Putting Art-Making Back on the Map: Dharma and Arts Symposium at BCBS

In Spring 2016, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies held its first Dharma and Arts Symposium. As board member and artist, Rosalyn Driscoll, pointed out during the conference, it can sometimes seem to practitioners that “art-making is off the map…at worst, a distraction from the path to awakening”. As a way of putting it back on the map, artist-practitioners came together over the course of 4 days to discuss the intersections of Buddhism, dharma practice and artistic expression.

Comprised of talks, artists’ presentations, group exercises, small group discussion, and meditation, the event provided many rich opportunities for exploring these topics and laid the groundwork for continuing to do so through future courses and events at BCBS.

Over the coming months, Insight Journal will be offering video of the conference presentations, including material from: Stephen Batchelor, Roz Driscoll, William Edelglass, Mirka Knaster, David McMahon, Roshi Pat O’Hara, Ruth Ozeki, Julie Puttgen, and Gay Watson.

The presentations are comprised of individual artists’ sharing of their work; personal narratives of creation and expression in relation to dharma practice; discussion of the ethics of art and art-making as a form of practice; and more scholarly considerations of the historical and philosophical contexts for art, expression and image-making within Buddhist culture and practice.

Read and listen more here


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Practicing Awareness on Sounds – 4 April 2017, Rhodes, Greece

This talk is about the mindfulness practice on sounds and how sounds condition us … with regard to sensations, feelings, perceptions, inclinations, and consciousness.

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There is sound consciousness, smell consciousness, taste consciousness and the consciousnesses of the remaining senses. And often we aren’t conscious or aware about what is going on. Thus consciousness is also impermanent despite it is often considered as something permanent.

Seeing the rising and fading away of sounds is one way to understand our conditioned living in the six senses world. By understanding and attending to those phenomena in a non-reactive way we have the chance of being not conditioned by our attachments to the realm of the six senses.

 

Note on the chanted “Om”: The syllable Om is first mentioned in the Upanishads, the mystical texts associated with the Vedanta philosophy. It has variously been associated with concepts of “cosmic sound” or “mystical syllable” or “affirmation to something divine” (Source: Wikipedia)