We’re offering a final series of three presentations from the BCBS Spring 2016 Dharma and Arts Symposium this month. You can find other presentations in the April and May issues of Insight Journal
Practicing Art, Practicing Ethics, Practicing Dharma
Our final three presentations all combine personal narratives of practice, creative expression, and artistic development.
Ruth Ozeki’s “Dharma, Ethics and Art” explores the relationship between fiction-writing and Buddhist ethics by opening with a reading from her book A Tale for the Time Being. Starting from the admission that fiction writing can itself be interpreted as a vocation of “telling lies”, Ozeki discusses her experience of writing novels as a practice of ethical inquiry. Adopting Zen practices of atonement and repentance as an ethical foundation, she reframes fiction writing as a way of responding to remorse.
In their combined presentations, Rosalyn Driscoll and Roshi Pat O’Hara each discuss their personal experiences of the relationship between dharma and art through an autobiographical exploration of histories of practice, art, and poetry-making. O’Hara articulates her interest in exploring artistic practice through Buddhist practice by way of the question: “What kind of mind makes this?”, eventually moving on to an integrated understanding of art as both support for and realization of practice.
Rosalyn Driscoll’s presentation focuses on perception as a meaningful dimension of the intersection of art and dharma practice. In particular, she traces an interest in embodiment inspired by her meditation practice from a place of wanting to learn to inhabit the body and feel sensations, rather than rely on the visual field, to a contemporary understanding of the inseparability of the tactile and the visual.