…..miksang life……..julie dubose……








I stumbled upon this blog this morning…….. if you are intrigued by the issue of integrating miksang photography into the big world of photography, the blog repays a visit……..it strikes that it relates to all areas of endeavour……


The following is a list of sites Julie recommends……enjoy………

…..leonard cohen…………

Today, I head to Dublin to see Leonard Cohen in concert………so todys blog I leave to Leonard…………


“Going Home,” the first song on Leonard Cohen’s new album, “Old Ideas,” comes from the perspective of his inner self, or, as Cohen—who lived for five years in a Zen monastery—might call it, his Buddha nature. It is this spiritual Higher Leonard who is looking forward to “going home without my burden, going home behind the curtain, going home without the costume that I wore” as he moves through the latter decades of his life. That costume is the Earthly Leonard, in his suit and fedora, “who knows he’s really nothing but the brief elaboration of a tube.” It is Higher Leonard, we learn—without surprise—who is the craftsman and seer behind Cohen’s twelve mostly brilliant studio albums: Earthly Leonard “only has permission / to do my instant bidding / which is to say what I have told him to repeat.”

But Earthly Leonard is a smooth and dapper creature, and even Higher Leonard is not immune to his charms: “I love to speak with Leonard / He’s a sportsman and a shepherd.” Earthly Leonard is not only essential to Cohen’s creative process as a vessel and a scribe; it is this Leonard—racked with longing and “living with defeat”—who has the misadventures his inner counterpart requires to mold into music. The Earthly Leonard is still, thankfully, dancing around the wheel of desire, like the rest of us, eluded by enlightenment.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/02/leonard-cohens-zen-sensuality.html#ixzz26IHBZ3KL

…..the ceramics of antonia savage………

“What we make reflects our conscious, or more usually, our unconscious nature.  How we respond to the world and our experiences informs our intellect and feeds our psyche.  As human beings we are all deeply connected, and yet neither words nor forms can express the true nature of this oneness. As creative beings we try to carry this spirit forward; our work is an echo of that oneness, limited of course, not the thing itself, but important in the current world climate. 

The natural world is a source of considerable inspiration to me.  As I walk through the folds or ridges of hills, I have the sense that I am moving over a vast sculpture. I explore the gradient, surface and textures of that sculpture.  I pick up a rock, a seed, some bark.  I do not ask myself why I am drawn to that particular form.  The small object I have chosen may sit in the studio for months, or years, before I return to it.  Then, there is a more conscious observation about the quality of the form and the way that light falls on it. It is the qualitative feeling that is my guide.  When I begin to make a new shape I do not usually know what the intention is.  I hope that the eventual form will emerge from a background of observations, both visual and sensual. I feel my way forward along these invisible threads as my guide.   Sometimes there is considerable struggle finding the form, but when it finally appears it seems as if it had been waiting to emerge: there is a kind of ‘rightness’ about it which, in retrospect, looks obvious.  

Perhaps we all explore a few chosen themes in our lives to. Sometimes it may look as if we had abandoned them. But, almost certainly, we will rework them in another way, or allude to them indirectly, from time to time. Eventually we will almost certainly return to them.  We may conceptualise these themes, because labels are the dominant language of our society, but concepts are not the essence of my work.  Concepts may stimulate the mind, bring humour and evoke curiosity, help to understand the motivation behind the work, but it is seldom the conceptual element of an artwork that intrigues or draws me to it. In any case, I wonder whether, as makers, we are in the best position to understand what motivates us and why we create certain forms and images? “


….meditative painting……Pracha Yindee……

Pracha is one of Thailand’s most recognized meditative painters. First he meditates to find harmony and inner peace, to reflect on his feelings and the impermanence of all thing. And then, he stands up and infuses his papers with fluid brushstrokes of a rare intensity. He has a unique ability to create continuous and deep movements of colours, always changing, evolving into new shapes.


…..sumi-e art…..

A selection of the sumi-e paintings that sung to me today……..

Wonderful, this road to Cold Mountain —
Yet there’s no sign of horse or carriage.
In winding valleys too tortuous to trace,
On crags piled who knows how high . . . 
Han-shan (from #48 of “Cold Mountain”)



Sumi-e’ is painting what is not there!



…on zen art……sumi-e…….

Oriental artists are not interested in a photographic representation of an object but in interpreting its spirits . . . . Occidental art . . . exalts personality, is anthropocentric . . . . Oriental art . . . has been cosmocentric. It sees man as an integral part of nature . . . . The affinity between man and nature was what impressed Oriental artists rather than their contrast, as in the West. To Occidentals, the physical world was an objective reality–to be analyzed, used, mastered. To Orientals, on the contrary, it was a realm of beauty to be admired, but also of mystery and illusion to be pictured by poets, explained by mythmakers, and mollified by priestly incantations. This contrast between East and West had incalculable influence on their respective arts, as well as on their philosophies and religions. (1963:253-255).

Art in the West has developed a complex linguistic symbolism through which the artist manipulates his material to communicate something to his audience. Art as communication is basic to Western aesthetics, as is the corollary interrelationship of form and content. Music is considered a language of feeling (Hanslick 1957) and consists of”sonorous moving forms.” A landscape painting in the Western tradition is not merely an aesthetically pleasing reproduction; the artist uses his techniques of balance, perspective, and color, to express a personal reaction to the landscape–his painting is a frozen human mood. The aesthetic object is used as a link between the audience and the artist’s feelings. And the artist’s technique is used to create an illusion of the forms of reality.

The Zen artist, on the other hand, tries to suggest by the simplest possible means the inherent nature of the aesthetic object. Anything may be painted, or expressed in poetry, and any sounds may become music. The job of the artist is to suggest the essence, the eternal qualities of the object, which is in itself a work of natural art before the artist arrives on the scene. In order to achieve this, the artist must fully understand the inner nature of the aesthetic object, its Buddha nature. This is the hard part. Technique, though important, is useless without it; and the actual execution of the art work may be startlingly spontaneous, once the artist has comprehended the essence of his subject.

Belief in the superiority of spiritual mastery over technical mastery is evidenced by numerous stories of bushido matches (Japanese sword fighting) in which untrained monks defeated trained samurai because they naturally comprehended the basic nature of the bushido contest, and had no fear of death whatsoever.

A Chinese painter was once commissioned to paint the Emperor’s favorite goat. The artist asked for the goat, that he might study it. After two years the Emperor, growing impatient, asked for the return of the goat; the artist obliged. Then the Emperor asked about the painting. The artist confessed that he had not yet made one, and taking an ink brush he drew eight nonchalant strokes, creating the most perfect goat in the annals of Chinese painting.

The style of painting favored by Zen artists makes use of a horsehair brush, black ink, and either paper or silk. It is known as sumi-e. The great economy of means is necessary to express the purity and simplicity of the eternal nature of the subject, and also because it is a generalizing factor. Zen art does not try to create the illusion of reality. It abandons true to life perspective, and works with artificial space relations which make one think beyond reality into the essence of reality. This concept of essence as opposed to illusion is basic to Zen art in all phases.