Buddhist Fashion

There is such a thing called performance art. I heard of one Japanese lady, a very famous performance artist who comes onto the stage with a big ball, like a snowball. She is actually wearing a snowball made of old rags covering her from the neck down to her bottom. As she shrieks, moans, and moves around the stage, layer by layer, she takes off one bit of rag that she is wearing and hangs it on a stick that she is carrying. As the performance goes on, leaping and shouting, eventually, this lady is wearing no clothes at all! She only has a big bunch of fabric hanging on this stick over her shoulder. What she does then is run up and down the aisle shouting at people and throwing branches and leaves on them.

In one way, this is a very interesting method of expressing creativity. However, there are many expressions of creativity. Luckily, we do not have to approve of how people paint or sing. It does not require our permission. However, sometimes change for its own sake can produce some pretty strange effects.

Like that, some creative people seek to remain on the crest of change for its own sake, to be at the forefront as the sophisticated model for others to follow their methods. In Santa Rosa, there was a street corner vendor selling black velvet paintings. I drove by one day and said, "Oh, those are so beautiful." Someone told me, "Oh Rinpoche, you do not like those." I said, "Why not? I like them. I am looking at them, and I like them." I was told clearly that if you lived in 1960, it was okay to like black velvet paintings, and millions of people bought them and loved them, but now it is the present, and you are not supposed to like them anymore. I said, "But they are still beautiful." It does not matter. It is old. It is old and it is tacky. For myself, the stress of maintaining forward fashion, contemporary, changing all of the time according to the creative whims of others is painful. Even if you do not have boredom, they want you to have it, so you follow the new fashion. Your society has built this into you, this desire. Are you bored with the four-year-old shirt you are wearing? You are? It is not worn out but you are bored with it perhaps?

There are many who seek spiritual process for this reason. Perhaps there is even someone reading this who is seeking spiritual process because they think it would be a fun change, and not so boring like other things.

These are both immature views of change, and both of these immature views can be alive in you right now. Both of those can be alive in you. You might be suffering from boredom and wish to participate in ancient wisdom practices to create new pathways for strategy. Actually, this is the description of a spiritual seeker, is it not?

However, if we cannot emerge from that state and develop a mature view, we cannot even begin to work on meaningful change. All we do is we remain, stuck in dissatisfaction with who we are. To be a spiritual seeker is to be someone to be forever dissatisfied. We must move away from being a spiritual seeker and begin the actual work!


  1. Yes this is lovely. Specially the end. Let the work begin! <3


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