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, November 2, 2010
Exploring the Spiritual Landscape
Here's a picture of the carpenter's helpers that have been staying off and on at our house. Sometimes they get a bit bushed from all the work they do and sneak into the zendo to do a little closed eye meditation.
On a slightly different topic from cute little puppies....or perhaps we can say i've been following the scent of something that's been enticing me, at least spiritually. For a while now I have felt drawn to the Bon tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (dare I call it Buddhism?). I started with a book by Lama Surya Das on Dzogchen and then stumbled across some talks by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and loved the simple directness of his guided meditations and his talks. It felt like the Tibetan version of Zen and I felt somehow at home here. There was a sense that I could connect easily with the meditation instructions and the directness of the teaching. I liked the earthiness of it, the shamanic connection to the earth, the use of the body. I like that it addresses healing of the body, mind and spirit through its practices of healing sounds and dream & sleep yoga.
While the practice feels simple enough even for my pea brain, there are many aspects of it to add and build on as you explore the tradition, breathing exercises, yoga, healing sounds and the intriguing dream yoga. And of course like many Buddhist traditions it works with our pain and encourages us to develop our compassion toward ourselves and others.
There is also a Bon Sangha nearby and Geshe Yong Dong who leads it does Tibetan astrology and offers it on-line. I gave my daughter a reading for her birthday which seemed appropriate as she embarks on professional life as a nutritionist.
Recently after circling them for a long time, I finally closed in on some books on the Bon tradition and bought them. I am currently reading and listening to the CD that came with "Tibetan Sound Healing". Also on the reading list is "The Tibetan Yogas of Dream & Sleep" and "Wonders of the Natural Mind", all by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. I will keep you posted as I explore the tradition.
Where are your spiritual explorations leading you these days?
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.