A tantric act of art
Inspired by Vedic Tantra, where Asanas (body postures) are being used to unite the spirit and matter and enable a person to attain a transformation of consciousness into full self-realization, I would like to offer the suggestion of a similar transformation process focused on the artist and the idea.
Traditional Tantric yoga accepts this world as Purusha (man) and Praktiti (woman). There Union is pursued through deepening and making two into one. Twoness transformed into oneness.
Notwithstanding the fact that I previously appointed that an artist is not his idea’s -‘You are not your fish’- it could be a deepening experience to become one with your idea in the ritual of creation, by practicing a tantric approach towards them.
So, from the viewpoint of art focused Tantra, a good creation is the melting together of the artist and the idea into the work. So that the individual consciousness of both the artist and the idea merges into a shared consciousness.
This state is called ‘bliss in the artbizz’.
So first you’ve gone fishing right? You’ve caught a fish. A little idea… now how to start the process of creation?
To prepare yourself in the days before the creation of the idea itself, try not tot think about it. Create some distance between the two of you to build up a drive as strong as possible. This drive is going to be the foundation of the transformation. Without urge there is no energy, no interest, no transformation.
The process of creation.
First of all, make sure your workspace is clean and smells nice. When your sense of smell is affected, your awareness will be heightened and you will become more sensitive.
Poor in a glass of wine. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not referring to the ever tortured artist drinking wine galore on his lonely attic room… No, poor in a glass of wine to symbolize the richness of consciousness. As the attribute of a ritual. If you prefer not to use alcohol, substitute with club mate, kombucha, matcha latte or any other of your favorite drinks.
Prepare a little plate of food. In a traditional Tantric practice, different types of food symbolizes a lot of different things. In Rachna veda any food of your choice will do, to symbolize the much shared advice that has been given to me by several great artists. Quoting Sam Winston ‘what makes a good artist is three meals a day and a practice in which they can sleep regularly’.
Now we continue to free the mind by a ritual of offering. We get rid of everything that we cannot use in the process of creation, by offering it. Just name all of it out loud, ending each sentence with ‘Swaha’ (I burn it – I offer it). Continue repeating this practice so long and thoroughly that you become able to render yourself seriously and without reservations to the idea.
Now this stap is optional but suggested. Sip a little on the wine. The wine should be strong enough to have a freeing effect on the mind, but don’t drink so much that you cannot keep your awareness clear.
Eat a little of the food. Provide yourself with some nourishing energy, to prevent any hunger to distract or hold you back in the midst of creation. Just like I explained before how scents heighten your awareness by affecting your root chakra, the sexual chakra is affected by eating and drinking. It increases energy, desire and sensitivity. All of which we will use into practice.
Now face each other. Artist and idea. Recognize each other, and experience each others desires with joy. If limiting thoughts surface – whatever happens, accept it briefly - then turn back to the experience of each other. Uninterrupted and for a long time, go on experiencing each other, artist and idea. You do not have to demand, or explain or excuse anything. You do not have to accomplish anything – be- experience – enjoy!
Proceed with the actual creation. Give and receive. Inspire each other. I would like to refer to an interview with the painter Anselm Kiefer. When he was asked about his way of working he said ‘at each state it’s a dialog between me and the steps of the painting. A dialog in which I can ask questions, what have I done? What does it remind me of? There is always something in front of me that I can analyze and ask questions.’ So when later on he was asked if the process of creating was something he sees as essentially done by himself or if he would be happy to have others doing that for him, he replied: ‘I am a dinosaur, I paint myself. They could do it,I have to do it myself. Because the material has a spirit in it. and I can not trust that someone else can take out that spirit you know. I have to do it.’I would like to make a note to this one. Just like Anselm said, communication between the idea and the artist is important. You as an artist, should listen to the needs of an idea. But, whether you are the one satisfying that need personally or weather you let someone else do it, I don’t think that matters. As long as you are the one who’s present and noticing those needs. As an artist in this process, you can be emotionally affected by the use of different materials. Let’s talk about color for instance. Wassily Kandinsky was greatly influenced by Goethe’s theory of the emotional effect of color and considered a powerful psychic effect of color in the cohesive experience of art. ‘color is a power which directly influences the soul. The soul is a piano with many strings, color art it’s keyboard, and the artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.' An other example of how the use of a specific material can have a spiritual function in the creation of a work, is the Dutch artist Ruchama Noorda. Oke, now for the last part.
When finished with your practice, let the experience of each other, of a common energy field, and that shared consciousness, transform you.