VIDEO: On Creativity and Contemplative Practice

An Interview with John Tarrant

By Garrison Institute

Zen teacher John Tarrant recently taught a retreat at the Garrison Institute on koans—teaching stories traditionally reserved for advanced Zen students—and creativity. Before the retreat started, Tarrant spoke with Garrison Institute Retreats Director Jane Kolleeny about how creative pursuits can support our contemplative practices. Tarrant is the author of Bring Me the Rhinoceros and The Light Inside the Dark and is the editor of the new online magazine Uncertainty Club. He is the director of Pacific Zen Institute.

Some of the key ideas explored:

  • How can reading and writing poetry support us in our contemplative practices?
  • The tension between accepting things as they are and striving to make things better. 
  • How can you tell when a contemplative practice is working?

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