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Books  >   Health, Mind and Body : Self-Help : Creativity : 

Fingerpainting on the Moon : Writing and Creativity as a Path to Freedom


Published:July 1, 2003

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Description: From Publishers Weekly
In creativity lies the true path to freedom is this book's central and oft-repeated thesis, and Levitt uses a mishmash of mystical Judaism, Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Hinduism and other spiritual and philosophical traditions to inspire readers to tap into their own creative genius. Poet Levitt talks mostly about writing here, but asserts his message applies to "anyone who longs to return to his creative source and to express both the journey and what he finds once he is there." Levitt is a warm and often wise teacher, but his lessons can come off as a bit too precious, a bit too New Age. On the importance of asking questions, Levitt muses that questions "can be the moon calling to us to join them there, which we know how to do. To embrace a question born in our imagination is to feel embraced." Levitt's portrait of a creative life, with its intense focus on dreamy self-examination, may strike some as overly earnest, even solipsistic. Those inclined to express creativity through social commentary, for instance, or satire, will likely not be moved by advice such as "It is in the spirit of awe, inspiration, yearning and the need we all have to discover the light of the creative sparks in our lives that I urge you to close the gap and give yourself entirely to all parts of your world." The strongest parts of the book come when Levitt connects ancient mystical teachings with the present search for creativity. The story of a Zen master who shot an arrow into the sea and declared it a bull's-eye, for example, is a tale meant to help readers overcome fear of failure by avoiding narrow, pre-determined definitions of success. As far as creative success goes, Levitt encourages readers, "the target is large and the center can be found everywhere."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Description:
in Fingerpainting on the Moon, Peter Levitt shows us new ways to create and live from the spiritual source of our lives. "We were born to create," he says. "It's our birthright. Our nature. Remember: Everything is permitted in the imagination!" Based on Peter's more than thirty years as a poet and teacher, this book helps readers to express and rely upon their deepest nature in creative work, whether it is writing, painting, music, or just being alive. "You are both deeply human and deeply Divine," he tells us. "Only practice fingerpainting on the moon and you will discover how true this is."

Creativity of any kind requires risk-the risk of being a beginner, letting go of control, or revealing intimate or even unknown parts of ourselves. It can also be a source of tremendous joy: the joy of giving voice to our deepest needs and imaginings. Taking a gentle and freeing approach to creativity, Peter Levitt shows us the essentially spiritual nature of creative acts and helps us open our hearts and minds so we can express ourselves with courage, innate wisdom, and authenticity.

No special conditions are required to create. We need not wait for inspiration to strike, or worry that it has abandoned us. Developed over decades of work with writers and other artists, the exercises, stories,
meditations, and other tools in this book will:

and#8226; Connect us with our inherent and inexhaustible creative and spiritual source
and#8226; Quiet the inhibitions and doubts that derail our intentions to create
and#8226; Build and nurture trust, intuition, spontaneity, clarity, and confidence
and#8226; Rekindle our spirit of play to energize our creative efforts

Synthesizing centuries of global wisdom from traditions that include Zen Buddhism, mystical Judaism, Su?sm, Christianity, and Native American beliefs, and offering insights from such masters as Paul Klee, Itzhak Perlman, Allen Ginsberg, and Pablo Neruda, this book will nurture and sustain the artist in each of us, freeing us to generate work that is genuine, vital, and compelling.

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