Field of Boundless Emptiness

I have been quite busy at work, and at night amidst pouring rain in my dark, leaky, beautiful studio I work to prepare panels for the weekend ahead. So no new paintings to post. I am scraping the bottom of the barrel and posting an acrylic painting I made during my brief foray into acrylics last year.

IMG_0745
Invented Landscape, 2015 (Acrylic on Canvas, approx. 61 x 61 cm)

As I noted in an an earlier post, I struggled with certain aspects of acrylics, and now I only have six surviving acrylics, and the above is one of them. I have always been attracted by the idea of a thin line of water reflecting an evening sky, leading the eye to a field beyond – a field of boundless emptiness.

I suppose in a way this reflects my stuttering spiritual path – a thin line of awareness, wavering at times of the day – leading me on to a boundless field of emptiness which at times I seem to almost fall into in deep meditation, right before my self-awareness calls me back to the relative world of mice and men. Hongzi describes this field beautifully:

The field of boundless emptiness is what exists from the very beginning.  You must purify, cure, grind down, or brush away all the tendencies you have fabricated into apparent habits.  Then you can reside in the clear circle of brightness.  Utter emptiness has no image, upright independence does not rely on anything…. With thoughts clear, sitting silently, wander into the center of the circle of wonder.  This is how you must penetrate and study.

I am constantly amazed at how my entire life story, complete with its frightening shadows reflected on the walls of its cultural shell, collapses into empty freedom the moment I move to a place of not thinking, the place – as one blogger commented on one of my posts – of “no doubt, no thought, just doing”.

I leave you with part of a beautiful prose poem by Robert Bly:

November Day at McLure’s

In their blood cells the vultures coast with furry necks extended, watching over the desert for signs of life to end. It is not our life we need to weep for. Inside us there is some secret. We are following a narrow ledge around a mountain, we are sailing on a skeletal eerie craft over the buoyant ocean.

News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness

A sincere thanks to all who have encouraged me with likes and comments, and especially to those following my blog. My apologies for not answering your recent comments, I have been quite busy – but hope to catch up over this weekend!

9 thoughts on “Field of Boundless Emptiness

  1. I love the soft colors of the skies in this painting, and the stream seems to reflect so much light. It leads our eyes to the “field of boundless emptiness”. You’ve touched that place with your art, and I’m grateful to you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is serene. Lonely, deep in thought…wondering if this is all there is to life but looking around and seeing beauty in spite of it all. I suppose quiet contemplation is what comes to my mind when I look at this painting. I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

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