About a month ago Doug and I spent the weekend at Kripalu participating in a great retreat about meditation with Sharon Salzburg. I first discovered Sharon Salzburg and her book Lovingkindness nearly ten years ago when I was trying to figure out if I should stay at Buxton teaching art or take the risk and go back to grad school to earn my MFA. (I took the risk!)
This retreat found us doing sitting and walking meditations, practicing metta and doing some slow, restorative yoga. I often beat myself up for how easily distracted I can be, but I took away two powerful things from this weekend.
1. The beauty of Metta, and practicing it regularly for myself, for my loved ones, for those who challenge me, for my perceived enemies, for all beings. I practice it for 15 minutes most days–five minutes for myself, five minutes for someone I will interact with later that day, and then five minutes for anyone who happens to come into my mind, friend or foe.May you be free from danger. May you have physical happiness. May you have mental happiness. May you have ease of well-being.
2. That I actually can focus, and sometimes so well that I don’t hear people talking to me, I forget to eat and frustrate my loved ones because I am so focused. This usually happens when I am in my studio. And yes, I realized that in many ways this is meditating for me. I can often even feel my pulse slow, my mind zero in on the work and everything else drop away. When I teach, I have to be careful when I demo because I can drop into this state pretty quickly. This weekend, I reached this state quite a bit as I worked on my selection for Gallery 51’s upcoming 99cent and up show. Tree rubbings with little green dots and pathways. Bliss.
Here’s a preview:
I hope to see you there!