ZEN CREATIVITY: THE ART OF LIFE AND DEATH
In 1998, after the authorities in China closed down my translating and publishing books on meditation, I bought a round-the-world ticket, and armed with Chinese calligraphy and painting brushes (they serve both purposes), xuan paper (which absorbed the various shades of black and grays with striking or subtle beauty), my 30+ uniquely carved stone seals (chops) to be stamped in red on the paintings with messages in Chinese, such as "love can be empty" or "just sitting, not doing the spring comes and the grass grows by itself" and embarked on a journey of Zen painting, as the DaoDeJing says, with no fixed destination nor time of arrival.
To share with you the flavor of the workshop, a Zen story:
A wandering monk comes to a Master. The Master asks him, "Where are you going?" The monk replied, "On a pilgrimage aimlessly." If he just said "on a pilgrimage," he would presume to "know" what his unique pilgrimage would be and his transformation would be squeezed into a box. If he just said, "aimlessly", he would be floundering, not having a rudder. "On a pilgrimage aimlessly!" the monk replied, a beautiful and even accurate answer. The master probed him further, "What is the matter of your pilgrimage?" The monk looked within and confessed, "I don't know." The Master responded,"Not knowing is the most intimate!" With this the monk was greatly awakened.
In this workshop, through active balanced with silent meditation processes, imbibing the fragrance and sipping the high mountain wulong tea Alok will serve you, and playing with the three brushes given for each of you Alok designed and had made by the best traditional brush factory in China, and painting various impossible things Alok will invite you to paint, not from learning and knowing how to do it, but from a "readiness" you'd discover in the creative now of "resting in presence and moving from emptiness"-- we relax and draw upon the intimate resources of not-knowing (bu-zhi) and non-doing (wu-wei) as we encounter and embody "The art of life and death."
Here's the description of the workshop from the website of the Sedona Arts Center, where you can register: