Too many times, we make artificial divisions in our lives. We are told that we can’t mix our interests, that we have to be single minded and focused. So we don’t see the profound connections that exist between all things. We cut our art off from our spiritual natures. We separate our activism from our creativity and art making.
Just how powerful breaking down these divisions, can be shown in the following examples:
- Green Arts Barns Project in Toronto, was organized and built to provide eco- friendly living and studio space for artists, programming and facilities for community art and environmental education, and a central market place where artists and local and organic farmers can sell their produce. It’s a wonderful experience going to the Saturday market, being able to meet with one’s neighbours and share conversation, having a chance to buy fresh organic food , and being able at the same time to visit artists galleries and work spaces.
- The efforts of musicians like Bono and U2 who held huge worldwide music concerts to raise money and consciousness around global climate change shows how artists can use their talents to foster change.
- Artists, over the years, have broken the silence and taboos around AIDS, they’ve written plays, produced films, and created paintings and sculptures to bring home the human suffering and issues raised.
- Patch Adams, a wonderful doctor, clown and social activist, has devoted over 30 years to changing the health care system. He brings a prescription of creativity, humor and joy to healing ourselves and the planet.
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Budhist Monk, Zen master, and founder of France’s Plum Village meditation community is the author of more than one hundred books of poetry, fiction and philosophy. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. He combines his artistic and creative talents, with spiritual practice and and activism around issues of global peace.
So let’s look at ways we can be inspired by such examples and create our own unique blends of arts, activism and spirituality.