Creative Dharma Newsletter Launching June 2020
Source: The Tuwhiri Project • www.tuwhiri.nz
With the involvement of dharma practitioners and artists from around the world, The Tuwhiri Project will start sending out a new monthly newsletter entitled ‘Creative Dharma’ from 1st June.
The major focus of this newsletter will be to examine the ways that dharma practitioners can bring creativity into their meditation practice. It will also invite the participation of artists who would like to engage creatively with the dharma, and bring this sensibility into their practice of art.
Why ‘Creative Dharma’? In conversation, a Tuwhiri supporter observed that while ‘secular Buddhism’ has opened up a set of ideas that may be acceptable, or might not, ‘creative dharma’ suggests tasks to be actively accomplished in potentially innovative ways. Using the term ‘creative dharma’, this newsletter will set out secular Buddhist (or secular dharmic) concepts in clear, easy to understand, and engaging ways.
In a 1994 Tricycle magazine article, Stephen Batchelor wrote:
‘Rather than remaining the discrete preserve of the rare spiritual genius, how might creative imagination be released into the hands of every practitioner? Could we envisage a democracy of the imagination, in which each individual ceases to be a passive recipient of spiritual truths and becomes instead their active creator?’
‘These words from some 26 years ago confirm my experience of the propositions and practise of secular Buddhism, which I first heard about in 2006,’ said editor Ramsey Margolis, ‘that it is a thoroughly creative approach to the dharma.’
Speaking in Cambridge, UK, in May 2019, Stephen Batchelor suggested that ‘when we practise the dharma creatively, it's an art in itself, in that we allow the imagination to run freely in ways that are not necessarily predictable, logical or rational, and so becomes a response from our whole being, from the heart. Our use of the imagination,’ he said, ‘can be thought of as a way of being in the world that goes beyond concepts, theories and doctrines.’
In these newsletters, contributors will be encouraged to explore and display the many ways in which a creative dharma can be an aesthetically rich and personally fulfilling way of practising the dharma. ‘They will be in plain English, with as little jargon as possible, so that more people can directly benefit,’ said Ramsey Margolis, ‘in particular those whose first language isn’t English.’
‘We hope that subscribers will use the newsletter as an opportunity to read, reflect, and create,’ said Ramsey Margolis. ‘We invite people to get in touch at some point and let us know what creative dharma (the notion) and Creative Dharma (the newsletter) suggest to them.’
People can sign up for the Creative Dharma newsletter at: