Give This To A Sleeping Artist: Grace To Embrace Your Old Friend Art (Book II.)

This is a quick read. It is meant to be a meditation. Don’t rush. Find the place within you where you drop into pure being. Make yourself a cup of tea, get comfortable, and be alone. Dive in with an open heart.

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20 min

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I. Intro.

When I was fifteen, music found me. Like an old friend, it embraced me. When I was lonely, it gave me a home. When there was art, there was no pain.
Art came to me as a gift from heaven. An escape from school and the hostility behind the four walls of our home, the thoughts in my head, and the hole in my heart. All throughout my anxious high school years, my mother’s suffering and passing, and my father’s bankruptcy, there was music. When I was a horrible sister and a burdensome daughter, music was my patient friend. When I turned away, music awaited my return with open arms. The home I never had, the love I seldom felt, that was music to me—the one constant in my life. So I took my friend and made him my slave. I took the magic and turned it into dirt. I tried to quench my thirst for love and attention and my burning desire for money and fame by abusing music. The innocence vanished, the joy burned out, the song's brilliance slowly lost its charm, and ugly music, well, ugly music no one wants. So, I was stranded with what I knew to be my purpose since it infected me with joy at age fifteen, on a dry shore without nourishment for my shriveled soul. And so I left it all in my drawer, neatly packed away for another time. And that time would not come for a long time. I moved to London after school and partied. Money was provided by my parents. I drank and danced and laughed and almost got married. My mum was already ill, and I dreaded going home, for I knew the fated end. Once home, it took a year. And of that year, I do not speak. It left its scars on the family. There was no family after my mother's passing; everyone went their own way. I tried my luck in entrepreneurship, failed often, failed big, and moved in with my grandmother. My mother's death surely humbled my ego, but losing everything a few times broke me. My identity shifted and loosened, and even my eyes relaxed, and my wrinkles softened as I surrendered to my fate. I stopped cursing the world. I was no genius. I was a worker. And working I can, failing I have learned, and standing up is now ritual and woven into my being. And guess who poked me once more, gently but cheekily? One night, after a moonlit stroll, I felt the urge to write a little song. The guitar felt so foreign in my hands, yet so familiar. Tears came, and the song wrote itself. That feeling of grace I have not felt since my young years. And soon and naturally, good songs came in dreams, came while I was strolling the city, and came when I watched the birds outside my window. I slipped into a spell that felt like the first sip of coffee in the morning. I was free.

I intend to put grace into this book as best I can to help you return to your one true love. Whoever she is, because she is calling your name. ‘Come to me, old friend—come home.’

II. Grace.

The world is a strange place. You and I are walking down the street and locking eyes. I feel terrible that day but your spark of sun touches my soul. Suddenly, I carry myself differently, taller than before. My stroll seems lighter and more elastic. The wind carries me as much as I move through the air. The breeze feels fresh on my cheeks, and I notice it for the first time, actually. It is softly stroking me like my mother was when I was a little girl. Someone I pass by is smoking a cigarette, and I inhale the smoke. It takes me back to my grandmother's place, and I smell the coffee beans she is grinding in the kitchen and the stale smell of an empty apartment we only visit every three years to see her. How peculiar that I forgot about her existence. Now, she is right here with me. I walk a little further, and a couple argues, yet their raised voices don’t seem to affect me all too much. All I feel is peace. Who were you infecting me with your stare? Will you come back for me? Will you lighten my load? You don’t know the power you hold, the people you touch, and the lives you change. You are an artist, don’t you forget that! Artists are open; they breathe life into the world. Your mere presence is art: your expression, your walk, your talk, your freedom, your grace. Artists translate God to deaf ears. Bring beauty to the blind. And robbing the world of art is a sin. And denying the world of your grace has consequences.

ততততত When was the last time you made art you were proud of? When was the last time you created art for the joy of it, for its own sake? When time sweetly slipped away, like all your troubles. That time, you made something worthwhile but don’t know how. And then you cheekily felt like a great artist, a genius, a messiah. And for that moment of creation, you were. But were you? That sweet memory, when grace carried your hand, and all was flowing without force. How you really had nothing to do, the art was conducting your every move. The song wrote itself; the words used you to come to life; for a moment, you were a salve to the divine, but you didn’t mind that at all, did you? You were glad she played you a fool. You are delighted to be hers and create for her alone. That is grace, and you know it by experience. It is all too familiar yet so out of reach. It is a meditation of sorts. Action turns into non-action, where the subject and the object merge. And artists have plenty of it. Not that they could own it (they sure try), but get lost in, bathe in, and create from it. And perhaps that is the secret. Of it we shall not speak; it is to be left unsaid; all words cannot hold it or claim it, explain it or relay it. But for the purpose of this book, we shall call it grace. And grace comes from God, like an emanation.

ততততত Art comes in many forms. But art always holds the state of its maker. The maker can make art by force—great force, infused with lower intentions or intentions of higher order that require less force. The greatest works of art are not made. They do not require a maker. They come from grace. They are brought to life by the artist—from maker to vessel.

ততততত Art comes in many states. Dead, alive, or in-between.
Alive artists create living art. Having touched grace and embraced it, they create freely, without much effort, for the greater good. The dead create dead art for the dead. Self-serving and perpetuating the state of lack of the artist. Their transmission is welcomed by recipients who are sharing that lack. To recognize alive work takes someone alive.

ততততত Art holds great power. It can change the recipient and, hence, the world. It can also degrade and perpetuate darkness. The artist who desires power, money, and recognition creates art that reflects that lack and perpetuates that desire in its recipients.

ততততত Art is freely available to all. So is grace. But to access grace, artists must empty their cups. Meditation, mending the past with true forgiveness, and uncovering genuine love are required. Once the artist is free of their dramas, real creation has space to flow. The artist then learns from the art. The artist then teaches through the art.

ততততত Making art is a spiritual journey. Most artists start in lack and infuse their art with their lower intentions. The art is a mirror of their state of being. That art rarely gets attention from the world, and when it does, it often halts the true progress of the artist. Artists often desire money and fame. What they actually want is genuine support to grow out of that state, but masking pain by gaining power will do for a while. To heal one's wounds is a much harder undertaking that requires great courage.

ততততত When fame and money elude the artist or fame and money simply won’t mask the pain any longer, the artist starts to change. By self-analysis that leads to emotional change at the being level, the artist softens his ego, relaxes into his work, and his work starts to change. When self-serving intentions don’t fill the cup, perhaps making art for others will. A life of service is the natural next step.

ততততত Along the journey, the artist meets pain and either grows in love or degrades in love. Artists often grow bitter making art until the pain is so heavy that a breakthrough happens, and great art slips through. Naturally, the artist wants to hold on to that moment of grace, but grace eludes them. And inducing ‘free states’ of alcohol and drugs are but a shadow of grace and a trap.

ততততত Grace eludes the ones who chase grace. Grace is not owned; it is lived. It is experienced. It can never be the artists’, but the artist may bathe in grace while creating art. Grace is not physical; it is of a higher order. It can only emanate from your being when your being reflects love with the intention of service for the greater good.

ততততত Facing pain, the artist grows in time. Eventually, the artist makes art without much effort, creation flows, and the world notices that the art is good. The last step is to go from maker to vessel and create work entirely from and infused by grace.

ততততত There is no higher or lower-level artist. There are only artists who are blind and artists bathing in grace and in between. It is a choice to grow up, mature in love, and empty the cup—self-discovery through pain and reflection and creating a lot of ugly art to get to the bottom of it all. It is a challenging journey. But true artists have no choice but to walk it.

III. Journey.

The journey has its ups and downs; is unpredictable and non-linear. Weeks of struggle and force accumulate to a revelation, the surrender of obstructions, and an experience of greater creation. Pain humbles with each successful or failed attempt; the lesson is the point. As the artist grows, so does the art. The art becomes beautiful in an artist's hands that are clean. A clear vessel creates great art. It is the artist that needs to change; the art is available to all; grace surrounds and encompasses all artists. Some are just tuned to it well. The tuning is so fine that it is missed by most. Taking part in the dance of creation by submitting oneself to it fully and giving oneself to the art completely is the ultimate goal and purpose of every artist— self-dissolution into the work. Karma jog. The yoga of action (non-action), service, and giving. An artist gives gifts. First, he gives misery, as all he knows is misery. In time, by washing the clothes of his past, he gives light. That light will awaken hearts and be visible to hearts tuned to the light. Such is the journey of the arts—the journey of the soul.

ততততত To break the mold of the past, the artist purges by creating art. The great purge happens when art, artist, and grace meet. Meditation is the merging, the dissolution of the artist into the art. The great three are but one. The art, the creation, and the artist flow with life and emanate grace. That grace gets captured in the work of art, and that work of art comes alive. Living art is holy art. Holy art is a sacred object infused with grace. Grace awakens, grace nourishes, and lets the receiver meet God through the art, through you. You are the introduction. You are the friend that opens the door—be a good friend—That is the highest act, the non-act, the meeting as one through art conceived alone.

ততততত When the artist grows internally by facing pain, that growth is reflected in the art. Making art causes growth by showing and mirroring the artist’s state back to him. It is the perfect learning tool: undeniable, solid personal proof that the process works, that love is the way, that God is the truth; his work changes, and he will witness it; he will feel the change internally; he will be freer, more joyous and light; the world will not be such a dark place anymore. The change is undeniable; hence, grace becomes a reality, not a distant dream.

ততততত All obstructions can be cleared, and genuine talent uncovered. With ease and like magic, the right action at the right moment arises. Great hits of inspiration, spontaneous speaking, writing, composing, and collaboration happen. When bathing in grace, even the mistakes sound beautiful. The book writes itself, and the arrangement falls into place.

IV. Experience.

Meditate to experience who you are and meditate through art to express who you are. Meditation is an exceptional first step. Most spiritual journeys start with a meditation practice. The meditation practice of an artist is making art. The goal of the practice is to disappear into the art: Non-doing/meditation or supreme flow. Start by setting the intention for your session. Start by praying or speaking the intention in your head while relaxing your body. Pray to be assisted in your session. Pray that you make yourself available to real creation and give yourself as a vessel to God/Grace or whatever word feels safe. Pray for assistance and guidance. Meditate for a few minutes to center yourself. Clear the space (your apartment/room you make art in) by imagining the clearing of the space energetically; however, you feel your imagination can best clear out the past built-up energy. Matter is affected by the mind; simply imagine, and you will do just fine. Your imagination grows with practice. Now, imagine your body relaxing and filling up with the right energy for your art session. Artists are often right-brained, and this practice comes naturally. In case you are left-brained, try it; what’s the loss? Try it; you might feel better. That’s all; it is a shift in your level of being, a relaxation of sorts. Maybe it makes your art flow better. Just see and experiment with it. Be your own judge. Now, make art. Don’t force any state, but simply make art. After your session, write a few lines about your experience:

-write-

You have just created your own meditation practice. Great job. Now, to make space for creation to flow, keep up the practice and grow it into the rest of your life. When you walk your dog or do the dishes, get back into that state of flow and bliss. Breathe in life and come alive. Bring grace to the rest of your life. Often, grace gets interrupted and is obstructed by your dramas. God is; all else is your own drama. To clear your drama, you mend your past.

The practice is found in Book One, ‘God And Art: From Pain To God Through Art.’ You are currently reading Book Two, ‘Give This To A Sleeping Artist: Grace To Embrace Your Old Friend Art.’ The paperback is the meat of the book, the meditation. The hardcover always holds space to unfold the practice, space to document the sessions.

ততততত It is very important that you keep up your meditation practice! Make it a ritual. Every week, have a session that starts with your prayer and meditation; give yourself a few hours to freely flow and embrace art as it wants to come through. Have an open calendar on your art session days. Then, journal about your experience. Take your art to the edges and beyond. Get lost in it and let the art take you places. All else will fall into place. Just keep the practice going.

ততততত Some will find it beneficial to read the entire book as a meditation and then dive into the art session—experiment. The book is meant to put you into a state of pure being. Practice to let go and read with an open heart. Dive into the words and get lost in them. The words and lines are just letters; it is about the experience. Don’t seek to understand intellectually. The non-physical is never grasped by the intellect. At the end of knowledge, you find God.

ততততত Make art and break imaginary walls. Uncover your part and embrace your gift. Then, share your gift with the world. My intention with these books is to poke you. If parts feel uncomfortable, go back and work on them. Ask yourself why you feel the way you feel. Chances are there is some truth in those lines for you, or else those lines wouldn’t hurt or bother you. Go back, contemplate, embrace. Take what you can use and leave the rest. Don’t pet your ego; poke it. Make art for yourself and your own growth, but dedicate it to the receiver of the art, and give your art to God. Make art that changes the recipient; make art with purpose. Make art out of joy and as a gift. Make art because you are an artist, and make art because it is your way home. Always delighted to poke you, -Lila

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