When we draw, three things are going on. We open in an appreciative way to an object - maybe to a person or landscape – or to an impulse to capture doodles or daydreams. We are aware of our drawing, the delicate balance between allowing it to emerge and conscious shaping. And we stay curious and attentive to our unfolding experience.
These processes require the very qualities that our practice of mindfulness and metta develop. It is likely that, by happening in a meditative context, our drawings will become more direct and heartfelt. In turn, by heightening our sensitivity, drawing can even take our meditation deeper.
The approach on this retreat will be imaginative and experimental. We will use fun creative exercises to help us lose our inhibitions around drawing and rediscover a fresh, more childlike response to the world. We’ll explore a range of materials and may move into collage and drawing with objects in the landscape. We’ll build up our own personal sketchbooks as well as taking part in some collective drawing. This is very definitely not about making ‘good drawings’ (whatever those might be) and you need no experience of drawing to take part in the retreat.
We may watch a film about a particular artist that might take our work in different directions, and there will be time to discuss both them and our own work.
All of this will be grounded in a quiet, meditative atmosphere and ritual space. There will probably be a couple of silent days in the week to help us deepen into what we are doing.
The retreat aims to help you find some freedom from self-preoccupation as you become absorbed in the processes of drawing and meditation, and to appreciate your connectedness with the beautiful world of Taraloka.
All art materials will be provided, although you are welcome to bring some of your own if you wish. Please bring an apron or old shirt to protect your clothes.