BgArt News Blog
Monday, April 17, 2006
  Artists and Buddhist Monks
A friend and I was talking about what it's like to be an artist and how it can be a really tough way to live. One issue that came up was dealing with emotions and sensitivity. I said that I often walk out of the studio feeling very vulnerable, very sensitive to everyone and everything around me. Then that slowly fades after an hour or so, before I start feeling more "normal".
My artist friend had this more dramatic description of the same kind of situation..
"Buddhist monks seek deeply but need the padded comfort of a monastery and fellow seekers surrounding them, yet the poor artist seeks just as deeply and is bombarded with the harshness of everyday society. We walk around with our fragile fronts, trying to readjust to society, even though another layer is taken off the onion each day.
Our everyday human defenses are taken down in order to seek that which can't be seen with the leather jacketed skin needed to operate in society. One cannot paint with a leather jacket on. One must paint with naked abandon and submission."
>> Being an Artist
BgArt News Blog Comments:
I am both an artist and a Buddhist. I don't think one is more protected than another. After a very good creative day in my studio it leaves me drained. Before I go out into the "Real World" I need a sleep followed by some sugar for my brain. Or I watch something like the news on the TV which always brings me back to "True Reality" very fast.
I think he meant that the monastery of the monks is their protection. Which means it could just as easily be a nun in a convent or a sage hiding in a cave.
Meaning those that are protected from the crap that society throws at us.
Living in the city or the suburbs forces you to deal with society.
I believe monks live in temples and, to me, it seems like such a peaceful life.
Read this post on my blog:

Power Pathology, Creativity, Individuation

It really helped me understand some issues i have been experiencing lately. After being involved in rather advanced studies of Buddhism, interesting dynamics begin to play out with others within groups. It could be anywhere, an organization, job place whatever. Trust me there is nothing peaceful ultimately about being human, and exploring the reality of ourselves, most of us chose not to. I think understanding Buddhism helps understand the life of an artist, there is something deeply important about the similarity.
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