Sunday, December 22, 2013

Three Faces

A hidden phase in a painting’s life
Locked away in an artist’s mind
None take notice of a blank canvas
When a finished painting craves the attention

Sketches made create a shell
Connecting dots makes a line
Fleeting images hang on the string of life
A complete picture is never seen in the mind

The world is a teacher
Guiding an artist’s hand
The palette of experiences
Adds color to life

What appears real
Could be a fictional dream
The ever changing phases of life
Which one would you embrace?

A three dimensional art form
In which one lives and learns
Lessons are many
But is the reflection real?

Seeing the world as black or white
He draws an image with simple lines
A pencil sketch may be corrected with ease
An artist’s brush reflects his mind

A mirage can be painted
It cannot be touched
What the mind gains on seeing a mirage
Is lost when it attempts to possess it

Do the eyes see gain on seeing the world?
Or a loss when they are closed?
A closed mind sees a gain of one kind
An open mind is not conditioned by the eyes

A face displays the owner’s thoughts
Selling an expression is never hard
A portrait may be rendered by hand
But a multitude of emotions is hard to draw

The face of nature is difficult to read
Hard as interpreting a dream
A constant will to create makes a tangible thing
A blemish free reflection called space and time

To learn from nature
One needs to steadily watch
Ever changing effects
With a hidden cause

Chasing the effect
And ignoring the cause
It creates an incomplete picture
Making one hopelessly lost

A single painting
Can speak of the greatness of the artist’s hand
But this one snapshot
Cannot reveal the workings of his mind

A lifetime may be lost
Without noticing the greatness of nature’s art
If the two eyes miss this sight
How can the blind mind open it’s eyes?

The secret of life may be found in distant stars
A search that that has now gone inside an atom’s heart
The visual drama of daily life
Hides this knowledge in an entertaining show

The actors change, the scenes evolve
A different script time after time
A land of contradictory faces
Confusing landscapes that seems like one’s own

Man can drown in water, but will die without it
Fire is doused by water, but volcanoes erupt in the sea
Knowledge is everywhere, hidden in the static beauty of nature
A momentous shift, when the mind is moved to learn

What can the mind teach us about our nature?
A hidden face of every life
The art of gain is craftily pursued
The color of money never fades

Heavy thoughts float on the top
Lighter ones sink into oblivion
Knowledge abounds
But is scattered around

Clean the lens
With the cloth of patience
Scratching the surface
Will not disturb the residue deeper within

The sea of the known
Is a drop in the ocean of the unknown
Future is endless, as is fear
By knowing one the other does not go

If one eye can see the other
The mind will not see the road ahead
As the mind cannot see itself
It’s wealth lays unclaimed in plain sight

The face is not visible in one’s shadow
The shadow of creation is what we see
While eyes behold another’s imagination
The mind offers a poor imitation

If the will to create
Is unmoved by prior thought
A picture of permanence
May be held with ease

The flame cannot flicker
If the candle is not lit
The light of knowledge will burn steady
If the mind is still and ready

A still mind can behold a thought
One so big and mighty
Swallowing the universe we see
A thing so powerful, it gives everything we seek

The power of the mind
Is undermined by millions of thoughts
Transient as bubbles
Why hold on after they burst and go

Soapy bubbles
Grab every child’s attention
The child within
Is fascinated by bubbling thoughts

The power of will
Is nothing but holding a thought still
A tonic for rattled nerves
It strengthens an embattled mind

A spectator in the show
May be given a princely seat
The randomness of chance
Makes the mind that of a prince or a pauper

A mind painted with thought
Is an extension of the self
The two are never apart
We see the mind when we seek the self

Natural are divisions within the mind
Silence between thoughts
Are not the walls that divide within
It is thought that fragments the vision

A canvas, brush and paint
Essential for art
The value is in the brushstroke
But an artist cannot paint in air

The knowledge of the mind
Is not written in ink
Mind contains all
But we only see a part

Parts cannot speak of the whole
Thoughts cannot speak of the mind
Paint can be smudged before it dries
Thoughts can change before they die

A common thread between the world and mind
Neither can claim a changeless face
The instigator of change
Is thought and dust

A peculiarity of change
Is ignorance at first
Of a changeless realm
Smooth as a mirror, even if it reflects thorns

This idea of change
Is important to know
Even if it dims
The inner glow

A mental world
Full of sentient beings
Each thought is named
By the changeless self

A state of no thought
Is still a thought
In either state
One is a part of the whole

All these parts
Do not add up to the whole
All this is not an effort in vain
It still gives a lower gain

Sleep is rest
When devoid of thought
An attentive mind
Seeks the void between thoughts

The limited and limitless
Coexist as friends
Objects have boundaries
Space between them does not

Thoughts have limits
Consciousness does not
If everything comes from the same consciousness
Why does anything appear apart?

One can deny its existence
But cannot prove its absence
It cannot show itself
One would cease to exist without it

It is better to see the world in the mind
Than to seek the world for the mind
Consciousness grips both these realms
Bringing gifts of joy and sorrow

The wise see these gifts as chains
Even in a dream, one can feel its weight
The freedom to reject
Is an even greater gift

Imprisoned by this freedom
Some seek a heavenly world
Others want a worldly heaven
Whatever the choice, consciousness never fades

Chasing the fruits of knowledge
One forgets the source
Every fruit has a different skin
The sugary sweetness is common within

Guarding this essence is not a lock and key
It is a mind that seeks not the one, but many
A recipe for success is created by will
An open mind sees change as an inevitable end

One’s faith in the world is deceived by change
A desire for pleasure attracts mental propensities
By feeding thoughts that bring despair
A crumbling edifice will be all that is left to show

On the chessboard of consciousness
There are many moves
The permutations are endless
Why aim for a draw, when a win ends the game?

When there are opposing sides
We see winners and losers
Some pieces will inevitably fall
When victory is sought

In the game of life
Consciousness is an abstract thought
It is an uniform stage
Where the drama is played

If one dislikes the play
One cannot dismantle the stage
Ignoring the drama in front
Contemplate on the inner self

When nothing remains but the self
Fear of loss sees its end
Emancipation results and brings bliss
A raft that rescues all from a mortal abyss

-N. Seshadri