I am revelling in the exploration of the course I’m taking online with Abbey of the Arts, The Way of the Monk. The Path of the Artist.
One of the elements I have been meditating on is ‘silence’.
What does it mean to me? What does it look like? How does it feel? Where am I in silence? What do I hold onto?
These are all questions I have been pondering as I delve into the liminal space where my inner monk and artist co-mingle, finding themselves at one with who I am when I let go of searching for the answer to “Who am I?”.
When I let go of constant searching, doing, getting, and still my being into this moment right now, I find myself deeply connected, on a spiritual level, with the essence of my being present, here. The pounding of my heart, the constant sense of ‘what next’ as I scramble to get done all that I tell myself I must do to be productive, contributive, participative in the world eases away and I am left breathing deeply into my being at one with the moment, right here.
This morning, I am off to coach at Choices Seminars for the next five days. I will not be posting — they are long days, short nights, fast sleeps. I also won’t have time to delve into the coursework. Because I know how busy I will be, I decided to create the space last night, to heed the invitation of the Visual Art Exploration of the course.
Before going into the seminar room, I need to ground myself in the essence of my creative core. It is a vital practice for me, a necessary preparation to ensure that I enter the sacred space of the training, open, present, loving and compassionate.
What a gift the Visual Art Exploration gave me!
The invitation was to create three collage using water colour and images based on questions that came to me during meditation. The invitation was to simply, let be. To let the questions arise, without thinking my way into, or out of, them. And, to write the questions on the back of the watercolour paper, and to create without knowing which question was on the back.
In Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke writes, “Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…. Live the questions now.”
Sitting in silence, allowing what arises to arise, what appears to appear, is always a challenge for me. I want to direct. To control. To know the answers.
Creating from the silence, allowing the unresolved to have space, to allow the questions to be loved so that I can live what calls from within me to be expressed, is also very challenging.
I am learning to let be.
What a wonderful exploration.
Four questions arose for me, so I allowed myself the gift of all four. It felt appropriate. In the training room at Choices, there are four flags hung on the wall which honour the four directions, and colours, of Canada’s First Nations.
For me, the four questions arose from the wisdom of The Monk. The Artist. The Monk and The Artist and The Mystic.
The artist asked: What does the silence look like?
The monk asked: How do I find myself in the silence?
The artist and monk asked, as they faced each other and mirrored one another: How do I touch my creative essence through the silence?
And the Mystic asked: Are you willing to create the space to find your balance dancing along the edge of darkness and light, holding onto the silence?
I have chosen to live within the questions, to simply love their presence, without seeking to resolve or answer them.
I struggle with this. I want to know. Are these the right questions? What do these questions mean? What is the answer? Is there a better question?
I am choosing instead to let go of struggling and simply move into being in their presence.
As you journey through your day, I invite you to be present. To let go of needing to know the answers to life’s questions, and to simply stay present in the shimmering space of acceptance of the dissonance and resonance of being here on this planet, just as you are in this moment, right now.
See you Monday.