In our spiritual tradition, we give away whatever is holding us back — whatever is troubling us — by sitting beside running water and letting the negative feelings, thoughts, or obstacles go. We imagine the obstacles flowing away with the current, like a leaf or twig.
Ocean Mandalas Use Found Natural Materials
Anyone can make a mandala from natural objects collected wherever you are. Our family made 7 Ocean Mandalas, using materials we found along the shore of Vancouver Island near Bowser. Just think of your design as playing with circles, symmetry, concentric rings, the four directions, or a big pie (yummmm!) Start setting out your mandala from the center (or you can mark out the boundary of your circle and work in) and see where your imagination and creativity take you. This is a fun activity for parents and kids of all ages.
Metta: Loving Kindness
may all beings be happy…
may all beings know joy…
may all beings be free of suffering…
Contemplative Art in the Garden
If we strive to deeply understand and perceive our world as inseparable from ourselves, then we will have empathy for every part of creation. We are an integral part of everything. Every one of the ten thousand things is, in the true sense, part of us. And everything is perfectly arranged!
This — whether we paint, draw, sing, pray, dance, cook,write code or write poetry — this empathy makes every one of us an artist and a spiritual being.
Today, go out into a “Garden,” no matter where it is and see your connection to nature as a work of art and as an act of prayer: in a wildlife refuge, in your back yard, on your balcony, in a city park, in a plant nursery or just in a clay pot on your kitchen windowsill.
Find your connection with nature: watch the unfolding of leaf buds and see not just a “plant” but also freedom, flight, wings, wind, the lightness of a heart.