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Lesson Plans


aesthetics through awareness?

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MARKG710
Thu, 27 Nov 1997 15:01:58 -0500 (EST)

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hi anne marie,

i am interested in your work on developing awareness. i think it may be
helpful to examine some practices and philosphies of the east.

on aol, a keyword search of JAPAN will lead you to info on their arts, such
as the tea ceremony, sume-i calligraphy, and rock gardens. these arts are
designed to enhance awarness of the moment. i would encourage having the
students practice these types of things as apposed to just learning about
them.

even more to the point would be a study of the philosphy of zen. there are
many books on the subject, but one of the best is called, ZEN FLESH, ZEN
BONES, by paul reps. an example from the book may demonstrate the conection
to your project.

every minute zen:

zen students are with their masters at least ten years before they pesume to
teach to others. nan-in was visited by tenno, who having passed his
apprenticeship, had become a teacher. the day happened to be rainy, so tenno
wore wooden clogs and carried an umbrella. after greeting him, nan-in
remarked: "i suppose you left your wooden clogs in the vestibule. i want to
know if your umbrella is on the right or left side of the clogs."

tenno, confused had no instant answer. he realized that he was unable to
carry his zen every minute. he became nan-in's pupil, and he studied six
more years to accomplish his every-minute zen.

most zen is explained with the use of these types of stories, which makes it
very interesting. of course your students would not be able to devote as
much time to zen as the man in this story, but it is a different way of
looking at life than most westerners ever encounter and it may help them to
live more in the moment when viewing art.

i am not sure if this is the type of thing you were looking for, but if you
are interested in discussing these topics further, just let me know. i am by
no means an expert on zen or these other topics, but i find them very
interesting.

mark g.
arted university of arizona


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