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In most spiritual traditions respect is given to creativity: it is called sacred art or spiritual art. On this program, host Phil Cousineau talks with two very different artists: Pueblo Indian sculptor Estella Loretto from Santa Fe and Tibetan Buddhist Lama Lhanang Rinpoche from Los Angeles. There are segments in the studio where they share ideas and segments in their studios where they discuss the meaning of their artistic creations

Estelle Loretto begins the show by lighting two candles, and Lama Lhanang offers a prayer. They then respond to the question as to whether or not everyone is creative. In his studio, the Buddhist painter describes one of his works depicting birds and dolphins. He sees the ladder as a symbol of the free spirit. Estelle Loretto comments on what it's like to sculpt in clay and what she enjoys about working in this medium.

Both artists point out how important it is to communicate to people that the present moment is the best place to be. As creative people, they believe in change and emphasize that we should be less attached to people, ideas, and behaviors. Lama Lhanang stresses that letting go is part of the creative process as is accepting the impermanence of life. Estelle Loretto focuses on the energy in her sculptures and the power of positive thinking in her creativity.

The two artists end the program with a mutual recognition that Native Americans and Tibetans feel so at ease with each other that they consider themselves members of the same family.

To Continue This Journey

  • "Art," said Sir Kenneth Clark, "must do something more than give pleasure; it should relate to our own life so as to increase our energy of spirit." What role does art play in your life?
  • What is the place and importance of art in your spiritual tradition?
  • What is your response to the question: Is everyone an artist?
  • Both of these artists have learned to listen to the language of a larger life as it lives through them. What new insights have they given you into attachment, freedom, letting go, impermanence, peace, and living in the moment?
  • Discuss with a friend this assertion by Sister Wendy Beckett: "All art that really draws us to look at it deeply is spiritual."