Human Landscape – on Diving and the Shroud


black swan at Little Missenden

Diving into the heart is a practice which can be integrated with any meditation or method.   According to nature and personal type, it will take different forms;  the one may be disciplined and hatha-yogic;  another may carry it along with whatever they are doing. Others may integrate it with a Kabbalist, alchemical or holistic visualisation.  It may be done as a meditation at home, while reclaiming land, or protecting a wildlife habitat.

There may be a controlled kumbaka – inhalation, retention and exhale the breath to four counts each.  Or there may be just that fluid instant in the rising and falling curve of the wave.   It may come spontaneously when on a walk and seeing or hearing a beauty:  response.   Or it might help to calm a torment in the feelings.  All it needs is attention.  Ramana, the inspiration, advised never to force the breath or turn it into a School.  Watch it in empathy, relaxed like a rider on horse.

horse friends, 1964

horse friends, 1964


For my nature, it helps to notice the rhythmic waves of life:  pulse, respiration, the ebb and flow of sound, and of shadows through Plato’s cave.  When I begin to notice them, instead of battling away in a little box room by myself, I am already diving into the heart.    Alan and I used to joke a lot about the resistant wall or knight’s armour-plating.   But in my opinion it is unwise to imagine that there is one, or to construct in this way, a duality.

swan beit

I am inspired by watching swans on water.   In yoga, an amrita-nadi (subtle nerve-current of bliss, like a spider-thread at dawn) links the third eye chakra (mental focus) to the heart (life-centre).   Do not seek it in a linear way, but accept that third eye and heart are One, through the shining filament;  and it happens of itself:  the thought is stilled, going deep.

Similarly, Alchemy’s famous Pelican opens her breast and feeds the seven chicks (planets’ rainbow spectrum) with the light of Sol within her.   In alchemy, the work of the Sun and Moon is done with the help of Mercury – the mind’s capacity to visualise.

lunation cycle x


In my previous post, I mentioned that one can let nature dive into one’s own heart.   Let autumn leaves, damp grass, signposts and the sky – even a jar of good marmalade – do the diving.   Diving into the heart is for me, a reversal of habitual attitude.   Be dived into!

It is particularly helpful for those – like Alan and like myself – who find it difficult to sit and meditate.   And how about combining it with this …?

I have not done this for ages.  This morning my living-room carpet invited me – why?  Touch ground and see!  So I gave it a try.  I remembered some of the positions, and searched for a sketch I did years ago, but then found this beautiful image online.

A few days later … I found the sketch.



hostile workplace environment

“hostile workplace environment” – SUN HERMIT – impressions from a misty autumn stroll through Santa Cruz

Now, here is what I wrote the other day, about the Veils

Contemplation is human portraiture:  the essences and savouries.  When I feel like celebrating someone, I want to write and picture a massive blog with all my living associations and poetry around that being.   It is the relaxing throne.

A thought with “H”:   accommodate his way of needing to spread the sand around a bit, before he gets to the point,  so when he arrives and we talk, I wait.   What I see here, is his need to bring all of himself into the room and be centered, before getting down to business.   This is affection.

The being!   The being is a citadel of the Self, as filled with Light as the inside of a Tree.

I want to look at the shroud.  My night time shroud:  the settlement of the tangled web.   Francis Lucille’s meditations which guide the “witnessing” are not much use when I am within my samskara.  It troubles me how enmeshed I still am.   Going deeper, I perceive:  the shroud itself to be allowed and fully realised, even through its drift of decades – just as much as a single passing thought in Plato’s cave.  The discipline required, is to locate and concentrate on one feeling, towards its root.

I live daily and nightly with my shroud – the big plankton raft.   This is what is given, with the dolphins from the ocean playground swimming up to and around it, and often leaping through it.   It is a projective veil – tamas.   It is a byproduct of my realisation, like vaseline is a byproduct of carboniferous oil.   It behaves according to the Law.   Attempts to tear it apart or dispel it are pretty futile, and so is feeling bad about it.

dakini oracle

dakini oracle

The practice of the Light skulls the boat in dark waters.  The dark waters are heavy and mean.   Mean and Heavy!   And who looks at me through that dakini oracle?  Mother Kali.

It is difficult to find peace at night, and I feel as if I have erred, which is part of the conundrum.   Realise that the night-cloth is unmovable for the time being, and it gets laid over the moist sculpture when I am not actually at work.   The night-cloth is precisely those grey clay-soaked tattered rags in the studio, with their muddy smell.   I dreamed about them in the Watershed and since –  two cloths were used to clean a wall, and how distressed and filthy they became – and had to be made even more unhappy and filthy, dipped in the bucket,  to get the job done.  But they got washed at last, and turned into two children, tucked clean and safe, into their cots.

Perhaps if I processed my subconscious day a bit in the evening, as well as next morning, this would happen, and sleep better.

Still on the surface of Portraiture, and what this is really about;  the shining Face before I am born, with its enamoured practice-runs in life…  It is the pith of the stem;  a white brilliance;  a magnet of JAH = alchemical magnesia.


mudmaid by ... ?

mudmaid by … ?

Then as it is human landscape, accept the shadows thrown by geology and forest and town.  As the redoubtable Rebbe Alan Yakov of Prague used to tell his disciples, some of God’s brush strokes are dark;  without them there is no painting, so we should welcome them. I made this into a poem:

Nature’s common ground 
is your truth receiving light. 

Let your canvas find a key – 
the tonal spectrum of one flower, rock or leaf. 

Fidelity earths the lover’s act. 
Be a well for your brush. 
Welcome what is given.


Acceptance of the shadow turns them to light, peace, shalom.  But precisely because they ARE shadows and not postage stamps on the wall, they are suffered and then realised, suffered and then realised, again and again;  and this is the Understanding which liberates and clarifies.   This is the Underbeing of life.

And the Way of the Underbeing is the unhurried tempo of touching each flavour in the passing show, uniquely, to let it be.

A dewy spider web on a barb wire fence …  The vintage essence starts into leaf … a branch with life bursting inside, whittled down and fertile. 

When I first knew him, Alan said his Sadhana is the sculptor’s chisel:  the pain of life is what is being chipped away.

Conundrum!  Living in the present is full of obvious but INACCURATE notions that I am lazy and losing my grip.  The true NOW is an unfolding movement under that grave-cloth.

There is a Face, features of living Light like soft cloud marble;  and just raised off it is the dark woven grave-cloth which protects it when not at work, and which takes all the battering of life.




I looked everywhere in my photo-library for the picture of a mudmaid.  At last I found her.  But before I did, out dropped all these images which I like today, for this post.





My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

2 thoughts on “Human Landscape – on Diving and the Shroud

  1. Pingback: Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of Ace of Arrows/Swords | janeadamsart

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