Wear the world like a loose garment….

Jonathan Angel Unveiled
Jonathan ~ Angels Unveiled TM: oil, acrylic, pencil on canvas / Montana Black

The ability to let go is an essential part of living a joyful life. This is my friend Jonathan. He is painted engaged in the act of setting a caught fish (koi) free. My intention here is to talk about how important it is not to hold on to people, places or things too tightly.

In the Buddhist tradition the symbol of the fish is sometimes used to illustrate our thoughts. A practice to calm the mind is to let them (thought-fish) swim by without attaching to them. Also setting a caught fish free represents the concept of ahimsa – do no harm. Go through the world causing as little disruption as possible and letting go all but what is in the present moment thus walking in peace through right-thought and right-action.

We can squeeze the joy out of what we want and what we have thus denying what could be when we hang on too tightly to how we “think” things should be.

Set free your Love, into a world hungry for healing and peace.
Release your angel of your nature and watch what wonderful things occur.


You do not have to be good…

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver

Flowering of Consciousness

White Lotus on Blue

Oil, acrylic on canvas – 24” x 24” / MontanaBlack

The lotus is a symbol of enlightenment, creativity, nurturing and spiritual guidance. These beautiful flowers grow out of the dark, cold mud into the bright and warm sunlight. This can show us that we have the capacity to grow out of the mud of our perceived limitations into the full realization of our magnificence.

Within each of us is the power to transform the world. There is a light of wholeness we are born with… come from. In fact, this light is the foundation of everything around us.

In much of my work I strive to illustrate this light – this divinity- existing in all life…all matter. The flower is a beautiful symbol of the moment of understanding when self realization has been achieved – a flowering of consciousness.

The blossoming plant is a wonderful metaphor for the expansion of human consciousness. A plant spends its days growing and gathering what it needs to live and survive, and then one day, when enough growing and gathering has been achieved and conditions are just right, a bloom appears…glorious, beautiful, life affirming and life giving flower.

We make our way, day by day gathering understanding, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously, getting closer and closer to what our hearts are longing for. I call that longing Oneness with my higher power. I keep turning toward the light of Oneness because it is what my soul desires. And one day, when conditions are just right, my consciousness will blossom fully into total realization as will every being in this world.

“Once we make the simple acknowledgement that we are a part of the whole, then a connection is made between our light and the world. We make this connection with our consciousness and with our imagination; then through this connection our light begins to flow. In this way we begin to redeem the work of the whole. These connections create pathways of light that find their way through the darkness of the collective psyche. Just as in our personal psyche, there are blocks and places of resistance to this flow of light; and there are also places of power, creativity, and unexpected qualities”. *

“This simple and radical truth was known to the alchemists: it is the light hidden in matter that will redeem the world.”*

Peace and Light,

*From Anima Mundi: Awakening the Soul of the World; Published in Sufi Journal, Issue 67, Autumn 2005 by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Polar Bear Dream

Polar Bear Dream

Polar Bear Dream; mixed media on canvas / Montana Black

This is a painting of dream time, the place where things that would not normally mix can come together. Maybe that is why dreams can be so wonderfully and powerfully transformational. They enable us to explore places and ideas that we would not let ourselves experience while awake. In dreams our subconscious can show us the truth of things without the cumbersome rigidity of “real life.”

“In Carl Jung’s theory , dreams are the direct, natural expression of the current condition of the dreamer’s metal world. ‘…a spontaneous self-portrayal in symbolic form, of the actual situation in the unconscious.'” (site reference)

Dreams come from the realm of the unconscious–that vast, silent, powerful part of the mind who’s language is purely visual.

In dreams there are so many opportunities to work out problems on a variety of levels–spiritual, personal, professional, and emotional. Most indigenous peoples of the world throughout history have recorded stories of people receiving valuable life ensuring information via dreams, such as which plants would heal and which would kill. Where the best hunting places where to be found, how to make fire, and how to make shelter, what the tribe needed to be whole, etc.

On a more modern note, there are many, many great writers, poets, musicians, scientists, inventers, and entrepreneurs who’s greatest works and discoveries were the direct result of dreams. “Yesterday” came to famous singer/song writer Paul McCartney in a dream.
A dream helped inventor Elias Howe solve a design problem in his “sewing machine” so it would work. Massively successful author Steven King gets any of the ideas for his novels from dreams.

The unconscious is a vast resource waiting patiently to be tapped. Think of it as the cosmic world wide web. One of the ways we can log on is through our dreams. So tonight make a conscious decision to remember your dreams. It may take a little time and practice to remember and then sort out what your unconscious is telling you, but the effort will be well worth it.

Happy dreaming.


Nurturing Possibilities

Nurturing Possibilities Original_Art_by_Montana_Black

Oil, acrylic, oil paper on canvas – 12” x 12”/ Montana Black

Nests and eggs symbolized for me the nurturing of the possible and pure potential within each of us.  We have and infinite and unbounded array of possibilities to tap into. Our challenge is to not limit ourselves by old and worn out belief systems that no longer serve us. Remember to place your attention on nurturing the limitless possibilities of your life.

The saying in the painting is from part of a poem the by Sufi mystic Rumi:

Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom.

How do they learn it? 

They fall and falling,

they’re given wings.