It's a Wild World
© Melissa Ireland
“It’s a wild world where we fool ourselves into thinking we tamed it.”
In 2019 I let go of living in the USA to travel the world volunteering.
As an artist who never did like the idea of planning her artwork first
and instead delighted in the mystery of the experience, wandering the world
was not much different. I remember once an art teacher told me that I must
plan my work because it was going off the page. Well, it was time for my life
to go “off the page” so that I could refresh my delight in the mystery of it all.
“We die often enough
so that no matter what the form, the artistry is felt.
The experience steeped in a humility that was always there,
though we pretend it just arrived.
Letting go, allowing the grace of a remembering,
that the only reality is uncertainty, be touched
creating a space for us to return,
for the next song,
for the next dance,
and the next mystery,
with a few new dance moves.”
The next mystery opened its doors for me. After arriving in
Australia and helping out at a “Workaway” adventure
outside of Brisbane I needed an airbnb for a night before
going on to the next Workaway. A Workaway is a wonderful online platform where one can go all over the world helping others out.) There I met a woman
who also was staying at the airbnb. We enjoyed a nice breakfast together
and shared the reasons we were where we were as well as a little bit
about our lives. When she heard I was an artist, enjoyed Buddhist philosophy,
and had become a meditation teacher she suggested I check out
Chenrezig Institute because Chenrezig not only needed volunteers, it also had an art studio.
This was such fun news! I was excited to get in touch with them! Fast forward to now
and I had 9 wonderful months at Chenrezig Institute. When my Australian visa ended,
at the suggestion of several nuns I met, I headed to New Zealand to volunteer at
Chandrakirti Meditation Centre and am now at Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity,
which is also in New Zealand. Each one of these places are very beautiful Tibetan Buddhist retreat centers that have continued to encourage and nurture my explorations of consciousness, each in their own unique way and where I have gone to new dimensions by learning how to do the water bowl blessings, beat the drum during pujas, and cook for the participants and volunteers.
It has been a few years now, of courageous leaps into the unknown and the natural order of spontaneous events and it is with great pleasure that
I continue to dance with the mystery of life from a place of helping others and
being as creative with my life as I have with my artwork.
I invite you to join me in exploring how uncertainty can exist in our lives
from a place of gentleness, ease, love, and wonder, in subtle ways like when creating
a work of art or music to the ways we actually live out our entire lives, because we want to be on the same page as the universe…..(smiles!)
© Melissa Ireland