Bits of zen flotsam & jetsam from the daily practice of a zen fool with shards of modern Buddhist art from my studio. Sometimes cranky, sometimes inspiring, mostly entertaining.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Drama, The Energy Hog Of The Emotional Environment
We learn a lot from our children, from our parents, from anyone for that matter, if we are willing to be their student. When my mother used to tell me what other family members should be doing, I would remind her that we only get one life to live and that's our own. Today I got to remind myself of this. And when I said this to my self, I could feel the irritation and coldness behind those words. I could feel how she might have felt when I said this, slightly reprimanded. And while I could feel the emotion behind the words, I could feel their truth. Without the emotional charge, these words are simply a statement and a true one.
But I digress. Today my daughter offered me this lesson and with it I found an invitation to let go, to drop the story line. I had suggested that something she was considering doing might not be a good idea. And when she did it anyway I felt a deep pang of disappointment, followed by a cascade of other feelings, anger for one. And then a big story started to brew on the mind's horizon, a feature length drama kicked into full production; lights, action camera. I decided to close the movie set down pretty quickly as these things are simply too tiring, too boring and suck up far too much energy. Drama is definitely the energy hog of the emotional environment.
So instead I just breathed in the hot, stinging breath of disappointment and anger until it passed, until I realized it wasn't a big deal, that I didn't want to add a layer of tension to the relationship. In my heart I know that as a parent my intention is to be helpful and to approach any situation filled with the anger of "I know what's best for you" is never helpful. What I imagine to be helpful and what is helpful can be two different things so I need to be vigilant.
So my hope is to just be with her tomorrow when I see her and let my response come from deep inside me. And I realize that the best thing for me to do is simply to have faith; to have faith in her, in her wonderful intelligence and inner knowing and to have faith in life, that it brings us all what we need.
So a simple text message offered me the opportunity to let go, to not be attached to my version of the world and to know that even if it is my fierce, motherly wish, I can never protect anyone from their pain.
Buddhism & Art...if I had to pick two words that give an overview of what I get up to in this world those would be my choices. Buddhism is the ground upon which I rest all else. I like to think it brings me some sanity. It helps me think in some logical way about what I am doing and look at it as deeply as possible. What did I just do? Why ? What's that all about? ...To try and look at my life without sliding over things or fooling myself...To be present for life, not rejecting or preferring one experience over another. Buddhist practice makes my life full and rich, sometimes filled with joy and sometimes with a deep experience of the suffering present in this world.
After all those words does it seem odd to say that it is the simplicity of Zen that appeals to me? This inclination to simplicity pulls me to try and integrate my practice and work, to paint Buddhas, to observe my process as I work.
I am drawn to mixed media, integrating script and words with images and colour.