Posts Tagged With: meditation

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

The November of Ensos – how about joining?

Enso_1_copyrighted (548x640)

This is my first ever enso. Not a typical one Definition wise but I used up leftover acrylics there and painted in long circular movements….

 

 

So today is Halloween Day  – actually I am hearing a bunch of Kids rehearsing their trick or treat rhymes from outside as we speak. And it’s also – well, as you all know – the last day of October.

In a wonderful circle of creative People I have drawn and painted almost each day of October thanks to Tara Leaver’s “31 days of playful drawing” Project, also see recent Posts, which will get an update pretty soon.

As the everyday-creativity feels very healthy and makes my life richer in many ways, I decided to find a new Project in November. Let’s have a look at November for a moment… Many People find it a wet, foggy, cold, grey month.

Now, let’s reframe November:

mystic? Yes, I think so, thanks to the foggy mornings. A gift for photographers by the way.

Lots of invitations to get the candles out.  To find a lovely spot for fairy lights.

berry light (640x597)

 

a time for cocoon, maybe, to catch a big breath before the Christmas crazyness begins. And speaking of “breath” – how about refreshing your Meditation / mindfulness practice if you are interested?

Besides sitting Meditation the Enso painting is a way to do this. And *bam* – there we are in the middle of what I want you to invite you to.

Enso

What is an enso?

An enso is a hand-drawn circle. Traditionally it’s drawn in one, (fluent) movement, not too slow, but definitely not fast. Moderately, a mindful circle comes to life. 

Some buddhist monks have giant brushes, big as brooms, to draw an enso on a big table-cloth sized surface on the ground, it’s very fascinating to watch this as it is a whole-body experience. If you have the opportunity and a room, I highly recommend trying this.

What is an enso and what does it mean?

Enso is a japanese term which means circle. It corresponds to the wabisabi concept. If you look at photos of enso, see inserted links below, you see the opening of the circle as a typical trait and the obvious fact that it’s not made with any kind of compass. The drawing wants to remind of the imperfection which is an inherent part of our existence. It also stands for enlightenment, strength, the universe and the Buddhist understanding of the void (meaning, in very short terms not an emptiness but the lack of “not-connectedness” of things and beings)

How about a November of Ensos?

So, here is the Basic idea:

For each day of November, we will take a good ten minutes out of our busy days, sit down, light a candle maybe, and drawn an enso.

What do we need?

Here are my recommendations – but you are totally free to choose whatever art supply you feel drawn to, just stick to a brush or maybe your fingers, not a pen.

  • a thick brush, a round tip
  • a thick paper, at least 100g/square metre
  • a quiet space
  • a table where you can move your arm without stopping

Making it a meditative practice – further ideas

Here is how I will go about my daily enso practice:

-lighting a candle, probably even finding a candle which will stay at this spot for every enso drawing day of November.

-lighting incense

-sitting with a straight, yet relaxed back

-breathing deep and watching my breath for at least 3 in- and outbreaths

-then slowly taking the brush, dipping it in the colour of my choice and drawing an enso.

 

Further creative Ideas are:

– if you feel especially crafty, of course it’s fantastic to prepare a few backgrounds.

– to do so, choose acrylics or watercolour and paint the backgrounds with them so you have a few waiting for the next ensos to come.

-if you have A5 index Cards, These are great for ensos, too. and they are small enough to Frame or hang a collection of your favourites.

driftwood and circles i

Not an enso but a natural circle which always inspires me for ensos

 

-I am planning to paint a few dark backgrounds, maybe dark marroon or dark Petrol blue, and paint a White enso .. just one way to Experiment with colour combinations.

If you feel like joining, please feel free to drop a comment and maybe a photo Gallery contact info, maybe us interested People can blog-link each other to Exchange. I am very much looking forward to Hearing from you!

To see you off, here are a few inspiring Impressions from Thich Nhat Hanh’s beautiful artwork:

http://www.thichnhathanhcalligraphy.org/newyork/

http://plumvillage.org/news/calligraphic-meditation-the-mindful-art/

Enso_smile_breathe (480x640)

Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, buddhism, meditation, mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Some personal thoughts on contemplative artmaking

Mandala doodle over a circle smooshed with gel medium and acrylics

Mandala doodle over a circle smooshed with gel medium and acrylics

concentric circles. tons of layers, a 'few' spoons of texture paste...and a dark greyish purple mud structure getting a brighter existence. the Feeling of having managed to "brighten it up" was similar to a Situation in social life getting cleared up

concentric circles. tons of layers, a ‘few’ spoons of texture paste…and a dark greyish purple mud structure getting a brighter existence. the Feeling of having managed to “brighten it up” was similar to a Situation in social life getting cleared up

Two friends and I did this swirl in the Spirit (unlike the skills ;) ...) of Tibetan Monks. Lesson to learn: Patience, being in the Moment, letting go

Two friends and I did this swirl in the Spirit (unlike the skills 😉 …) of Tibetan Monks. Lesson to learn: Patience, being in the Moment, letting go

Working on "Buddha faces" - Stockmar crayons

Working on “Buddha faces” – Stockmar crayons

My major motivation to take a brush/Crayons/pens&pencils out to start creating something is to do something contemplative.

-the movement of your Hands,

-breathing with awareness,  witnessing of what goes on inside while making a particular brush stroke for example

-the choice of colours and shapes

-the choice of style and the activity of building layers, including natural ingredients such as smaller twigs or sand, tiny pebbles or a sea Shell

can be consciously chosen to develop a contemplative mind set – so circular movements are my favourites to deal with my “crazy monkey mind” (as Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche would put it)  – If you haven’t experienced it, just take some colour and a big Piece of paper and start making circles ….but: without the inention to create perfection. Witness the Feelings and sensations while doing so.

The results often are precious to me. And it’s not in the first place because I think the end result is so outstanding and good, it’s more like I have a Souvenir of a process which was unique and very likely to having taught me something about myself.

You see some of the latest ‘souvenirs’ in this post.

kreis_petrol_copyrighted

Kreis_magenta_petrol_copyrighted

‘Life is about using the whole box of crayons’ – (Unknown; source: Pinterest)

Enso - the first ever. The love for ensos was born that day and hasn't left ever since.

Enso – the first ever. The love for ensos was born that day and hasn’t left ever since.

‘Art enables us to find ourselves and to lose ourselves at the same time’ – Thomas Merton

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, creativity, intuitive artmaking, mindfulness, psychology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Interested in Meditation? Maybe you might like to stop by at Headspace

Sitting on this meditation cushion for about 400 days so far has taught me a lot about saying yes to situations, emotions, things which are not always easy to accept.

Sitting on this meditation cushion for about 400 days so far has taught me a lot about saying yes to situations, emotions, things which are not always easy to accept.

What is Headspace?                                

“Headspace is a project designed to demystify meditation. Using the wonders of science and technology, we make it easy-to-learn, fun-to-do, and relevant to your everyday life.” (taken from the website, see link below)

Sounds interesting?

Then feel invited to go this interesting Website . If you are on Facebook and you follow “Headspace” there, you may see that Andy, one of the makers of Headspace, often posts questions or facts about meditations which only take half a minute to read but motivate you to keep up or build your own meditation practice.

I personally do not need the support of any Website to appreciate the benefits of meditation and Keep the practice up,  but I find it really wonderful that people who might usually not come across this Topic might find it through media and the Internet.

 

Categories: Achtsamkeit, meditation, mindfulness | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sunshine in my heart – thanks to a wonderful blog-friend and her nomination of the sunshine award

When in this year’s April I started Blogging, I had no idea how much fun it would be, how many wonderful connections there would grow and how interesting and inspiring the exchange with like-minded People would be. Generally I wasn’t sure if Blogging would work for me.

Not only does it work, but it really has become something I very much enjoy doing and which adds up so well to my interests such as photography, mindfulness, life..in General, buddhism, psychology, Meditation, artmaking, creativity, Music, enjoying some sort of simplicity Lifestyle…and and and so much more 🙂

To me personally it’s not actually not too surprising that one of my deaerst Blogger friends here on wordpress is from Canada (simply because I wonder if I have been a Canadian in another life, and maybe lived in Toronto or Ottawa, pretty much the only cities in the world where I didn’t get lost so far, besides my hometown….^^)

Sherry Galey, who nominated me for the Sushine Award, and I met here on wordpress through our mutual love for photography and generally what I’d like to call a “contemplative mind set”.. (I hope this works for you, Sherry)

I so admire her blog posts, they warm me from the inside and there have been quite a few days yet when looking at one of her posts with those outstanding photos have accompanied me all day, or inspired me for a photo-stroll or a graphite-pencil drawing.

So:

Thank you so much, Sherry !!

I humbly and thankfully accept this wonderful Award.

sunshine-award

As part of the Award Sherry has come up with 10 questions she is asking the nominees. Here they are (and I like what you came up with, Sherry!)

1 If you could learn one skill that you’ve never had, what would it be, and why?

Hard one, I guess it’d be to be way way better in hanging up Picture Frames. My dearies always say “nice Picture- but what happened to the Frame?” ; ) This and being less afraid of technical things around the household. Repairing things in the household and all this. Why? Because – for the Pictures – I love it being not too sloped – it sure is nicer. I just have hard times taking care of it myself ^^. And as for the repairing …I like being Independent.

2 What do you love more taking photographs or writing? 

Tough choice! It very much depends on my mood and the circumstances. I often have the camera with me as well as a bunch of pens and at least one Notebook.

3 Are you an extrovert or an introvert? 

Definitely an introvert!

4 Do you have a fear that you have not yet conquered?

Yes.

5 Do you have a dream you’ve suppressed due to life commitments?  

A sabbatical – preferredly in Canada. It’s not off the list yet though. 🙂

6 Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Very cleary a Morning (-Meditation) Person.

7 What book has made a huge impact on you?

Definitely – about 2 years ago – I read “Buddhistische Psychotherapie” (buddhistic psychotherapy) by a very talented psychologist/psychotherapist from Bielefeld who links Western therapy methods with Basic Buddhist teachings in a very effective, unique, mindful way.

“Tuesdays with Morrie” – after dealing with a personal loss which was quite a bit to handle.

  8 If you could travel to any place in Canada, where would it be? 

Well, starting in Toronto (and taking my longboard this time!!  at least partly) and strolling around with the camera for weeks, going towards Lake Ontario, for example Coburg, up to Québec, Forillon National Park (L’Anse au Griffon) then back to Ottawa, staying there again for a couple weeks, strolling, Tim Horton’s hopping :), going to the Gatineau Park, and of course spending lots of time at Byward Market!

9 What qualities most touch you in a person? 

Compassion and a good sense of humour touch me very much, as well as sensitivity, and being able to commit to the things they love. I also love a certain kind of “keeping it simple”, I love when People are able to enjoy a Cup of tea and see beauty in everyday things. I find a certain degree of “craziness” appealing, too.

10 What do you do when inspiration to create leaves you?

though one. I am doing my best to follow the advise of Tara Leaver, who suggests to bake or cook something. This enables you mostly to follow a recipe but yet you are creating something. So, mostly it turns out to be cooking a soup. 🙂

 

Part of accepting the Award is to nominate 10 People, drop them a lovely comment about them being nominated for the Sunshine Award on their Blogs and post their names and the links of their Blogs in my post

Dear nominees, if you like to accept your Award, this is how you go about it. 🙂

1. Include the award logo in a post or on your blog.

2. Link to the person who nominated you.

3. Answer 10 questions about yourself and write 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

Here are ten People, whose blog posts inspire and amaze me again and again. Thanks to you guys for that!

  1. Lijuin – http://lijiun.wordpress.com/
  2. Cristina Reyeros of Ambition in the City: http://ambitioninthecity.com/
  3. Sarah G. of centered Spirit: http://centeredspirit.wordpress.com/
  4. The guys of kindnessblog: http://kindnessblog.com/
  5. David N. of course: http://smilecalm.wordpress.com/
  6. Dennis Cardiff of Gotta Find a Home: http://gottafindahome.wordpress.com/
  7. Charlotte of the wonderful blog strictlyholistic: http://strictlyholistic.com/
  8. Karl Duffy of Mindfulbalance: www.mindfulbalance.org
  9. Michelle http://michellegd.com/
  10. Iceland Penny  from http://icelandpenny.wordpress.com/

Soooo, dear nominees, here are the question I came up with:

  1. What’s your favourite place to be?
  2. Do you play an Instrument, if yes, which one?
  3. If you did a sabbatical, what would you do or where would you go?
  4. What is creativity for you?
  5. Do you like to write handwritten letters, journals and notes, and if yes, why?
  6. Do you have a Motto or a theme song?
  7. Do you have a favourite, Kind of “lift-me-up-quote”?
  8. Do you do any kind of Meditation practice?
  9. Which song, book or film sticks with you for a Long while already?
  10. Which is your favourite kind of landscape? The sea, mountains, Woods or something else? Do have a preferation at all?

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

One day I want to start every school day for my students with a singing bowl and precious, quiet me-time. The article shows how important this is.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jun/10/meditation-mindfulness-schools-stress-calming-classrooms

Categories: Achtsamkeit, life, meditation, mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Meditation flash mob and Calligraphic meditation in New York – I’ll be there in spirit.

1239288_10151577745120759_1016271964_oTomorrow in New York: an Event I would so love to be part of. I mean, both physically and mentally there: In New York City. As this is not possible I am grateful for the time difference and will make sure to do my one-person-meditation-“Breathing-room”-Flash mob at home (accompanied by one of my rabbits maybe who loves to keep me quiet company during Meditation here and there. 🙂 )

Also: Today the Plum Village Website announced that there will be a calligraphy exhibit in New York, showing about 80 of the original calligraphy works by Thich Nhat Hanh. I have seen prints and also purchased a small postcard and print of this calligraphy at the EIAB in Waldbroel this year, and the grace and simplicity of these calligraphic meditations keep touching me deeply.

If this is something you find interesting, here you can find more detailed Information:

http://plumvillage.org/events/calligraphic-meditation/

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

The August Break – Day #26 – yes

Sitting on this meditation cushion for about 400 days so far has taught me a lot about saying yes to situations, emotions, things which are not always easy to accept.

Sitting on this meditation cushion for about 400 days so far has taught me a lot about saying yes to situations, emotions, events, moods…. generally things which are not always easy to accept. Wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.

Categories: Achtsamkeit, life, meditation, mindfulness, photo blogging, photography, psychology, The August Break | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The August Break – Day # 14 – “stillness”

The Little Buddha-light and the incense holding espresso cup: photo taken while sitting on the Meditation cushion- so a very everyday yet very precious picture for me.

The Little Buddha-light and the incense holding espresso cup: photo taken while sitting on the Meditation cushion- so a very everyday yet very precious picture for me.

Incense

Incense

Painting is stillness to me - as I mostly paint without Music or audiobook in the background (unlike sketching for some reason...) Just the very gentle sounds which are being created by putting colour on canvas/paper.

Painting is stillness to me – as I mostly paint without Music or audiobook in the background (unlike sketching for some reason…) Just the very gentle sounds which are being created by putting colour on canvas/paper.

Categories: Achtsamkeit, life, meditation, mindfulness, photo blogging, photography, The August Break, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Worth adding layers – finished my first (of probably several) buddha-face-painting

So here’s the Thing. I love to sketch meditating Buddhas. Or Buddha faces… Next step was wanting to paint one for my ‘breathing room’. Well…It took…let’s say…a while. Underneath the visible layer there was  – besides other things – a Lotus flower and I am happy the shape can still be perceived. So happy it turned out to be a painting I actually like 🙂

 

Buddha painting # 1

Buddha painting # 1

Categories: Art, coffee, mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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