My Term Student Mandala
I went through a Term Student program at my Sangha this past Fall. This is, simply, a period of time when you focus a bit more intensely on your practice.
I learned so much about myself during this time. I will blog more about it – if I can find the words to say about it. Much of what I learned is still percolating inside of me.
On the last retreat our teacher had us draw a mandala that represented what we learned during this time. The photo above is what I drew. Honestly, it is kind of hard to express in words what it all means. I did have explain my mandala as part of the retreat , but I had a hard time finding the words for it. Drawing it came from a different part of myself, the part of myself that doesn’t use language to communicate.
As I drew this particular mandala I felt a familiarity.
11/4/2012 Trillium Lake on a pretty evening.
Not long ago I became fascinated with Urban Sketching. I am not sure how it happened or what drew me in, but I found myself surfing around in this online world of journal sketches from all over the world. There is even a book written about it! And a manifesto! I decided that I wanted in on this world. This hobby. Now, I can’t draw to save my life (as you can see from the above example) but, still. I love the idea of capturing what is in front of me via the slow process of drawing (as opposed to the quicker process of photography). It seems like an interesting mindfulness practice. So I thought I would jump in and try it, lack of drawing skills be damned! The image above is my third sketch ever. I am going to do this everyday. Just draw something in front of me, no matter how mundane it is. In the meantime I will (hopefully) learn to draw. I will post my sketches on Flickr and on my blog occasionally. Maybe it will be fun to watch how my drawings progress?
The wonderful thing about this new hobby is that my husband IS an artist so the supplies are already at the ready. AND we can go out and sketch together. Which is exactly what we did yesterday. We went up the Mountain to Trillium Lake and found ourselves a seat in the outdoor amphitheater. We sat and sketched for a while and can i just say? It was amazing. It was fun and relaxing. I just focused on my surroundings and it was so beautiful. Normally we just walk around the lake and chit-chat, which I like to do, but it was amazing to just sit down, be quiet, and pay attention to what was right in front of me. At one point I looked up from my drawing and noticed that the sun made an appearance; evaporating the water on the lake which created a fog. It was breathtaking.
Being a photographer at heart I had to drop the sketching and grab the only camera I had (my iPhone. doh!) and shoot a photo. Or three. I realized that if I hadn’t been sitting there sketching I would have completely missed out on this scene.
As we walked back to the car the clouds completely cleared and Mt. Hood graced us with her presence, just in time for Magic Hour.