Sunday 20 January 2008

As the Zen masters say, "When you eat, eat; when you walk, walk." Living in the present moment as fully as possible helps satisfy the itch to monitor yourself and still be yourself. As in theater, so in life — the true artists are those who are so fully possessed by what they are doing that they have no time to watch themselves. When they forget to be possessed in this way and give into the temptation to observe their wonderful performance, then they usually stumble.

Practice today the virtue of self-forgetfulness, which is at the heart of making love — being totally engaged in what you are doing or in another person. Those who make love daily by self-forgetfulness find ectasy in celebrating the love they have been making day by day

Seen at The Wild Things of God, from An Old Hermit's Almanac by Fr. Edward Hays

Creative work is play; it is free speculation using the materials of one's chosen form. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. Artists play with color and space. Musicians play with sound and silence. Eros plays with lovers. Gods play with the universe. Children play with everything they can get their hands on.
... There is a German words, funktionslust, which means the pleasure of doing, of producing an effect, as distinct from the pleasure of attaining the effect or having something. Creativity exists in the searching even more than in the finding or being found. We take pleasure in energetic repetition, practice, ritual. As play, the act is its own destination. The focus is on process, not product. Play is intrinsically satisfying. It is not conditioned on anything else. Play, creativity, art, spontaneity, all these experiences are their own rewards and are blocked when we perform for reward or punishment, profit or loss. For this reason, "Man cannot live by bread alone."
... The most potent muse of all is our own inner child. The poet, musician, artist continues throughout life to contact this child, this self who still knows how to play. "Whosoever," said Jesus, "does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter into it." Improvisation, as playful experiment, is the recovery in each of us of the savage mind, our original child-mind. Psychoanalysts sometimes speak of this recovery as "regression in the service of the ego." But it's not in the service of the ego, it's in the service of the total Self.

Full-blown artisitic creativity takes place when a trained and skilled grown-up is able to tap the source of clear, unbroken play-consciousness of the small child within. This consciousness has a particular feel and flow we instinctively recognize. It is "like tossing a ball on swift-flowing water: moment-to-moment nonstop flow."

Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art - Stephen Nachmanovitch

May your days and mine be ever-increasing in funktionslust. May we remember anew every morning that this playful Kingdom is the most real of realities. This is the spaciousness and wonderment of ultimate reality - not what we see outside our front doors.

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