For me, painting is a means to express the truth one discovers through meditation. The essential practice of meditation is to allow the mind to express itself freely without fear or judgment. In each moment of awareness we encounter impressions of the outer world through our sense perceptions as well as our inner world of thoughts, feelings and emotions. When we are able to let this incredible array of experience be, without trying to reject what we fear or pull in what we are attracted to—when we relax into experience without trying to manipulate it in any way—we have a complete experience of mind, naked and unaltered. Painting, when it is free of such notions as beauty and ugliness or should and shouldn’t, can be used to express this complete experience of mind. When art evolves from this understanding it provides the possibility for those who see it to also experience the unfabricated nature of their own mind.
When we trust our creativity we encounter a supreme kind of enjoyment –
an amazement at the natural unfolding of life
beyond our ordinary way of looking at things.
Meeting reality directly requires confidence in the fundamentally positive nature of our being. The more we trust what arises in our mind to come from this creative source, the more we can let the mind be as it is, rather than approach it with judgment, fear or manipulation based on our likes and dislikes. My hope is that my paintings communicate the beauty of this unhindered practice of free expression.
~ Kongtrul Jigme Namgye
Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche is a teacher in the Tibetan Nyingma tradition and an abstract painter.
In his book Natural Vitality, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche speaks about how the creative process and meditation can merge.
The essential practice of meditation is to allow the mind to express itself freely without fear or judgment. In each moment of awareness we encounter impressions of the outer world through our sense perception as well as our inner world of thoughts, feelings and emotions. When, through the process of meditation, we are able to let this incredible array of experience be, without trying to reject what we fear or pull in what we feel attracted to – when we relax into experience without trying to manipulate it in any way – we have a complete experience of mind, naked and unaltered. Art, when it is free of such notions of beauty and ugliness, ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ can be used to express this complete experience of mind. When art evolves from this understanding it provides the possibility for those who see it to also experience the natural and unfabricated nature of their own awareness. –Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
Abstract art presents a great opportunity to test the mind with the rochig view. Rochig means one taste, which in this context refers to letting all that is readily available come into the mind and then creating art from those thoughts and feelings without discriminating between them. So much is experienced in such a short period of time and that is the source of creation. Art then becomes a mirror of the artist’s mind on a deep level, and the viewer can experience that mind at a glance or in an instant. That is the magic of creation. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
The role of the artist is to stop creating and allow experience to unfold in a natural way – creative energy is innate and spontaneously present. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
I have so far found a number of strands of ikebana, the art of flower arranging. It is a traditional japanese art with a number of schools. It is a spiritual art form, called kado, the way of flowers. It has a presence in the west in Shambhala as developed by Chogram Trungpa. So there are many roads to journey down……..
And flowers do not just include flowers, but branches, pods, seeds, the picked and the offerings, with non-traditional movements using different materials, including metals and glass.
But, in many ways, the photographs, as ever tell it all. For the more curious, check out http://www.joandstamm.com
…..some “avant – garde” examples of ikebana….
These photographs are the work of a fellow art student, Eriika Szel.
Erika writes: There is a dimension that we don’t understand. My work follows in man’s search for meaning.
I believe every speck of dust has a marvellous soul, but to understand it, one must recover one’s magical sense of things.
My works are an existential search for an abstract presence, an intuitive search into the unknown.
As I reached the source of Light, I could see in. I cannot begin to describe in human terms the feelings I had over what I saw. It was a giant infinite world of calm, and love, and energy, and beauty. It was as though human life was unimportant compared to this. And yet it urged the importance of life at the same time as it solicited death as a means to a different and better life. It was all being, all beauty, all meaning for all existence. It was all the energy of the universe forever in one place. – The Tibetan book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
Erika kindly provided me with images of her work for my blog…..thanks Erika…….