When a person is executing a work of art, there is a sense of contact, concentration, and a sense of mindlessness. At the time you are writing poetry you don’t think, you just do it. Or at the time when you are painting, or composing music, you have no mind,you just don’t think. You are inspired. Of course, when you are more concerned with the boundary, your mind begins to function. But when you are in the center, inside the boundary, you have no thought, no mind. It is a complete state of existence, of meditation or whatever. At that level, there’s no room to think about public versus personal. It’s just self-expression constantly. A lot of works of art have been ruined by self-consciousness. Trying to be good is not so good.
From “Poetry and Song,” in Cynicism and Magic: Intellect and Intuition on the Buddhist Path, page 127.
Recent Comments from Michael Imperioli (actor and occasional writer on The Sopranos) at Far Out Magazine:
“I practice Buddhism, which is about dismantling the ego. The book I’m reading now is Cynicism and Magic by Chögyam Trungpa. He talks about the ego. What I learned through Buddhism is you can relate to the ego as something separate. Ego, if you look at it in a healthy way, can be about confidence. I’ve dedicated my life to being an artist, be it writing or music. I’ve been doing all of this stuff since the beginning. It just wasn’t public until later.”