Shanti ultimately means peace it can also mean calmness, tranquility, or bliss. I think that the image heart shape, points to inner peace. As you will know all the great avatars of the world point to the inner world as being far more relevant to our ‘spiritual’ growth than anything that is happening in the outer one. This is a hard concept for many to grasp but I do believe that only once we reach a point of inner knowing or peace can we really be of any help to the world we inhabit.
As of writing this we are caring for a young dove that came into our lives some weeks ago, it was found virtually dead in our pond. With the love and care of my wife and I not to mention the doves primal desire to survive I’m glad to say he is doing very well. I have to say that me and the universe had a few words about how this little fellas future was going to pan out . I had no intention of giving up on him or doing what most people advised and that was to ring his neck as it would be for the best.
I have to say this dove opened up a flood of emotion in me that I believed has been bottled up for years. In short the dove brought love back to my heart . While it may appear I have become side tracked from a description of my artwork I do not think so, this dove came to me only a few days after the creation of my image called Shanti. I will always see a connection to the the arrival of Lucky (an apt name for the dove) and this work.
Inner peace is often blocked by our inability to face emotions. The work Shanti is an invitation to search our hearts for whats truly stopping us from knowing inner peace. For me it was a hiding from the fear of heart break which had so devastated me earlier in life. By connecting with this poor dove I was forced to face the pain that he may not survive and all our effort would be in vain. To many this would seem stupid and over sentimental for it was ‘just’ a wild bird it’s survival mattered not. Such a statement can only come from a closed heart and mind that chooses to see every event in the world as separate from them. A cold and blinded view to the needs of all animals, humans included is the reason mankind can do so many barbaric acts without a second thought. I think that collectively the human race fears heart break more than anything else how else could it operate in such a loveless way. While I agree a open heart may receive much emotional pain in it’s life, a closed one will never be able to say it truly lived. As Tennyson put it :-
I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all
Only when we are at Shanti with our selves can we really let the whole gamut of yin and yang the universe has to offer in, then we will begin to see it as one vast unconditional act of love. Have a great day