Expressions in Clay, Pastels, and Mandalas – Spiritual Practice for Lent
Week of March 12
Mandalas are common in Buddhism. They have been shared with all of us as a way to focus in on prayer through color and concentration of breath. You are invited to select the mandala design you are most drawn to.
Take in 3 breaths (invoking the presence of the Trinity) and then, without thinking too hard, select a color. Begin on the outside of the design. Then, watching your breathing, notice also what thoughts are coming up for you. When your attention starts to wander, this may be an invitation to select another color. As you move from the outside towards the inside of the design, follow your breath and focus in on the Trinity….What has come up for you?
Let the working of your hands reflect the prayer of your heart.
Art offers a chance to lead us into prayer not just through our words or our minds, but our hands! The invitation to prayer through art is a way to notice your breath through your selection of colors, by the strokes you make, or by the rhythm you proceed into your breath and art. In art practices, there is a chance to focus on: the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, your Faith and then get “lost” in the art work, through your breathing and see where the Spirit takes you! Use these physical tools as an outpouring for your prayer, meditation, and reflection. As you spend time with these media, you may want to think about someone or something in your prayers, a favorite scripture, something on your mind.
Expressions through clay …
Take a long, deep breath and slowly exhale.
Think about what you would like to ponder in this place today.
Close your eyes and take another deep breath.
Take the clay in your hands.
Spend a moment being with yourself and your God.
Let your hands start when and how they will, and watch the expression flow.
OR … just pick up a piece of clay—breathe in the Spirit of God, and let your hands take you where they will!
Expressions through pastels …
Enter into a time of silence
Pause to call out to God and ask that you might know God’s presence. After a brief reflection (longer if you’d like), begin to draw … and simply be open to viewing your heart and your faith.
If your mind begins to wander, you may want to choose another color.
The text describing the above Spiritual Practice has been excerpted from packed “Exploring Spiritual Practices” from Silent Retreats at The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. We thank the writers of the packet.