patty is also in the centering prayer group.  She is actually the one who got me interested in labyrinths....and readers of this blog know how much labyrinths mean to me.  For my birthday, Patty gave me a book called The Mystic Heart.  The author, Wayne Teasdale, is a monk and a mystic.  He writes about the common elements of the world's various religious traditions and of an underlying universal spirituality.  It is a compelling idea that is a little too complicated for a blog or, at least, a blog about art!

Suffice it to say that making art is, to me, a spiritual practice.  I am learning from the book that a "call" to paint one thing and not another is actually a kind of universal acknowledgement of beauty or harmony.  When  I see something in a certain way, I just feel compelled to express that, and art is the way I have chosen.

This is reinforced in meditation, when I reflect that I am one with all things and yet my own experience is unique.  For me, it is another reason to create art.

Thanks, Patty.  This book opens up a whole realm of ideas about spirit and the mysticism of the beautiful world we inhabit.  When I reflect on it, I am amazed!

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