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Painting by Jackson Pollock

“Being aware of the three doors is not work. In fact, the more effort you put into connecting with stillness, silence, and spaciousness, the more elusive the inner refuge seems. Connecting with the inner refuge is simply a matter of shifting your attention. If you are already still, be aware of stillness. When you are silent, hear the silence that is already there. Notice the spaciousness at the very center of your being. As you rest in awareness, you connect with your authentic self. The effort of seeking dissipates, and you are unbounded sacred space, infinite awareness, and genuine warmth — you are the inner refuge. The inner sacred space is so simple and close that if we search for it, we cannot find it. But it is always there for you, the source of all the elemental qualities you need. As the inner refuge, you are whole and complete in each moment.”

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, The True Source of Healing


“When we wake up to this simple and amazing fact that stillness underpins all reality and gently and with kindness go about our daily business, we calmly take stock and begin to understand what needs to be done. We begin to see that that which we think is us, is in fact only a minuscule part of the whole. Instead of seeing the world only in relation and separation to ourselves, we begin to experience the world around us as a whole and as our home. Once this realization manifests in our daily life, we begin to act in a way which benefits the whole. By asking “how can I serve?” we benefit ourselves because we are part of the vast reservoir we are serving.” — Jurgen Ziewe

The trance state of creativity is not meditation, but it’s close. Meditation is a simple state of awareness and letting-be of whatever presents itself. The flow state that Pollock was able to access bypassed conscious control to the point that instinct was able to speak without inhibition. In meditation we need the same spirit of acceptance of whatever shows up, letting it pass through us without getting captured by it.

Artists have to befriend the unconscious mind. They have to develop a sensitivity to inner movements and to give them an aesthetic form. To communicate, a piece of art needs power, which requires a coherent form that holds interest and satisfies a need for beauty. What meditation and creativity have in common is the ability to listen to inner impulses. Meditation doesn’t try to pick and choose or organize what comes up, but creativity intends a statement of some kind. The creative instinct is purposeful. It’s selective. It wants to communicate as effectively as it can. There is emotion in it. It’s a rational process only in the latter stages when some housekeeping needs to be done.

Meditation simply wants to see the “what is.” With that seeing comes understanding, learning, uncovering a hidden and unaccepted inner world. Vision of the whole evolves naturally. We can be surprised, shocked even, when we learn what kind of being we are and what the true context of our life is. At a certain point in the process we become quiet. We watch. We listen. We become capable of seeing the astonishing miracle we are part of. The false self reveals itself to be false, and it falls away.

The human mind is capable of joy, of love and deep vision. When our struggle to be other than what we are ceases, we come upon an inner world of peace. Since we create the outer world from our conflicted inner universe, the world is crying out for us to heal ourselves.

No two paths are the same. I have chosen the path of art, of creativity, but whatever path you choose, let it show you who and where you are.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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