Thursday, November 12, 2009

Art and Meditation

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. to them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… they must create, must pour out creation. by some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating… I must create.”

-Pearl Buck

This is me. Hands down. Overly sensitive and what might seem to others as overly dramatic. I had a difficult time watching The Day After Tomorrow yesterday because watching all of those people die made my stomach feel really heavy.

I've joined a prayer and meditation group that meets on Tues. It's been going really well, and I'm really enjoying it. I was raised Catholic and so I've always had a religious prayer oriented lifestyle. But I've always been one of the more "open" Catholics if that doesn't seem like too much of a contradiction. (I personally wouldn't say it is... as I know plenty.)

And while I was living in Germany, my yoga teacher was my best friend. She was still in yoga classes at her local ashram and sometimes I would go there with her. It was a very interesting experience in Hinduism. And a bit of Buddhism. Meditation classes. Yoga practices. Prayers to the gods and "gifts" of fruit.

But I've never had the two cross over until this group I've joined. It's been wonderful.

We're reading and discussing this book - Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault.
I'm adoring it because it's bringing together my faiths? Ha. Things that I already knew were tied, but there's something to be said about validation in printed form, even if it is just someone else's opinion.

Which brings me to the next topic. Chapter 5. The main point of chapter 5 is to reinforce the fact that while meditating in centering prayer you're not suppose to look for anything divine. You're not suppose to look or even have any miraculous events happen. As the entire practice is about letting go.

But it goes into a part about how imagination and the devil are linked. And how monks use to fill their days with meditation and prayers so that the devil could not sneak in through the imagination.

For some reason this has bothered me more than it should.

Perhaps they speak of "imagination" in a different way than I do. I've never in my entire life viewed my imagination, my creativity as a bad thing. So it's been a bit unnerving to know that others might. I'm getting more use to the idea. I don't need approval from everyone. (but wouldn't it be nice if that were a possibility.) The more I think about it the more I realize there have always been people against the arts. Harry Potter, for example. I suppose the people who oppose Harry Potter and think that the imagination that led it is the devil's work are the same people that would denounce creativity all together.

It's been a difficult pill for me to swallow. Which is also silly because the prayer and meditation group is all about letting go. Instead I find myself throwing up walls and being defensive.


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