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Lions Roar : September 2018
A hobby of mine is tending to my bonsai trees. Bonsai trees are living art, and through them I see the beautiful and impermanent aspects of nature. These trees, like all living things, are subject to birth, aging, sickness, and death. When I place wires on branches to manipulate shape, cut back foliage, or repot, I force my hand on nature, but taking control like this only reminds me that I have no control. At any time, these plants could cross the line from being healthy and go directly into the compost bin. This hobby helps to illuminate things as they are and soften my shell. Through my trees, I see a path, I see my path. —Richard Daley, Albany, New York For me painting is both a mindfulness practice and an expression of my practice. I’m interested in the tactile, immediate nature of painting. I explore color and form and let the energy of the moment guide me. When I’m painting, and focused on the land and the light, I’m connecting to the Earth. I think about our practice of bowing deeply and touching the Earth. We are the Earth and connected to all of life. I hope that my paintings convey stability and calm. Being in touch with the Earth helps me regain my balance and gives me the strength to help others. —Abbie Chessler, Lost River, West Virginia My work, through no particularly conscious effort, is moving more toward a visual haiku approach. That is, I now see my photographs as crystalized moments of simple, precon- ceptual perception rather than as concep- tualized comments on subject matter or illustrations of ideas. In other words, things simply catch my eye, and then the making of the photograph becomes a deliberate pro- cess of distilling and giving that pure moment of perception a concrete form that can then be shared with others. While many of the images tend toward abstraction, I always point back to the reality of the subject through simple identifying captions. —Steve Mosch, Savannah, Georgia SHARE YOUR WISDOM How do you express your Buddhist practice through art and creativity? How does Buddhism change the way you date? Send your answer, location, and a photo of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org I sit in silence, at my art table, gathering my paints, pencils, pastels. I fill a shallow ceramic bowl with water to wet the brushes. I put colors onto a palette and mix them. I place a brush in the paint, then on the canvas. With each of these steps, I take a breath, and the breathing keeps pace as I paint, in silence. —Anne Scherer, Rochester, Minnesota I start by drawing the image with a traditional grid. The image is then trans- ferred onto a sheet of copper and beaten in repoussé. I complete the metal fin- ishing with various types and colors of karat gold leaf, platinum, and silver leaf. Gemstones are mounted as jewellery on some sculptures and the face painted to open the eyes. The sculpture is then filled with precious items and texts, mounted on brocades, and framed for display. As my dharma practice, it’s a combination of mindfulness and developing the paramitas. It’s also a skillful activity in gilding and painting, the study of iconography, Buddhist philosophy, mantras, and visualization. Plus, it’s a multi-denominational activity and study of comparative Buddhist tradition as I gild everything from Burmese Buddha thrones, to Tibetan deities and bodhisattvas, to Chinese gods and goddesses. I’m currently gilding an eight-foot seated buddha, a replica of the Jade Buddha. I make the wish that my artwork will be of benefit to countless sentient beings. —Martin Walker-Watson, Bruny Island, Australia I’ve been drawing for many years but just lately have wanted to “do something with it.” Meditating while painting seems to be a way of life for me. —Bruce Baldwin, North Carolina LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2018 21