A Buddhist View: Creativity & Compassion

This time on the CSM Podcast, Michael Kammers and David Nichtern discuss the connection between creativity and compassion, offering insight into balancing artistry with wellbeing.



Creativity & Compassion // Bodhisattva Christmas

Speaking to the name of the podcast – Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck – David Nichtern and Michael Kammers explore how we can balance creativity and compassion in our lives. Using the example of being a band leader—a position familiar to both of their hearts—they contemplate how one can hold a strong and directed creative vision (which may involve letting some individuals go) while still holding it all in true compassion and serving everyone’s best interest.

“The way [Trungpa] Rinpoche used to say it is, ‘We don’t give up on anyone.’ That’s the Bodhisattva perspective. The Bodhisattva does not discriminate who’s being a good person. It’s not Santa Claus. Everybody gets a gift under the Christmas Tree of the Bodhisattva.” – David Nichtern


Professional Threshold // Success & Wellbeing (8:01)

As a creative person and perfectionist in service of your art, how do you compassionately fire someone who is no longer beneficial to your creative venture? Through this lens, Michael shares the importance of being honest yet compassionate about upholding the integrity of one’s professional threshold. The rule of thumb they land on is a Maharaj-ji based lesson of making sure if you throw someone out of your project, that you don’t also throw them out of your heart.

“I’m someone who’s chosen to make a living with my creativity, and that’s been a journey. It includes wellbeing. If I am successfully creating something that aesthetically reaches a vision, but I cannot sustain my wellbeing or the wellbeing of my community, that’s no longer a success. So channeling that creativity in a way that involves individual and collective wellbeing, to me, that is success.” – Michael Kammers


Right Livelihood Portal // Buddhism & Creativity (18:01)

If our safety and livelihood is tied up in financial gain, how do we hold a strong and honest creative vision without biasing it towards temporal success? To close, they discuss how to make the podcast more communally engaging, and explore Buddhism’s relationship with creativity.

“Music is its own expression of health, creativity is its own expression of health and wellbeing.” – Michael Kammers



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