words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Transcending the Mundane

Finding the path to Liberation and the end of cyclic existence

Our daily lives at times are filled with what seems like perpetual forms of the mundane.  This is when the life around us appears to slow down and things appear to stand still. The thinking mind is no longer centered, but restless—searching for something to attach itself to.  It is moments like this that we long for distraction. We may at this time unknowingly appear to be succumbing to this longing, but it has been there all along. It is the ego and it is at the foundation of our cyclic existence: (samsara): uncontrollably being reborn under the influence of disturbing attitudes and karmic imprints.

Today, I am experiencing such disillusionment or distraction. I am not at all centered. I want to think of something to do or find a profound gesture to give my life greater meaning.  I say to my-self “you can create some art, or write a post for the blog or rehash thoughts about what I want out of life.” Now that (rehashing thoughts) is certainly a great way to keep one-self distracted—to be out of the present moment. The quickest way to address these moments of being “lost” in our thinking is to sit quietly and just observe the thoughts through our practice of meditation.  Let the thoughts, like the waves of the ocean, rise and fall. We can say to ourselves, “I am thinking.” This is the beginning of Liberation: freedom from cyclic existence and Nirvana: the cessation of unsatisfactory conditions and their causes.

So today, I see the mundane for what it really is: a distraction from what is: We may call it mundane, but it is life itself in this present moment, and we can learn to embrace it.

And when we see it for what it truly is, we are free from any misconceptions that may arise.

We are on the path to Liberation and the end of Samsara.


5 responses

  1. Jody

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I was musing about how Buddhism seems to be the only system that systematically addresses our attachments to “things” and ‘ideas’ and of course how they distract us. I was just writing about this to a friend, and then read your latest entry. Bravo! your reflections rang true for me. Now, if I could just remember this on my own, every time I start down that slippery slope…

    January 30, 2011 at 10:33 pm

  2. I am glad that the post was helpful in bringing some resolution to your conflicted state of being. You and I know the power of staying in the present moment and being aware of distractions and attachments. It was a strange day for me yesterday, and I felt a longing for something beyond the place that simply was…or at this very momnent “IS”.

    February 1, 2011 at 1:34 am

  3. How, beautiful, Walter! And a really beautiful image of flowers – I don’t think I’ve seen this one before, have I? I’m making my way to finally reply to your comments, especially about process.. I’d love to know how you generated this one!
    And I think you’re onto something here… Kind of a silly analogy, but did you ever see Peter Weller in Buckaroo Banzai (1984)? There is a great line in that movie, delivered in a very serious tone (which in itself is comedic 🙂

    “Just remember: wherever you go…….. There you are.”

    Have a great weekend!

    February 1, 2011 at 2:52 am

    • Well thank you very much for the thoughts on the post Leslee. First I must respond to your process on Heruka. It is extradionary, that we are simultaneously creating pieces via similiar processes. As you methodically took me through your steps, I was able to relate to your art, as I envisioned my own. How refreshing and exciting that was. I love the drawings. I have not created any drawings or paintings in some time, and my collection from the past have been lost. I really need to spend some time drawing and bringing back that skill. My image for Transcending the Mundane, is primarily two digital sources both starting from photographs of flowers. A lot of layering and using effects. I always combine effects with photo adjustments. And like you it is mostly intuitive–the process. That is what I like about the medium–seemingly infinite possibilities. I save various samples on the way to the final image. I think what is significant is the fact that I have been creating digital images for some time and have a lot of images for implementing into pieces. What is important to me is being able to convey almost immediately the expression of my life experience. And I find the digital medium like no other, gives me this possibility.

      February 1, 2011 at 6:54 am

  4. Voila! You entered a different website address the first time you visited my blog and that is where I went!
    Glad to make your acquaintance Walter and I will subscribe. I have answered your Zemanta question in full on my blog and will email it to you too. 🙂
    What a beautiful site and gorgeous artwork; a delight for the eyes.
    We all have a distraction days… Believe me, today is one of them for me; and I have to breathe. :-0
    Delighted to know you … breathe!

    February 2, 2011 at 1:34 am

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