The Art Of Meditation

There are lots of ways to do it. Dervishes whirl ecstatically. Quakers sit in silence. Holy men in India (never sleeping through the night, or wandering very far) might keep a fire alight for months or even years. Religions of all different sorts have found, through meditation, ways of nearing the divine.

"Perspectives: Y.Z. Kami," now on exhibition at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, is itself a meditation -- a meditation in three paintings, big ones from New York.

Will Kami's three big oils-on-linen lead you toward the numinous? Maybe, maybe not. Are they Eastern art or Western; old in mood, or new? Yes, all of the above.

You see: a figure of a man. He's wearing a fleece jacket. His identity is not given. His portrait is nearly 10 feet high, and since it shows only his upper half, he's a lot bigger than you. He seems to be, he is, meditating deeply. His eyes are closed but not squeezed shut. He's half-humble, half-exalted.

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