an abyss of light

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

 

Sandra Bowden: One Hundred Percent

 

There is at the back of all our lives an abyss of light, more blinding and unfathomable than any abyss of darkness; and it is the abyss of actuality, of existence, of the fact that things truly are, and that we ourselves are incredibly and sometimes almost incredulously real.

It is the fundamental fact of being, as against not being; it is unthinkable, yet we cannot unthink it, though we may sometimes be unthinking about it; unthinking and especially unthanking.

For he who has realized this reality knows that it does outweigh, literally to infinity, all lesser regrets or arguments for negation, and that under all our grumblings there is a subconscious substance of gratitude.

– G. K. Chesterton


Gratitude to Love is A Place


Artwork by Sandra Bowden: One Hundred Percent, from the series, Reflections of Glory.
Gilded encaustic panels, 100 5”x 5” gilded squares.

“Artists do not merely put on canvas what can be seen. They try to uncover something beyond the range of the eyes. I believe that art is a means to illuminate both the interior life and the exterior world, both seen and unseen.  I hope Reflections of Glory will lead those who see the exhibition beyond the edge of their consciousness into a place of splendor, wonder and transcendence.”
https://www.sandrabowden.com/exhibitions/reflecting-the-glory


 

so what is the reality, itself?

Homage to Daido, Roshi

. . .

What is real, what is reality, what is truth, what is life, what is death, who are you?

To imitate the teachers doesn’t impart strength.

To understand the teachings doesn’t do a blessed thing for your life.

But to realize reality transforms your way of perceiving yourself and the universe—and it shows, it’s felt, it functions.

So what is the reality itself?

~ John Daido Loori, Roshi

source – Zen Mountain Monastery website

floatingrocks


There is a deeper dimension to nature and the insentient than what we see on the surface – a realm that goes beyond morphology, chemistry, biology, ecology or physics.  Science most often speaks to what things are.  Zen art points to what else things are.  It speaks not only to the object and its effect on the audience, but moves beyond to present the object’s underlying reality – its intrinsic nature.  And when we personally experience this intrinsic nature, we realize that to know objects only through dissecting, cataloging and understanding them, is to miss their full reality.  It is to fall asleep amidst the mystery and to become numb to the wonder of our lives on this great earth.

~ John Daido Loori, Roshi

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source – Catalog notes accompanying Daido Roshi’s exhibition Jinzu

photo:  Floating Rocks copyright John Daido Loori

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For more on Daido Roshi, please visit his pages at *the awakened eye* website:  the zen of creativity and creativity will never make sense

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be glad

A little memorial celebration for my mother, Miriam:  it’s 4 months today since she “did a flit” – her own term for death.  She took her last breath at 4 am on the 4th day of April – the 4th month.  (Her favorite number was 13.  Which adds up to 4.  Hmmmm.)

She had orbited the sun 96 times, and while she was visually and audially challenged in her later years her joyousness and wisdom never faded or faltered.

She never had much of an education, being the eldest daughter on a remote New Zealand high country farm in the pioneering days, but she could express herself wonderfully with an innocence unaffected by self-consciousness.  I love this little piece she wrote not long before leaving us:

This Unlit Light - Be Glad