Being tired and in pain I became sad. Pain is a simple thing but living with it creates additional problems. Now all of them weighed on me. I thought: I can’t go on like this any more. I did not even paint yesterday and today.
My friend from Germany called. We started to talk and the phone line went dead.
I pulled a new piece of paper onto the table, dipped the brush into the water and into the first paint that my eyes saw in the watercolor box. It was olive green. This is how I chose the first color.
And then there was the drawing. No time. No pain. Brush, water, paint and the composition, the story with no words. The energy of the truth. Everything is good.
The olive green lines and the white of the paper are the best of friends. It is a holy connection. The lines, strikingly, appearing out of the white. The white does not have inside and outside. It is everywhere. It is all-there-is-everywhere. Even the word everywhere does not fit here. Is the green line real? And my eyes that see it: are they real? And my heart that has just become so full and so delighted, what about it?
(The other colors came later.)
Now in a different way:
Pain is part of the illusion of life, together with the body, with time, with good and bad.
The true self cannot have pain. Its essence is joy. Its essence is love and playing and being curious. The true self cannot be affected by the illusion.
For the “I” in the illusion pain is real and hard.
The good thing is that everything is connected. All I need to do is to change the way I focus and switch my identity to the true I.
Instead of focusing on the pain and automatically trying to escape it, to fight it, to prevent it, to change it, Instead of these, I find my curiosity and make the olive green lines. I find my playfulness and play with everything that shows itself. I look for the beauty in everything and find it easily. I look for my joy and it is right there. I am joyful. I look for my love and indeed what else do I have? This is how I start to identify with the true self.
And as I do this, I find that I have forgotten the pain. I don’t even feel it. Or if I do, it is not significant. I am in peace. The vibrations of the pain, the waves that streamed through the legs calm down. My hands that clutched one foot fall down, relaxed. The body rests. The energy of creation flows flawlessly everywhere it has to go. The body heals. The specific thinking processes that hold on to the body and its suffering become weaker. I am not so dependent on the body and the world around it. I witness them and I am free. In my mind I am already walking down to town, where the galleries are. I am going to see an exhibition. Right foot, left foot and I dance.
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.