First Thought Best Thought- Chogyam Trungpa

Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Blog | Leave a comment

First Thought, Best Thought.

          To be authentic in painting I must unclutter my life, make time to be quiet, and listen to first thought as I paint, AND as I live.

            If we are not honest with ourselves and living authentically, we cannot create authentic art. Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche talks about this in Visual Dharma Art Seminar, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, 1979 recording. He says if we are living in a state of neurosis we will bring that neurosis into every aspect of our lives including our art. We are not separate from it. Our art is part of who we are and a reflection of our whole self.

            Creating art is not different from every daily task. The way we wash dishes for example can be done artfully and authentically or it can be done rushed, unappreciated, in a distant frame of mind. If our art is not where we want it to be, perhaps we need to look at our lives. Is my studio a mess? Are my relationships a mess? Am I angry? Do I have unfinished business? All of this will be true in the art.  Before creating great art we must live life authentically.

            Dharma art comes from the part of the mind that is unconscious. The part we find in meditation. That is where I believe my authentic art comes from. The way to tap into the wisdom is in the present moment. I stand in front of the canvas not knowing what to do. At some point I notice a thought. That first thought, according to Chogyam Trungpa, is best thought. That is where art comes from. If I act on that first thought and put down a dot., Trungpa would have called that, “first dot best dot”. Funny but true. Then I start over in the place of not knowing, wait for the first thought, and continue. The process of creating is following the first thought as it arises, creating from the unconscious mind not the cognitive mind.


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