Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The power of an open mind

The first time I published my Manjushri piece I wrote about the power of questioning and how this piece was an exploration of that. 

(I also spelled it with the more traditional Tibetan spelling but apparently you can spell it with out without the 'h' - Fun fact!) 

But I digress. 

The Dharma is something to be constantly explored, applied and revisited. As Chogyam Trungpa said, "Live life as an experiment." 

To me this means adjust your hypothesis, try things again, change the control group, never assume and always, always be willing to change your mind. A flexible mind is one that knows nothing can be pinned down. 

A print of this piece is currently being exhibited at Oolong Tea House in Calgary, along with most of the rest of my Dharma series. The original is hanging on my bedroom wall (But available for purchase, if anyone is interested) and therefore the object of regular contemplation for me. 

I continually visit the final line of text in the piece, along with the strong imagery representing the importance of cutting through the ideas we think we have of the world. 

When we look at things as being just one way it causes a lot of grief. An example I like to use for this is eating in our favourite restaurant. 

Say there's a restaurant that we love, that we've gone to dozens, possibly even a hundred times. We enjoy it immensely but one day we go and we get food poisoning. Suddenly we write the restaurant off. We can't go back because we had a single bad experience. Regardless of the high percentage of great experiences, because we had a single negative one, and because that negative experience was our last experience, we may never return again. 

But the restaurant was never 'perfect' to begin with. It couldn't have been. Because it wasn't everyone's favourite restaurant and because not everyone might like the food they serve. Regardless of food poisoning, some people just might hate the cuisine so much they'd never consider it to be a nice place to eat. 

The value we put on things is a projection of our mind based on experience and understanding of the world. But when we think we 'know' something (or someone) we put a box around it. We stop being able to see it from different angles, different points of view. 

Using a restaurant is a rather safe example and one I feel confident in using to communicate my thoughts on the subject, but this applies to everything. No human being, no ideology, political structure, religion - is ever just one way. 

When we can see this it liberates us because it means we're getting closer to seeing things as they are and letting the fluidity of the world we live in touch us. It means we're able to experience the richness and fullness of life. 

To purchase a print or the original piece visit: 

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