Creativity

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  • Ekai
    Member
    • Feb 2011
    • 664

    Creativity

    Since I have been sitting Shikantaza, I noticed I am more open to creativity. I work as a graphic designer which involves developing creative solutions every day. Doubt, fear and self-judgement are all creative killers, and I feel I can let go of those afflictions easier. This allows ideas to flow more freely and to be aligned with my creative abilities. Also, the finished design is simpler but in a good way. Simple meaning it's an effective, creative solution that meets the project objective without the unnecessary elements. I truly believe Shikantaza helps to be in touch with my creative side even though that's not the reason why I practice Shikantaza.

    Has anyone else experienced more openness to their creativity whether it's art, writing, music, etc.? Please share if you have.

    Thanks
    Jodi
  • Ryumon
    Member
    • Apr 2007
    • 1701

    #2
    Re: Creativity

    Originally posted by jodi_h
    Since I have been sitting Shikantaza, I noticed I am more open to creativity. I work as a graphic designer which involves developing creative solutions every day. Doubt, fear and self-judgement are all creative killers, and I feel I can let go of those afflictions easier. This allows ideas to flow more freely and to be aligned with my creative abilities. Also, the finished design is simpler but in a good way. Simple meaning it's an effective, creative solution that meets the project objective without the unnecessary elements. I truly believe Shikantaza helps to be in touch with my creative side even though that's not the reason why I practice Shikantaza.

    Has anyone else experienced more openness to their creativity whether it's art, writing, music, etc.? Please share if you have.
    That's tough to judge. I'm a freelance writer, and there are days when I can write a 1000-word article in an hour, with few corrections or revisions to make afterwards. I don't know if this is from experience, or if my mind is more flexible than in the past.

    Personally, in my work, doubt and self-judgement are good to have. I find the need to question myself, whether what I'm writing is useful, valid, or well composed, in order to do better. Perhaps with visual creativity it's different...?
    ---
    Ryūmon (Kirk)
    流文

    SAT/LAH

    I know nothing.

    Comment

    • RichardH
      Member
      • Nov 2011
      • 2800

      #3
      Re: Creativity

      I couldn't tease apart the Dharma from painting. Painting is practice. Once skills have been internalized through repeated effort they become second nature, or rather first nature. The practice of painting is just painting with no painter. It is not always like that. There are self-conscious times, and the work shows that self consciousness in its laboured gesture. But generally once things warm up, the art determines its own unfolding. Working with a canvas has an effort profile. Initially there is feeling out the basic image onto the surface, but once there is some information on the canvas, it begins to suggest its own unfolding. This suggesting grows until in the final stretch where the painting really does paint itself. That latter stage is very joyful.

      The biggest killer is doubt, second guessing. No doubt. No second guessing. Just a spontaneous gesture that has an effortless perfection, like the way a tree grows. But I do think that confidence in skill, born of effort and commitment, is the ground.

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      • Omoi Otoshi
        Member
        • Dec 2010
        • 801

        #4
        Creativity

        Beautiful words. Makes me want to paint!
        In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
        you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
        now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
        the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

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        • RichardH
          Member
          • Nov 2011
          • 2800

          #5
          Re: Creativity

          Well, I guess we all have one thing we can talk about without hesitation. :lol:

          Been slowly going through the talks posted on this site by Jundo and Taigu, and those words inspire to practice. Should join in the group sittings when I figure out the techy part. Slow learning curve that way. Gassho.

          Comment

          • christopher:::
            Member
            • Nov 2011
            • 16

            #6
            Re: Creativity

            Originally posted by Kojip
            Initially there is feeling out the basic image onto the surface, but once there is some information on the canvas, it begins to suggest its own unfolding. This suggesting grows until in the final stretch where the painting really does paint itself. That latter stage is very joyful.

            The biggest killer is doubt, second guessing. No doubt. No second guessing. Just a spontaneous gesture that has an effortless perfection, like the way a tree grows. But I do think that confidence in skill, born of effort and commitment, is the ground.
            Beautiful description. This has been my experience as well, and it's what initially drew me most strongly to meditation. The change in how "I" created was dramatic, suddenly it was like the works were painting themselves, or more like a dance where there was a unity of artist/creating/art, with no division.

            Truly joyful.

            A Harder challenge has been to bring that creative mindset to everything in life.

            Comment

            • Omoi Otoshi
              Member
              • Dec 2010
              • 801

              #7
              Creativity

              The same thing with martial arts. In Judo for example, first comes intentionally throwing by breaking balance and applying full force, then you get more skillful, more focused, more prepared, Mind like Water. Throws come naturally flowing. Finally there are moments when you are being balance, being motion, being effortless throwing, everything throwing and being thrown, pure action without intent. Moving Zen.
              In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
              you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
              now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
              the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

              Comment

              • Geika
                Treeleaf Unsui
                • Jan 2010
                • 4980

                #8
                Re: Creativity

                Originally posted by Omoi Otoshi
                ...In Judo for example, first comes intentionally throwing by breaking balance and applying full force, then you get more skillful, more focused, more prepared, Mind like Water...
                This is why I would like to find a skillful martial arts teacher sometime soon...
                求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
                I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

                Comment

                • Omoi Otoshi
                  Member
                  • Dec 2010
                  • 801

                  #9
                  Creativity

                  If I were looking for moving Zen in martial arts, I would try Aikido first. Many Judo and Karate teachers, especially in the west, view these arts as sports only, which is a pity. Not that you can't find Zen in doing martial arts as a sport, but I think the transition from Zazen to moving Zen would be more natural in Aikido.
                  In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                  you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                  now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                  the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                  Comment

                  • christopher:::
                    Member
                    • Nov 2011
                    • 16

                    #10
                    Re: Creativity

                    I've never studied martial arts, but have long appreciated the sayings of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. I also found the book "Zen and the Art of Archery" to be helpful. Many people need to work with a teacher to "get" Zen as activity but in the end practice is most important, imo, and that is something we can do anytime, on our own. Learning to focus closely on what you're doing. After basic skills have been developed thoughts start to drop away naturally, i think, as all the senses are actively engaged with the art or activity - be it cooking, martial arts, drawing, playing piano, making love, etc...

                    Comment

                    • Ekai
                      Member
                      • Feb 2011
                      • 664

                      #11
                      Re: Creativity

                      Originally posted by Amelia
                      This is why I would like to find a skillful martial arts teacher sometime soon...
                      Originally posted by Omoi Otoshi
                      If I were looking for moving Zen in martial arts, I would try Aikido first. Many Judo and Karate teachers, especially in the west, view these arts as sports only, which is a pity. Not that you can't find Zen in doing martial arts as a sport, but I think the transition from Zazen to moving Zen would be more natural in Aikido.
                      I have been in martial arts for about 12 years. Kyuki-Do is the main focus of my martial arts training with the fortune of having great teachers. The teaching is an essential component to the student's development in martial arts. Martial arts is definitely more than a sport. Students realize their own potential, both physically, mentally and spiritually. Effective teachers help students learn discipline, self-control, patience, persistence and respect for themselves and others. Martial artists are expected to keep challenging themselves, both in the do jang, and in every other area of their life.

                      Kyuki-Do is a Korean martial art that primarily incorporates elements of Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido and Judo /Juijuistu, street fighting and weapons techniques. Since this art is comprised of other styles , my school offers Judo and Aikido classes. I agree that the blending martial arts styles are like moving Zen. However, Judo and Aikido is so humbling and more difficult than just punching or kicking like in Karate or Tae Kwon Do. Using good technique and going with the flow without thinking about it or muscling the technique takes practice.


                      Originally posted by Omoi Otoshi
                      The same thing with martial arts. In Judo for example, first comes intentionally throwing by breaking balance and applying full force, then you get more skillful, more focused, more prepared, Mind like Water. Throws come naturally flowing. Finally there are moments when you are being balance, being motion, being effortless throwing, everything throwing and being thrown, pure action without intent. Moving Zen.
                      I really like Judo and is so much fun but my Mind is not Like Water yet during Randori I am lucky to execute a good throw and usually get thrown A LOT by the higher ranks. But I know it will get better with practice and perseverance!

                      Thanks,
                      Jodi

                      Comment

                      • andyZ
                        Member
                        • Aug 2011
                        • 303

                        #12
                        Re: Creativity

                        Jodi,

                        I think this book will be interesting to you. John Daido Loori was a photographer himself and his approach to Zen training has art practice as an essential part of it.
                        http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Creativity-Cu ... 528&sr=8-1
                        Gassho,
                        Andy

                        Comment

                        • Omoi Otoshi
                          Member
                          • Dec 2010
                          • 801

                          #13
                          Creativity

                          Hi Jodi!

                          Anyone can punch or kick and I agree it is more humbling to utterly fail a throw than to throw a really bad punch, but I'm not sure one is more difficult than the other to master. Learning to kick or punch really well, with perfect form, perfect distance, perfect timing and perfect force is hard...

                          I'm not a Judo black belt and I don't want to paint myself as a martial arts master... Only once or twice have I experienced a glimpse into being one with the throw and never in a competition or "competitive" full force randori situation. The old Samurai could probably keep their minds like water in the face of overwhelming odds, while I lose it as soon as my friend in the white pyyamas accidentally steps on my toe...

                          To get into the flowing, non-thinking, moving Zen-like randori, it helps if the partner is not afraid of getting thrown. Most times in Randori what you get is a battle of the egos, where both persons want to "win". Instead of stiff arming, fighting for grips, bending over and playing defensively, I like randori a lot more when the arms are relaxed, you stand up straight, dance around on light feet and don't mind falling when thrown well. In this kind of ego-less but intense randori, it is much easier to let the Judo do itself, without thinking. And this is why I suggest Aikido before Judo. Judo is often very competitive, while there should be no competitiveness in Aikido.

                          /Pontus
                          In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                          you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                          now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                          the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                          Comment

                          • RichardH
                            Member
                            • Nov 2011
                            • 2800

                            #14
                            Re: Creativity

                            Originally posted by "christopher

                            A Harder challenge has been to bring that creative mindset to everything in life.
                            Thats the thing. If the Dharma was just about non-duality in art making (or Judo), it would be a cinch. But what about when that painting gets damaged at the gallery, or when the market tanks and it doesn't sell. What is practice then? ..... What about when the shit hits the fan, which it seems to do in a continuous stream? :lol:

                            Comment

                            • michaeljc
                              Member
                              • May 2011
                              • 148

                              #15
                              Re: Creativity

                              I am a really really bad artist. Freestyle crafting, such as in sculpture, I am a little better with. I feel more comfortable fashioning words but – interestingly - I do not have the same urge to write since becoming more active in my sitting practice. Haiku have abandoned me of late.

                              However I do go passionately into mechanical design using CAD. Over the last months I have started to master 3D on a new program recently purchased whch has given me wings on which to fly. What sitting has done is to nullify the importance of deadlines – you know like the dude who burnt all his carved sutras to keep a stranger warm and then set about re-writing them.

                              Cheers

                              m

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