zazen, emotions, desire, and making art
It's been a couple of weeks since I was here last, hope everyone has had a good holiday/new year. I've been so sloppy with my zen practice, on again off again, that I often wonder what is keeping me from going deeper (besides the stiff legs of course...!) For a very long time I've been struggling with one particular point that keeps coming up and preventing me from committing myself to practice...
I have been writing my own songs for the last couple of years, often playing at coffee houses and bars-really wherever I can play. My main concern in practicing zazen long term is that it will eventually erode the idealistic (dare I say...romantic[scared]) tendencies that often catapult me into song. I feel that identifying with some aspects of the emotional narrative that often comes along with songwriting is fundamentally at odds with the buddhist notion of "non-attachment" and keeping the "flames" of desire, affections, and even anger negligible. While I am aware that when emotions get too big, they often become sickly sweet, and/or suffocating...that is a huge problem of mine (and many others I know)-I came to this practice precisely because my brain was on fire...but some of that fire, for better or worse, also inspires creativity.
Perhaps not dwelling on, and thus solidifying the emotions makes sense-but how can art be made without at least an initial regard of the internal world? Maybe the answer is to experience and then purge the emotions through the canvas, music staff or whatever. In order to create one has to *know something about the self stories and emotional landscape. Maybe not...who knows?