Creative Process

Well… I have to write an article for Dzogchen Today!

Written by Damien Brohon

Damien Brohon is an artist, a teacher and an author. He has been studying and practicing Buddhism and Dzogchen for 30 years.

Blog | What about me?

In this article, Damien Brohon talks about the reality (or unreality) of our thoughts, the creative process of the mind, and the difficulty of writing an article for Dzogchen Today! !

Well… I have to write an article for Dzogchen Today!… but my mind is as cluttered as my desk is: piles of books from East and West that sit on top of piles of scholarly tomes whose foundation is itself made up of strong volumes among which have seeped futile pamphlets. This domestic geography is strewn with various notebooks, loose sheets of paper with gnawed edges and post-it notes faded by the sun until they become illegible, without forgetting the necessary samples of perfume, erasers sculpted by use, pencilling material, a pair of glasses, a pair of spare glasses, a pair of glasses that are no longer in use, Swiss herbal sweets, a glass of French water with a twist of Spanish lemon, photos of people close to me but also of people far away, plastic figurines, a mysterious black jasper sculpture, refills for pencilling material, etc. I’ll stop the list for fear of being tedious (it may already be too late).

Looking at the thoughts directly, I come to a complete and liberating reversal. If I focus my attention directly on them, they either simply disappear, or they appear to me as thoughts and no longer as reality.

Just as the accumulation of these items occupies my entire desk, my thoughts clutter the interior space I need to write. They seem as concrete as they are. The article to write, the package to pick up after that, or that discussion yesterday with a friend that keeps running through my head, aren’t all of these – and more – real? A real article, a real package, a real friend, therefore concrete, solid and, as such, rightfully soliciting my attention… Hence this impression of saturation, because the solicitations are numerous and divergent. How can I write with such a saturated mind? I lack the emptiness, the necessary availability.

Oh yes! I know! That’s what they say everywhere! Stop thinking! To make the vacuum! Except that… this famous vacancy, so often sought after, does not happen… the thoughts keep coming back. When I think I’ve got rid of them, they reincarnate into a devious avatar who also tries to drag me into a particular scenario and so on and so forth without end. I think I’m going to drop everything… it’s not possible to work in these conditions! My mental weather is really not good for it.

Unless… I look directly at these famous thoughts. I look at them “themselves” and not at their content, what they seem to mean. What are they anyway? They are very ephemeral mental images; they last only a few moments, or even, almost less than a moment. They are representations of people, objects or situations whose reality, if we think well, is always beyond all thought. For example, does the idea I have of my friend coincide with what he is? Probably not. These thoughts are themselves very uncertain because they depend on all sorts of factors, often transient, such as our mood at the time or the weather. Summer thoughts, national holiday thoughts, back to school thoughts. My thoughts are never facts but always an uncertain mental cloud.

Looking at the thoughts directly, I come to a complete and liberating reversal. If I focus my attention directly on them, they either simply disappear, or they appear to me as thoughts and no longer as reality. They still occupy my mind but now with lightness, as if they had become transparent. I thus give up the vain desire to get rid of them. For as numerous as they are, they can no longer clutter my inner space, on the contrary they reveal its unlimited character. Seen and experienced as empty and lively at the same time, they are the very source of my creativity. Without them, how could I write? If I take them too seriously, how can I write?

I’ll be able to write my article after all.

In fact, it’s already finished!

MORE ARTICLES

The City of My Fear

In this article "The city of my fear", Nils tells us how we can tame the fear and use it to reveal what we truly are.The City of My Fear When I was a kid, I was afraid of monsters under the bed. If the tip of a foot or the end of a hand stuck out, it was too...

The Era of Everything and of Nothing

In "The Era of Everything and of Nothing", Mila Khyentse talks about the process of extremes in our modern societies from the Dzogchen view.Series: Life Together 2 - First post HERE The Era of Everything and of Nothing Extremes. Both in the Buddhist world and in the...

Mister Fear-All and Mister Nothing-to-Fear

In this article "Mister Fear-All and Mister Nothing-to-Fear", Johanne tells us a story about karmic tendances, fishes… and primordial ocean.Mister Fear-All and Mister Nothing-to-Fear The ocean, immense... and just above, a dark sky, where the clouds pile up. The wind...

The Reality of the Gesture

In "The Reality of the Gesture", the latest post in the series on gesture, Mila Khyentse talks about the real nature of gesture, of action.The reality of the gesture After “The dynamics of the gesture” and “I do therefore I am”, this article is the third in the "...

I do therefore I am

In "I do therefore I am", Damien observes how the Dzogchen view frees us from the illusion of a self fabricated by action. I do, therefore i am Because that It's really you Yes, yes that's really you Pooh ! It's really you No, no, no, that, that! It's really you. You...

The special teaching of the wise and radiant ruler

"The special teaching of the wise and radiant ruler" by Patrul Rinpoche is a new translation from the Dzogchen Today translation committee.The special teaching of the wise and radiant ruler mKhas pa shr'i rgyal po'i khyad chos །མཁས་པ་ཤྲཱི་རྒྱལ་པོའི་ཁྱད་ཆོས་བཞུགས་སོ། །...

The dynamics of the gesture

Discover Johanne's article on "the dynamics of the gesture" as an expression of the nature of mind... with a special dedication to Bhutan.The dynamics of the gesture The dynamics of the gesture Vulture Peak, Northern India, nearly 2,500 years ago... On a mountain...

Why take the Path of Great Perfection ?

In "Why Take the Path of Great Perfection?" Vincent discusses the motivations that led him to embark on the Path of Great Perfection.  Why take the path of Great Perfection ?To embark on the path of Great Perfection is, in a sense, to seek...

Cats and monkeys

In his biography of the tertön dzogchen master Jamyang Khyèntsé Wangpo, Jamgön Kongtrul compares spiritual practitioners to monkeys and cats.Cats and monkeys In a passage from his biography of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgön Kongtrul compares spiritual practitioners...

The illusory dragon

In "The illusory dragon" Paul talks about the illusions of the pre-spiritual path or how the procrastination prevents from really starting.The illusory dragon There's a saying by Sakya Pandita: "There are some who prepare for spiritual practice all their lives, who...

Join Our Newsletter

Subscribe to receive the Latest News, Updates and Brand New Articles from Dzogchen Today!