Monday, December 26, 2011

En Plein Air--A Guest Post by Tantrika au Naturale

Since receiving the request from David to share MY RITUAL, I have struggled to identify whether I have a suitable ritual and, if so, how to communicate it.

It is easy to state what ritual is not for me:
• It is not a supplication for personal benefit from a Santa Claus/Godfather celestial master
• It is not a sacrificial appeasement of other worldly destructive forces
• It is not the means of personal sanctification.

Rather, ritual for me is the vehicle for departure from the multi-tasking chaos of everyday life into the unity of simply being: the integration of my body-mind-spirit as the small self realizes the universal Self. The overt manifestation of this process is my morning yoga practice: a mélange of active and quiescent traditions linked by awareness of breath. This practice is done within a contrived sacred space before a contrived altar.

A less overt but equally valid ritual, I now realize, is my avocation of en plein air aquarelle (water color painting outdoors). This is a less contrived ritual of self and Self integration achieved through acceptance of all sensory perceptions to pass through noted without judgment or grasping. Perhaps this poem can convey the process whereby the accompanying images came to be.

En plein air

In Montana
Between yoga sessions
I gravitate
To a natural carin atop a small hill
Beneath prayer flags.

As in years before (and years to come)
I set out my supplies
And settle: rooting my body to untether my mind and spirit.

The fluidity of lodgepole pines and rainbow flags and body hairs
Delineates the peaks and troughs of the wind
Announced in Doppler sound of arboreal chimes.
This moment’s light and warmth, having departed a nuclear holocaust eight minutes before,
Fleeting white clouds across a cerulean canopy play hide-and-seek with
On-again, off-again shadow modulating vision and temperature.

Illusory perceptions condense
Activating the pencil line, the color choice, the brush stroke
There is no objective: my painting is not commissioned, will not be sold and only viewed by a few
A keep sake of surrender to Unity.

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