Mind and No-Mind in the Arts

When not in a personal, face to face situation, masters try to convey their teachings through words. This is a very natural thing as words are the most common communication channel for human beings.

Even so, words, unless the listener already knows their reference, remain elusive very often.

Pictures might transmit a broader range of symbolical meaning.

A few days ago I was struck by the difference of feelings and sensations two different pictures aroused in me.

The first one, you surely know, is a photography of Le Pénseur by Rodin. The second one, a depiction of the Buddha. I ignore its source and was unable to find it on internet again (may be you know it and can complete this piece of information, though for the purposes of this post it is not essential).

Just a few leading questions you might want to use when looking at these pictures:

Is the person portrayed busy or vacant? Full or empty? In which measure is he aware of his surroundings? What physical sensations each of these images arouses in you? Heaviness? Lightness? Mental noise? Mental calm? Here-now? Elsewhere? Mind? No-mind?

Le Pénseur by Rodin:

A Buddha depiction:

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