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Creativity: The Practice of Our Own Nature

March 3, 2015

Billy Collins, US Poet Laureate 2001-2003, says that “Poetry offers the highest level of imaginative freedom of any writing. It doesn’t have to stick to its topic.”

“The poet seeks to get lost in the woods of his own imagination,” according to Collins.

Collins was speaking to wine writers gathered last week in Napa for the Wine Writers Symposium. Attendees included Elaine Chuka Brown aka Hawk Wakawaka (and one of my favorite writers!) who has written two blog posts full of advice she gained about writing from the symposium, one that focuses on insights from Collins and the other advice from several panelists. Both blog posts are worth reading for writers whether you write for school or for pleasure, and whether you write about wine, books, food, art, sports, business–you name it.

And because I can’t pass up the possibility to post poetry, here’s a very short animated poem by Billy Collins about the process of writing:

and because one poem is not enough, here’s more in a TED talk that’s been viewed almost a million times where Billy Collins describes how these animated poems came to be and shares five of them plus a bonus poem:

This week’s “Threads of Awakening” (above) also discusses creativity. Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo quotes Dziger Kongtrual Rinpoche who says that “Creativity can be understood, in essence, to be the practice of our own nature and that nature’s expression. You may find your way in to the nature through creativity; or you may come out from the nature to express creativity. Both have to be appreciated as the best of our mind’s potential.”

One of the only westerners trained in the rare Buddhist art of silk applique thangkas, Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo is passionate about the preservation and evolution of this Tibetan cultural tradition. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his blessings to Leslie’s work and encouraged her to make images that speak to the spiritual aspirations of people across religions and cultures. Her fascinating story is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film, Creating Buddhas: the Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas and her Weekly Wake-ups provide a thread of inspiration to set each week on the path to awakening.

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