I've been away for five days at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS), taking a workshop from Jason Siff, based on his two books and his decades of work with Recollective Awareness Meditation. It was wonderful, startling, even revolutionary. Not to mention that I lucked out because I was there during the four full days in July when the temperature was cool, even chilly at times. BCBS has no air conditioning; the day I arrived and the day I left were stultifying, but the days of the retreat were gorgeous, comfortable, and lovely. And oh, my, the flowers everywhere! And the sound of the wind in the trees. Incredibly peaceful. I feel like the luckiest person on earth to be able to do these things.
On the way home Sunday (well, not really, it was 2 hours out of my way in southern CT) I took a workshop on Meditation and Mandalas with Ann Grasso, using her 4-n-1 stencil for creating mandala strings. It was fabulous. And I got to see so many other CZTs, people I hadn't seen in months! Fun. I left feeling confident on how to use the tool, which is incredibly versatile.
But I needed to get home after 5 days away, and didn't have time to actually tangle at the workshop. Finally, at midnight last night, I set to work. And worked on it more today. Here is the current mandala-in-progress, which still needs either shading or coloring. I'm letting it sit while I decide what to do with it next. Ann was a phenomenally organized and helpful teacher, assisted ably by Cari Camarra (who had done many of the amazing samples). Have a look at their work if you want to see inspiring tangles!
I'm looking forward to thinking about what to do next to finish this piece, and then I have the other 3 pieces that I started at the workshop. Oh boy oh boy!
I needed all that zen, because on the way home from Cromwell, south of Hartford, I ran into the all-time worst traffic jam I've ever been in. A trip that would normally have taken about 2 hours took nearly twice as long. Surprisingly, I was ok with it, though I wished it wasn't happening as I'd gotten up at 5 a.m., left Barre for Cromwell (2 hour drive) in the late morning, and had to drive home in the horrific traffic jam between 4 and 7.15 p.m. A very, v-e-r-y long day. But it was so worth it. Big thanks to Ann and Cari, and shout-outs to Meredith, Terry, Jackie, Meredith's friend who was kind enough to introduce herself (I promptly forgot her name), Cheryl, and many others I am delighted to know. I lucked out by being able to sit with Cheryl during the whole mandala workshop. Looking forward to seeing what you all do.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society