A page showing creative works, photographs, prints, pottery, poetry, calligraphy, woodwork, paintings, etc all created with a mind of attention, concentration and mindfulness. A joy for us all to see and a form of expression and communication which can be very healing.
Thich Nhat Hanh tells us… ‘ In the Zen tradition, poetry, art, and meditation always go together. The moment when I take a sheet of paper and begin to draw is not exactly the moment of the calligraphy’s creation. Whenever I am practicing mindful walking, breathing, even while cutting carrots, the art is being created. A work of art is conceived in the depths of your consciousness while you’re not thinking about it……………For me, doing calligraphy is itself a practice of meditation’.
Contributions of any piece of work created in the spirit of mindfulness with a few words of explanation will be welcomed.
Photography by Miles Pilling ‘If dogs could fly’.
“Mindful Photos” is a blog about photography and mindfulness and how the two disciplines have helped me stay grounded during a time of challenging personal change. I began the blog in 2013, four months before I was diagnosed with a type of Motor Neurone Disease. A year later disability caused by MND forced me to end my cherished career as a TV news cameraman and director.
I’d learnt mindfulness on retreats led by teachers including Thich Nhat Hanh so I decided to see whether living more mindfully could keep me as healthy as possible and to continue creating images.
So far it has worked! Along the way I’ve learned that in some ways being forced to slow down by MND is a blessing. I’m continually surprised at how much more I’m aware of now and I’ve noticed that with mindfulness the ordinary is made extraordinary and inspiration can be found anywhere. This “beginner’s eye” has helped my photography and I’ve recently had successful exhibitions raising money and awareness for neurological charities.
For more photographs and words have a look at Miles website, mindfulphotos.org
Printmaking by Bernadette Mcgourty
Being stopped in my tracks by illness I found I had a lot of time for reflection, I decided to engage in activities I had always wanted to do but had put aside as there were always more ‘important’ demands on my time. One of my desires was learning to print. I began printing slowly due to health restrictions, using my practice to support and guide me. With mindfulness I recognise when I am well enough to work and when I need to stop. When carving a print I practise awareness of posture, eye and hand function, every few minutes I check my back and shoulders, relaxing if tense, focusing in the distance and stretching my hands, helping to avoid later pain.
Before I begin, I sit for a few moments and breathe, letting go of distractions, setting the intention to be present whilst working. This allows me to concentrate as often the work is quite technical and detailed, the slip of a tool or small distraction can spoil a piece. I have learnt not to rush the process, to enjoy errors as much as success, to enjoy each moment of creativity.
Practising in this way has been incredibly healing, I am so thankful to have the teachings as my anchor.