Tonight, WiG member Mich Lorusso displayed selected pieces from his upcoming show, "Essence of Light/Essence of Life", during meditation. Mick was kind enough to bring in his art, and to be part of WiG ongoing interest of bringing our lives into our practice. Because, if practice stops on the cushion, what good is it?
Mick is an artist, so his art is both self expression and work. Just like my job as an attorney, or yours as a whatever pays your bills. Tonight we sat with Mick's practice in the following manner.
We sat for 25 minutes. During that time I invited people to think of themselves, as their "I", as a frame, framing a group of actions. I asked them to notice what actions they considered "I". Notice how that changed and what flowed in and what left the frame. To notice how the frame itself changed shape and took in more and less. I asked them to sit with the koan: "Save a Ghost".
We rang the bell, and stood of walking meditation. We walked in a more Soto style, one steo being half the length of the foot before it. Slowly we walked by Mick's paintings. Everyone was invited to interact with those paintings as was natural. We returned to our seats, had tea, and started the game.
An untitled piece of Mick's was placed next to the altar. Weebly blog format doesn't let me insert images, so due to technical suckage, it will be at the bottom. Its the one with the eyes.
We went around, each narrating real time what was going on for that person as they looked at the painting. People we invited to use verbs, rather than nouns.
A: Eyes looking. Noticing the judgment, then a sense of observation, of kindness. Noticed feelings of guardianship, then dark holes, whether peering, or reflecting out, not clear.
B: Saw eyes, but kind. Without judgment. The flow of the color like water, soothing, peaceful, watchful.
C: Saw objects. Edges. Things. Was emotionally flat on the piece, and noticed his joy in rediscovering it through others.
D: Noticed his questions. Noticed the dark and welcoming colors.
E: Noticed how one set of the "eyes" stood out to her from all the rest when she stopped trying to look at the painting and just let the painting be. That the dark color was like night. And that there was a sense of community that took her.
F: Also noticed a judgment from the eyes, a sense of foreboding. A flight of wings.
We went around again and each mentioned what part of Mick's work stood out for us. It really ran the gambit. Three were ponderings as to inspiration. People noted the theme of a world tearing open to reveal another larger one. There were openings in recognizing oneself in the works. There were owls, and ants, and trees and eyes.
It was a great night, one that I took the liberty of enjoying and sinking into instead of memorizing for the blog. I hope that you get a chance to see Mick's work. I am posting some images of some of the works below for our members who could not make it.
[Weebly also doesn't let me reorient the pictures. So, good to know, but I hope you can turn your head. the 2nd image is supposed to be oriented the other way...and its not clear from the picture because it works this way also]
“A Course on Koans” is the delusion-riddled work of Chris Kufu (“Wind in the Void”) Wilson, who began practicing Zen in 1967. He regards Taizan Maezumi, Robert Aitken, and David Weinstein as his root teachers. Each of them pecked at his shell until he “completed” the never-ending koan curriculum of the Harada-Yasutani lineage.
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