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Lions Roar : November 2012
problem with inviting it, reminding it, bringing in a little en- ergy as a booster. If you set up the right conditions, focusing in all the right places, the intended result will come. Whenever I create a piece of calligraphy, for example, I avoid engaging with the intended outcome—hoping the finished image will be beautiful or fearing I will miss a brushstroke. I connect, instead, with stillness, silence, and spaciousness. Then, from within this open awareness, I feel a sense of warmth. I see the paper and hold the ink-filled brush in my hand. Only then, from that place of warmth, do I allow the brush to meet the paper. The stroke of the brush is the manifest act of creativ- ity. With each stroke, the openness, awareness, and warmth are already in place and fully ripened. Spontaneous action is joyful action, and that is true creativ- ity. Whether it is a great artist immersed in the act of paint- ing, a mother embracing her child, or a bodhisattva expressing compassion to sentient beings, full immersion in the creative flow brings a sense of freedom, playfulness, and joy. If you create from this place, hours can pass without your noticing. You go beyond time and space. You have many en- lightened qualities during that timeless moment, and those qualities are far more valuable than any product you create. People who are exposed to your product may feel something of what you felt in the act of creation, just as one can feel the depth of Rembrandt’s experience captured in a self-portrait fully 350 years after he applied the paint strokes. But for the creator, the creation itself is not as important as being in the moment of creating. That is the life of an artist. ♦ A teacher in the Bön Buddhist tradition, GESHE TENZIN WANGYAL RINPOCHE is the founding spiritual director of Ligmincha Institute in Shipman, Virginia, and the Lishu Institute in India. His latest book is Tibetan Yogas of Body, Speech, and Mind. Spontaneous action is true creativity. It brings a sense of freedom, playfulness, and joy. PHOTOSBYYUNGDRUNGTSEWANGPHOTOBYCHEYENNEMCQUILKIN/CHEYENNEJOY.COM