Entering the Void with the Eyes Open

Medalion (The Highlands of the Big South Fork, TN, May 30, 2012)

This morning after sunrise, the sun shone through the trees and through the morning mist. The photo doesn’t do it justice. It was three-dimensional and a glorious sight. The rays pierced all directions in the shape of a sphere. Last night before I went to bed, I had seen/palpably experienced the medalion (minus the tree)  in my mind’s eye; I was surprised to see it actually physically occur in front of me this morning. I am discovering as the days go by that inside and the outside are uniting into one whole experience. This seems to be an affirmation of that.

Entering the Void with the Eyes Open

I meditated on the front porch yesterday morning.

I awoke with the thought going through my mind that if I allow myself to penetrate and be penetrated by the world, I will enter life fully, and at the same time become identified with the Self, the Absolute.

As I sat on a chair on the porch, watching the rising sun, Thomas the cat greeted me, then returned to eating a dead animal under the oak tree in the front yard. I wondered how long the tree will last;  its top branches are dead, bereft of leaves. The peach sun painted the green grass, the individual dew drops appearing as tiny, glistening suns, while birds sang and crows cawed. Newly spun strands of spider web traversed the green grass– glistening peach threads, wavering in the slight breeze. The sun, keeping its course, climbed on an angle. I took pleasure watching Thomas standing between myself and the sun. He stood on the road in the midst of the sun’s work. The sun painted the road with  peach and blue strips as it shone between the trees. I had recoiled and grabbed his paws gently a few minutes ago when he clawed my linen pants.

Life lived at a distance is no life at all. It must be penetrated by my Self-connection. In this way there is no fear because there is no separation. I found it hard to write and watch my breathing at the same time– but I must learn to do so if I wish to remain in the witness state. Insects floated in the transparent air– I found this to be miraculous.

The air was heavy with a cool dampness. A dew droop gleamed torquoise, then emerald, then blue, like the Blue Pearl. I asked myself, “How can I abandon such beauty to watch the pen move across the page?”  But I do,  as I remember to breathe the cool, damp, air freely, openly, without restriction. In this way it is penetrating each cell of my body and healing me. The earth and the sun heal me when I do not restrict them, but open myself fully through sustained awareness.

Thomas and I reached a compromise. He returned, all fur and muscle and love, pawing my pants with his claws retracted this time. But then, he nipped my ring finger with his teeth, fresh from foul deeds.

I wondered if Brian was awake and I thought of coffee. Mosquitoes arrived and buzzed around my head as I listened reverently to the throaty, liquid warble of an unseen, unidentified bird.

I wrote in my journal: I am liquid light. The whole world is liquid light. I am immersed in and am part of this liquid light world.


Let the sense of wonder be constant. 

— Gurumayi Chidvilasananda


Entering the Void with the Eyes Open

I meditated sitting on a slab of sandstone up the slope from the lip of the gorge. At times with eyes closed, at times with eyes open, I meditated with full body breathing. I felt especially anchored to the earth beneath me. The words that came at the beginning of the meditation were: I enter the vortex of the eternal NOW. I breathe with and through the rocks of the earth.

Grandma (Laura Ann Krebs Ely) was with me. I  saw her in my mind’s eye. I often feel her presence when I meditate.

The rising sun revealed the contours of the landscape; there was a dappled pattern being laid down by the trees higher upon the ridge. Birdsong seemed to play me like its instrument. I felt the songs of the birds in the cells of my body. The sandstone grains gleamed in the sun. There was a woody scent, almost like burning peat, but sweeter and as if coming from far away.

I know now that when I am fully awake and alive in all of my senses that I will be at the Heart of the world, fully identified with the Self.

Meditation Spot

My meditation spot was about midway down in the picture– just below the curved shape which is sandstone.


Entering the Void with the Eyes Open

On the Lip of the Gorge-- Looking across (May 24, 2012)
The Bench on the Lip of the Gorge (May 24, 2012)

Mother and Chrissy live on the edge of a deep gorge lined with trees, topped with rock outcroppings, and graced with a waterfall. I went to the lip of the gorge just after sunrise, for my open-eyed meditation. I first sat on the bench close to the edge; then I squatted on the ground. I remained there as the sun rose above the trees, revealing the tapestry of ground cover glistening with dew. There was a complexity of birdsong, and the scents that wafted through on the breeze reminded me of the delicate smell of soap containing essential oils.

I finally seemed to be part of the landscape– senses engaged, yet seeing myself as a small, integrated part of the world of nature. I continued to return to embodied breath observation, which heightened my sense of embodied presence.

I had my camera with me and could not resist taking photos. When I did this, I noticed that my awareness diminished as I looked for “the perfect shot.” When I noticed this, I again placed my attention on embodied breathing, with the resulting Self awareness that is the Witness state.


There is always a reason to be mindful. Whatever you are doing, make that your crowning achievement. It is not for yourself that you do it– it is for the entire world and all of its people. One small, conscious action can help to ensoul the world.

Mural at Roanoke, VA (May 21, 2011)

Heading Toward Solstice

This morning I woke at the Highlands of the Big South Fork, TN, where my mother and sister Chrissy live. Although it was a cloudy and misty morning, the image of the sunflower came to mind. I am reminded that my drawing process has become intimately linked to the season and is teaching me about the glory of the seasons that our relationship with the sun brings forth.

When I put my attention upon the sunflower, I am aware of the abundance of the many seeds that it contains at its center. The seeds are highly nutritious and exemplify summer’s plenty, which is soon upon us. Without summer, there would be no human life upon the earth. I am ready to bask in the glory of summer, which is fast approaching!

Thanks to this blog for the sunflower picture:


Art in the Making: Entering the Void with the Eyes Open 10

Marsh Madness Revisited (Edisto Island, SC)

Brian good-naturedly consented to drive with me back the road that leads to a vantage point where one can see Eddingsville Beach. I had a hankering to enter the marsh which I had drawn only at a distance last year. As we sat in the car, Brian reading his novel, and me tuning in to what has always been a place of mystery for me, I began to draw. Although I remained aware of the wide-open-spaces, my drawing was of a limited area. I could have been disappointed, but I have learned to just move on with what has been set in motion. This is good, not to fret over plans gone awry!

So, remaining immersed in the flat, open, watery, muddy, grassy terrain, I tuned in more and more to the feeling of the tide and its undulating movement. Close to the end of the time, a gull flew right by me. This provided the focal point for the drawing that I had been seeking. When I returned to the condo, I continued to mine the experience, which unfolded the splendor that the gull wanted to bring into the picture. The sun would not be denied, even though it was a cloudy day!