I was born in Israel and my parents were idealistic pioneers. They built Israel from nothing, with all the others there of course. They wanted social justice, a place to live and grow their food, a place where they could have a country and a piece of land and they wanted their children to be born in a country with a house and a field. I drank idealism with my mother’s milk. (This was long ago. Now it is a bit more complicated there.)
I was an artist from a young age. I went to study graphic design. In Graphic Design you make art that is used immediately. Then I was an illustrator. As an illustrator you illustrate children’s books, for children to grow up with good stories, with knowledge and love of the world about them, with a good taste in art, as it makes for a better life. And you illustrate for adults so that they will think in a different way and they will laugh…
Then I got involved with Buddhist meditation, and the idea was to know what I am, so that I’ll live my true life.
And indeed, once you start to know something you start teaching. What can be more important than helping others know what they are, so that their lives will be good, and truthful? And that they will be good people, help each other and create a wonderful world for all of us, and our offspring…
Then I went to study art therapy, so I would be able to help people get rid of what held them back from being what they were. To show them how to become free of inhibiting ideas and thrive, so that they can live happily and lovingly etc.
And I did all these. I was idealistic and practical.
Then I started to know that every one of us has his own world, created by his own consciousness. We do not live in the same world. Our worlds meet with each other and it looks as if it is one world, but it is not so.
You can’t create a meaningful change in any part of the reality that is around you in your world. If you want this reality to change, you have to change yourself. The new thoughts and beliefs that you will have will bring to you everything that fits this new state of mind. So I cannot change or help change the people who come to do therapy with me. In one view, they are part of my outside world. I have to change myself, and as a result another version of that person will appear in my world, which will be a match to the way I have become. From another view, the patient is in another world, where he is the only one who can make changes in his world, by changing himself.
I always thought that we all lived in the same world. That there was one person in front of me, who suffered, and I helped him release the suffering and live a better life. But no.
And I thought that making art was a good thing for other people, to widen and deepen their experience, to give them the experience of beauty that will help them live a more beautiful life, with love, with collaboration, with understanding…
Now I felt there was no sense in doing anything. I always had a purpose for doing things and I missed it.
It felt like depression.
Then I decided to ask August Moon about it.
August Moon is my inner guide. I have been connected with him for a while. He always answers. He is always there.
I asked and made a drawing, as I like to get the answers through the art. Sometimes I know through words, but if it is a big thing, I make art and read the answer in it. I just like it this way.
And as soon as I started making the art, I knew the answer. The lines in the drawing spoke to me with the energy that is in them:
The reason to do anything, to do all that you want to do, is not that there is a need for it. You are not doing it for any idealistic purpose. You do it because it is your nature to be interested in doing things. It is your nature to love. It is your nature to be curious, playful, peaceful, capable and creative. This nature is what you are and it is expressed by what you do. So you do, just because you are a natural expresser of yourself.
So, you see? There is no outside reason for me to be happy. I am happiness.
And how can this be depressed?
I used to be a graphic designer and an illustrator. I became involved with the Chan Meditation Center and studied meditation and Buddhist knowledge with the late Master Sheng-yen from Taiwan. For twelve years I was in a process of deepening my meditation. I had many more experiences and insights and my life changed. After having illustrated more than 40 children’s books and writing two of them, I left this career too and went to New York University to study art therapy.