creativity will never make sense

Dharma Wheel

Naturalness, spontaneity, and playfulness are all aspects of the ordinary mind that catches a glimpse of the world of things just as they are.

To live this life fully means to see all of it.

The doorway to this experience is the creative process.  Please delve deeply into it.

Give it a chance to do what it is capable of doing.  Engage it fully with the whole body and mind.

If you do, sooner or later, this limitless way of being will be your own.

It will never make sense, and you’ll never be able to explain it to anybody, but you will experience it, and by so doing, you will make it real.

– John Daido Loori, The Zen of Creativity

John Daido Loori - Floating Rocks

Homage to John Daido Loori, who left us on Friday.

Gratitude for all that he shared with us as a fully human being, and taught us as a Zen Master. And for his inspiring insights into the creative process, shared in his books and revealed in his exquisite photography.

Photograph:  Floating Rocks, copyright John Daido Loori

For more on Daido Roshi, please visit his pages at the awakened eye website:
the zen of creativity
John Daido Loori, artisan

the mind of winter


It’s sweaty summer downunder and the mind of winter is a far-off fantasy. But if the Xmas fairy comes with a wish to grant, it’ll be an easy choice for me: I’d l-o-v-e to attend this zen art retreat at Zen Mountain Monastery. Here’s some info from the website:

Winter is a season of deep stillness. The landscape is bare, sounds are crisp, and living creatures turn inward, seeking warmth, rest, and renewal. For many of us, winter can also be a period of trial and difficulty, a time when the life force that is at the root of our urge to create feels a bit frozen. If we look closely, though, the energy and creative potential are always there. As long as there is life, the potential is full.In this retreat, we will focus on opening the heart and mind to dispel the belief that we need special circumstances to create. We will see that, whatever state we find ourselves in, it’s possible to pick up a brush, face that situation, and use it. We just need to act with integrity. Then, simply marking a white surface with color fully expresses our creativity. We can enter wherever we are.

We’ll also have a chance to see how thirsty we are for exploration without analysis. To paint with feeling means to not know. We will explore not-knowing by painting and experiencing the movement of our bodies until the movement takes over and the unfolding of the unexpected becomes the energy that drives the brush. We may find it strange to be in a place we can’t define, but this is where true learning takes place and creativity is born.

No previous experience is necessary. All materials will be provided.

Visit the web page for more info. And if you go (you lucky sod), let me know …

Image copyright Zen Mountain Monastery website.