Friday, July 27, 2012

Patterns of the Human Journey

Patterns of the Human Journey presents a sequence of visual mandalas that describe the unfolding of consciousness during our life experience. This sequence of geometric symbols reveals the archetypal awakenings through which every person passes. Knowing these diagrams increases our skill in gaining clarity in confusion, harmony in conflict, and comfort in chaos.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Touching the Flower of Life

The Flower of Life is an ancient diagram generated from overlapping circles. It is said to depict the patterns of creation emerging from the formless source of life. It is also considered to describe the basis for musical harmonies, human proportions and the organization underlying numerous structures in nature.

I've never seen the Flower of Life drawn in three dimensions, so I drew this today to explore a more tangible, sensory experience of this beautiful, cosmic design. I'd love to hear about your experience seeing the Flower of Life in 3D, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Hidden Wealth in Simplicity

At one time or another, most of us have found beauty in simplicity. We've opened to the wonder of seeing gems of clarity amidst complications. Usually, we have the luxury of doing this by choice. We select simplicity from an abundance of options. Spare shapes, muted colors and quiet thoughts become preferences within louder possibilities. The zen of their peace and order are mixed with the sense of being in control. 

Simplicity imposed upon us by life's circumstances is another matter altogether. Lack of money, poor health or other restrictions beyond our control can force us into narrow lives we do not want. In contrast to the spaciousness and balance of chosen simplicity, imposed simplicity can be constricting and stressful. When our survival is put in danger by uncertain supplies of food, shelter and clothing, sensing beauty and calm can be the last thing on our minds.

These moments, however, offer access to the real power of simplicity. That power is not entered by making things simple through our will. It is experienced by surrendering to the flow of life energy that carries us through times of limitation. Such times of uncertainty challenge our assumptions about life. They rattle our relationships. They tear at the fabric of our world. If we resist, we suffer in fear. If we somehow embrace what is happening, a shake-up can open us up. Expanded beyond our control, we are humbled enough to appreciate the beauty of humble things. Imposed simplicity breaks our pretenses and makes keen our senses. A bowl of rice can become a feast. A bench beneath a shady tree can become a sanctuary.

I'm not romanticizing poverty. We all want to live in abundance. It's just that these days of economic restriction can test our limits. They can push us into hopelessness with no end in sight. If we are crossing such a time of drought, each sip of water is a blessing. Savoring the depths of the simple blessings we find, we can be strengthened by their miraculous beauty and power. Finding strength in simplicity we can access the wealth hidden with each step of our way.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A New Home Comes from a New Dream

Last night I dreamt that I tore down my old house. At first I thought I did this to rebuild the structure in better condition. Then I realized I didn't have to follow the old design, but could build something entirely new. I was free to create a house that fit who I am becoming now. This dream expressed what I've seen over and over again. We talk glowingly of building dream houses, but mostly we cut and paste from old dreams. As a result, we inhabit old patterns of behavior and never discover the fresh possibilities life offers.

To dream a new dream takes courage. We have to risk looking beyond preconceived ideas and peer into the unknown. We have to look past the countless thoughts that fascinate our minds and gaze into the thoughtless spaciousness from which our thoughts arise. These spacious waters terrify the mind. It clings to the safety of what it knows, or thinks it can know. The mind thinks that curiosity alone can discover new visions. The curious mind, however, finds what it already knows. New dreams can only arise from the dreamer who is perceiving the changing visions of the dream. This perceiver is the silent awareness at the core of our experience.

The place of dreaming is the blank page, the empty canvas, the void in the cooking pot. These frames assist us in seeing what is emerging within the frame. Before starting a design, the real work of discerning the vision is done by sitting and gazing into empty page. It is resisting the mind's urge to display its cleverness and jump to a sparkling solution. The vision comes from patience and a willingness to see new forms. It comes from letting go of personal authorship and receiving what is being authored by life. A thousand voices may try to distract your attention. Yet, if you are steadfast in your stillness, you can see beyond the preconceived and conceive new forms and ways of living. As Virginia Wolfe wrote in Moments of Being, "Then one sees through the surface to the depths. In these moments I find one of my greatest satisfactions, not that I am thinking of the past, but that it is then that I am living most fully in the present."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Interdependence Day

Independence is not possible without inter-dependence. Freedom does not exist without sensing our interconnection with everything else. "The self is made of non-self elements," the Buddhists say. Each of us could not have taken our first breath without the complex web of life that produces oxygen, DNA, food, language, shelter and clothing. At every moment this intricate network supports our every thought, word and action. 

Celebrating our independence is really celebration our awareness of inter-dependence. The kingly mindset believe it is separate from the rest of life. It pretends to lord over the world it thinks it owns.  To free ourselves from the illusion that we are each separate selves disconnected from the whole is to remember that we do not exist without the whole. 

For me, celebrating Independence Day is to celebrate my inter-dependence with you and the rest of life. Enjoy your celebration!