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Experience a Zen Creativity Workshop at Sedona Arts Center

Originally Published: September 29, 2019 7:50 p.m.

Alok Hsu Kwang-han and Tiffani Gyatso will present ‘A Brush with Emptiness and the Art of Being Embodied’ creative workshop at Sedona Arts Center in uptown Sedona Oct. 4-6.

Alok and Tiffani will help you experience Zen Creativity by guiding you to “return to the natural embodiment of your creative intelligence prior to thought,” says Alok.

Their goal is to inspire you to become intimate and comfortable with not knowing and to give space for the communion of your body-brush to dance from emptiness. No prior experience with painting or with Zen is necessary for students attending this workshop.

Each morning Tiffani will lead you in a one-hour meditation that combines movement, stillness, and awareness. Relaxing deeply and resting in a spacious presence that is naturally joyful, you will become more available to being “present, available, playful and not-knowing,” your methodless-method of Zen creativity. Throughout the workshop she will guide you through exercises or dance to evolve your art of being embodied.

Then Alok will serve everyone what he describes as very good tea from his home province in China. The subtle delight and alertness of drinking tea together softly strengthens your collective energy field that holds you aware and safe and prepares you for the adventure of painting by “resting in presence and moving from emptiness.”

“We paint, from emptiness, mainly empty of the control and direction of the ego self and its false sense of security. Repeatedly we discover when the separate self is not holding forth, creativity happens on its own! I don’t have to do it. Instead of looking for a vision of what to paint and how to paint it, we become aware of a readiness in our embodied presence. When that’s there we allow the body-brush to move from emptiness,” says Alok Hsu Kwang-han

To excite your creativity and loosen up, Alok and Tiffani will deploy these unique techniques.

In quick succession, so you don’t have time to think and return automatically to habitual and unconscious patterns of thinking and behavior, Alok and Tiffani may ask you to paint “My house burnt down, I can see the moon.” or “God has only four words, come dance with me!” or “When great calamity arrives, how shall we respond?” and Zhao Zhou replied, “Welcome!”, or a goofy school song that you would sing together, or a dance that dances us, or some suffering that we all share — or something else that occurs to us arising out of our being together in this workshop, in Sedona, on this planet, in this universe. Successive paintings later we come to realize we are the art!

Through painting from emptiness, you will discover new ways of thinking and a new approach to life. You will take time to share your paintings in gentle and humorous ways as you learn from and with each other.

To sign up for this workshop, visit SedonaArtsCenter.org or call 928-282-3809.

Sedona Arts Center is one of Northern Arizona’s most well-established cultural organizations and serves as the creative heart of Sedona.

Founded in 1958, the nonprofit organization is based at the Art Barn in Uptown and offers year-round classes, exhibitions, festivals, and cultural events that enhance the creative life of the Verde Valley.

The Center’s Fine Art Gallery, open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., promotes the original works of over 100 local artists and regularly offers special assistance for collectors and art buyers, offers private studio visits, and fosters hundreds of arts education opportunities each year.