Let the Colours flow!

This is an abstract animation I’d made in 2008, at an animation course for fine artists, at SVA, the School of Visual Arts New York, in 2008.

It’s Holi, the festival of colour in India, today. It’s  a celebration of joy and the coming of spring.

Indian culture is so entwined with life! Indian thought is so holistic, that in ancient India, art, design, ritual and spirituality were all a part of everyday life.

Epiphany

I spent all afternoon watching painters’ interviews on Youtube. They’d been talking about their processes and sometime after the video was over, I went out for a walk. It suddenly occurred to me that this is exactly the same as all the stuff that books about the mind tell you…whether its philosophy or physics or religion- the mind does exactly as you tell it to. It’s only as simple as that.

I’m on my second read of ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ by Dr. Joseph Heller. I am even convinced that what he says is true, but somehow, ‘belief’ still eluded me.

Then after hearing these artists, it came to me in a flash…its easiest to believe experience.

I have been trying the techniques mentioned in the book, but somehow haven’t gotten around to believing it a hundred percent because I have not yet experienced it as being true. However, what I have experienced, is the process of creating art. And at such times, I have experienced that if I tell my mind to create images within certain parameters, it does. So logically, this is easily extendable to other areas of my life.

The process the book outlines is fairly simple- you relax the mind until it is in a sleepy or drowsy state and then introduce a suggestion or statement of the desired outcome. Do this repeatedly for a couple of weeks or so until you achieve the desired result. I plan to try this again tonight. This time with full conviction, because this is exactly what I do when painting. This time,  I’m expecting to see results.

I was also thinking about resonance – why do certain artworks or blogs resonate with a large population, sometimes over decades, while others just don’t? It is because the author has found his or her truth and that is what people resonate with. A personal truth is also always a universal one. Hence, it requires no effort to make it ‘viral’. It does require effort to arrive at it though, and that could take years. Again, the trick is to loosen and relax the mind. Then it sails right in!

Unplugged Mind 2_LR

6 ways to a slower mind

The world is crazy.

Yes, its true! Most days everything seems to be spinning by, while our mind still seems on its treadmill, huffing and puffing, trying to cope with the pace and getting no further.

But, taking a few minutes to just step back and think is important, because no matter how many times that same anxious thought circles inside your mind, it’s still that same thought and doesn’t let you move on. It stops you from doing justice to the task at hand and also from finding relief from whatever it is that is making you anxious.

Mind you, if you try to seek professional help (as they want you to do, because everyone wants to sell their wares), they will diagnose you with something. Heck, they’ve come up with a name for every state of mind, just so that they can offer to fix it for you! And a few years down the line, ‘research’ will show that that was normal and the everyone is suffering it due to social, political and economic turmoil and then they’ll try and sell you a new diagnosis, with a trendy new solution for it too!

The truth is that you don’t need to be a genius to figure out that just 20 quiet, focussed minutes at the start of your day can fix a lot of things. Writing down what is on your mind and thinking up practical, actionable steps to solve it or move towards a solution is simple enough.

ptng-part

There are some benefits of consciously slowing down your mind.

  • A relaxed mind is a productive one.
  • A calm mind can generate solutions without interference from stressful thoughts and emotions
  • A slower mind is a fuller experience of your Now, your day and ultimately your life.
  • A slower mind is alert and aware and this ensures making sound decisions.
  • A slower mind is focussed on experience, not anticipation

So how does one slow the mind down?

Yoga and meditation are time tested solutions easily available to everyone. They need a commitment and dedicated practice to experience long term benefits.

However, here are some ideas on simple things you can do, that can immediately change your state of mind.

1. Change your environment

If you’re in an office, step out of the room or building for 10 minutes or so. You will see, hear, feel differently and be calmer when you return.

2. Surprise an old friend or family member with a call or message.

It will make the person happy and it will make you smile!

3. Read jokes, watch a funny video!

Someone out there is always making fun of your oh-so-serious situation, no matter how serious it is!

4. Connect with nature

Go to a park, a beach or just sit under a tree. Connecting with nature once a day is invigorating.

5. Get Inspired

Read a poem, listen to music, go look at some art or read about it. This can put you in a positive frame of mind and give you perspective- help you see the bigger picture!

6. And lastly, check your credit card bill or phone bill. You WILL find a mistake. Call them, yell at them. Some companies make so many overcharges, they’re used to customers yelling at them. And you will get the stress out of your system!

Hope you found your MokshaShot today!

The Self Help Treadmill and more

Yes, I’m a seeker, sometimes an impatient one. And like the rest of us, I’ve been struggling to find Happiness for years. Befuddled by how to handle what life threw at me, I found myself on the spiritual path rather early- at age 26. I trod cautiously, with more anticipation than faith.

And soon enough, I was an avid consumer in the Self Help industry! The more I read, the more I discovered that every star guru said the same thing. And it was all derived from ancient religious scriptures!

So there! I’ve said it! They just gave it their own names and sold it with different titles. To be fair, it was ‘translated’ in simple, palatable terms, making it easily applicable in our everyday lives.

So after maybe a hundred books, Youtube videos, talks and lectures, I have learnt to be discerning. Now I know a spiritual quack when I see one. But I still struggle everyday, though I have discovered my own methods of finding my spot of joy in my day.

And since I’m an artist, humorist and writer, I started the MokshaShots series in 2008. (In eastern philosophy, Moksh means Salvation. A MokshaShot is a taste of the sublime. Each of us can make our own MokshaShot out of anything we find fulfilling).

I’ve decided to share my MokshaShot of the day, here on this blog as often as I can. Hopefully I will be able to help someone out there with theirs or just find an understanding listener. And be a happy listener myself.

 

In my painting, I have explored multiple thought processes whilst making work- the intuitive approach, the analytical approach, the critical and satirical view. Concurrently, I delved into philosophy, psychology and the history of painting.

My approaches changed as events in my life unfolded, changing my worldview.

Ultimately, it boiled down to choosing the state of mind I am most comfortable living with and even enjoying. This is when I had my ‘ah ha’ moment, my MokshaShot for the day!

I decided to just let go. And play. I like how this feels 🙂

recent-work_lr

I’m continuing to play with form, fragments of memory and images. It feels good to draw these images spontaneously and uninhibitedly from the subconscious. It’s a (witty) dialogue with my mind…a kind of self-discovery.

Its good to be aware, alert about how the mind processes thoughts and what it is processing. It’s interesting (though sometimes aggravating as well!) to watch the patterns it slips into.

It’s challenging to try to change the unwanted ones. But then that is where awareness and meditation come in.

The Mind is always a work in progress and so it will be, until we get to Moksh!