Artists Eightfold Path Buddhism

Practice over and over again.

I want to be a great artist, funny I keep failing at it. I’m not Matisse. I’m never going to be Matisse. I suck and fail.

There’s a million ways to become a great artist and all of them take sitting on your butt and doing the work. But with the internet, kid, wife, house, the problems of life it’s really hard to find the time. We won’t even talk about all the anxieties of making work or the siren lure of chocolate beckoning from the closet.

So yes practice your art, make your art, but if you can’t concentrate how do you make your art? All practice starts with breaking down the steps into simple things that you can focus on and learn. Buddha wanted to be permanently happy, his really big insight is that it came from learning the most basics steps of paying attention to the world (concentration) and then progressively letting go of the internet, kid, wife, house, chocolate, art anxieties. He just practiced that’s called meditation.

And he set a very small goal stay focused on one small thing just his breath. He just paid attention to that one action breathing until he hit the point called Nibbana.

I’m a hundred million miles away from Nibbana but I have figured out I need to practice paying attention to my breath to get there. This whole series of posts is to take the process of meditation and apply it to making art. Writing is after all about making things clear to the writer first.

So how does the skill of concentration get developed and make it possible to sit on my butt and work, that’s the next step.

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