Updated: Jun 23, 2022
Periodically, I attend the Zoom meetings of Friends of Rupert Spira and the Spiritual Coffee Shop (hosted by Holger Hubbs). I want to enter the meeting in an open, receptive state of mind. Usually, I will meditate a few minutes before, hoping to find the True Self, that space of happiness and beauty.
In what I now call my "thought-self" (which I'll explain in another post), I've usually been fairly introverted and have trouble expressing myself in groups; I tend to always imagine the eyes of the most judgmental person in the room burning into me. But I have a common interest with these people, and I feel this practice is useful for my learning and growth.
I use the multi-person view, seeing up to 12 people in a montage. I will look at each person, try to connect, try to see the true self, see beneath the surface of the image and the words. I attempt to experience the “shared being” with each person. I work at seeing the beauty of each image and of the whole scene.
When I go to Switch Willo Stables in Austin to sketch horses, there are many of these wonderful creatures milling about, some just passively standing in the stall, some eating hay from a pile. I love their anatomy and their personalities. Each is different, and the range of colors is stunning: black, red, brown, yellow, grey, white, every hue in-between. I go up to my favorites and hug them, look them in the eye, experience our common awareness. It’s so easy, and I feel it should be just as easy on these Zoom calls.
I post paintings in Instagram, and I follow many artists. When I see work that appeals to me, I save a link in a category (e.g., abstract watercolor, portraits, landscapes, etc.). Then I’ll look at these paintings for inspiration doing that type of work. One category I have is “Everyday.” I really appreciate artists who can look at, say, any suburban street and recognize and bring out what’s interesting in it, perceive and share the beauty in it. Some artists do this with an old industrial site, or a rundown inner city area. I want to be able to perceive that kind of everyday beauty in our Zoom calls.
Sometimes, I can find the state of mind to experience that. Other times, it feels like a traffic jam, with a lot of honking and tension. Of course, that’s me, that’s what’s reflected in myself. But if I can’t overcome it, find a positive viewpoint, I have to say, “must leave, bye now.”
I know the common goal is Awareness and the True Self. And it’s easier to find that state when I’m alone in my house, or walking my dog, or painting. I welcome the challenge of these calls: How deep, resilient, and durable is my awareness? How “real” is it if it can’t withstand an intense conversation? That’s why I go to these meetings.