I want to sort of fill out this section of the website at some point because it’s an area of much interest and passion for me. But for now I just wanted to mention a couple of teachers who have changed my experience of both meditation/spiritual growth and creativity.
Some people call it process painting, or “point zero painting” or “the painting experience” . It was a way of working with one’s creativity developed by Michele Cassou, who is a super deep lady.
Michelle’s student, Barbara Kaufman, was the person who first introduced me to this process, and remains a dear teacher in my heart. She has real kindness and empathic energy, and helped me begin the process of untangling the many strands of self-judgement, fear, and sadness that kept my creative flow from… well, flowing. I really am grateful for this gentle quality she had – i don’t know if I could have let go of a lot of my strong beliefs without her gentleness. She has a painting studio in the San Francisco area where I have been fortunate to do a few week long workshops. If you are in the Bay Area and interested in seeing what might be behind that locked door of your mind/heart that keeps you from painting, I recommend you check it out… especially if you don’t consider yourself and artist but have always wanted to let yourself paint. Barbara also is often leading the painting portion of the creativity retreat each year at Spirit Rock.
I have also done a couple retreats with Michelle Cassou (one at the super lovely Esalen center in Big Sur). Michelle gives a presentation on retreats about how her paintings unfolded over the decades she ruthlessly pursued truth through creativity, and its quite amazing. My favorite retreat with Michelle was at the Los Angeles Zen Center – it was half painting retreat, half zen sesshin, and the talks Michelle gave were very profound and moving, and really made the connection for me of the link between pursuit of truth through the process of painting and the spiritual path. Michelle gives retreats in various parts of the U.S. on a regular basis.