Contemplation is another word for non-dual or unitive consciousness which sounds very esoteric and mystical to most. In actuality it’s simply letting go of our passing ego thoughts which change from moment to moment to let come an alternative consciousness of inner peace that’s always now and here within us. It’s a moment of seeing and experiencing that returns us to the Original Presence, to our True Self. It’s seeing through the illusory veils we construct that objectify everything including ourselves. It’’s that which is ever present while we are not.
Artistry is seen by many as the fruit of contemplation. It’s the creative mind that inquires into Nature to discern the Spirit by which everything is animated; the entelechy or living essence that directs the vital processes of all organisms. Artistry exists in everyone. It blossoms as we desire to find an outlet for its expression. It’s associated with the right hemisphere of our brain which also includes empathy, inventiveness and expansive thinking. Artistry is the pause between the notes of our lives, the movements in our activities and the wings of our creativity.
This morning while meditating in front of the sliding glass door that opens to the East, the sun appeared on the horizon. I stayed sitting, looking at the sun with closed eyes until it disappeared above my line of sight. There was a moment where the veil parted between where I was physically and spiritually. I was no longer sitting on the floor of my study. I was somewhere else that could have been anywhere. There was no time, no place, only the sun shining with grace. There was no subject/object, just a Radiant Presence of Light and Life . . .
Here, the meditation turned into contemplation. The Original Presence was experienced in a way that was ineffable. By becoming open enough, undefended enough and present enough in the moment, the unity that always is became a felt presence. The artistry that followed is here in the imagery of these words. Surprisingly my little ego self that thrives on calculative thought was momentarily dissolved to allow, let come, my True Authentic Essential Self that thrives on quiet, expansive, simple things. My constricted self got enveloped by Love and Life.
As young children we’re bonded to this inner realm of Being, this ever present template that we knew from before we were born. Eventually however, we lose this awareness due to the entraining of our various tribes and cultures. We eventually forget about the template and take on what we call the ego self which then runs our thoughts and behaviors for the balance of the first half of our lives. We thrive on the the external reality, which is necessary, while our inner world is mostly ignored. We work at proving ourselves, becoming enough and externalizing life.
At some point along the way we wake up to realize that the external reality is only part of the equation. The inner reality beckons and through great love and great loss we begin to open our hearts to allow the second journey to who we truly are show itself. We discover that Life was what happened ‘while we were busy making other plans.’ We also discover that artistry and contemplation are a part of our Essence so we begin cultivating the divine art of openness. The inner and outer realms come together and Contemplative Artistry is revitalized.
Contemplative Artistry is the capacity to open to that space within some call God, Indwelling Presence, True Self, Not Knowing, Pure Being, Source, Essence, Life and a host of other names. It’s a willingness to enter and experience innocence again, to know the magnitude of the ever expanding universe within and without in trans-rational and multi-sensory ways. This leads to a multitude of artistic endeavors which point beyond to more expansive places of being and becoming. What seems inexpressible becomes expressible through this artistry.
Those devoting time to contemplation and artistry often say they’re working even while taking a walk or sitting by a stream or looking out the window or even while taking a nap because of an awareness that everything’s connected and revealing it’s essence wherever they are. Life then becomes a joyful enterprise of experiencing and facilitating change in interesting ways that brings greater wonder, wisdom, wealth and well-being into the light of present moment awareness. Life becomes an adventure to be lived, celebrated and shared with others.
As contemplatives and artists we find ourselves being drawn more to silence and solitude. Our creativity calls to us for greater attention. We begin to simplify our lives and gradually embrace the unified field of both/and over the divided field of either/or. The externals cease to fill our needs and wants. We start reversing the flow of Life energy from outside/in to inside/out. Endings and beginnings become one. Success and failure become one. All paradox becomes a unity and all difficulties become blessings in disguise. All his points to moments of awareness that return us to our Original Blessing, our Original Presence, our Original Wholeness.
- Take a moment right now and throughout your days to slow way down and see life with the eyes of a child. See through the externals into the heart of the matter. Seek the essence, the common creation within everything. Become a co-creator of life, a contemplative artist . . .
- As you slow down, listen for the silence behind the silence. Sense the beauty, the harmony, the creativity flowing in, around and through everything you see, hear, touch, taste and smell.
- Make friends with solitude and silence; with the breath of life, with the pulse and rhythm of your body, your surroundings, your environment and all creations . . .
- Become aware that Life is an adventure for surprise and delight. Soften your focus, expand your horizons, be as ease, and have fun uniting the inner and outer worlds. Imagine new ways of seeing and believing, loving and learning, expressing and stilling; and remember that the greatest art you’ll ever create is that of Your Life. Flow in abundance, enjoy and have fun.