The Day I Painted Abstract

The day I painted abstract is described in chapter 20 of my award-winning autobiography.

A breakthrough in my energy medicine studies brought a drastic shift in consciousness and from that moment on the brush strokes magically flew over the canvas creating abstract art. This enchanted state of consciousness has stayed with me til this day and I tap into it when I paint!

Abstract Art

Please read about this life-changing experience:

It was March 1989. I couldn’t wait to leave Germany; the world was big and life was filled with possibilities. I arrived in Israel and immediately enrolled at the language school Ulpan Meir on King George Street in the bustling center of Tel Aviv. I was excited to study Hebrew. The school was an international melting pot. The 30 students in my class had come from Holland, Britain, France, Russia, United States, Brazil, Argentina, the Philippines, Germany and Iran. I was studying six days a week for six hours a day. My head buzzed with new words and grammar.

After completing the half-year language program, I was accepted at the Avni Institute for Fine Arts in Tel Aviv – Jaffo. I had yearned to study art, and being far away from home, I had finally escaped my parents’ sphere of influence. I was determined to live my dream. I studied figurative painting, landscapes and nudes, and was intrigued with abstract art. The works of the Israeli artists Lea Nikel and Moshe Gershuni impressed me deeply. Rough edged chunks of colors filled Nikel’s canvases, overlaid by calligraphic scribbles. Gershuni’s works included mysterious dark surfaces, burning with fire. The occasional symbols of the cross or the Star of David spoke directly to the viewer’s soul. The German artist Joseph Beuys was my favorite. Beuys was not only an artist but also a shaman. He created art with a variety of materials; the most eccentric were felt and fat. Discovering the healing power of art, he had boldly stated, “Every human being is an artist.”

His incredible ability to command a sheet of paper with a single line of pencil mesmerized me. One fragile line emanated immeasurable strength, as if containing all secrets of the universe.

But I felt frustrated. None of my attempts to create abstract art had succeeded. Unable to step beyond copying what my eyes saw, I was bound to models and landscapes. My effort to translate my inner world of feelings and images into paintings had failed. The door stayed locked and I did not have the key to open it.

At that same time I  began to practice yoga and became interested in the healing arts. One evening Ronit, a friend at Yoga School, and I sat together drinking tea.

“Dorit, I started studying with an incredible bio-energetic healer,” she said. “I remember that you had mentioned you are interested in learning more about healing. His new course starts soon. You might like it.”

“What’s his name?” I asked.

“Rafi Rosen.”

“Oh, yes. I have heard of him. People seem to be very impressed with his work.”

“Impressed is an understatement. He saved my mother’s life,” Ronit said. “My mom had suffered from frequent back pain for some time. She had seen a doctor who prescribed pain medication. But it didn’t help much, so she decided to try the unconventional route. She asked me to accompany her to an appointment with the healer.” Ronit was of a gentle and quiet nature, her body slender, and her brown eyes set back, which emphasized her strong eyebrows. She never talked much, but I could see how excited she got telling the story. In a fluid motion she swung her long black hair over her shoulders. She beamed. “Rafi moved his hand twenty inches above my mother’s spine and concluded that she had to see a doctor immediately. A tumor needed to be removed. He diagnosed her within two minutes. Then he asked her to lie down on a treatment bed and gave her a half hour healing session. He never touched her; only once he put his hands on the area where he said the tumor was located. When we left my mom’s pain was gone. She went on to see a different doctor and tests revealed a small malignant tumor. Her surgery was scheduled without delay. Had she not seen Rafi she might not have found out until it would have been too late.”

“And he teaches how to do that?” I was curious.

“Yes,” Ronit said. “The course is life changing.”

The next day I signed up for the training. The classes took place at Rafi’s home on Balfour Street in Tel Aviv. Our group of 20 students sat in a circle on soft comfortable mats. A fresh breeze streamed through the open windows. The green scent of trees filled the air. Rafi’s intense blue eyes moved quickly. His grey curls reached to his shoulders. He introduced the subject.

“You are much more then a physical body. You are surrounded by fields of energetic consciousness and you will learn to sense these fields. The energetic information transcends time and space and influences all aspects of your lives: your health, your thinking, and your ability to relate to people.”

Rafi had instructed us to pair up and to move the palm of one hand over the top of the other person’s head. Closing our eyes we focused on the kinesthetic perception. Moving my right hand above my partner’s head, at first I felt nothing. I focused on abdominal breathing and tried to slow the chatter in my mind. Slowly I sensed a prickling sensation. A gentle stream of heat emanated from the top of my partner’s head. Moving my hand aside to her shoulder the sensation ceased. For comparison, I used my left hand and noticed a different sensation; the energy felt like a fresh mountain stream. Rafi had explained the different sensations with the fact that as one hand gives, the other receives. My ability to perceive energies intensified the more I relaxed. Astounded to sense something that my eyes didn’t see, I practiced the exercises daily.

Throughout the following weeks I refined my abilities to distinguish subtle energies and detected the congested clutter typical for a headache or the deep dark hum indicating a clogged artery in a patient’s heart. Thrilled I learned the principles of energetic healing.

My concept of reality had shifted; my mind opened. Entering a process of redefining who I would be as a human being, I had begun to see life in a new way. One day the class focused on giving up control. Rafi explained, “Being in control all the time messes up your lives. You get stuck, your energy field gets stuck and then you get ill. It is futile to think that you are in control. Only when you learn to let go can you truly enjoy the flow of life.”

Rafi stood up, brushed the curls out of his face and clapped his hands. “Let’s all get up and form a circle. Today we’ll practice an exercise that will allow you to let go of control. One at a time you will lie down in the center. You will shake your head and pound arms and legs into the mats as fast as you can until your mind starts spinning. Go far beyond your comfort zone; keep on going for as long as you can and then relax. The rest of us will encourage you, and once you have lost complete control, we’ll focus on sending healing energies.”

My turn came. My body sank into the comfortable mats; I inhaled deeply and then slowly shook my head, my arms and legs. I looked up into the cheering faces of the fellow students, then closed my eyes and increased the speed. My head started spinning. Dizzy, I tried to resist but couldn’t stop the surge. An untamed force of madness burst through me. With no thoughts and nothing to hold onto, I went faster and faster until I couldn’t sense my body. It had felt as if a wild outrage ripped open every one of my cells. I heard myself screaming, and then it stopped.

I had surrendered, out of breath, lungs pumping. My closed eyes witnessed a brilliant white golden light all around. I was peaceful, yet alert, awakened and energized in a way I had never known before. The cells of my body pulsated with new life energy. Slowly opening my eyes, I saw light all around. And then the picture emerged of the smiling, loving faces of my classmates. Their hands directed toward me, I observed the brilliant light streaming from their palms. Extending my gaze I viewed the fields of light surrounding everyone with dazzling intensity. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief, but the light shone bright and brilliant.

My broadened perception had lasted until the end of the healing session. Later that afternoon I went to art school. My easel stood positioned next to the ceiling-high windows. Bright daylight streamed into the classroom. Enjoying the view of the Mediterranean Sea, I saw Tel Aviv’s high-rise buildings in the distance. Looking at my empty canvas, I prepared to paint another vase of flowers working out in detail the intricate play of light and color. As soon as I picked up the brush, I knew something felt different. I trusted my instinct, remembered Rafi’s words that we have to get out of our own way, give up control and let life flow. Intuitively, I began throwing quick brush strokes of thick oil paint on the canvas. It all happened so quickly; I had no time to question what I was doing. A rhythmic dance of determined movement amazed me, revealing colorful results on the canvas. Creating abstract art felt easy.

Something had opened up in me. The unknown that I had not been able to grasp suddenly made perfect sense. I entered a new dimension of awareness. My studies in the field of energy healing had affected the way I was doing art and thus had changed the way I perceived reality. Like a stone of creativity thrown into a pond, it had inspired many beautiful ripples growing and expanding in all directions.

Dorit Brauer


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