Friday, January 2, 2015

Sketching for Spiritual Growth

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This might not be everyone's cup of tea, but some of you may enjoy this.  I believe we're all spiritual beings, I happen to be very much in touch with that aspect of myself and like to always be nurturing growth in that area.  I just finished an on line Advent retreat with Jan Richardson which brought a richness to my Christmas season that I've not felt in a long while.

Not wanting to lose that sense of connection to the Divine and desiring to continue deepening and ripening spiritually I signed up for another on line retreat at another favorite place The Abbey of the Arts. This one is called the MidWinter God, and challenges you to delve into the dark mystery of difficult circumstances that is sometimes our lives, and encourages us to stay fully awake in the dark and difficult times, emerging wiser and more resilient.  

I usually sketch my way through a retreat, I find that along with written journal entries, sketches seem to help me crystallize thoughts and create images that are personally meaningful and stay with me for a long time. 

The image above is bold. In a very graphic and powerful way I think it illustrated the tension between light and darkness. Yet, I sense that even in this image the light edges out the dark for sheer power. and that the dark is a safe place to be if the light is still nearby.  The retreat is keeping me ruminating on all kinds of interesting, challenging questions and that will be reflected in my sketches over the next six weeks no doubt. 

Below are some sketches from previous Advent retreats that I actually went to, not on line ones. These retreats provide some wonderful opportunities to fully immerse yourself in words and images. 

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Click image to enlarge

I also,at certain times, have made Sunday a day to specifically use sketching as a form of prayer and meditation. Here are a few examples...
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Click image to enlarge

Sketching and journaling are powerful tools and whatever your beliefs I encourage you to use these wonderful gifts of images and words to delve deep and become all that you can be in joy, love, peace and compassion. 

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