Sunday, July 06, 2014
Chinese calligraphy: "Death". Original work. Unframed.
I don't know anything thing about death. It is very difficult to even think about this subject. I keep my teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche words in my mind: "Death is my friend, the truest of friend, a true friend that never abandons me... yet death allows life." Chinese Zen/ Pure Land Master Yin-Quang reminded his pupils to put the word "Death" on their forehead when they practice, to remember how precious life is, and how much we should not waste life.
Many great masters have talked about death, yet is is still terrifying and untouchable for most of us. However, it is something that everyone will face one day. All beings come to life will die, that is the simple, genuine truth.
Quotes by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the Swiss-born psychiatrist and author who gained international fame for her landmark work on death and dying, regarding "Death":
"Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, and to be able to grow."
"Dying is an integral part of life, as natural and predictable as being born. But whereas birth is cause for celebration, death has become a dreaded and unspeakable issue to be avoided by every means possible in our modern society. Perhaps it is that in spite of all our technological advances. We may be able to delay it, but we cannot escape it."
Facing death like a true warrior, and, celebrating life in every moment. This calligraphy: "Death" - Sumi ink on textured red color, golden flakes water-marked Chinese rice paper. 12" by 11". Signed with the seal of the artist: "happiness, wealth, and longevity".
Saturday, July 05, 2014
To quote Trungpa Rinpoche's words: "the Genuine Heart of Sadness" -- that open, raw and tender part of our heart that is touched by our experience. Ani Pema Chodron said that remaining in touch with this tender, vulnerable feeling is what keeps us from becoming thick-skinned and closed-down to our experience. Staying awake and present with whatever arises creates the space for enlightened qualities of mind to manifest, such as compassion and loving-kindness. (See Gampo Abbey Blog.)
This work, sumi ink on acid-free card board, the size is 10 by 15 inches.
Friday, July 04, 2014
"Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is also Form" - That arises from nothingness is real and empty of nature at the same time.
"Koi" Series 13, mixed media on paper.
Advice for Beginners
by Great Mipham Rinpoche (1846–1912)
Kyeho! All activities within samsara are pointless and hollow—
Unreliable and fleeting, like lightning's streaking dance,
And there is no certainty as to when death will strike.
Still, since death is certain, limit idle plans and speculations,
Allow the teacher's instructions to hit home and strike a chord,
And, single-pointedly, in solitude, seek perfect certainty of mind.
Mind, which is like lightning, a breeze, or passing clouds,
Is coloured by its various thoughts of everything under the sun,
But when examined thoroughly is found to lack a basis or origin.
Just like a mirage on the horizon, it is devoid of essential nature.
While being empty, it appears; and while appearing, it is empty.
Left to settle, naturally, by itself, mind arrives at a genuine state of ease,
And, when familiarity grows stable, mind's natural condition is seen.
If devotion to the teacher grows vast, blessings will enter and inspire the mind,
And when accumulations are gathered and obscurations purified, realization will dawn—
So take this practice to heart, carefully and with constant effort!