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Buddhadharma : Winter 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly winter 2 0 09 40 we come to understand how the nature of mind is vast and its vitality so pervasive and inspiring, we transcend all of the dualism between “my” work and “their” work. All artists, I think, have to appreciate the natural vitality of other artists’ work. Regardless of whether we are interested in expressing our- selves artistically, from the perspective of the Buddha’s teach- ings we are always creating our world. The universe cannot be said to exist objectively on its own without our subjective mind to apprehend it. You cannot separate the two or speak of one without the other. In this sense, our life is created by our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions; and all of those thoughts and feelings are in essence being created by our natural vital- ity and our natural state of mind. If we look at it in this way, art can be seen as anything that arises from the true nature of mind, hand-in-hand with any conduct that promotes that expression. Anything that is in conflict with this natural vital- ity—that tries to freeze or grasp it—will create entanglement in the insecurities of the ego, causing misunderstanding of what the true nature of mind is, and fostering the ego’s desire to secure something for itself. These tendencies pose a challenge to creating something wholesome. Even if someone is able to produce something that becomes widely acclaimed and appreciated, they will suffer from this “me” and “mine” problem. All of that attachment and grasping, aggression and rejection, will hinder rather than liberate the artist. We could come to a point where our own work suffocates us, like the silkworm that creates a cocoon and expires inside. However, through the meditation practice of transcendental mind that acknowledges mind’s true nature Untitled #213, 2006