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Thread: Treeleaf Art Circle: Impermanence

  1. #1

    Treeleaf Art Circle: Impermanence

    The next subject to explore in our Treeleaf Art Circle is Impermanence. The perception of impermanence is a powerful factor in Buddhist practice. When we contemplate that everything we know, including our very person-hood, has a beginning and an end, it becomes easier to loosen our hold on possessions, and on our hearts. The foibles we see all around us are maybe not so serious. Maybe it is not so important that things be a certain way? We still have dreams, there is still passion for life, but life is something to dance with/as and not something we can fully control. A deep perception of impermanence also brings awareness of how precious this life around us is, our loved ones and all the beings we encounter. How much more beautiful is a spring bloom because it is fleeting? In the last couple of days the magnolias have bloomed on our street. They will be gone by week's end. They have such a unique and gentle perfume.

    At the same time, when sitting Zazen we let the perception of impermanence go, along with all the opposites.... impermanence, permanence, big, small, good, bad,

    ...and sit in simple openness, whole and complete .... a dog barks, cool air on the toes, the smell of incense.


    Assignment: Please make a work of art in any medium that will decay, dissolve, erode, or fade, in a away that can be observed in days or weeks. Skill is not important, only care. There is no judgement here, only sharing. Take photographs of this fading in process and post them on this thread....


    Here is a wonderful example of disappearing art work.......
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ya-art-project


    Here is more....
    http://www.goldsworthy.cc.gla.ac.uk/...ch=99&what=ice
    The artist's catalogue is worth exploring sometime...
    http://www.goldsworthy.cc.gla.ac.uk/


    It does not have to be made with natural material, or even solid. It can be sounds, or a digital process. It can be simple or complex. A well known example of impermanence is the Tibetan Sand mandala....




    Here is someone who has made Buddhas that melt away....
    https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~dmg/ht...shengtian.html



    If you have any thoughts on impermanence, or stories about impermanence in your own life, please share them here.



    I'm going down to the creek in the local park to make something by the water ..... not sure what it will be until I start, but it will be posted here too.


    Thank you!

    Daizan

    sat today
    Last edited by RichardH; 04-19-2017 at 04:23 PM.

  2. #2
    I have to add this: For all the folks feeling some frustration at the little "missteps" in fine work or attachment to some object that is impermanent, I usually tell this story ...

    It is about a group of Tibetan monks invited to create a sand mandala at an American museum. After days of precise, careful work ... one grain and one grain for hundreds of thousands of grains ... a passing child, as the mandala neared completion, jumped into it and, kicking his feet, destroyed the fruits of all that effort! The museum staff was aghast!

    But not the monks. What did they do?

    They cleaned the floor, bowed, and began again ... one grain, and one grain, and just one grain ... impermanence ...

    At the end of the show, the monks swept away the Mandala anyway, which was never meant to last anyway.

    I used to think the story was a Buddhist urban legend, until I found this video:



    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3


    Slow Life by Super Furry Animals - the song is about news media and western intervention in the Middle East. It contains the wonderful lyric, "Rocks are slow life". I think the fact that even a rock is slowly changing is a powerful image of impermanence.

    Also, a great song!
    I think I'll also have a go at the assignment - thanks Daizan.
    Gassho,
    Enjaku
    Sat
    援若

  4. #4


    ....this is a creek in an urban park, running over layers of old landfill. With a little digging it is possible to find a glass bottle dating back to the late 1800's. It is not "pure" nature.

    Gassho
    Daizan


    sat today
    Last edited by RichardH; 04-20-2017 at 01:08 PM.

  5. #5
    Hello,
    I like, how the little creek and it's sound create this busy, ever changing, still the same, humble thing in my mind.

    I like the work of Andy-Goldsworthy very much. The 'sorted' leaves, stones, ice, branches etc.
    some pictures: http://visualmelt.com/Andy-Goldsworthy
    a (multipart) documentation https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...064C81E2E3A80C

    Thank you,
    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  6. #6
    Wolfgang Laib is a German artist whose medium is pollen. He spends months each year gathering pollen from near his country studio and uses the pollen to 'paint' large square fields of it on exhibit floors. I've had the fortune to have seen his work both in Seattle and in Scottsdale. These pollen pieces literally glow with life, as pollen is alive, and the fragrance is intoxicating. Once the exhibit closes the pollen is swept up.
    His intimate connection with nature, hours of gathering the pollen are all part of the remarkable presence of the work, and its ephemeral nature.
    The beauty and simplicity of this work is magical and deeply touching.

    please, if you have a few moments watch the video of Laib made by MOMA:

    https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibi...1315?locale=en

    gassho,
    Anne

    ~st~

  7. #7
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Hopefully I will have time and think of something to make...

    Gassho, sat today

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
    迎 Geika

  8. #8
    Art is in the eye of the beholder right? So then behold the small cluttered dresser top which also serves as a mini alter. I just finished today's sit and read this thread. The incense is a sign of impermanence myself and many others sit with every day.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  9. #9


    Morning sun....

    ....afternoon rain.



    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today

  10. #10
    Just saw, that I overlooked your Goldsworthy links, Daizan...
    sorry for repeating it... but I am a kind of longtime 'fan', even spotting Andy like structures in nature itself. ;-)
    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    Just saw, that I overlooked your Goldsworthy links, Daizan...
    sorry for repeating it... but I am a kind of longtime 'fan', even spotting Andy like structures in nature itself. ;-)
    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.
    Same here. The first work I saw of his (in a photo) was found wet leaves wrapped around tree branches, forming a spectrum of color. It would only last a day or so. Simple in every way but done with patience and care. Beautiful.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    Sat today

  12. #12
    Impermanence

    impermanence.jpg


    Couldn't resist.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  13. #13
    Haha Kotei! I could put a time lapse video on that in my house and it would be very entertaining!

    I realize we do this exercise every fall when we put out our jack o'lanterns and let the elements erode them away until they are piles of mush. Lol
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  14. #14
    I don't know if this qualifies as a piece on impermanence. It came together from fallen leaves and flowers when I was waiting for a lift following a retreat.

    If nothing else, I imagine it didn't remain in this form very long!

    http://s475.photobucket.com/user/win...tcdez.jpg.html
    http://s475.photobucket.com/user/win...farpo.jpg.html
    http://s475.photobucket.com/user/win...vjufs.jpg.html

    I had a artist friend at school (now a fine artist and landscape archeitect) who was very inspired by Goldsworthy and I am grateful to her for introducing me to his work.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    Last edited by Kokuu; 04-23-2017 at 08:23 PM.
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  15. #15

    I took some extra time creating a special entree for my chickens today... leftover noodles, fries and beans garnished with moldy strawberries, tomatoes and daffodils.


    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  16. #16


    Siren the rooster gives me a suspicious look as I sit with my camera. He guards the hens while they enjoy my culinary masterpiece.
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  17. #17

    Dang, you ladies never leave me any!

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  18. #18
    Well that was certainly impermanence in action, Jakuden, and your girls made short work of your offering!

    Lovely looking chooks.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  19. #19

    Treeleaf Art Circle: Impermanence

    Thank you! Siren would have a lovely tail if the girls didn't pick it out.
    And they turn my leftovers into another work of art 🥚
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jakuden; 04-23-2017 at 10:08 PM.
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  20. #20
    Impermanence II

    impermanence.jpg

    impermanence-II2.jpg impermanence-II3.jpg impermanence-II1.jpg

    Jakuden,
    wow, the colours of the eggs are so beautiful...
    I too learned my lesson, that there is also a certain beauty in impermanence.

    No time lapse needed over here...
    Maybe, just maybe, a certain bunch of zen buddhists, meeting for chinese tea, might behave like a certain bunch of chicken on the other side of the ocean.
    Just maybe...

    Kokuu,
    amazing, how much beauty you found in the dirt.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  21. #21
    Kotei

    That looks like a lotus flower around your sweet bowl. Lovely!

    Is a good reminder that things we might ordinarily just throw away have their own beauty.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  22. #22
    Jakuden,

    nice...very nice.

    _/\_

    Anne

  23. #23
    Thanks guys, I don't have a clue if it's anything remotely art-like or not. My "right-brain" has been asleep for a long, long time.

    Ooh Kokuu I just saw your photobucket images, I couldn't get them on my phone for some reason. Gorgeous!! I bet it cheered somebody up.

    Love the wrapper lotus bowl too!

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    Beautiful photograph!

    Std
    and neither are they otherwise.


  25. #25
    Been away for a couple of days..... just loving these posts!!

    Gassho
    Daizan


    sat today

  26. #26
    A fun twist on impermanence. With this subject in mind we are painting lightening in my class. There is nothing more ephemeral, but we are suspending an image in paint... which will take decades or even centuries to fade away.

    lightening.jpg


    Gassho
    Daizan

    sat today

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Oheso View Post
    Beautiful photograph!

    Std
    Thank you Oheso!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  28. #28
    I really like the premise of this assignment. I am a musician who works with a partner to create original ambient/electronic music. Most of what we create is made spontaneously on the spot with little or no preconceived concept or discussion. When we do perform (which is seldom these days) we take that same approach to the performance. (Side note: sometimes that can fail miserably if we are uninspired or just can't connect). One of the things I like about this is the spontaneity and impermanence

    Anyway. Back to the assignment. I was thinking of how I could use music to satisfy the assignment and share it here. Then I realized that the very act of recording the music for reproduction here would actually cause the music to be permanent.



    Just rambling I guess but I find it interesting how some creative expressions naturally lend themselves to impermanence and others not as much. Once the note is played, once the dance step is taken, once the prose has been spoken, once the line has been recited it is gone. You may try to repeat it but will never truly replicate it.

    Off to play guitar and not record myself.

    Gassho
    Warren
    Sat today
    Last edited by Tairin; 05-07-2017 at 02:27 PM.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Oheso View Post
    this "watercolor" was made on the iPad from a photo I took late in the summer season on a lake in the Adirondacks a few years ago. Late August, some of the leaves had been in the warm water for months being nibbled by insects and fish, yet at the same time a fresh new blossom had just appeared among the older leaves. 'embracing all conditions of pond flora'
    Is
    Gassho, O
    std.

    http://rjschreiner.com/?keyvalue=362...page=WorksZoom
    Beautiful. I'll also enjoy looking at the rest of your site later today.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    Sat today/LAH

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Oheso View Post
    this "watercolor" was made on the iPad from a photo I took late in the summer season on a lake in the Adirondacks a few years ago. Late August, some of the leaves had been in the warm water for months being nibbled by insects and fish, yet at the same time a fresh new blossom had just appeared among the older leaves. 'embracing all conditions of pond flora'

    Gassho, O
    std.

    http://rjschreiner.com/?keyvalue=362...page=WorksZoom
    Just Wow!
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

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