Deep in the wild mountains, is a strange marketplace where you can trade the hassle and noise of everyday life, for eternal Light.” – Milarepa
September sun, crisp air and wonderful colors
What buddhism and the dharma means to me
These past couple of days, my mind has been spinning in the direction of motivation and inspiration towards writing and painting. I feel creative again, after many, many months of having a huge creative blockage in my system. I’m painting and writing letters to people I care about. I’m not feeling as critical towards my own ability to create, and therefore I am able to play around more without being too hung up on the result. I even found the courage to go ask an art studio and a gallery in town if they wanted to display my paintings, and they did! What an adrenaline kick.
Anyway. I felt like writing about my buddhist path. Two nights ago, I was at a small get-together, a moving-in-party at a buddhist friend´s place, and the conversation steered towards spirituality and religion. Me and this friend were the only practicing buddhists in the room, and it became evident to me that there are a lot of assuptions about buddhism that I just don’t find true at all, in my personal experience. For example that the (historical) Buddha Shakyamuni is looked upon as a God, above other people/followers, that enlightenment/buddhahood is something mystical only available to certain people and that spirituality is in the culture, not necessarily in people’s heart and mind.
To me, it only makes sense that since we all have a mind, that means we all have the same ability to transform it, to step out of the wheel of suffering and confusion. And since we all have a heart, we all have the potential to open it towards all living beings, and develop a compassionate heart without disrimination. The Buddha Shakyamuni showed us it’s possible, and so did many other dharma practitioners and teachers, like Yeshe Tsogyal, Padmasambhava and Jetsun Milarepa – to mention a few. I believe it is true though, that some people have a stronger connection to dharma (the teachings and the practice) than others, but still the possibility is there.
I think it’s important to remember that when we are practicing dharma, it is not to become a part of Tibetan or Indian culture, or to belong to any other culture with a strong tie to buddhism. It is “simply” to be a kind of scientist who looks closely at our own minds, and to be able to use the samsaric (cyclic) mind as a tool to tranform it into an enlightened one. Training our minds through meditation. In this sense, I feel buddhism has much more of a spiritual approach to it, than a religious one. There is a lot of religious and cultural baggage attached to buddhism that I personally don’t agree with, for example putting young children in monasteries, away from their families, blindly believing something just because a robed person said it without using common sense to check it for yourself, and the still-existing patriarchy that’s going on in some areas of buddhism.
Despite this, I still call myself a buddhist because I feel a strong devotion in my own heart to practice the dharma and a motivation to transform my mind using the buddhist teachings. I feel lucky to not live in a poor country and to have time to practice and to be able to go on retreats 3-4 times a year with a wonderful sangha and a very capable teacher. I also feel like the basic buddhist principles of ethics, honesty and being of help and benefit to others is such a beautiful and transformative thing.
Having been a practicing buddhist for about two years now, I definitely feel like I have a more clear mind and a more pure heart. Still long ways to go, but feeling progress is golden. If you’d like to check out the tradition I am practicing in, go to openheart.fi 🙂
Photographer: Agnetha Mortensen (@dirtydaypictures)
Photo edit by me 🙂
Photography by Agnetha Mortensen (@dirtydaypictures)
Photo edit by me 🙂
The neon top was a lucky thrift store find here in Tromsø, and my awesome vintage 70’s panties was another lucky thrift store find in Finland last year.
Six years ago a lovely friend of mine took some photos of me in Bukta in Troms, and last week at the Bukta festival I randomly met her again while picking trash 😛 We decided to meet up for another photoshoot, and so we did yesterday! We tried many different looks, this one might be my favorite. Raincoat, bra and latex skirt. Perfect summer outfit :’D (Not, it was so warm, it felt like I was wearing a portable sauna!)
You can check out her instagram here!
Photo edit by me
Had a very fun, lively and creative photoshoot with my good friend David González (Buendia photography) in his studio in Tromsø city. I have made the clothes myself 😀 The green string bag is made of photography printed fabric, picture was taken close to where i grew up 🙂 Feel free to contact if you would like to purchase one yourself, or are interested in any of the clothes as well.
Bought a stack of linen canvas papers to practice on. This is first try 🙂 A little yogin on a mountain top. Acrylic paint.
“Deep in the wild mountains
Is a strange market place, where you can trade
The hassle and noise of everyday life
For eternal Light”
“Kom, mai, du skjønne, milde,
gjør skogen atter grønn,
og la ved bekk og kilde
fiolen blomstre skjønn!
Hvor ville jeg dog gjerne
at jeg igjen deg så!
Akk, kjære mai,
hvor gjerne gad jeg i marken gå!”
Perspektivet museum har de siste månedene hatt en fantastisk fin postkortutstilling med samiske motiv (samlet av Alan Borvos mellom slutten av 1800-tallet og til midten av 1900-tallet), og nå nylig hadde de et foredrag om nettopp denne utstillingen, samt at man kunne få lov å prøve monotypi (maleteknikk). Sykt morsom teknikk, absolutt noe jeg blir å prøve hjemme selv!
Tok noen bilder av utstillingen med mobilen. Så mange fine postkort/fotografi!
Monotypi: legg en glassplate over et motiv (postkort, foto etc.), mal på glassplaten etter motivet og deretter ta et avtrykk av glassplaten med papir. Voila!
Likte litt at hun ble ansiktsløs (da jeg ikke er noe flink å male ansikt), føler det representerer på en måte den undertrykkelsen og anonymiseringen av urfolk som har vært – og enda er, til en viss grad. Når man ser på henne (min versjon til høyre), kunne det nesten vært “hvilken som helst” urkvinne.
Tara 💎 ‘She who liberates’
‘She is considered to be the deity of universal compassion who represents virtuous and enlightened activity; a female bodhisattva.
The word Tara itself is derived from the root ‘tri’ (to cross), hence the implied meaning: ‘the one who enables living beings to cross the Ocean of Existence and Suffering’. Her compassion for living beings, her desire to save them from suffering, is said to be even stronger than a mother’s love for her children.
The story of Tara’s origin, according to the Tara Tantra, recounts that aeons ago she was born as a king’s daughter. A compassionate princess, she regularly gave offerings and prayers to the ordained monks and nuns. She thus developed great merit, and the monks told her that, because of her spiritual attainments, they would pray that she be reborn as a man and spread Buddhist teachings. She responded that there was no male and no female, that nothing existed in reality, and that she wished to remain in female form to serve other beings until everyone reached enlightenment, hence implying the shortfall in the monk’s knowledge in presuming only male preachers for the Buddhist religion. Thus Tara might be considered one of the earliest feminists.’
I am definitely not gonna write a “new year, new me” post, because I am really not trying to improve myself. If anything, I am trying to dissolve what is left of “me”-identity 😀 I am not going to say “2018 will be the best year” either because the last two times I did that, the year proved to be the absolute worst/hardest, haha. Not gonna jinx it this time!
The new year has started off with a very bad flu + migraines + something called laryngitis (constant couching and loss of voice). Luckily, people rarely call me, so good old texting is in order! I hope I get better fast, tho, because I have some couchsurfing hosting to attend to, and also there is the TIFF (Tromsø International Film Festival) coming up. Plus some concerts…and parties…ah, how will I find the energy to do all this 🙂
I do, however, want to say that I wish the new year will be even more creative and that I will find more motivation for my art. Doubt and low energy has been big for me these last months and it has affected me a lot. I also wish that I will develop and find meaningful connections and adventures this year. I don’t believe it is good for anyone to be too much alone or isolated, even if you have chronic illness or social anxiety or whatever reason. I have been in a place where being around people have been *impossible*. So I am so grateful that is not the case anymore, and lately Couchsurfing has been kind of a lifesaver in that regard. I don’t have a job or go to school, so meeting new people this way is really nice. I still love my own space, but balance is always key 🙂
Last year, in January, I started a crowdfunding for a medical treatment (rehabilitation) in the Dead Sea, next to Jordan and Israel.. I have not received enough funds to go there yet, but if I do within the next 8 months, it is very possible I will go. Other than that, the year is pretty much open to whatever happens. Not gonna plan too much.
Happy new year, folks 🙂
“Dunes/texture” 18 x 24 cm, acrylic on canvas board. Trying out different stroke techniques; I think this one made it look very alive and “flowy” 🙂
Oh, and here’s an amazing song by an incredible woman you don’t want to miss!
Wishing everyone a happy new year! My new year has started off with lyrangitis (constant couching and loss of voice), and what seems to be a chronic headache. According to the good old internet, I’ll be fine within a fortnight, and that the cause of this might be “loud singing” or “too much alcohol”…well, I did have a fun Christmas, but how can one have too much fun?
“Svalbard” 10 x 15 cm, akryl på lerret
“Polarstjerna” 20 x 20 cm, akryl på lerret
* * *
Prøvd meg litt på å male vintermotiv i det siste. Syns snø er litt vanskelig å få til å se ekte ut, men det er vel bare å øve videre 🙂
Ofte når jeg er ute, finner jeg steiner som bare må bli med meg hjem fordi jeg tenker de er perfekte til å male på. De trenger ikke være firkantet, eller være helt glatt, jeg liker at de er litt ru og skjev eller at de har en helt unik form. Og ofte er det lettere å finne ut hva man skal male om steinen har en spesiell form, slik som denne – syns en seilbåt var helt perfekt! Å male på steiner kan også være en fin måte å øve seg på; å bruke hundrevis av kroner på lerret kan jo bli dyrt i lengden 🙂 et lite tips på fredagskvelden 😉
Har blitt helt forelska i å lage søte små maleri. De er så lett å jobbe med, da man kan holde lerretet i hånden hele tiden, og dessuten liker jeg veldig godt å bruke små pensler. Føler at fokuset på detaljer blir ekstra viktig 🙂
Dette maleriet er forøvrig til salgs – skal legge det inn på butikksiden!
I am currently working on a bigger piece (60 x 60 cm), but I needed a small break for it, so I decided to do some wave and cloud painting studies/practice. Turned out pretty okay, but I see many places where improvements can be made. Things don’t have to be perfect at first try, and the practice of different techniques is key. I did, however, really like the colors. Blue, pink and orange – and a bit of purple inside the peaks of the waves. I see many more wave paintings in the future, for sure! 🙂
Har slitt veldig med motivasjonen i det siste når det kommer til maling og andre kreative aktiviteter. Vet ikke helt hva det kommer av, men jeg har lyst å komme tilbake til den kreative flyten jeg hadde for noen måneder siden. Så i dag har jeg satt av hele dagen til å bare høre på musikk og å teste ut forskjellige maleteknikker. Jeg merker hvor mye inspirasjon jeg får av musikk, så det er noe jeg absolutt skal utnytte bedre. Her er et album jeg snubla over på YouTube som jeg likte veldig godt:
Og så klart litt strupesang:
This was a very fun project to do. I got an order to make a rainbow body/sambhogãkaya representation in the form of swirling rainbow light in primary colors (the five elements), with a simple black circle. It was a challenge to get the different colors in the same size and had to do most of it freehand, but it turned out super nice and whole image seems to have movement which was the goal. It took about 7-8 hours in total, and each color has 4 layers to not make it look streaky. The person who ordered it seemed very pleased with the result and seeing someone else appreciate my work is priceless. Thank you.
50 x 50, acrylic on stetched canvas. Simple yet powerful.
Se oftere mot nord.
Gå mot vinden, du får rødere kinn.
Finn den ulendte stien. Hold den.
Den er kortere.
Nord er best.
Gå mot vinden, klyv berg.
Se mot nord.
Det er langt dette landet.
Det meste er nord
Diktet ‘Nord’ av Rolf Jacobsen
“Nordnorsk sommer”, akryl, 6 x 9 cm
Lite dikt om nostalgi, barndom og savn. Bilde tatt i sommer 🙂
Newsest acrylic painting, inspired by the colorful Moomins! 🙂 40 x 50 cm on canvas
Had a little break from painting in the Easter, but today I felt like making something again. Have not bought any new canvases, the only ones I have are these tiny cute ones, and they are very fun to work with because you can hold them in your hand.
The weather here is absolutely amazing these days; clear blue sky all the time and very much snow in the mountains. So this was inspired by that 🙂
Snowy Norwegian mountains.. Every time I take the bus, I drive pass these mountains, and they look very majestic, so I had to paint them ❤ Still about one thousand more mountains I want to paint, hehe, but all in good time.
20 x 40 cm, acrylic paint
6 x 9 cm, acrylic on canvas. For sale in my shop – link in menu bar 🙂
Tiny painting made with tiny brushes mounted on tiny easels! 6 x 9 cm 🙂
“The eagles of Manwë”, 50 x 40 cm, acrylic on canvas
“The Great Eagles were beings of Arda said to have been “devised” by Manwë Súlimo, the leader of the Valar, and were often called the Eagles of Manwë. They were sent from Valinor to Middle-earth to keep an eye on the exiled Ñoldor, and also upon their foe the evil Vala Morgoth, and later yet upon Morgoth’s lieutenant and future Dark Lord, Sauron.”
Finally made something new and fresh, and it feels really good to make something that comes straight from a creative and pure place. It’s been a long time since I was in such a creative mode. I have a thing for mountains and peaks, especially if they are covered in snow. Growing up in Northern Norway (Troms and Finnmark), I have been spoiled with mountain views all my life, but for some reason I decided to make a mountain peak how I imagine it looks like in the Himalayas, a place I’d much like to visit one day 🙂
A guru painting of a young Guru Rinpoche, aka Padmasambhava 🙂 This was a birthday present for my dharma brother/best friend, and he really liked it. Mission accomplished!
Acrylic paint, 30 x 40 cm, on canvas board
Small painting I did today! Perfect Sunday activity 🙂
Bhaisajyaguru, aka the Medicine Buddha.
18 x 24 cm
Ny hobby: skrive dikt oppå foto jeg har tatt 🙂