I have been listening/watching to Kyosen Sensai giving a Big Mind talk today. Which as usual, seemed to be the perfect teaching for the moment I was in. (In order for you to watch you will have to subscribe to Zen Eye, and it's well worth it).
I had been in my studio making a right mess of things, thinking to myself I wish I was a really talented, famous artist who could ask thousands for a painting. That everyone loved my work..etc. Some one had just popped into my studio and had commented on my work. It was obvious she didn't really like it or 'understand' it. She liked 'landscapes and that sort of thing'. I felt myself becoming irritated, 'art is subjective' I found myself muttering. 'Well that one is coming on' she added. I didn't like to say it was finished!
I bought some calligraphy brushes yesterday and had been trying them out on the new work. Only to discover the ink ran when I covered it in white paint....it wasn't going to plan at all, world domination flying out of the window at this point......Hmmm....time for a ryvita, cup of tea and watch a dharma talk.
Well, Kyosen Sensai came up with just what was needed. Without going into too much detail it was about how we embody separate but intrinsically essential elements within our make up. The phrases she used were: I am Legend, I am Nobody, I am Hero.
I am Legend, being the self. The one who is always seeking recognition, the one who wants to be somebody, the one who wants to feel important, the one who wants others to adore, the one who has to be the best at what they do, etc etc .....(Oh and by the way if you can't relate to this, it probably means you are denying the existence of Legend and it's coming out in covert ways.....like 'I hate people who always want to push themselves forward, or be the best'......I can see you, you can't hide!)
Then there is I am Nobody, being the transcendent. The one who just accepts who they are, the one who observes, the one who does not need to be better, or different, or special, or talented, who is not judgemental, or feels the need to leave a mark, or change the world..etc etc
And then if you imagine Legend and Nobody being the bottom corners of a triangle and Hero the point at the top (which by the way is the triangle shape we make when we sit cross legged or in lotus position)
I am Hero, being the apex of the triangle the place where the self and Big mind meet, and in my case it's called Sarah. Hero is the one that has the ambition, who wants to be the best they can be and takes appropriate steps to get there. Hero knows they are special but doesn't need to tell every one they meet. Hero can see that everyone is special and a hero. Hero takes appropriate action when it is needed, without pushing others out of the way, Hero understands the world does not revolve around them, but that at times it may.
And, most importantly, Hero doesn't give a damn if not everyone likes Hero's work. Hero is doing what Hero loves more than breathing, and the next person to walk into the studio will buy a painting!
PS this is not finished!