Sitting on a box of gold – painting as spiritual practice

Art as inner journey

Dear reader,


There’s an old tale, that is being told all over the world, in countless forms. It goes something like this:

A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for many years. One day a stranger walked by. ‘Do you have some money?’, asked the beggar? ‘I have nothing to give you’, said the stranger. ‘But where are you sitting on?’

‘Oh, it’s only an old box. I’ve been sitting on it for as long as I can remember’, said the beggar. ‘Have you ever looked inside?’, asked the stranger. ‘No, why should I? There’s nothing inside’.

‘Take a look at it anyway’, said the stranger.
After some resistance, the beggar opened the box. To his astonishment, the box was filled with gold.


Something precious

This teaching story touches almost everybody, since it points to a deeper knowing: there is something precious underneath ‘ordinary life’.
Daily life can be filled with all kinds of things: positive and negative, beautiful and bad. If you aren’t aware of your deeper being, you are like a beggar, deprived of a sense of belonging and fulfillment.
Once you’re connected to this ‘deep I’, your life is filled with gold – whatever the outer circumstances are.

Deep inside, everybody is looking for that gold – if they are aware of it or not. This connection to ‘Being’ (or God, or Source – it has been called many by many names in different cultures and religions) is the most precious thing on earth.


How to connect to Being?

But how do you connect to that inner peace? It can be buried under lots of thoughts, or blurred by all kinds of emotions about the ups and downs of your life.

One of the ways to connect to the deeper I is being completely in the present moment. Not thinking about the past, not thinking about the future, but just being simply aware from what’s happening inside and in front of you. Now.


The entrance to stillness

In our busy life, it’s not always that easy to find the ‘entrance’ to that space and stillness. For me, painting has always been one of the ways that led me to that inner state of Being. Making art – not for the sake of making ‘beautiful things’, but for the sake of ‘being in the Now’.

I believe many people who feel attracted to painting, do so, because they – consciously or unconsciously – know that this drive for creative expression is connected to their deeper longing for experiencing ‘the deeper I’.

So, if you feel this urge to paint, please do! For you (as it was for me) it might be one of the ways that helps you to find the gold deep inside.



With love!


PS: because I’m so enthusiastic about this way of making art in the Now, I created a free video series about ‘The Art of Now’. You can find it here.
Also, there’s an online course with the same name. You can check it out here.


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