Anna was saying to herself: why do I always have this awful need to make other people see things as I do? It’s childish, why should they? What it amounts to is that I’m scared of being alone in what I feel.
. . . we die to each other daily. What we know of other people Is only our memory of the moments During which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same Is a useful and convenient social convention Which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.
Dealing with behavior out of the here-and-now is a waste of time.
Paint the soul. Never mind the legs and arms.
Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well. He has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun.
I know a lot of men who are healthier at age 50 than they’ve ever been before. Because a lot of their fear is gone.
In talking about Dharma Art, we do not mean art which necessarily depicts Buddhist symbols or ideas — the Wheel of Life, the story of Guatama Buddha, etc. — but rather art which springs from a certain state of mind on the part of the artist. We can call this the meditative state: an attitude of directness and unselfconsciousness in one’s creative work.
The basic problem in artistic endeavor is the tendency to split the artist from the “audience,” trying to send a message from one to the other. When this happens, art becomes exhibitionism. In “meditative” art, the artist embodies the viewer as well as the creator as he works. Vision is not separate from operation, and there is no fear in being clumsy or failing to achieve his aspiration: he simply makes his poem, painting, piece of music, whatever.
In the right state of mind, a complete novice could pick up a brush and produce a masterpiece. This is possible, but it is a hit-and-miss approach. In art, as in life generally, we need to study our craft, develop our skills, and absorb knowledge and insight passed down by tradition. When we are actually creating a work of art, there is a sense of total confidence; our message is simply appreciating the nature of things as they are and expressing appreciation without the struggle of thoughts and fears. We give up aggression towards ourselves; we do not have to make a special effort to impress people. We give up aggression toward others; we do not try to put something over on them.
Genuine art, Dharma Art, is simply the activity of non-aggression.
History is merely a list of surprises. . . . It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.
Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social rumble ain’t restful.
Millions of persons long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy afternoon.
O my soul, do not aspire to immortal life, but exhaust the limits of the possible.
Where would the gardener be if there were no more weeds?