Three Wise Monkeys and Happiness
Have you heard of the The Wise Monkeys of Japan? The source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th Century carving over the door of the famous Tosho-gu shrine in Nikko, Japan. I had the pleasure to visit the shrine in 2010.
Hidari Jingoro did the carving following the philosophy of Tendai-Buddhist legend representing the three dogmas of the so-called middle school of the sect.
The three monkeys are names Mizaru (see no evil), Kikazaru (hear no evil) and Iwazaru (speak no evil)
I created three paintings honoring each one of these monkeys. The paintings are 24x18", acrylic and oil pastels on acid free paper. They are sold unframed. Each cost $550 including free shipping in the USA. They are titled Say Nothing, Hear Nothing, and See Nothing.
Happiness - Where does it come from?
I am very active in LinkedIn and in the last few weeks several of my connections brought up the subject of happiness. I was reading Harari's Homo Deus book where he addresses this same topic in the first few pages of the book. So... I thought it was about time I talk about happiness.
Happiness cannot be bought, acquired by osmosis, and/or suddenly found when you meet someone new. Happiness does not come from external events and/or possessions. True happiness is present inside yourself. If you are walking through life saying that you will be happy the day that you [win the lotto, find the perfect partner, get the job x]; in other words, expecting that external factors will bring you happiness, you will probably live without satisfaction.
I am a practicing Zen Buddhist, and I believe that happiness comes from my inner self. You might wonder how you find the seed of happiness inside you to make it grow and let it become the essence of your being. I recommend that you start looking for the most basic... focus on your breathing. Breathing, in particular during the pandemic we are going through, is a luxury that as of this writing 3 million individuals do not have the luxury to continue doing. Take a deep breath and smile... that smile is watering the seed of happiness.
Do external events affect me? Yes, of course. However, they do not erode my natural state of happiness. They act like icing on a cake. You could have the most amazing cake, and add some icing that gives an awkward flavor or one that enhances the flavor of the cake. Nevertheless, the amazing cake remains the same. I have experienced loss, anxiety, fear, passion, and crazy love... all these were icing on my cake of happiness.
In French, we have an expression that says état de bonheur permanent. This is how I live my life.
Want to learn more about this philosophy? I recommend following Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and his Plum Village Monastery in France.
Thank you for reading and I see you in two weeks.
Upcoming Art Events
Virtual Art Exhibition - April 23rd, 2021 - 10-11 a.m. Pacific Time at https://meet.google.com/wgu-nsiv-ehz - A display of paintings by Cecilia Anastos related to the concept of womanhood.
Open Studio / Gallery Art Exhibition in San Diego, CA.
Date:Saturday, April 25th, 2021
Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. / 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. / 5 pm to 7 pm. Select a slot using the RSVP form below.
Event Title: Womanhood in Paintings - An exhibition of figurative paintings related to women (portraits, high heals, silhouettes, etc)
Location: Mira Mesa, San Diego, CA - This is an open air studio and well-fitted masks are required at all times. No more than 10 individuals at a time will be present during the exhibit. No walks ins. You will receive address upon registration.
This is a blog about philosophy of life and art / paintings. New posts come on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month.
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