Creativity

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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greggorious
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Creativity

Post by greggorious » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:33 pm

In Buddhist terms would having a creative gift almost be a source of desire and attachment, therefore an unwanted thing? I play Guitar, sing and write poetry and must confess that a lot of my creativity comes in darker moments, when I do feel an unhealthy desire or attachment to someone or something, or maybe attachment to my own feelings. I'm almost worried in a way, that if I go down the Buddhist path, become more peaceful and serene, that I'll lose my creativity.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

Chi
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Re: Creativity

Post by Chi » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:45 pm

If you begin meditation, the creativity will have more room to flow.

Let the attachments just fall away and let freedom ring!

Have no fear. The creativity isn't yours to begin with. Just let go.

You already know this.

Be Happy!
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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daverupa
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Re: Creativity

Post by daverupa » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:46 pm

The Buddha's similes are rather creative, and arahants seem capable of some fairly impressive poetry...
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

greggorious
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Re: Creativity

Post by greggorious » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:34 pm

I don't think I'll be coming an Arahant anytime soon, but I understand what you mean. Zen masters seem to be good with poetry and art I guess.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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Cittasanto
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Re: Creativity

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:00 pm

I have heard some dancers and musicians have a hard time giving up the "art" when they go into monastic life, although I dont think there is to much wrong with it from a lay point of view, but it is how you use the energy that is important.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

greggorious
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Re: Creativity

Post by greggorious » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:23 pm

I'm not gonna go into monastic life, I'm not "Buddhist" enough for that. Maybe one day I will. I was thinking of going on a weekend retreat to a Thai forest monastery here in London, in the the tradition of Ajahn Chah.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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Cittasanto
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Re: Creativity

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:59 pm

greggorious wrote:I'm not gonna go into monastic life, I'm not "Buddhist" enough for that. Maybe one day I will. I was thinking of going on a weekend retreat to a Thai forest monastery here in London, in the the tradition of Ajahn Chah.
Amaravati,
there are other places near by but Amaravati is Dana Basis unlike other places

I menioned it as it is an issue many have had varying levels of success dealing with, at varying levels of strictness.
I will PM you
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

AstralProjectee
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Re: Creativity

Post by AstralProjectee » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:44 am

Chi wrote:If you begin meditation, the creativity will have more room to flow.

Let the attachments just fall away and let freedom ring!

Have no fear. The creativity isn't yours to begin with. Just let go.

You already know this.

Be Happy!
What the heck do you mean by "the creativity isn't yours to begin with"? I thought that we are responsible for our thoughts and actions. We are so intimately tied to our actions they become a part of us. As long as we our identified with any thought, we are responsible for it in some way. And it represents us while we are attached to it. Not in an ultimate way, but in a realistic way. This is the kind of stuff I have been posting about. People get the idea that we need to just watch our mind as if we may not take responsibility for it. I realize we really need to evolve and develop more free will through thinking and creativity but we and Buddhists need to acknowledge that it is only by really acknowledging the thoughts in the first place that we are able to find Buddhism or reality to begin with.

Peace and light!

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manas
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Re: Creativity

Post by manas » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:31 am

Hi greg,

I've been either interested in, or (when more inspired) actually practicing Buddhism, over the course of the last 20 years or so. My practice has sometimes been low level or even temporarily absent, but that was just to give you a time-scale, because if I add it all up, I've had a reasonable amount of experience in Buddha Dhamma over that time, enough to make quite a difference in my life. And I wanted to tell you that although there is less 'egotism' in my music-making now than when I was younger, there is more expressiveness. Meditation has helped me become a better and deeper listener, and so I hear the sounds I am making better now than ever before. Plus I am less likely to delude myself that I am playing properly if I'm actually not, haha. In that sense, I have become more exacting of myself. But conversely, I now have much more naturalness in how I play a melodic line. As I'm listening, I keep aiming at the most natural, flowing sound possible, something that sounds like it is being made up on the spot, you know what I mean? Spontaneous, fresh, alive. So I hope I have convinced you that ime meditation, over time, has not undermined my creativity, but rather, has refined it. And it will do the same for you also, imho.

with metta. :anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

greggorious
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Re: Creativity

Post by greggorious » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:20 pm

I guess Chi means that if there is no self, then the creativity isn't 'Mine'. It belongs to the whole universe, not to this ego.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

Buckwheat
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Re: Creativity

Post by Buckwheat » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:34 pm

Creativity is just hiding your sources. :tongue:

Playing guitar for me arouses many passions and increases my neurotic nature. For that reason, guitar does seem a bit counter-productive on the path (for me).

However, creativity is not simply a matter for art. Creativity applies to how we stack wood, schedule our work, and (most importantly) relinquish the dukkha in our lives. If we can redirect our artistic impulse to matters dhammic, creativity becomes a very important part of the path.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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reflection
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Re: Creativity

Post by reflection » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:00 pm

Creativity won't disappear. As said, it can even grow. But the need to express creativity, it will fade out. But this is only peaceful! No need to do so much stuff. As an ex musician you can trust me on this. I say ex, because I seldomly play anymore. It doesn't feel like I lost anything. Rather, I gained more free space in my mind and time.

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