Zen and The Art of Improv

My Improv 201 student, Rupesh, just opened his new Chinese Medicine Studio, Windhorse Medicine. He wrote a lovely article about the parallels of improv and Zen meditation on his new website. Here’s an excerpt

Black mats. Black cushion. Shaven head monks wrapped in robes of black. The zendo is austere, meticulously clean save for an elegant orchid and shimmering metal Buddha statues. Yet from the teacher’s seat, heartfelt words flow forth, rich with the blood of those who let themselves be touched. And during silent hours, the spartan temple is far from quiet. It is the backdrop to the colorful twisting and turning of carnival wheels in the hearts and minds of it’s meditators…

Black stage. Black curtains. Empty save for two vacant black folding chairs. Unscripted, unrehearsed, the players enter. Worlds get painted. Streetclothes blossom under a drop of imagination. Hilarity ensues. The blackness comes to life…

About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.

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