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14 February 2017

Lemon with Leaf (present moment) (+ "How to Love")

Lemon with Leaf (present moment), oil on linen on panel, 7 x 6 in.
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Today's painting is part of my "present moment" series. If you are interested, How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh is worth reading. Maria Popova writes about it well; here is an excerpt:

"At the heart of Nhat Hanh's teachings is the idea that 'understanding is love's other name' — that to love another means to fully understand his or her suffering. ('Suffering' sounds rather dramatic, but in Buddhism it refers to any source of profound dissatisfaction — be it physical or psychoemotional or spiritual.) Understanding, after all, is what everybody needs — but even if we grasp this on a theoretical level, we habitually get too caught in the smallness of our fixations to be able to offer such expansive understanding. He illustrates this mismatch of scales with an apt metaphor:

'If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.' [Keep reading]

If you enjoy this painting, you may also like to see Lemon with Three Leaves (Separation of Powers) or a bunch of my paintings of lemons.

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