A Road to Contemplation: Tekapo’s Stillness

Oil Painting – 87.5 x 58 cm

This oil painting captures the serene beauty of a remote spot near Tekapo Lake, where the road stretches endlessly without a trace of pavement, and the solitude is palpable. As I ventured through this desolate landscape in my car, I found myself completely alone, surrounded by the vivid blue sky and ever-shifting clouds. The image is imbued with a sense of quietude, with only a charming puddle on the unpaved road serving as a reminder of the natural world’s gentle presence.

In this tranquil setting, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a verse from the Khaggavisana Sutta: A Rhinoceros, which speaks of renouncing violence and the allure of solitude. The line “Go Alone Like A Rhinoceros’ Horn” resonated deeply with my experience as I wandered through this untouched landscape, free from the distractions of modern life. The painting captures the essence of solitude and the beauty of a solitary journey, encouraging us to embrace moments of quiet contemplation and self-discovery.

Renouncing violence
for all living beings,
harming not even a one,
you would not wish for offspring,
so how a companion?
Wander alone
like a rhinoceros.

For a sociable person
there are allurements;
on the heels of allurement, this pain.
Seeing allurement’s drawback,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.

One whose mind
is enmeshed in sympathy
for friends & companions,
neglects the true goal.
Seeing this danger in intimacy,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.

– from Khaggavisana Sutta: A Rhinoceros