My friend Jennifer Mazzucco just sent me this beautiful video about Tashi Mannox, an English calligraphy artist. I loved hearing his eloquent thoughts on creating devotional art that doesn’t preach, but just tries to communicate philosophy and ideas that will uplift people. Tashi said that he feels the responsibility of an artist or musician is to uplift everyone they come in contact with.
Jennifer and I are creating a devotional art workshop together that we’ll be presenting for the first time at the Kripalu centre this winter. Our aim is to explore the process of creating devotional art – how getting creative opens us up to a deeper sense of connection with the soul and the Divine, and how this act of creation can teach us so much about the joy of focus and detachment.
In other news, I’m in DC right now spending time in the recording studio with Gaura Vani. We’re working on new music that encompasses both kirtan and Sanskrit mantras, as well as original English lyrics. It’s a fun process, but very new to me also. Music can be so spontaneous and free flowing, and this suits the organic, immediate nature of prayer so well. In crafting something and attempting to capture it, it can be hard to retain the original feeling. Throughout, we must constantly remember that imperfection is inevitable – the creative spark that flares into a small, bright flame is only a tiny speck of divine beauty, and we are fortunate if we can hold it for even a moment.