“Satori” is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening through difficult experiences and self knowledge. In the Zen Buddhist tradition, “satori” refers to the experience of kenshō, “seeing into one’s true nature”. Ken means “seeing,” shō means “nature” or “essence.”
Art is key part of my process of self discovery, growth and self acceptance. This exhibit represents that journey.
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We don’t want to anticipate destruction, for it is one of the things we fear the most. When it comes, it takes our breath away. It rearranges our paradigm of the Universe and of our Self, but rarely do we allow it to run its course. We do our best to interrupt it, to make it go away, in hopes of restoring what once was. What we need to see is that destruction is most often an opportunity for growth, but that is a matter of awareness and perspective.
Annihilation in the form of confusion, darkness, pain, suffering and self-doubt follows destruction. Trust and patience are our only allies and our strength and perseverance are tested. It is this time that wakes our spirit, for it is the only source of truth we can trust.
To run away from pain and suffering, we choose the path of least resistance. Our ego does its best to make sure it is not challenged. We go on a quest to seek the cause of our pain. However, this quest is usually external, leading us to seek answers outside of ourselves. It only causes more pain, because it leads us further from the truth and real healing.
An external quest for answers usually leads to a place of sheer despondence and desperation. At this point, all we have left is prayer. It is the authenticity of this “asking” that acts as an impetus, a spark that has the potential to begin our transformation. It has the power to bring our false quest to an end and show us the way toward truth.
If we’re brave enough, we find out that all pain is a projection of our deepest selves and behind this pain lies profound learning, growth, freedom and salvation. In order to uncover these gifts, we must unlock our vulnerability and practice self-compassion.
A nebula is the space in the universe where a star has died. This space is filled with star dust that serves as the catalyst for a new star to be born. It is a space of metamorphosis. An old life gives way to a new, brighter one. By surrendering our ego and truly asking for help through our prayer, we find ourselves ready to be transformed.
When we surrender and take responsibility for our own pain and suffering regardless of their origin, we find ourselves humbled and grateful for finally being able to see. It is our human nature to not look inward, which is why it often takes unbearable pain and suffering to push us to hold the mirror up to ourselves. This moment is the greatest gift, for this awakening is the first step toward true healing and peace.
A new paradigm of self-understanding brings a need for a kind and gentle deconstruction of the old one. This process requires self-compassion and forgiveness, and gives way to a liberation of patterns programmed by traumatic experiences that never served us. Deconstruction requires courage, brutal honesty, and high levels of self-awareness. It is our “work” to uncover our untruths and to release them, making way for new ways of being.
Unwinding our destructive patterns leads us to slowly uncover our true selves. Once we catch a glimpse of our true self, we realize that there is no going back. We have come too far, yet what lies ahead is a journey that will last the rest of our lives.
We begin again by taking what we have seen through our awakening, and integrating our new perspective into our daily lives. This is a life-long journey that requires our self-awareness to match our ego, and self-compassion to keep us going. Our healing depends on our dedication to our new found practice, but for the first time we realize that the power is in our own hands. This knowledge propels us toward true healing.
If joy is the destination of the fool’s journey, then we have to find our purpose along the way. First, it is important to understand that our first purpose is to simply be ourselves and to shine our light, especially in moments of darkness. Once we realize this and unload the burden of external expectations, we come closer to self-acceptance which leads us to our purpose naturally. Our knowledge that we are all one usually uncovers a purpose rooted in service, which can take many forms. Fulfilling our potential while serving others and our planet in a state of perpetual flow, we find ourselves exactly where we’re meant to be: living a joyful life.
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