Paintings from Gururaj courtesy of the Irish Meditation Society

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Paintings

JEFF:  Tamaji and I were remarking that the way contemplation was described was very very similar to the way painters paint pictures in the sense that many people have the idea that a painter has a preconceived notion of the painting.  That they have a theme they are pursuing very actively, and that they think a lot about what’s going on.  In actual fact, the painters that I know, and I myself, you really have a general thing you want to paint, let’s say a person or a landscape, but once you start painting there is very little thinking going on, except when you realize very suddenly, you think that there’s a problem, or you step back from the painting.  Guruji was saying last night that you can step back from something and look over the whole thing without breaking the flow of contemplation, but it does occur when a painter sometimes looks back.  Painters do this: look at the painting, go back and paint. They step back, look at the painting again.  But sometimes you think that there is a problem or something is disharmonious.  At that stage painters know that if you let the painting . . . if you think about it too much, you’ll do something called “losing the painting” which means it has a whole bunch of problems and you start fussing with it.  At that point it will turn out to be a wreck.  Painters have different strategies for dealing with this.  One is that they literally paint out a big area of the painting, even parts that work.  Paint out a whole area, just so when you start painting again you will reestablish that flow.  Some painters call it keeping the painting open.  Some painters call it not losing contact with the painting, but it’s really a very important part.  I notice that students sometimes spend ten years working mentally with paintings that are all awful, and really, when you paint there is really very little actual mental. . . I don’t know how to . . .  what would you say Guruji, mental analysis.

GURURAJ:  Yes, because the mental analysis stops the flow. Very good.  Thank you, Jeff.
Good, we just started the ball rolling.  In other words, in contemplation, in spite of you having to stand back as Jeff so very well explained, the continuity, as I described yesterday, while making a film, the continuity must not be disturbed.  For if it is disturbed, then you and the painting become apart from each other.  But while the contact is maintained, you are the painting and the painting is you.  Fine, and that is the contact.  The poem I gave you  yesterday, it took me two minutes to write.  I’m a prolific writer when I feel like it.  And that is to give you the idea that you are the all, you are the divine and do not think of yourself to be that little worm crawling on the floor perhaps. Even that worm is divine too.  So if one establishes in oneself knowingly and realizes it (that’s important) that one is divine, then all the negative qualities of depression, manic depression, frustration, all of the kinds of negativities, worries, anxieties they all disappear.  For then you would say what does this matter. Really, it is so temporary, while I am divine and eternal.  But, now, what I wish to say is this, that you could use that poem, make a copy of it.  I’m sure it’s on the other side of the board, Sutriya?  Make a copy of it if you like it, or else you could use any other passage that you are fond of, any scriptural passage. But try and use something, you know, very uplifting to yourself which would be good.  Instead of once upon a time there was a maiden, you know, who… etc., etc.  Never mind what happened to her.  Something uplifting, that’s important.
Good, now Jeff has started us off by what he understood by contemplation.  He had a chat with Mataji who is also an artist, and of course Jeff is a teacher of art.  And his dear wife Lorieta is also an artist‑‑I have some of her paintings hung up on the walls at home.  They are beautiful and whoever comes and visits me admires them, especially that very pale blue one with birds flying.  That is my favorite.  Good. Let’s leave it to the audience to ask questions.  Yes!

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