The great Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), once said, “The only useful purpose of the present birth is to turn within and realise the self. There is nothing else to do.”
This truly visionary piece by the Norwegian artist and Zen practitioner, Johan Ask Såtetsu Vikse, captures perfectly the doorway through which we “turn” to realise the self: “What am I?”
And when we do that — when we let go of the passing thoughts, not pushing or “preventing” them, not trying to “think of nothing,” as some meditation teachers falsely instruct, just leaving them be as we leave the wind itself to come and go — when we turn, turn, turn, through the natural movement of breath in our lower belly, reflecting on “Who sees this thinking, coming and going? What sees my breathing? What hears? Who is the witness?”, all thinking is naturally not able to go any further. There — right there — we are “entering” the doorway into “don’t know”, our before-thinking mind, the Unborn, “no-mind,” our original nature. Whatever name we give it that has no name or form.
This is such a beautiful and effective teaching-graphic pointing to that doorway. I am so happy and honoured to share it here first. Thanks so much to Såtetsu for his clear-eyed vision and skilled expression. Since he is also a dedicated Zen practitioner, I can feel how strongly this piece comes up from his heart, and not just the head.
More of his works can be seen at: www.johanvikse.com I have been planning to do a post on his visionary works alone, for quite some months now. But it has taken me many months to learn first how to use this blog-technology. I will do a separate post just on his works alone. But this latest work of his is so stunning, I felt that it should not have other images in the same post. This one alone is such pure teaching, pure Dharma.
Thank you, Såtetsu.