Here's a new little 8"x8" Buddha called "Buddha In The Sky With Diamonds". I would have been more short winded if the Beatles had treated Lucy with more brevity. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I have been sneaking a little more painting time this week, stealing time from the garden (a thief with paint & garden dirt on their jeans). I have been so inspired by the wonderful art blogs out there (Lynne Hoppe, Michele Meister and on and on) that the studio is calling louder than the neighbours roosters. And this weekend we took in some live art. First we went to a "Art Off The Fence" on Pender Island with some friends. The weather was stellar, there was great art and the location was stunning. Here's a little peek.
We also took in The Sooke Fine Arts Show which was totally amazing. The quality of the work was incredible. I was totally smitten by the encaustic monk done by Marlowe Jaxen. It sounds a bit like the monk had terminal illness, but all you artists know what I'm talking about.
And of course there was Dharma chat with Dharma friends. The topic flying around my old Sangha these days is one surrounding "hope". In conventional terms we think of "hope" as something positive, something we should cultivate, right? At first sniff, hope smells quite pleasant but when you breath a little more deeply you catch the scent of something slightly off. The Oxford dictionary defines hope as "expectation combined with desire." Hmm, from a Buddhist point of view, we're not starting with the best recipe ingredients, are we? Hope implies something we want in the future. It may be something perfectly wonderful, like world peace or a new subaru station wagon. And baked into that hope are the seeds of suffering, if we don't get what we want.
Pema Chodron says something like, "we bounce back and forth between hope and fear", this is the common human state. When we hope we may also feel afraid that we won't get what we hope for. And then there is the disappointment when we don't get what we hope for, which inevitably happens if we're filling our shopping baskets with a list of hopes. And after a while we feel the bruise of all this bouncing back and forth. In fact we may feel like a human bruise.
This does not negate that in this everyday life we need to have plans and aspirations. And of course our lives are filled with the activity needed to bring these things to fruition. But what we're really aiming for is to accept what happens along the way. We plan to go on holiday but then mom gets sick. We aspire to be a better parent and then we goof up.
We want to be mindful of where we're aiming ourselves and take the necessary actions. We don't want to stand there like Dorothy with our eyes closed, clicking our heels together, hoping that we'll get to Kansas. Hope may not be our best strategy. I hope you know what I mean.