Saturday, December 4, 2010

Stillness Dancing

Stillness Dancing ~ by Shweta Mitra  Dec 2010

The idea for this painting came to me in meditation. It is a way to show how everything arises from stillness. The following piece was written by Doug Sandlin (thanks Doug ) at my request. I was having a tough time putting my thoughts/feelings into words, so I told him what the painting represented, and he came up with the overview below. It explains everything I wanted to express and more. The main symbolism of Shiva being the stillness, and the dancer being the manifest, the movement, the dancing of the stillness, are what I was expressing through the painting. However, Doug managed to find so many more symbols in the painting than I realized were even there, originally. As with most of my paintings, there was  unintentional symbolism that manifested directly from the stillness. I am so very grateful, and feel so blessed, that the stillness, the divine, expresses itself through me, in form of these paintings.

On the left-hand side we see a Shiva Linga, a symbol for Lord Shiva, our own limitless stillness.

The Goddess-as-dancer is the creative aspect of every moment, now. Every aspect of her being and adornment, from her peaceful presence, to the beauty of her clothing, to the sacred mudras formed by her hands, are symbolic of the Goddess, Shakti; the pure power and potential of our stillness, dancing.

As stillness begins dancing out in manifestation, it first moves as pure, indistinct potential. Then, forming and displaying fully, and finally subsiding back into its original stillness; making way for the next moment, the next movement, the next ever-new display of the eternal dancing of stillness, now. This is reflected in the painting by the scene becoming more distinct as our gaze moves to the right, from the stillness of the Shiva Linga, to the dancing of his power; the Goddess, Shakti.

Every moment, every perception, every life, every universe, is comprised of these two who are actually, ever One; Shiva and Shakti, emptiness and form; consciousness and bliss; liberation and enjoyment.

The three levels of the temple, like the three horizontal stripes on the Shiva linga, represent the triadic-yet-unified nature of reality, symbolized in all the world’s religions and spiritual traditions: wholeness, diversity and the mixture of the two; emptiness, form and the mixture of the two, and so on. The temple’s levels symbolize manifested, active reality: dancing. The linga’s stripes symbolize unmanifest reality at rest: stillness.

Shiva and Shakti eternally dancing in the infinite temple of the heart; Hridayam in Sanskrit; literally the Center of This.

What is this center?

We are; humanity.

Each moment of human experience, is where Shiva, the stillness of our original unbound awareness, and Shakti, the movements, display and celebrations of living unbound now, perform the dancing of stillness; the beautiful reality of our lives.

~ Doug Sandlin