Mark Epstein

  • Buddhism and the Suffering Artist Paid Member

    On September 13, 2010 a few of us Tricyclers had the good fortune to be able to attend a conversation about contemplation and creativity between Matthieu Ricard and Philip Glass, moderated by Mark Epstein. While the event was really fantastic with many inspiring and interesting ideas discussed, it left me chewing on some thoughts. It left me wondering about the role of suffering in art and the archetype of the suffering artist. At one point Ricard said something along the lines of, “If we can speak about creativity, I think that it comes out of the space and awareness cultivated through meditation.” However, if meditation is primarily a means for us to get a handle on our suffering, what about all of the beautiful art that comes out of suffering? More »
  • Mark Epstein on Maya Devi Paid Member

    After writing a Mother’s Day blog post about Maya Devi, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that she dies so shortly after giving birth to the Buddha. Isn’t this sad? We usually think about the Buddha’s early life as being protected from suffering, that he “would not be troubled by cold or heat, dust or grit or dew…” (Rupert Gethin, The Foundations of Buddhism, translated from the Anguttara Nikaya), and yet he suffers a profound loss when he’s just a week old. Mark Epstein has been doing some deep thinking on the Buddha’s mother and touched on her death in the recent PBS documentary The Buddha. Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to chat a little with Mark about Maya Devi. Interview with Mark Epstein More »