• Antiquities
  • Powers of Life and Death

    Lights at a roadside shrine In his introduction to Tantra Song (written about previously here) Lawrence Rinder invites us into the world of Tantric images by describing how he feels when he is out in the countryside, looking at the trees and the stars: I have little idea what I am looking at, even though […]

  • Art Making
  • Standing Alone: More on Solitude

    The view of Coolidge Point near Manchester Massachusetts and home to my friend Laurel, a hermit artist extraordinaire. Being a 21st century Thoreauian is a singular stance. More on the theme of isolation, solitude, quiet (see the earlier post Where it Works.) Online artists and friends Walt Pascoe, Luke Storms and Holly Friesen directed me […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Mind-In-Making

    Monologue of Ice, 24 Hours, by Atta Kim This is a follow on to my earlier post about Grain of Emptiness at the Rubin Museum, a show that features works by artists who have been influenced and inspired by Buddhism. From the catalog introduction by Mary Jane Jacob: To make the most of experience and […]

  • Spiritual
  • In Praise of Everyday Living

    Partially frozen fountain at Ojo Caliente, New Mexico I am in a bit of a detached and quiet place these days, a state of mind that is drawing me to Zen concepts, Zen words. One of my daily rituals when I arrive at the studio is to flip open Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Tao […]

  • Spiritual
  • The Complex Whole

    Monastery in Ladakh, 2008 Terrance Keenan’s book, St. Nadie in Winter: Zen Encounters with Loneliness, has been my companion while traveling for the last few days. An enigmatic mix of Zen wisdom—part personal memoir, poetry and recovery confessional—Keenan has offered me a rich variation on that unique conversation that can happen with a book. Early […]

  • Spiritual
  • Choose Ye This Day

    Outside a Hindu shrine in Maharashtra, India In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. –David Foster Wallace If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If […]

  • Spiritual
  • Aware, Aware, Aware

    Points of light: From the Kiki Smith installation at the DeYoung Museum, San Francisco If you don’t look at things through your concepts, you’ll never be bored. Every single thing is unique. Every sparrow is unlike every other sparrow despite the similarities. It’s a great help to have similarities, so we can abstract, so that […]