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Lions Roar : January 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2013 64 in our makeup. Inquisitiveness is the seed syllable of the artist. The artist is interested in sight, sound, feeling, and touchable objects. We are interested and inquisitive, and we are willing to explore. We appreciate purple, blue, red, white, yellow, vio- let. When we see them, we are so interested. Such tremendous inquisitiveness is the key point in the way we look at things, because with inquisitiveness we have a connection. We as human beings have certain sense organs, such as eyes, noses, ears, mouths, and tongues, to experience the different levels of sense perceptions. And our minds, basically speaking, can communicate thoroughly and properly through any one of those sense organs. By training ourselves in the understanding of art as a fundamental and basic discipline, we could learn to synchronize our mind and body completely. In doing so, the first step is learning how to look, how to lis- ten, how to feel. By learning how to look, we begin to discover how to see. By learning how to listen, we learn how to hear. By learning how to feel, we learn how to experience. When sense objects and sense perceptions and sense organs meet, and they begin to be synchronized, you let yourself go a little further. You open yourself. It is like a camera aperture: your lens is open at that point. Then you see things, and they reflect into your state of mind. That seems to be the basic idea of how a perceiver looks at a work of art. 5. Unconditional Expression From our practice of meditation, we no longer regard a work of art as a gimmick or as confirmation. It is simply expression— not even self-expression, just expression. We could safely say that there is such a thing as unconditional expression that does not come from self or other. It manifests out of nowhere like mushrooms in a meadow, like hailstones, like thundershowers. The basic sense of delight and spontaneity in a person who has opened fully and thoroughly to him or herself and life can pro- vide wonderful rainbows and thundershowers and gusts of wind. We don’t have to be tied down to the greasy-spoon world of well- meaning artists with heavy-handed looks on their faces and over- fed information in their brains. The basic idea of dharma art is the sense of peace and refreshing coolness of the absence of neurosis. We have to be so genuine and gentle. Otherwise, there is no way to work with the universe at all. You have a tremendous responsibility: the first is to yourself, to become gentle and gen- uine; the second is to work for others in the same way. It is very important to realize how powerful all of us are. What we are doing may seem insignificant, but this notion of dharma art will be like an atomic bomb you carry in your mind. You could play a tremendous role in developing peace throughout the world. ♦ Adapted by Carolyn Rose Gimian from “Heaven, Earth, and Man,” in The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Seven, based on a seminar entitled “Dharma Art” given in Boulder, Colorado, in July 1979. CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA met Stella Coe, a master in the Sogetsu school of ikebana, Japanese flower arranging, during his studies at Oxford University in 1963. She found Trungpa Rinpoche to be an instinctive student who “didn’t really need to be taught.” In the early 1970s, he began to share his interest in ikebana with students and exhibited his arrangements in gallery installations in Los Angeles, Denver, Boulder, and San Francisco. “Ikebana discipline is not just arranging pretty flowers or organizing a beautiful arrangement,” he said. “It is a reflection of oneself—how much appreciation and sense of being in the world one has managed. From that point of view, it’s much better than going to a psychiatrist.” Opposite: Discovering Elegance installation, Los Angeles. Bottom left: entrance to installation; right: room representing audience hall; above: arrangement in room representing kitchen. PHOTOSBYANDREAROTHCOURTESYOFSHAMBHALAARCHIVES