The Buddhist philosophy is one of reaching a state of Tao or balance this is based on the idea that there are opposites that are always in affect around us. Opposites such as good and bad; light and dark; positive and negative or even Yin and Yang, these states of being are always surrounding us and within us. Once a balance has been achieved both in the world and more importantly within ourselves we reach Tao which translated mean simply, The Path.
If you are an artist or know one then you know that we are often in extreme states of positive and negative often within not only the same day but the same hour. Reaching this state of balance is not as difficult as you may think just close your eyes for a moment and think of a time that you were busy creating your art. In that moment when you were writing, composing, dancing or painting you were in a place of Tao. You were not aware of time or hunger or other people around you. You were in a state of complete balance; time and space were one and you, for that moment, were both inside and outside of your personal reality, in a phrase you were “One with the Universe”.
If only we could stay there in that perfect place of creativity. If only we were always as at peace as we are in that moment. Unfortunately we can rarely stay there for more than a few hours at a time but those few moments or hours can make the world of difference to both you and those around you. It can also make the difference of being able to cope or not with the demands of the world, and man can it be demanding! We are under pressure all the time; pressure if we are not making money at our art; pressure if we are to fulfill commitments for performances or commissions; pressure to follow the agenda others set out for us. All of this pressure can throw you into a tailspin and you will land in what I call the Blank Zone. The Blank Zone is the equivalent to the Sargasso Sea, the place in the ocean where there is no wind and if sailors were trapped there they could just float around for days going nowhere slowly. You all know the place. This is when you sit with that blank sheet of paper or canvas in front of you with nothing coming out or you may as well have two left feet or fingers as far as the music or dancing you are doing. Your brain is buzzing with all the “Stuff” that is happening that has nothing to do with your art.
This is where a moment of meditation is needed, just sit quietly, if you are inside go outside for a moment and sit quietly and listen to the sounds around you. Focus on the noisy traffic or the twittering birds, take a few deep breaths slowly in and out and allow your body to relax. Let your hands go loose, your eyes close and just breathe. Once you are feeling relaxed think about the art you are trying to create, see yourself making it, see the mood or colour of it. The moment you have a clear vision in your mind get up and go back to creating your art. You have reached the state of Tao; the path to creativity.
Lock the door, turn off your phone and computer and make your art. Take all the time you can without interruption and you will create something truly glorious.