John Cage

When you start working, everybody is in your studio - the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas - all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.

Black Elk (Oglala Sioux)

Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our teepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.

Perhaps it may be, and this is my prayer that through our Sacred Pipe, Peace may come to those peoples who can understand, an understanding which must be of the heart and not of the head alone. Then they will realize that we Indians know the One True God, and the we pray to Him continually…"

"I have wished to help my people understand the greatness and truth of our own tradition, and also to help in bringing Peace upon the Earth, not only among men, but within men and between the whole of creation. "

"We should understand well that all things are the works of the Great Spirit. We should know that He is within all things; the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, and all the four-legged animals, and the winged peoples; and even more important, we should understand that He is also above all these things and peoples. When we do understand all this deeply in our hearts, then we will fear, and love, and know the Great Spirit, and then we will be and act and live as He intends

Seng-ts’an

The perfect Tao is without difficulty
Save that it avoids picking and choosing.
Follow your nature and accord with the Tao;
Saunter along and stop worrying.
If your thoughts are tied you spoil what is genuine.
Don’t be antagonistic to the world of the senses,
For when you are not antagonistic to it,
It turns out to be the same as complete Awakening.
The wise person does not strive (wu-wei)
The ignorant man ties himself up …
If you work on your mind with your mind,
How can you avoid an immense confusion?

A poem said to be written by Seng-ts’an in the 7th century A.D. – called the ‘Treatise on Faith in the Mind’ – is said to be the first clear and comprehensive statement of Zen.

 

King James bible

The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field. Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

W.B. Yeats

The lake isle of Inishfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Jami

In this place of perplexity and travail thou rest still, eyes and ears fast closed

Neither sight in thine eyes nor trace of hearing in thine ears

How long wilt thou neither listen nor observe, how long sit deaf and blind?

For one moment take the path of the aware

Renounce the companionship of the misguided

Strip the veil from the eyes of world-sight

Look around thee, ahead, behind, up, down.

Look and discover the nature of this whirling circle

and that which encompasses it, that which surrounds you.

Who raised above thine head this patchwork umbrella

Who painted it with colourful designs

Who made the sun the light of day

Who made the moon a candle in the night?

Carl Jung

"What is essential in a work of art is that it should rise far above the realm of personal life and speak from the spirit and heart of the poet as man to the spirit and heart of mankind."