Posts Tagged With: mindfulness

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Welcome, October – and welcome, “31 playful days” with a huge thank you to Tara Leaver

Day 2 - reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara's taught us... and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 2 – reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara’s taught us… and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 1 - favourite coffee mug. The Cup which "stood model" is similar shape wise, but intuitively I went with how the Cup and the yummy coffee inside makes me feel. Cosy, warm, at home, Content... Besides that, it was fun to experiment with loads of texture.

Day 1 – favourite coffee mug. The Cup which “stood model” is similar shape wise, but intuitively I went with how the Cup and the yummy coffee inside makes me feel. Cosy, warm, at home, Content… Besides that, it was fun to experiment with loads of texture.

This year, welcoming October could hardly be easier, for so many reasons:

-It’s warm and sunny, the sun turns everything into Gold here and I Keep admiring the red beech and a maple tree in front of the window, and how much Beauty they have to offer

    • -I purchased 2 new Memory Cards for my camera and cannot stop taking photos of the treetops and the deep blue sky
    • -It’s my fall break – hip hip hooray
    • -The long awaited new novel by Rachel Joyce, “The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy” has been released – at the beginning of my fall break, how happy am I?  (This will take an extra blog post sometime today or tomorrow)
    • -last Wednesday, “31 playful days”, Tara Leaver’s generous and amazing drawing Project started. Again: how happy am I? (Very)

This morning is a rather grey-ish Sunday, and – oh happy fallbreak – a perfect reason to catch up with Tara’s blog. Next week will be the Creative Spark anniversary, means, it’s a year ago that I took part in Tara’s first ever online course (see related blog post) and not only did I create drawings and paintings I hadn’t before, I also met the most amazing People, and made amazing friends, way beyond social media !! One of many reasons to keep going back to Tara’s ever-inspiring blog, especially without jumping up for desk work or other chores.

   The latest post is a very precious gem in Terms of learning about creative process, intuitive artmaking, Living a creative life, Inspiration to get the art supplies out! Not to speak of the artwork added in the photos!! Go see yourself:

http://taraleaver.com/2014/10/creative-process-blog-hop/

October might also be a Blogging-intensive month here – as I plan to Keep you updated about 31 playful days. Day 1 and 2 are up there, well, obviously :), and here are Day 3 to 4. Day 5 is yet to be born.

Day 4 - A Way To Travel Everyone who knows me just a little won't be surprised with this choice.

Day 4 – A Way To Travel
Everyone who knows me just a little won’t be surprised with this choice.

Day 2 - reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara's taught us... and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Day 2 – reminiscing the love for blind contour drawing the way Tara’s taught us… and doing a happy Memory timetravel as I was so reminded of our Creative Spark course.

Categories: Art, books, creativity, intuitive artmaking, sketchbook, 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

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

A mindful walk with a dear friend and our cameras: some impressions

Cherry blossoms in early January. A rare guest

Cherry blossoms in early January. A rare guest

IMG_2717 (427x640)

tree bark – might serve as reference for my upcoming painting Project. Just have to purchase some new gesso before starting. 🙂

IMG_2718 (640x548)

The “dancing tree”

Magnolia

Magnolia

IMG_2722 (640x427)

the Beauty of complementary colours

IMG_2724 (640x427)

IMG_2733 (640x592)

Bridge perspective

IMG_2730 (640x427)

My favourite. so much grace in this twig …

IMG_2728 (640x427)

twig network

Amazing bark

Amazing bark

IMG_2739 (427x640)

Heart-shaped

IMG_2765 (427x640)

Birch bark heart

IMG_2760 (640x427)

Wood impression

IMG_2754 (640x427)

seagulls on the parkpond. where do they travel to? Where do they come from?

IMG_2745 (640x593)

smile for the camera

IMG_2762 (317x640) IMG_2763 (640x427)

Birch bark heart

Birch bark heart

IMG_2778 (640x427)

Beauty of the tree

IMG_2782 (590x640)

Heart shape on the street

IMG_2776 (640x427)

what a colour combination on one bark…

IMG_2779 (640x588)

 

Categories: Achtsamkeit, contemplative photography, mindfulness, nature, photography, walks | 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

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

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

A gift from my friends’s garden

image

Here you see some particularly special blackberries and cherrytomatoes..
They are in my food top ten anyway but a box of these are a gift from my friends (whose younger daughter is my godchild) – grown in their garden. This makes them even more special to me … and reminds me of doing the extra mile more often in different aspects in life… 
A lovely sunday to all of you.
Best,
Nic

Categories: food, mindfulness, sundays | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

“…Small Acts of Kindness Done with great Love Can Change People’s Lives…”

IMG_1625 (800x533)“…Small Acts of Kindness Done with great Love Can Change People’s Lives…”.

Please read this wonderful blog post! It’s time spent well and warms your heart!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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