I had a discussion with a student who deeply invested in Buddhism. Some thoughts:
There is a spiritual world and a material world.
If you choose to be in the material world, even just a little, you have to act, you have to do something.
When you choose to be present and you pay attention, you realize life is incredibly strange. So is art. It can be like living twice- it has the potential to be just as strange and wonderful and horrible for the artist as real life. But not everyone has the courage to go through it twice.
Attention is the best artistic gift you can give yourself.
"My life has been about paying attention to things. Most people don't know how few things they pay attention to." - John Cage