life

The November of Ensos – Day 1

 

 

Acrylics on scrapbook paper

Acrylics on scrapbook paper

So – November first means Day 1 of the announced Enso Project. Here it is – apologies for the low photo Quality, this will improve in the course of this month as I hope wireless will be back to its usual …. good to medium quality 😉

I am not likely to post every day, rather you will find a post of the latest 3-4 ensos every couple of days. And it is my ambitious Intention to offer an inspiring Quote alongside the photos – today’s Quote is from the insightful, wonderful Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh:

“A work of art can help people understand the nature of their suffering, and have insight into how to transform the negative and develop the positive in themselves. Writing, making a film, creating a work of art can be a act of love. That act of love nourishes you and nourishes others. If you’re happy, you know how to live deeply every Moment of your life, then deep understanding, joy, and compassion can come. Your art will reflect this understanding and will share it with others”
-from: Your True Home, by Thich Nhat Hanh, No.206, “An Act of Love”

 

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, buddhism, creativity, life, meditation, mindfulness | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 6 of ’31 days of playful drawing’ – kitchen love

Today’s prompt is an ever-favourite. Kitchen! Yes, I am in love with my kitchen,

  • the wooden cinnamon coloured cupboards I bought from the Family who had this Apartment before me,
  • the “latte macchiato”-coloured wall facing the cupboards,
  • the windows looking out on my other very favourite room, the Loggia and even further to the back gardens with their beautiful old trees.
  • the fact that there is always a gentle scent of coffee in the air
  • the fact that I could do a “Cup Party” with lots of People, as I do have …well…lots of mugs and teacups. Each has a history, really each.
  • the big kitchen table who today met sepia ink. It took it quite well. 🙂

On another note: Yes, I am happy to have 2 weeks of fall break, it’s a bliss. For this reason I dedicated 3 hours of this afternoon to drawing and colouring today’s prompt, kitchen.

Translated: I drew and coloured with a considerable amount of concentration…and dedication, so, put love and energy into something which means a lot to me, which makes me happy and grateful: the coffee with chocomel, a Cup of verbena-lemongrass tea at night, candle light, fairy lights and so much more…

The result? Feeling accomplished and grateful, even more as I like the outcome but it wasn’t even the most important Thing. The process, the positive thoughts while being engaged, this is just so good, so nourishing that I want to practice it as often as possible.

Thanks heavens there 25 days of october left, and then: repeat 🙂

IMG_3427 (800x766)

Categories: Art, coffee, cooking and baking, creativity, drawing, gratitude, life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday morning – counting my blessings (Day 5 of “31 playful days of drawing”)

Colours expressing the warmth, cosyness and Chosen slow motion mode of my favourite kind of Sunday Mornings. Images Show how much I love the simple things: a good Cup of coffee, a candle, journaling, having beautiful trees in front of the window (or being able to look at the kitchen AND Loggia window to see them)

Colours expressing the warmth, cosyness and Chosen slow motion mode of my favourite kind of Sunday Mornings. Images Show how much I love the simple things: a good Cup of coffee, a candle, journaling, having beautiful trees in front of the window (or being able to look at the kitchen AND Loggia window to see them)

Categories: Art, colours, creativity, drawing, gratitude, life, sketchbook, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My hometown from an interesting – sunlit – perspective

Even before going on today’s adventure I was convinced: It’s so much fun being a Tourist in your own City.

Yet I have learned that experience got its own ways, or, in other words: It wasn’t just fun, it was even better!!

It’s been a late September Day, very warm, golden sunlight and I decided to try out the muchly admired City Tour bus which passes by at Burg Frankenberg near my place. So, off on the upper deck, appreciating that the nice bus Driver opened the Roof and I was in for 2 and a half hours of sightseeing of an area of about 10 kilometres altogether. If you have such things in your hometown and haven’t tried it out – I can recommend to pencil in a date for this and go ahead. And – don’t forget your camera. Here are today’s impressions of my hometown, Aachen, Germany, with bits of information or rather subjective comments on the places or Events.

On my way to the bus stop - autumn is saying hello and I feel ready to face the Beauty of leaves

On my way to the bus stop – autumn is saying hello and I feel ready to face the Beauty of leaves

 

At the bus stop - the schedule and information about the tour and fees

At the bus stop – the schedule and information about the tour and fees

 

Drinking out of a camera-objective-styled thermo Cup caused a certain bewilderment, especially with the guy next to me who introduced himself (or rather his character) by asking me if I am at all able to handle such a camera :)

Drinking out of a camera-objective-styled thermo Cup caused a certain bewilderment, especially with the guy next to me who introduced himself (or rather his character) by asking me if I am at all able to handle such a camera 🙂

 

Elisenbrunnen = Elisen-fountain, nice architecture combined with smelly Sulfur water coming out of wells. Not everyone's Cup of tea. Behind Elisenbrunnen lies the ancient part of the City with pretty cobblestone streets and lots of Cafés and stores.

Elisenbrunnen = Elisen-fountain, nice architecture combined with smelly Sulfur water coming out of wells. Not everyone’s Cup of tea. Behind Elisenbrunnen lies the ancient part of the City with pretty cobblestone streets and lots of Cafés and stores.

At Elisenbrunnen, too. The upper deck of the bus offered a special perspective

At Elisenbrunnen, too. The upper deck of the bus offered a special perspective

 

Passerby blurry Impression of my neighbourhood

Passerby blurry Impression of my neighbourhood

 

Ludwig Forum, a former umbrella factory, now Hosting important pieces of Modern Art. A good place to go actually, yet the neighbourhood isn't my favourite...

Ludwig Forum, a former umbrella factory, now Hosting important pieces of Modern Art. A good place to go actually, yet the neighbourhood isn’t my favourite…

Tivoli, the Soccer Stadium and home of Alemannia Aachen.

Tivoli, the Soccer Stadium and home of Alemannia Aachen.

 

Aachen is famous for their horse riding tournaments, world wide even. CHIO is the name of the game. There are rumours in Aachen that it always rains during the CHIO week. As it often rains anyway it's hard to prove ;)

Aachen is famous for their horse riding tournaments, world wide even. CHIO is the name of the game. There are rumours in Aachen that it always rains during the CHIO week. As it often rains anyway it’s hard to prove 😉

 

This is a very new bridge next to the Stadium for horse riding and Soccer. It's the northern entry/Exit of the City.

This is a very new bridge next to the Stadium for horse riding and Soccer. It’s the northern entry/Exit of the City.

 

Ha! Spotted a van. It's a good day when I spot vans :)

Ha! Spotted a van. It’s a good day when I spot vans 🙂

 

Alley

Alley

 

Lots of houses in Aachen have this kind of beautiful statues

Lots of houses in Aachen have this kind of beautiful statues

 

Europaplatz - Europe square. A huge roundabout, framed by the flags of many European countries. Aachen gives an Award for extraordinary success in european dialogue each year called The Karlspreis, "Karl's Award", named after the Emperor Karl der Große

Europaplatz – Europe square. A huge roundabout, framed by the flags of many European countries. Aachen gives an Award for extraordinary success in european dialogue each year called The Karlspreis, “Karl’s Award”, named after the Emperor Karl der Große

Blurry but colourful view into Pontstraße, heart of the Student quarter, Café next to café

Blurry but colourful view into Pontstraße, heart of the Student quarter, Café next to Café

This lizard looking building is a rather new helicopter landing spot at the (incredibly ugly) University Hospital Aachen. I don't find it pretty but I am very fascinated of its architecture again and again...

This lizard looking building is a rather new helicopter landing spot at the (incredibly ugly) University Hospital Aachen. I don’t find it pretty but I am very fascinated of its architecture again and again…

Seriously, can you believe THIS is a Hospital? A renowned one, even!

Seriously, can you believe THIS is a Hospital? A renowned one, even!

On the way up the narrow curves towards the Three-Country-Spot "Dreilaendereck", where Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands meet. It's the first time I haven't gone up here by bike. Imagine the calories you burn going there by bicycle. But you'll be rewarded with sodas and icecream at the top :)

On the way up the narrow curves towards the Three-Country-Spot “Dreilaendereck”, where Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands meet. It’s the first time I haven’t gone up here by bike. Imagine the calories you burn going there by bicycle. But you’ll be rewarded with sodas and icecream at the top 🙂

The top

The top

Information about the Dreilaendereck and the fun Labyrinth (with surprise fountains in it)

Information about the Dreilaendereck and the fun Labyrinth (with surprise fountains in it)

Platform up at the Dreilaendereck. There will be one more platform to Show and for all of you who are afraid of heights, too, you should know that this is the easy one. Not that I went up there... goodness no.

Platform up at the Dreilaendereck. There will be one more platform to Show and for all of you who are afraid of heights, too, you should know that this is the easy one. Not that I went up there… goodness no.

Probably a very good Point to look out to three countries at one climb - but I will never know. :)

Probably a very good Point to look out to three countries at one climb – but I will never know. 🙂

 

This Beauty looked at me in the park near the bus stop where I stopped by after the bus tour.

This Beauty looked at me in the park near the bus stop where I stopped by after the bus tour.

Home - my favourite square - where Saturday markets delight my heart as well as Saint Martin bonfires ...

Home – my favourite square – where Saturday markets delight my heart as well as Saint Martin bonfires …

Thank you very much for staying and looking at all the photos. I sure hope that you might feel inspired to do something like this, too. It’s worth the time spend, especially if you find a good Balance between taking photos with eyes and heart and with your camera. One comment on the Headline of this post. The perspective was so Special as I sat way up on the sunny deck. Like this:

I sat on the right top seat in the front. Prime photographer seat as the busdriver expressed :)

I sat on the right top seat in the front. Prime photographer seat as the busdriver expressed 🙂

Categories: contemplative photography, life, photo blogging, photography, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Morning (de-)light …or …how the simple things in life contribute to my happiness

Brush bouquet

Brush Bouquet

The good thing about being an early bird is to being able to walk around the flat when it’s still so quiet outside,

when the light is very Special and therefore my camera is silently begging to be picked up.

The photos are taken at home with a mindful attitude and a thankful heart.

Inspired by Susannah Conway, Tara Leaver and the amazing Project you find on www.3191milesapart.com

Coffee scent in the kitchen, a heart in the milk foam almost too nice to make me drink the coffee...

Coffee scent in the kitchen, a heart in the milk foam almost too nice to make me drink the coffee…

 

Tulips ... reminding me that the next spring is just around the corner

Tulips … reminding me that the next spring is just around the corner

Fairy lights warming the atmosphere

Fairy lights warming the atmosphere

berry light (640x597)

closeup of the other “yarnball-style” fairy lights – I love the light spreading through the holes, reflecting on the wall.

friendly and charming roommates ;)

friendly and charming roommates 😉

The reason why I love taking photos of my beloved everyday simplicity, the things I refuse to take for granted although they happen to be around me seemingly “all the time” is that I am making sure to have a Little “vacation mindset” during the week.

I do not want to wait for the next ‘real’ vacation to feel happy and grateful, nor do I think that waiting for a vacation of 5 days could release work stress of 5 weeks for example.

driftwood and circles i

driftwood and circles

star shaped tree bark (can it get any better?) and circles on my old table which probably would have a few stories to tell. How I love this kitchen table. It came to me as a gift and I do not want to take it for granted.So much Beauty in its imperfection!

star shaped tree bark (can it get any better?) and circles on my old table which probably would have a few stories to tell. How I love this kitchen table. It came to me as a gift and I do not want to take it for granted.So much Beauty in its imperfection!

If you haven’t done this (in a while) I invite you to take your camera and look around your house:

-take photos of things which have accompanied you for a long time, which have a story to tell (and maybe write down the story for them if you feel inspired to do so)

-take photos of how the morning/noon/afternoon or evening light makes parts of your place so special

-take photos of little treats which can help to press the pause button during your day…. like a cup of tea or coffee you are enjoying

-take photos of things you once purchased or got as a gift, which mean a lot to you, but which sit at the same place for a while already and might be taken for granted a little  …

And just as important:

  • What do you do with your photos?

  • When do you take time to print them?

  • Do you want to put them into a Journal or Album?

  • Do you feel like making a Collage? Craft a postcard to a dear friend with the help of these photos?

  • Do you feel like posting them in a blog – for example – and possibly inspire others?

  • Maybe even put them into a Special file to go make a photobook with them at a photostore, as a reminder of lots of things to be happy about?

My experience is that it’s of course very nice and precious to first of all take photos with the mindset I have described in here.

But, you know… these days, yeah, sure, you can take zillions of photos with your digital camera, store them in files and even give them captions and names. If you give These photos a Special “presentation”, honour them with your time and Attention, they might serve you as a reminder of reasons to be happy about “the simple things in life”.

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things." - Henry Ward Beecher

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, coffee, contemplative photography, gratitude, life, mindfulness, photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

365 times gratitude in pictures – you’d like to join?

Good morning everyone.
I know that I am most likely to be in a big crowd posting about plans for the new year.

-Yes, I do have a word (well, 3 of them, really) for this year.

-No, I didn’t make the classic resolutions, instead scheduled myself for 2 things by already getting the material ready to start it:

A jar

pens

paper

With a look on this photo I’d say the idea pretty much explains itself, doesn’t it?

photo source: Pinterest

The other activity set for my year – and having happy memories of Susannah Conway’s August Break – is  to take part in the

“365 grateful Project”

Again – this explains itself.

Expect me to keep you posted.

Have a good second day of this fresh and new year!

Categories: creativity, gratitude, life, mindfulness, photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy new year with a prayer from Plum Village

IMG_2263 (446x640)

Happy new year to everyone who is reading this post. May you have a wonderful year!

I want to post a prayer from Plum Village. For this purpose I copied the text here:

http://plumvillage.org/news/new-years-prayer-2014/

 

This prayer was offered by the Plum Village fourfold sangha as part of the midnight ceremony to mark the dawn of the New Year 2014.

“Dear Beloved Father Sun – Bodhisattva Mahavairocana Tathagata,

Dear Beloved Mother Earth – Bodhisattva Mahagaia,

Dear Beloved Ancestors, both Spiritual and Genetic,

 

We present ourselves before you at this solemn moment of the New Year to express our gratitude and deep aspiration as a spiritual family.

Dear Father Sun, your infinite light is the nourishing source of all species. You are our Sun, a great Buddha, a great Bodhisattva, our Great Tathagata Sun,our source of limitless light and life. You are not only in the sky but you are also ever-present in Mother Earth and in us. Just as our life depends on our heart, so too does our life depend on you. We bow our heads this evening with gratitude for your radiant non-discrimination and gift of life.

Dear Mother Earth, with your patience, stability, endurance and creativity you have nourished and guided us through many lifetimes. You have given birth to us and to countless, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Saints. You, our beautiful blue planet, are the Earth Refreshing Bodhisattva–fragrant, cool, and kind. Yet for many lifetimes we have suffered, and made you suffer, because we have been unable to see you as the Pure Land, as the very Kingdom of God: the most beautiful place in the Heavens. Despite our many mistakes, you have always forgiven us, and are always ready to open your arms and embrace us.

Because of our wrong perceptions and discrimination we have lived a life of separation, hatred, loneliness, violence and despair. We have allowed individualism to prevail, causing great damage and hardship to ourselves and to you, dear Mother Earth. We have run after fame, wealth, power, and sensual pleasures, forgetting that these pursuits can never bring us true happiness. We have become restless and distracted, running away from ourselves, our beloved ones and from you, dear Mother Earth. As a society and as a civilization we know we are going in the wrong direction.

Dear Mother Earth, Dear Father Sun and Dear Ancestors, tonight, on the occasion of the New Year 2014, we give rise to the deep aspiration to begin anew, to go in a new direction and request your forgiveness for all our mistakes. With great respect we make the deep aspiration to live mindfully each moment of our daily life. We promise to stop running away from our suffering, losing ourselves in consumption. We promise to come home to ourselves with compassion, to recognize, embrace and look deeply into our suffering. We promise to take refuge in you, dear Mother Earth, and your capacity to nourish, heal and embrace all that is. We promise to offer our true presence to our beloved ones and not to get too busy, striving for success – even in pursuit of our dreams. We know that we can realize our dreams in every moment, and we vow to live every day of 2014 as a realization of our dream. We know that time is not money. Time is life, and time is love. We promise to live simply, to love one another with non-discrimination, to build true brotherhood and sisterhood and respect our deepest aspiration.

Dear Mother Earth, you have been calling out to us for many lifetimes, and some of us have been able to hear your pain. You have asked if you can count on us, your children, to lovingly heal and transform ourselves and the present situation. In this solemn moment of the New Year, with our palms joined and body and mind united, we promise that you can count on us. You can have faith and confidence in us.

We shall practice for you, Mother Earth, Father Sun, for all our ancestors and future generations so that joy, peace, harmony and love will always be present in this world. Please accept our offerings of incense, flowers, fruit, tea, and love. Respected Father Sun, Respected Mother Earth, Dear Ancestors, please have trust in us.”

Namasté

Categories: Achtsamkeit, buddhism, life, mindfulness, nature, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sparks pointing to the most different directions – all of them creative!

English: Sparkler, violent reaction (guy fawke...

Before this year ends I am coming around with a look back on 6 very Special weeks of this year –  from mid-october to late November. 

Tara Leaver, whose art and Website I have introduced in other blog Posts yet, for many good reasons, had developed the Creative Spark Ecourse.                          

Now, what is that ?

Official answer: it’s an online course which Tara – with a lot of wisdom, empathy, experience,                

passion and love for the very detail created to make People develop or re-kindle their creativity.               Tara herself is a visual Artist but she approaches creativity in such a deep, holistic way,                

she encourages to embrace “non-creative” phases by suggesting what to do and offers                

the most diverse sources for creativity. Believe me. I’m a witness.

I will never forget These 6 weeks, as they were one of the 2-3 very Highlights of this year which is going to end in just a few hours.

Tara had a post waiting for us each weekday during this six weeks, but this was only one example of her being present. In the closed Facebook Group she installed for the Exchange between us happy People taking part she always knew JUST the perfect word to say, the perfect hint to give.

Speaking of our Group: We just met for this Ecourse experience …and within shortly we developed a Group Spirit which went beyond my Imagination. This means, the conversations between us were deeply soaked in Support, understanding, interest and open-mindedness. Every time I logged into this Group I had a Feeling of bliss. Tara – thanks to her a zillion times and more – held it all together. I felt like I was in England, in Australia (especially!), in Canada, Scotland and the States because we all seem(ed) to be so Close together, I had the inner visions of an artstudio community constantly welling up talking to these wonderful ‘Sparquettes’ (we found a whole new language-code around the word spark).

As to the paining? I do paint, draw and sketch, it wasn’t a first but everything I have done so far has mostly been rather chaotically self-taught (yet very enjoyable) Never in this world would I have thought possible to develop such experience in “just” six weeks! Although I really did have the most positive attitude doing this course I can imagine. To give you a visual Impression of the six weeks let me take you on a stroll:

Week one  - blind contour drawing of this lovely autumn leave. Or is it a starfish maybe?

Week one – blind contour drawing of this lovely autumn leave. Or is it a starfish maybe?

IMG_2128 (800x459)

One of the first things I did in week 1 – blind contour pen drawing.

Blind contour drawing - graphite pencil  of rabbit Finn

Blind contour drawing – graphite pencil of rabbit Finn

The "Velveteen Rabbit"- this drawing and the conversations with the Group introduced me to this tissue-intensive beautiful childrens book

The “Velveteen Rabbit”- this drawing and the conversations with the Group introduced me to this tissue-intensive beautiful childrens book

Blind pencil drawing - with occasional cheating for the face I admit - coloured in

Blind pencil drawing – with occasional cheating for the face I admit – coloured in

Week 2

Week 2 was dedicated to shapes - here's an example of a treasure hunt trophy photo I took :)

Week 2 was dedicated to shapes – here’s an example of a treasure hunt trophy photo I took 🙂

IMG_2257 (640x434) IMG_2256 (320x640)

Week 3

Spent 4 hours or so on a very rainy sunday - drawing and painting withi graphite pencil and watercolour pencils.

Spent 4 hours or so on a very rainy sunday – drawing and painting withi graphite pencil and watercolour pencils.

Greece memories coming to life

Greece memories coming to life

coloured in

coloured in

Week 4 and 5

IMG_2283 (640x427)

Print of a coloured clingfilm

clingfilm to smoosh around colour on a gesso or matt medium surface. So-much-fun! Wonderful effects!

clingfilm to smoosh around colour on a gesso or matt medium surface. So-much-fun! Wonderful effects!

Collage Background. Yet to be worked with ...

Collage Background. Yet to be worked with …

Worked on a clingfilm print

Worked on a clingfilm print

IMG_2294 (414x640)

Circular clingfilm print. Love this one

Worked on clingfilm print. It's about taking time and looking what Comes up - due to shapes and colours. A very good way to connect with your intuition

Worked on clingfilm print. It’s about taking time and looking what Comes up – due to shapes and colours. A very good way to connect with your intuition

Week 6 – the final painting – in stages

IMG_2542 (640x550) IMG_2543 (640x427) IMG_2547 (640x399) IMG_2548 (640x427) IMG_2551 (640x570) IMG_2554 (640x542)

What happened during these 6 weeks:

I found my love for Ensos, thanks to all the wonderful Exchange in our Sparkgroup:

IMG_2263 (446x640)

I found myself having not one, not two, no THREE sketchbooks due to developing the main interests – again thanks to wonderful exchanges with those amazing People in our Group. And the Special Thing is: Joanne, my friend from Australia and I started a sketchbook cooperative. She started a yoga sketchbook while I started a Buddha art sketchbook.

IMG_2312 (640x303)

thank you, Tara!

thank you,  dear Sparquettes!

My best wishes for a happy and healthy, fulfilled and beautiful new year to everyone reading.

Namasté, Nicole

https://theartoflivingintheverymoment.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/soul-poetry-even-more-reasons-why-i-am-happy-having-discovered-tara-leavers-inspiration-what-a-treasure-noch-mehr-grunde-warum-ich-froh-bin-tara-leavers-inspirationen-entdeckt-zu-haben/

Categories: Art, creativity, life, mindfulness, Mixed Media Artmaking, sketchbook, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Photo walk in golden autumn sunshine

leafs_looking_down (640x608)

stripes (427x640)

stripes_creek_bench (640x361)

curls_neighbourhood (427x640)

This is not part of a camera filled with tea. It's a thermo cup camera-style. And today it made a grown man bump into a lamp post because he couldn't believe I was having one camera around the neck and drinking out of an objectif?? I really am sorry for him....

This is not part of a camera filled with tea. It’s a thermo cup camera-style. And today it made a grown man bump into a lamp post because he couldn’t believe I was having one camera around the neck and drinking out of an objectif?? I really am sorry for him….

Categories: life, nature, photo blogging, photography, walks | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Acoustic tunes for a cosy Sunday morning

Good morning                                    IMG_2148

As an early bird on a Sunday morning I noticed that…well…autumn really is very much here now. Like it has arrived with all character treats it can have. And autumn can be so atmospheric.

In autumn I watch myself getting my “seasonal” music and books out.

Book-wise this is for example Hesse’s  ‘Narcissus and Goldmund’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as well as everything by Helene Hanff, whose favourite season might have been autumn telling from her books 🙂

Music wise I’ll go get the acoustic albums of the following bands:

Icelandic heartwarming sounds by Sigur Ros:

And..not too far from Iceland, namely Norway: Kings of Convenience. Watch this video to learn new dance moves 🙂

and last for this Sunday morning: José Gonzalez el virtuoso at the Nylon string guitar.

Hope you enjoy. Happy Sunday!

 

Categories: life, music, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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