Sunday, March 2, 2014

Discovering the Roots of Your Own Spirituality: Session 3: Art as Spiritual Mirror


Session 3: Art as Mirror


Artist: Frank Howell

Presenter needs to remember: 
1. to remind everyone via email to bring a piece of art with them to class
2. sheets of paper and writing instruments

3. Treats

1.        Check in and comments and questions about the readings.  Today we played with the idea of the spiritual path as a razor-blade...the fear, awe, focus and intent us such imagery in attempts to bring a spiritual path into the realm of language.

Going Deeper:  What word images do you use for the "path" or "way" that you tread?  What do those images say about you and your spiritual process? 

We lit our chalice today preceded by some deep centering breaths and moments of silence.  This transition is very, very useful prior to the exercise that follows....

2.     A  Spiritual Artwalk   

1.        Set out each piece of art with a blank piece of paper beside it. You may have to  use several tables so there is a sense of space and room for folks to work easily.

2.        Each person will then circulate from art offering to art offering, jotting down an answer to the following questions:
                                                                i.      what does the artwork say about the spiritual journey in general?
                                                                ii.      what does the artwork say to you about this person?
                                                                ii.      how did the artwork speak to you personally?

3.     Everyone collects their sheets of comments and then go  into small groups and talk about:

   A. what insights did you gain about this exercise?  

   B. What did the exercise itself say about the spiritual path, seeing our own psyches and souls mirrored by art and trying to see "into" an other human being through the lens of the art that moves them.

   C. How accurate were the comments you received, and how do you feel when someone is way off from your own personal interpretation?

   D. What is that moment of viewing art that happens before the words and analysis start?  

4. Re-gather and ask: what will be your "take away" today?  What did you learn from this exercise?

5. Close with hands in a circle, honoring the art that is each of us and the many eyes who see us bringing that creative self to life.


Going Deeper:  How could this process be used with people at your work place?  With children?  With community art galleries?  What would be the ramifications of using this exercise in such places?

Preparing for next time:  Remind folks to bring a piece of music with them!  And to let the facilitator know if any special equipment might be needed to play their selected music!

Readings for this time included:
Razor’s Edge (Pg 155-163) in Everyday Zen by Joko Beck
               San Francisco, CA:  Harper-Collins, 1989 (American Zen)

Prologue (page 2-11) from The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J. M.                                          Nouwen. New York, NY: Image Book, 1992 (Catholic)

Easy is Right: Chuang Tzu (pg 336-345) in The Pillars of Consciousness by                                         Osho.  New York, NY :Shelter Harbor Press, 2013.

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