Do you love the earth? Are you moved by beauty - do you yearn for connection - and in the words of Mary Oliver 'your place in the family of things'?
With Sangharakshita' s text "The Greater Mandela" as our guide, we will explore how we might move towards the ideal of working and playing within a greater mandala of aesthetic appreciation.
There will be extended periods for engaging with the natural environment, and in particular for working with our hands, exploring conversations with materials and tools. Inhabiting outdoor spaces and temporary studio shelters, using mallet and chisel on stone or wood, drawing and painting, moulding clay and soil, gardening.
Periods of silence and periods of playfulness will help to engage our senses, building connection with the land and each other, releasing a sense of joy and experimentation, the emphasis on process rather than product, on unearthing and revealing inner gestures and hidden values.
Working with our meditation practice increases our sensitivity and receptivity to our creative mind, opening new windows onto our outer worlds. Using our bodies in creative play increases our sensitivity and receptivity to our affinities with the natural materials around us, opening new windows onto our inner worlds. Paying attention, bearing witness, and sharing reflective practice whenever possible, we can become increasingly aware of how we come into deeper relationship with these inner and outer landscapes, and how one can nourish the other.
"It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be weeds
in a vacant lot, or
a few small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in
which another voice may speak."
'Prayer' by Mary Oliver
For more information about Sarah's work: soilsoulsculpture.co.uk