But all the while I have been thinking about authentic voice and how to explore it in the studio. In my post of Dec 28th I talked about hearing the call to authentic voice and seeing this as the new year's most important work. My past methods of approaching authentic self in my art usually involved struggle and frustration and a lot of self judgement. It is my intention to try another tack (even though I am not a sailor) I will lean into the winds of more open exploration and play this year and see where that takes me. Intention, I hear tell is an important word.
A while back I picked up a second hand copy of "True perception, The Path of Dharma Art" by Chogyam Trungpa. I started wandering through its pages and wanted to share a quote that seemed helpful as I begin the new year and new mind habits of approaching my art. Here's what he has to say:
"When we talk about art, we are talking about a form of some kind that we could work on. So it is like the practice of meditation. But what is that form, and how does meditation go along with it?.... Absolutely nobody can become a good craftsman or a good artist without relating with the practice of meditation.... I'm talking about the sitting practice of meditation.... But what do we mean by the sitting practice of meditation? For instance, Beethoven, El Greco, or my most favorite person in music, Mozart -- I think they all sat. They actually sat in the sense that their minds became blank before they did what they were doing. Otherwise they couldn't possibly do it. Just coming out of the market and plopping down at the dining-room table and writing a play -- that's impossible. Some kind of mind-less-ness in the Buddhist sense has to take place. From that basic ground, the sense of being, openness, or isness begins to develop."
So there it is kids, Beethoven didn't come running in from the market and plop himself down and write the moonlight sonata. So we won't be wandering in straight from Costco or Patterson's Grocery or the laundry room and expecting to make contact with that energy that taps into both our own deepest selves and the collective voice that's out there for us to draw on. It takes a sacred, contemplative, nurturing approach, an approach that listens to our own crazy stirrings. So I invite you to join me. Find your space, the ratty old sweater you love and just sink into that Mozart space.