Friday, December 4, 2009

String For Your Finger & Gold Mining in Tibet

I am just unravelling a little metaphorical string for your finger, if you live in the Victoria area. Zendotstudio is warming the apple cider and setting out the treats for Sunday's Open House & Art Sale. Hope to see you there!

Some new work is on display, and some great studio clear-out treats, as are some custom Buddha Boxes for a happy customer that bought 4 last year and wanted some more for this Christmas. It was her great idea last year to use 4 similar 6x6 paintings and give one to each friend. This year she has requested 6 for her sisters and friends.

It's an interesting way of joining and connecting people together with small hand made treasures. I thought it was a brilliant idea. Two good friends and myself have bought the same scarves (different colours) when shopping together but I haven't done it as an intentional way of joining friends together through gift giving. Kind of like each person has a piece of the puzzle. I love it because it expresses the sentiments of generosity, kindness and acknowledges the connection that we have to each other.

On that note we went to hear the second talk by a young Buddhist teacher last night. He spoke about loosening the grip of self centredness that we have and practicing generosity and loving kindness. He also talked about working with our habit of choosing comfort. His talks are based on a text by Dodrupchen Jikme Tenpe Nyima. The written handout exhibits the depth and breadth of the teaching. We get to experience first hand the courage and equanimity of this young man who has only been speaking English for 5 years and often consults us listeners for help with words.

We have heard some interesting and heart tugging stories of his life in Tibet and his ongoing commitment in working for the Tibetan cause. We have learned a little about the history and geography of Tibet: all the stories you might expect to learn from the news outlets but don't. Last night he spoke briefly about how several Canadian companies are working with the Chinese to extract gold from Tibet. He talked about how the villagers have been displaced and now have no place to grow food and means to look after themselves. We never hear these stories on the evening news. He used the story as an example of how when business and self centred interests are used as the bottom line, we can cause harm to others, either wittingly or unwittingly.

And even though you could feel the deep sadness that he felt for Tibet's plight, you never once sensed animosity. He said he approaches protests not in the spirit of hating the Chinese but in the spirit of wanting the Chinese Government to recognized the Tibetan's as human beings. It was interesting to see how he balanced his political activism with the Dharma.

We will hear his last talk next Thursday before he heads off to Nepal to visit his teacher who is 90 and unwell.


  1. I certainly do wish I was in Victoria, particularly after this dump of snow we just got in Calgary! Hope you have a great Open House. Funnily enough, I am hosting an Open House & art sale on the same day!

  2. Well it's biting cold by Victoria standards here tonight. It does seem like a good weekend for an open house and art sale. Have a great day too!

  3. I just participated in a Holiday Home Tour-not a studio tour-- but still sold 2 paintings as they are hanging around in my house-- so best wishes to you for good sales. Tibet is heartbreaking to me-
    I just did a post on the Zen of Line you might like...

  4. I am not surprised that people come to your house and are drawn to buy your work, it is truly gorgeous. I would have loved to come on that house tour! Your whole aesthetic is very "Zen", very simple and direct and speaking of a deep sense of presence. Yes I did see your wonderful post on line. For me, it exhibits another quality of practice that you always seem to manifest in your posts; that deeper look at things.