I was watching the Netflix docu-series “Chef’s Table” when I first learned of South Korean buddhist nun and chef Jeong Kwan. While watching this story, one idea that kept coming up was that of creating without ego. Fellow chefs praise her for bringing the buddhist philosophical approach to her cooking. I found it refreshing and moving. The following is a quote from Jeong Kwan that captures her philosophy perhaps not entirely but concisely. It is, I believe, a practical antidote to creative block.
Creativity and ego can not go together. If you free yourself from the comparing and jealous mind, your creativity opens up endlessly. Just as water springs from a fountain, creativity springs from every moment. You must not be your own obstacle. You must not be owned by the environment you are in. You must own the environment, the phenomenal world around you. You must be able to freely move in and out of your mind. This is being free. There is no way you can’t open up your creativity. There is no ego to speak of. That is my belief.
If you’d like to watch this episode of Chef’s table, here’s a link: Chef’s Table: Jeong Kwan