I began creating visual art (paintings and sculptures) the same day I began meditating which is while I was attending the University of California at Berkeley in 1965. In the beginning years I created images using traditional materials and tools. That changed when I began using a Macintosh computer in the beginning days of the Apple computer company. Since then I have used the computer almost solely to create art. Several of my original digital pieces were printed on a printer designed by Graham Nash of Nash Editions and the famous singing group, Crosby, Stills, and Nash. That very printer is now in the Smithsonian Institute heralding the beginning of digital fine art.
My work ranges from abstract pieces that represent the various mental and emotional landscapes we experience in meditations, to portraits that are usually mysterious and quite out of the ordinary. There are also a series of images that reflect my love of racing motorcycles which was also a passion of mine for about twelve years.
My work as an artist is why I feel that my Zen students can benefit from delving deeply into whatever they do with a passion. I know how much I have learned as a meditating artist and how closely the two processes can serve one another.
As a Zen teacher I know my work with a student is not complete until the student can bring into his, or her, life the experience of integrating the inward experiences of meditation with the external activities of working/playing in the world. I hope people will become interested in working with me as a Zen teacher, but also as a person who is a strong advocate of helping each person learn how to integrate their artistic desires with their spiritual goals. I do not see them as being different, or in any way contradictory. I see them as complementary and wonderful way to enjoy both paths.
For more information about Jake’s art, please visit his website here.