Reflections on Art as Spiritual Practice
Deborah J. Haynes
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
What does it mean to become and work as an artist today? What unique challenges do artists face in the twenty-first century, and what skills are required to overcome them? How might art become an expression of spiritual life? In addressing these and other questions, Deborah J. Haynes offers reflections that range from the practical to the deeply philosophical. She explores challenging ideas: impermanence, suffering, and the inevitability of death; the virtues of generosity, kindness, and compassion; and more abstract concepts such as negative capability, groundlessness, and wisdom. Individual chapters are framed by personal stories and images from the artist's work.
Beginning Again: Reflections on Art as Spiritual Practice is a personal statement, born from the author's experience as an artist, writer, teacher, and Buddhist practitioner. Haynes writes for artists--and for all exploring the relationship of their creativity to the inner life. For Haynes, making and looking at art can be a form of meditation and prayer, a space for solitude, silence, and living in the present.
"Deborah Haynes is an exemplary person with immense inquisitiveness and a depth of critical intelligence to apply her spiritual path to all aspects of her life. This book is a byproduct of her own journey and the realizations that she has gathered over a long period of time. I hope it brings deep insight into readers' own lives as to how creativity and the life that we live can come together in perfect harmony and synchronicity."
--Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, author of Training in Tenderness: Buddhist Teachings on Tsewa, the Radical Openness of Heart That Can Change the World (2018)
"Beginning Again is a beguiling guidebook to artistic practice that is grounded both spiritually and intellectually. What does it mean to be an artist? How can making art change the world? As Deborah Haynes shows us, these questions reveal their own answers. By cultivating with creative awareness mindfulness, kindness, and compassion toward all beings, we can live our art practice."
--Jacquelynn Baas, Director Emeritus, University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, author of Smile of the Buddha: Eastern Philosophy and Western Art from Monet to Today (2005)
"We all have moments when we step outside our habitual reality to glimpse the magnificence of the world around us. How do we express the depth and freshness of these ineffable experiences in our longing to communicate them to others? In Beginning Again, Deborah Haynes shares with us her journey into this very question. A thoughtful, reflective, integrated journey into art and spirituality."
--Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, Buddhist teacher and author of The Logic of Faith (2018)