Monday, March 1, 2010

187 - The Gift of Inspiration

When an artist creates, he or she is like a shaman. Inspiration comes as a gift. Those who follow Tao are the same. Their awareness of Tao is not something they have cleverly formulated, nor is it something they possess. Tao comes to them like a gift. This why the arts and Tao are so closely allied: The act of receiving and expressing is the same.
~ from 365 Tao: Daily Meditations, Entry 187 ~
Have you ever tried to force yourself to be creative? Maybe you have a school assignment or have been tasked with the responsibility for a project or program at work. The harder you try to concentrate to come up with something new and original, the more such things seem to evade you. So, you try to think even harder and, not only do the ideas not flow forth, but you tend to get very frustrated at your inability to do what you've set out to do!

It turns out that inspiration can't be manhandled. It's not something that can be forced. It's more likely to strike us when we least expect it, like while singing in the shower, sleeping or raking leaves.

While some people may postulate that inspiration is a gift from the great beyond, I happen to think it's a gift we give ourselves. It just seems like it originates from somewhere else because we can't consciously will it to appear to suit our fancy.


  1. I have always contended it is not I that practice a martial art, but it is the art that practices me. When the artwork moves the artist true art happens.

  2. i absolutely love this verse. i love art and writing and theater and martial arts, and i've also been a practicing shaman!
    it's very true that receiving is the same as expressing.
    probably the reason i don't like structure is that i do so many activities that require spontaneity and inspiration. like you said, it's hard to be creative deliberately!


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