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Thread: The Zen of Creativity introduction and chapter one

  1. #1

    The Zen of Creativity introduction and chapter one

    …the question is not how skillfully something may be realistically or impressionistically painted (any creative action word can go here e.g. sewing, singing etc.). It is rather a matter of how freely, as the self-expressing creative subject, the Formless Self- expressed itself.
    (my words in parenthesis)

    Shinichi Hisamatsu, from Zen and the Fine Arts


    The Zen of Creativity, Cultivate Your Artistic Life by John Daido Loori: Introduction and Chapter one

    Hello everyone,

    We each will read this book, and each have a very different take-away. Here are my thoughts from the introduction and first chapter. They can be discussed, or anything that you find relevant please bring to the discussion. We encourage all input.

    INTRODUCTION: Daido Loori writes about the genesis of Zen art, its purpose as part of the life of the followers, both the artist and the audience. How the art is inseparable from the artist, encompassing creativity and spiritual practice all pointing to the nature of reality. The purpose of this art is not product oriented, whether a haiku poem or a piece of music. But the act of creativity itself.
    In some ways I think this introduction is the most important section of the book, as it describes the inherent creative spirit, we ALL possess. Zen art is not about skill, technique, but being present to the creative force within and letting go of judgement and self-absorption. Art makes itself if we can let go of this judging self and ego for that moment and just be present.

    Possible Discussion points:

    -Creativity: as Daido Loori points out creativity is our birthright. Although this book focuses on artmaking, creativity is not just making 'art'. This is a critical point! Every time you solve a problem, mediate a dispute, plan a menu, plant a garden etc. you are being creative. What is creativity to you?
    -How to let go of our judging mind and self consciousness? How can we quit judging our skill level?
    -How to focus on the moment rather than the product of our action?
    -He talks about art as a way to the express the nature of reality… I’m not sure what that means. What does it mean for you?

    CHAPTER ONE (MELTING SNOW) is autobiographical. JDL writes about how he moved from being a photographer depicting outside objects to becoming the camera, the image, the moment. How his art brought him to his spiritual quest.
    And how Minor White taught him how to get out of his own way and be with his subject without choosing, but let the subject choose him. In his words ‘He helped me to return to a state of ‘not knowing’.

    Possible Discussion points:

    -How important are teachers in this process?
    -JDL was in touch with his intuition and followed that instinct with curiosity to see where it would lead. How do we get back that curiosity? And trust our intuition? not knowing?

    For this our first post Meitou will post her prompt separately because of length issues ( https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ter-One-PROMPT) Most important have fun with the prompt and relax. Remember no judgement from yourself or any of us! We are really looking forward to a lively discussion and participation. Any ideas, thoughts, experiences please share.

    Gassho

    Anne

    ~lahst~
    ‘The teachings of Zen always point directly to the inherent perfection of each one of us. The Zen arts are a from of that direct pointing.’ JDL
    Last edited by Cooperix; 05-25-2019 at 07:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Thank you for this Anne; getting so caught up in all the preparation, I forgot that I can join in too

    I agree that the introduction is not to be overlooked, JDL makes some really important points here. I think that what leapt out for me initially was the emphasis on the actual creative process rather than the result. This is so important and seems to have really gained ground generally. I'm thinking about many of the artists who post on Instagram and add the tag 'do it for the process'. It seems a bit of a throw-away line, but there's something really fundamental being said, which provides clues to some of the other discussion points. For example, if we concentrate on doing it just for the process, then that really helps break down self consciousness and also hopefully self judgement, because the emphasis is not on the end result and 'me' putting it out there, with all the inherent feelings around what other people will think and whether it's good enough, but actually 'me' becoming immersed in a process in order to explore that process, forgetting the self, putting down expectations about the finished piece. That's how it has worked for me anyway.
    I've found that if I compare what I'm doing with what other people are doing, all sorts of problems arise, the first being that overriding voice that says I'm not worthy to be in this company, not good enough, an imposter even. This creates an immediate block, so that kind of thinking is the first thing I have to put aside. Yes, I love to look at other people's work, but I also have to step back and know that I am not her/him, nor should I want to be. And often when I get to know people, no matter how brilliant and talented I think they are, it's usually the case that they suffer all the same doubts that I have - imposter syndrome often comes up in discussion. What does that mean - that we aren't able to realise our worth or are a bit scared to take ourselves seriously enough as creatives? Again, that ties in with self consciousness - and the fear of spoiling that virgin surface with the 'wrong' marks. Yet who says they are 'wrong'? Only our own judging minds.
    I'm not sure how I would have defined creativity, but I definitely agree with you Anne, that all of those acts you mention above are all acts of creativity. What do they require of us - perhaps that we use one of our greatest gifts - imagination. Interestingly, just this morning I started to read the introduction to Norman Fischer's new book 'The World Could be Otherwise', and I was struck by how relevant to our discussions this is ..
    The imagination is powerful. The Bible and other religious texts, folktales, myths,rhymes, poems, plays, novels, anecdotes, music, ritual, pictures, dreams - all imaginative productions rise up from the unconscious to expand the soul, to help us to feel who we really are and what the world really is.
    Perhaps this idea of the soul expanding and our getting in touch with what really is comes close to JDL's ideas about expressing the nature of reality. When creating an Enso as we are doing in the first prompt, the reality could be seen as the brush, paper and hand as one, an absolute reality that is complete in itself?

    In the first chapter Melting Snow, I was very taken by JDL's ability to allow himself not to 'know'. From his first moments of total self consciousness when he was required to join in the dancing and couldn't bring himself to do so, he travelled very quickly to a place of humility and the willingness to be guided. And from that his mind seemed to open to all sorts of possibilities. In my opinion one of the greatest problems we have in our infoladen culture now is the idea that we have to 'know', worse, have to be seen to 'know', have to have a fixed opinion, a rigid position. Our emotions, our creative lives can become bound by sharp corners, hard lines. People seem afraid to admit they don't know, or that they need guidance, or that they have changed their minds about something, almost as if it's shameful. One of the greatest liberating moments of my life was suddenly realising through my Buddhist exploration that it is absolutely fine not to 'know', in fact it's great, it's an advantage!
    So how do we get back to that state? It's quite a leap. But maybe experimenting with our own creativity can help, again by just being with the process and allowing ourselves to be pleased, delighted even, with what arises. Looking and listening, being playful, not being afraid. And relating all of that directly to our practice - I think that also requires not being afraid, trusting the process of zazen for example, intuitively feeling that something is right here, without being able to explain it, and importantly, not feeling that we should be able to explain.

    I've rambled on a bit here but I like how these discussion points bring up all sorts of other interesting points and even more questions.
    Thank you Anne.

    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltoday/lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  3. #3
    I've found that if I compare what I'm doing with what other people are doing, all sorts of problems arise, the first being that overriding voice that says I'm not worthy to be in this company, not good enough, an imposter even.
    Meitou,

    How many times I've had this thought... Questioning my title 'artist'. And my artist friends too often think of themselves as imposters. Many conversations over the years about that. Maybe it is the curse of the creative life. Or maybe it is our culture's focus on 'success' and what that means. Does material success equal creative success? How can our self image be so dependent on what others think? how to change that?

    I think following our intuition (like JDL did) is critical to opening us to otherwise overlooked creative opportunities, even being a bit uncomfortable and from that position moving us to fresh ideas, new challenges, new directions. I can even feel it in my body when I know a change is coming, even before I know what I'm about to do in my studio. And often it takes a long time to work it through. But I know I need to get out of my comfort zone and sometimes that's really difficult. I've known many artists who had great success with a particular artistic endeavor. A true curse for them because they got stuck there never breaking out in new directions. Their work got stale and they got bored, but continued on. So maybe I'm lucky never to have had huge success in my art career.

    Although I love the process I have a desire to do the best I can do in my artmaking. The product is important in the sense that I want it to say what I want it to say, to look how I want it to look. But always, always I would not be making art if I didn't love the 'making'.

    Anyway, just some more thoughts stimulated by your comments, Meitou.

    Gassho,
    Anne
    ~lahst~

  4. #4
    Thank you, Anne and Meitou. This is a wonderful topic for discussion, and the questions posed help me to reflect.

    For me, creativity, as Im interested in it, is fiction writing. One thing that stood out for me in The Zen of Creativity was how things that are not directly related to the art are important to the art, such as getting in touch with the range of emotions within. The books required for the retreat with Minor White were not directly about photography. They may be helpful for any creative pursuit.

    It is hard to let go of judging and self-consciousness. I think the only way is to work through it, just focus on the work at hand. Where there is concentration there is a flow experience, and what other people may think, or even what I think of the work isnt in my awareness. Concentration for me is just turning my attention to the questions that arise when looking at what I want to do. The practice Meitou suggested before making the Enso, to just sit silently and still for five minutes is also very helpful.

    Teachers are important, but a community in discussion and giving feedback can be a teacher. Perhaps interactions not directly related to the art can be teachers, as well. If the opportunity for a traditional student/teacher situation isn't available, there is always observation and book learning as well as feedback from a community.

    What sparks my curiosity is work that I admire, and conversations and writings about the spiritual path. Im so glad this discussion is taking place on Treeleaf. It combines two important aspects of my life.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/LAH
    Last edited by Onkai; 05-30-2019 at 11:48 PM. Reason: Formatting

  5. #5
    Hello to all,

    I agree with you, Meitou, Anne and Onkai, that the point that must captured my attention in the Introduction and First Chapter was the emphasis on the creative process rather than the result. It really opened something in my mind and made me reflect a lot about my life and my relation to art in general.
    I noticed how, although I understood intellectually how the process of making art is important to appreciate it and better judge a work. But it never entered my bones. Reading John Daido Loori’s book I perceived how important the process and the contact with reality right here and now (Buddha Nature?).

    I’ve always loved literature: Brazilian, Argentinian, English and Japanese, mainly. I love Japanese poetry, especially that of the Hundred Poets, One Poem. I love comic books and manga. I love seing visual arts. Love cinema, anime. Love music in general (all kinds of rhythms). And I understand how important it is not to get away from the esthetic experience of experiencing the work by analyzing it. But never crossed my mind to focus first and foremost in the creative process rather than the end-result.

    I remember how, when I was a kid I created a lot of stories and similar things in my mind, even writing down some in a notebook. But this creativity soon was lost.
    In my adolescence, I wrote poems and learned to pay the guitar (main focus was bossa nova, I think Americans know it as Brazilian Jazz, although it is not jazz at all, but a lower samba rhythm). My poems were perhaps good, although mainly explosion of teenager emotion that soon ended up. Today I can’t bring myself to write any poem at all. The haiku challenge was really something that brought me back: it was my first poem since the year 2000. My guitar even today is really just playing music composed by others. Last year I tried to return to guitar, focusing on classical guitar, but after three months I quitted as I couldn’t play any piece I wanted, only children’s songs.

    So it was kind of a release to read that I don’t have to judge what I create, but focus on the process instead. I noticed how my ego was playing with me to focus on the results: I would be a good guitar player if others could see how I was capable of playing this and that piece; I would be a good writer if others could see how I was capable of writing good poems. It was all about my ego; and as I could never satisfy my perfectionist ego demands, I was never ready to do anything artistically and content myself in being an art consumer.

    Teachers are good, but also expensive. I went to some guitar classes once, but couldn’t afford to continue. As Onkai said, perhaps a community and a good book, as well as a deepening in practice can substitute a teacher.

    As Onkai also said, it really is difficult to let go of self-judging and self-consciousness. But it is also difficult to let go of the tendency to be praised by others. The reading really told me how it is not about me and my ego, but about the moment and reality itself. Creative process can be about practice: zazen in creation. The result doesn’t matter much, because I can do it not because of what I can show others, but to practice my Zen, to be in touch with reality right here and now, as in zazen.

    I actually read the Introduction and First Chapter this weekend, when traveling and the tea and calligraphy story really struck me the most. I could relate to JDL and his reaction to the tea ceremony. But never though of tea brewing as an artistically creative process. I already try to brew some tea in a very mindful way. At least once a week I sit to brew tea following a little ceremony of my own (not the Tea Ceremony, though, just something simples inspired on it). I though of it as practice, as zazen with tea. So it was there that I found a kind of art that I’m engaged to but didn’t knew.

    The calligraphy part also made a huge impact on me, specially after reading Meitou’s prompt thread. I’ve being studying Japanese since 2008, but I never really thought about writing calligraphy as an art, mainly because my writing isn’t very good, so it could never become an art work. But what if I wrote just for the process of writing, what if the strokes of the kanji could simply be zazen in writing? So I said to my wife that I would want to try some Japanese Calligraphy by myself. She went with me to look for a set for Japanese Calligraphy, but they were very expensive. So I decided to by just two brush pens (one black and one red) and some paper to begin writing kanji and enso by myself and see if I will continue to do it. My history is of quitting art (and sports) related things after a while.

    So, let me see if I can do it. Firt enso and first kanji were today.

    Thank you very much, Meitou and Anne, for this discussion, this prompt and this challenge.

    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  6. #6
    Hello again,

    I think Matheus and Onkai both have a point when they speak of community being a teacher. I agree. Although in some instances it is good to have technical direction, if needed. I had to learn how to weld, throw a pot, woodworking etc. from someone who knew how. I guess I could have learned on my own, but that would have left me with my bad habits and taken quite a while. Here in the US we have community colleges that are low cost and offer classes in many technical fields. But yes, often classes are costly if such resources are not available...

    No one can teach another person to be an 'artist'. Being an artist is a personal and in many ways an extremely private (some would say lonely) occupation. We can be led, directed, encouraged along the way, but our creativity is our own to explore and express. I think JDL learned his art from following his heart and listening to the cues and clues offered by Minor White, observing the tea ceremony, the calligraphy art-making. Being open with his not-knowing mind. So we can learn in situations that are not classroom situations as Onkai pointed out:

    One thing that stood out for me in The Zen of Creativity was how things that are not directly related to the art are important to the art, such as getting in touch with the range of emotions within. The books required for the retreat with Minor White were not directly about photography. They may be helpful for any creative pursuit.
    Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. There is so much to think about in this small book!

    Gassho,
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  7. #7
    Reading about JDL's relationship with his teacher Minor White made me reflect on my relationship with my first creative teacher back in college. She and I got along very well and things quickly became synergistic. We eventually shared an apartment. She taught me many things about creative expression and also about how to live. It was the perfect time in my life for that kind of guidance; however, it eventually became clear to me that I had to break away, that I was being overshadowed by the charisma of her personality, and that while the learning was valuable, I would not truly come into my own until I went off on my own.

    Today, I owe the mastery of my few crafts to many great teachers, all of whom shared their orbit with me and then let me fly away. There is joy in both the orbiting and in the great creative output that results from the solo journey.

    Gassho,

    Kate

    S/l
    Kate

  8. #8
    Hello,

    This discussion is posing some challenges for me, but it's why I need to be here. The timing is perfect.

    As we're doing a house clean out room by room, my kids are finding my old artwork from many years ago and asking me about it. And I remembered why I stopped creating so many times and refused to call myself an artist. Judgment and criticism, and as a child I sometimes got in trouble for my creations. Art is honest and reveals our true experiences without words, and in multiple layers. I think I scared people? My kids, however, liked my work and have tried to encourage me to start again.

    Every time I think to try, those memories and feelings of judgment come back, and I put it aside again.

    My kids are both brilliant artists and writers. Something I promised myself when they were little was that I would support them in their artistic endeavors without criticism so they would have freedom to explore without fear of condemnation.

    But I don't know how to do the same for myself. I believe I can learn through this process. Thank you for this forum and chance to practice.

    Gassho
    Kim
    St lh

    Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    I am glad you are on this journey, Kim. I, too, came out of a household in which art was criticized. . . and both my parents were artists. Everything I did creatively was critiqued up the wazoo. This killed the joy and I had to live many many years sorting out all the feelings that came from that experience. I also lost many many years in the process. Now, I have finally reclaimed that space and have found joy. I wish the same for you and on your own terms.

    Gassho,

    Kate
    If Napzen is a thing, then that's what I did today.
    Kate

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kate View Post
    I am glad you are on this journey, Kim. I, too, came out of a household in which art was criticized. . . and both my parents were artists. Everything I did creatively was critiqued up the wazoo. This killed the joy and I had to live many many years sorting out all the feelings that came from that experience. I also lost many many years in the process. Now, I have finally reclaimed that space and have found joy. I wish the same for you and on your own terms.

    Gassho,

    Kate
    If Napzen is a thing, then that's what I did today.
    I'm glad you are both here and for your honesty. I'm still trying to work out why we burden ourselves with such paralysing self judgement that we can't even a mark on paper without feeling like the whole world is watching in super critical mode. I know in my case and for some of you here this is often way back in the past, and as you say Kate, many years of enjoyment have got lost. I really believe that going through the process of scribbling, doodling, sketching, painting, sewing, knitting and dropping all thoughts of how good/bad the end product will be, and instead viewing the outcome with absolute equanimity, is the way forward. Something I've also learned to do to stop myself picking at the end product is to allow myself to let it go - cut it up for collage, paint over, unpick, recycle it.
    Importantly - go to your stuff, pick it up, think of it as pleasure, have fun.

    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  11. #11
    Hi Meitou and everyone,

    I also think that the roots of this self-critical way of thinking go back to the early years of our lifes. We tried to please others and to present things that were better than other children, perhaps to be more loved by the teachers, parents, relatives and adults. In my case I used to write and draw a lot as a kid. One day I tried to draw the planet Jupiter, but nobody could recognize it and all started to laugh at my odd ball. I think I was eight or nine years old. Since then I stopped drawing (except for some scratches in my notebooks that I didn't showed anyone and the obligatory drawings for art classes).

    What also begins in childhood and is exacerbated in adolescence is our desire to be better painter/player/singer/writer etc. than the others. Until now it has been difficult to me to start trying to play a new piece in the guitar without the desire to be praised by other people to arrise in my mind. And with it arrises the fear to not be praised and so the self-critical mind takes over and I abandon the piece that I wanted to play. It has happened a lot since I learned the basics of guitar, more than twenty years ago.

    So, I think that, at least in my case, I can say that the poisin of greed is perhaps in the roots of my self-critic way of thinking. And I found the approach you suggested in the prompt to be really liberating. I never would have thought that five minutes of zazen before would produce such a huge change in my mind that I would not think about being praised or judged, but simply on doing what I want.

    But your advice here is even more liberating:

    Importantly - go to your stuff, pick it up, think of it as pleasure, have fun.
    I never thought of having fun while training in the guitar or drawing or writing (except when I was younger and got drunk before playing in a party - but I'm not sure if it counts and even then the fear of judgment was ). Writing poems, indeed, was really linked to sadness, not pleasure or fun.

    Thank you for your teachings, Meitou-sensei.

    Sorry if I keep bringing personal past stuff to the discussion. This topic has oppened some past scars in my mind.

    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today

  12. #12
    Have fun! Doesn't sound radical but it is for those of us who were deeply damaged from past experiences of ridicule for our efforts. Meitou is right, enjoying our creativity, even celebrating it can open the floodgates. If you approach each creative activity with openness and let go of expectations then there is room for fun! Sounds like a nice way to be.


    Gassho,
    Anne

    ~st~

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by mateus.baldin View Post
    Hi Meitou and everyone,

    I also think that the roots of this self-critical way of thinking go back to the early years of our lifes. We tried to please others and to present things that were better than other children, perhaps to be more loved by the teachers, parents, relatives and adults. In my case I used to write and draw a lot as a kid. One day I tried to draw the planet Jupiter, but nobody could recognize it and all started to laugh at my odd ball. I think I was eight or nine years old. Since then I stopped drawing (except for some scratches in my notebooks that I didn't showed anyone and the obligatory drawings for art classes).

    What also begins in childhood and is exacerbated in adolescence is our desire to be better painter/player/singer/writer etc. than the others. Until now it has been difficult to me to start trying to play a new piece in the guitar without the desire to be praised by other people to arrise in my mind. And with it arrises the fear to not be praised and so the self-critical mind takes over and I abandon the piece that I wanted to play. It has happened a lot since I learned the basics of guitar, more than twenty years ago.

    So, I think that, at least in my case, I can say that the poisin of greed is perhaps in the roots of my self-critic way of thinking. And I found the approach you suggested in the prompt to be really liberating. I never would have thought that five minutes of zazen before would produce such a huge change in my mind that I would not think about being praised or judged, but simply on doing what I want.

    But your advice here is even more liberating:



    I never thought of having fun while training in the guitar or drawing or writing (except when I was younger and got drunk before playing in a party - but I'm not sure if it counts and even then the fear of judgment was ). Writing poems, indeed, was really linked to sadness, not pleasure or fun.

    Thank you for your teachings, Meitou-sensei.

    Sorry if I keep bringing personal past stuff to the discussion. This topic has oppened some past scars in my mind.

    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today
    Thank you for your supportive words Mateus, deep bows.
    I think it's good practice to allow the personal stuff to come up, that way we can sit with it and hopefully get to realise that eventually we can put away those painful narratives ; they may have shaped the past but they don't define who we are in this moment. I discovered this when sewing the rakusu, all that baggage about being incompetent came back to haunt me, but was slowly eradicated stitch by stitch.
    This entire discussion is so inspiring, I'm so grateful to be a part of it, thank you everyone.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  14. #14
    Thank you for sharing - lots to think about within all the insightful comments here.
    Hopefully book should arrive tomorrow so need to read opening chapter to get up to speed.

    At a real low point concerning my personal creativity just now (to be honest, one of the reasons I think I avoided getting involved in joining in
    with the group.) I'm a self-taught artist (even writing that jars) and have exhibited solo and with two groups I belong to for many years.But for
    the past year I've felt very flat and uninspired. I also write and have published two novels and just finished a third. The importance of creativity is a central theme in the earlier two (particularly the second which is part memoir and part magic realism and shares my journey with art and Zen).

    I have this nagging sense that I have somehow exhausted all that I have to express and can't create anymore art or literature or music/songwriting.

    It feels selfish but I'm hoping being part of this group might help - but of course I want to contribute and be of some use as well


    Gassho

    Jinyo

  15. #15
    Jinyo,

    Thanks so much for your input!
    Oh my, how I can relate when you say:
    I have this nagging sense that I have somehow exhausted all that I have to express and can't create anymore art or literature or music/songwriting.
    I have been a practicing artist for over 40 years and how many times I've thought 'it's all over'!

    But really Jinyo, what I have learned is that as long as we are breathing, creativity is our birthright and it is not over unless we consciously put it down and give up! I've also learned in my legendary blocks/ uninspired times that I just need to recharge and relax in that understanding. It always comes back. Always. Never failed me.

    It sounds like you've had a good run with your writing and art. Just being open to this forum and our exploration of JDL's book tells me you are still in big creative mode.
    I will be posting chapter 2 soon, but these chapters are not long and you'll have no problem in catching up.

    Thanks for joining in! Welcome.

    gassho.
    Anne
    ~st~

  16. #16
    Thank you for the encouragement Anne. I know what you say is true - just need to remind myself during these fallow periods that they do indeed often
    eventually birth something new.

    Looking forward to being part of the group and thanks once again for the work you're putting in.

    Gassho

    Jinyo

    Sat today

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyo View Post
    Thank you for sharing - lots to think about within all the insightful comments here.
    Hopefully book should arrive tomorrow so need to read opening chapter to get up to speed.

    At a real low point concerning my personal creativity just now (to be honest, one of the reasons I think I avoided getting involved in joining in
    with the group.) I'm a self-taught artist (even writing that jars) and have exhibited solo and with two groups I belong to for many years.But for
    the past year I've felt very flat and uninspired. I also write and have published two novels and just finished a third. The importance of creativity is a central theme in the earlier two (particularly the second which is part memoir and part magic realism and shares my journey with art and Zen).

    I have this nagging sense that I have somehow exhausted all that I have to express and can't create anymore art or literature or music/songwriting.

    It feels selfish but I'm hoping being part of this group might help - but of course I want to contribute and be of some use as well


    Gassho

    Jinyo
    Yes I can relate to this too, especially even thinking of myself as an 'artist' - imposter syndrome rears up. I agree with everything Anne has said. I don't believe it can ever leave us, rather like our practice, you think you can leave it, but it never leaves you. As I've said elsewhere here, I think a major key to unlocking blocks of negativity is to drop all idea of end results and allow ourselves to enter fully into the journey. Looking for the way forward certainly isn't selfish, I'm sure it's why we are all here, and in that we all help each other.
    PS I'd be really interesting in reading your books, feel free to PM if you want to share the titles!

    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltoday/lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

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