Green Tara

If you have plants in your home then you will know what joy they bring, aesthetically pleasing, plants have a unique feel good factor and contribute towards purifying the air we breathe. Like us they need certain conditions to be met in order to survive; water, sunlight, nutrients, and the necessary processes of respiration and metabolization. They are impermanent yet intimately tied to continuity. One particular plant of mine is the vibrant Anthurium. It is the plant pictured here in this painting, recognised by its distinctive flowers.

Recently I have been reading about Tibetan Buddhism and Green Tara in particular, the goddess of compassion. I started to see my Anthurium plant as a kind of embodiment of Green Tara, the form and shape of it was graceful, energetic and abundant. The white heart shaped flowers a beautiful symbol of compassion, and the green of regeneration, hope and vitality.  I was truly inspired and decided to run a yoga and creativity workshop, inviting people to choose a plant as a focus for their meditation and art.

Unfortunately that same month my husband suffered from Covid 19. He was confined to the top floor of the house, it was an unusual situation to care for a loved one with distance and masks, to see them suffer yet not be able to offer them the comfort of normal human closeness. It was during this period that I did the workshop on zoom.  It was a joy to do this workshop and see others in the flow state of creativity.

This plant painting is the result of what started off as a sketch during the workshop, as the painting progressed my husband also progressed well with his recovery. Returning to normal health and wellness there was genuine gratitude and a sense of life affirmation.

The painting has some Japanese text in the top left and right, the kanji reads as mujō which translates as impermanence. The white square symbolises the moon, the yellow, the sun.

Overall for me the painting is rejoicing in life whilst recognizing its transitory nature.

100 dollars from the proceeds of this workshop were donated to CCR, the Centre for Contemplative Research in Colorado. This centre is dedicated to contemplative and scientific research to address the nature of genuine well-being and seek to understand through meditation and science, the nature of human consciousness.

You can read more about this organisation here:

https://www.centerforcontemplativeresearch.org/about-ccr

Life is like the (dutch or british) weather, it is never the same for very long!

Life would be dull if things stayed just the way we wanted them to be. Every minute, every second there is constant change and movement taking place, in everything. In this moment,- sitting or standing, wherever you are, change is happening in your body, right down to the most subtle level.

I feel good right now, I want to stay feeling good. It’s bright and sunny, it may rain later, it may hail or even snow. I might cry. Yet I want to stay feeling good.

We want to cling to the joy, show aversion to the pain, make it go away somehow.  It is easier perhaps to stay present with what is joyful, yet often, ironically, we can be more present with suffering because it feels more raw.  To be present in whatever mood state or situation we must practice being in touch with our mind state and body state and we can do this through the breath. Conscious breathing is our anchor to finding balance and composure in the midst of change.

Circumstances change, people change, everything changes, even though we can delude ourselves into thinking otherwise.  Becoming aware of this helps to create a more balanced and contented perspective. All of us will face sickness and death, all the big topics we don’t like to think about when it comes to impermanence, especially our own. Yet confront them, – see that change is all pervasive, understand it and embrace it.  Make the most of your life and your potential for being. There is nothing passive about accepting impermanence!