What Artists Need


Creative people, or we could say artists, have some needs to be able to fully access their creativity.

They need to love and to be loved. We, as creative people, need intimate relationships, emotional and intellectual friendships. Creative people need wide-ranging relationships. They also need human warmth, the occasional handshake. They need people who respect their work and who respect and care about them.

 

They need love, intimacy, and friendship more than they need gallery shows or tenure. The flow of love through our human lives is what we need and what we must attain.

 

Relating needs to be more than a nice idea. Creative people need to relate well to others. Van Gogh loved the idea of complement as an essential life accomplishment. He looked at human relationships and color relationships to be essential. He loved to use blue and yellow in his paintings and he felt that men and women need to and can support one another in life. The inability to accomplish this is one of the thousands of reasons for depression.

 

Creative people can be great composers, painters, writers, a great intellectual or a great soul. We need to climb down off of our high horses, tear our enemies lists to shreds. We need to stop criticizing and blaming others for our own failures. We are special but not completely unique.

 

Therapists suggest that artists consciously make a point of caring for others. Give without taking.

Feel, rather than steel yourself to the actions and comments of others. Count to ten and perhaps count more than once.

 

Manage your ego. Someone else’s success is not a personal affront to you. Moderate selfishness. Share credit when it is earned. We have hungers and desires but so does every living human being. Reduce your sense of injury. Let the old hurts which continue to haunt you go. Open up and let them drift away. They are heavy baggage.

Buddha told a story about an angry man. He had been injured emotionally by someone. He held that anger like a charcoal briquette just out of the fire. He held on to it day after day and in the end, he was the only one injured. He had a terribly bad burn and the other person was just fine and went on with their life as always. The angry man was scarred for life.

 

We live in a harsh world and it needs every bit of beauty we can add to it. It also needs our kindness, gentleness, compassion and love. These can change the world. Not completely, but it can and will make a difference. It can start with all of us.

 

 Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

                               Black Mountain, NC

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The Enlightenment of Buddha


Buddha Nature Copyright T.C. McLuhan from the book Cathedrals of the Spirit

Buddha Nature
Copyright T.C. McLuhan

 

 

In an interview in 1984, the venerable Tara Tulku, Rinpoche, one of the last monks to receive a complete Buddhist training in his native Tibet before the catastrophic 1959 Chinese invasion, commented on the intrinsic nature of sacredness and its relationship to place. How ground becomes holy is considered within the context of Sakyamuni Buddha’s own metamorphosis at Bodhgaya, the immovable Spot near Gaya on the floodplain of the Ganges in northeast India.

 

The place itself under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, was transformed as well. It became a place of diamond, a vajra place, a place of extreme sacredness. Why was it sacred? Because Buddha’s transformative experience of unexcelled perfect enlightenment blessed it in a special way.

 

Some people even believe that if you reach and stand on that  place and take the Bodhisattva vow or make prayers to achieve Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings, then just because of the power of that place, you will never be reborn in the lower states. And if you meditate there, recite prayers, and study the place has a special power for the mind to come to realization.It is a place of light and bliss.

 

This is the place where Sakyamuni achieved the special Buddha body; a place which has only bliss and happiness and never suffers.

 

It doesn’t matter what religion people hold, if they are going with an open mind, if they are seeking truth. In this case, it is extremely meritorious to go to the holy sites of any religion.

 

Namaste, Barbara

I Forgive You


Sacred writings usually show God as a forgiving God. The unity of the religions each show a different side of Divinity. When I was a child, I tried to grasp forgiveness. I was suspicious of why I should forgive. I had and have an alert which goes off in the face of hypocrisy and injustice. They are  the two things which I cannot tolerate. So, of course, the Universe gives me opportunities to practice forgiveness. Practice brings a healing to yourself. This is something most people don’t realize:  forgiving another heals us.

 

Buddha told a story of a man who had been slighted and who was angry with justice.  Buddha stated that the man decided he was going to remain angry. Time passed and he held on tightly to his anger. It began to worm itself into his heart and soul.  He became a different man. He was bitter, resentful and filled with hatred. Buddha says that anger that we hold on to  is like holding onto a hot piece of charcoal in our hands. The anger tightens the hold the hand has on the burning charcoal. The result is that you are left with a terrible burnt palm. The anger has left you scarred and damaged. The person who needs to be forgiven has no idea that anything has happened. Whether he feels sorry or not for the original action, has no effect on the outcome. The only thing that would change the situation would be the words, I forgive you.

 

In the Torah, there are instances of Moses talking with G-d and reminding him that he promised to forgive his people.  “Pardon  the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your mercy, as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now. G-d’s answer was I have pardoned according to your word.” These words of forgiveness by G-d  become the central theme of the Jewish High Holidays. These holidays are coming up in September. Because of God’s forgiveness the Jewish people, despite its shortcomings, exists to this very day.

 

This is relevant to today because we so often hear news stories where forgiveness is the major point. I remember when the Pope forgave Ali Mehmet who shot him in Rome. It raised  tremendous controversy. Studies actually show that it is more life-changing to forgive than to be forgiven. There are many stories, though, of people who are forgiven changing their lives and becomiing the person they were meant to be.

 

One such story, is about  an idealistic California college student who won a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to South Africa to assist the anti-apartheid movement; she went there and was murdered by a black mob during a riot. Her parents grieved for years, then decided that they should honor the work that their daughter had been so dedicated to. So they quit their jobs, sold their home and walked away from their comfortable middle class life. Eventually, the parents met two of their daughter’s killers. The two men, who have been pardoned, tried to atone for their actions by doing public service for a foundation the parents established in their daughter’s name. The parents forgave the two killers and they became friends, and the young men now call the mother, “Mom.”

 

Forgiving what has been done to you,  and offering forgiveness for what you have done to another, is a concept that needs to be remembered and chosen in today’s world. It is a life-changing experience to decide to forgive. It is an important act to do in your life. It is one of the things we have moved away from in this so-called modern world. We have also left behind generosity, compassion, kindness, and gentleness. When we begin to put these concepts back into our lives, we will be on the road to peace. Peace within ourselves and throughout the entire world.

 

 

 

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Don;t let the sun go down on your anger. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2012. Sunset in the Caribbean.

Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2012. Sunset in the Caribbean.

 

 

Winter - Snow - Peace

Glimpses of Autumn


Blue Ridge Mountains, NC Photo by Barbara Mattio

” There are countless paths to the mountain’s summit. Yet from it the same moon pours radiance over the landscape.”
—-Ikkyu

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC Photo by Barbara Mattio

Entering the forest he moves not the grass; entering the water he does not make a ripple.”

Niagara Falls, Ontario Photo by Barbara Mattio

“It is deep autumn. What kind of life is my neighbors I wonder…”

Niagara Falls, Ontario Photo by Barbara Mattio

” One day a monk spoke bitterly to the Buddha about the unbearable sorrows of the world. The Buddha remained silent. Then he pointed at the earth between his feet, and said: ” On this earth I have attained awakening.”
Splendor of the World….no Why.

All quotes excerpted from Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing

Emerald necklace parks, Ohio Photo by Barbara Mattio

Lake Erie Islands, Lake Erie, Photo by Barbara Mattio

” Wherever you are is home
And the earth is paradise
Wherever you set your feet is holy land…
You don’t live off it like a parasite.
You live in it, and it in you,
Or you don’t survive.
And that is the only worship of God there is.”

——-Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

Chautuaqua Institute, NY Photo by Barbara Mattio

Mellow yellow Monday with Light


 

“Seek refuge in the True Illumination! For the light of His Wisdom in infinite. Seek refuge in That which is beyond understanding.”
Take refuge in the ultimate Strength, for His pure radiance is above all things. He who perceiveth this Light is set free.”

—Wisdom of the East Buddhist Psalms

In this writings, Buddha did not ever refer to himself as God. He also never mentioned miracles. He showed no interest in being revered . He saw himself as a person who is awake. He did spend his life trying to awaken other people.
He is quoted as saying, ” Whoever sees me sees the teaching, and whoever sees the teaching sees me.”

He was mortal as we are, yet he attained enlightenment and was raised to the rank of an immortal. Today, Buddhism teaches that we can overcome challenges or problems with a positive or peaceful mind. Buddha taught that the mind has the power to create all positive and negative objects in our lives.

Buddhism is the practice of Buddha’s teachings. These are also called Dharma which means protection. Buddha gave human beings eighty-four thousand teachings and Buddhism developed from these teachings. This is the path of compassion and wisdom.

Photo by Barbara Mattio