Sacred Essence: Silk Painting Meditation

Last night during our Sacred Essence evening we worked with the theme of Intention. Melissa is having her babymoon, after the arrival of her little one two weeks ago and little Linden is very happy to stay at home with her daddy in the evenings and help her brother and sister go to bed so I was also well and truly flying solo last night.

We had three activities last night as part of our observance of the Intention theme. I want to write about each of them so that you may be able to share in the experience. It is too much for one blog … already I’ve written this post and have realised that I will need to break it into three parts. So the first part I will share with you was our silk painting meditation.

We began our evening with our artistic activity first last night. A change in the usual program, but necessary as the venue we use has had a change in the security system they use. The lights are automatically switched off at 8pm! So we did the work we needed light for first. The rest of the program we pretty much spend with our eyes closed either listening to a story or in meditation/reflection so lights were not needed and candle light was perfect 🙂

Our artistic exploration was silk painting last night. I sourced some beautiful hand-rolled habutai handkerchief silks, which we painted while wet. The purpose of the activity was not an exploration of colour or form. It was not an activity to purposefully create something beautiful, but to let go of all of those expectations and concentrate on the activity itself: to reflect upon how the activity feels so that we can bring awareness to our bodies and watch our bodies create something beautiful of their own accord. When we are aligned and peaceful in our energy and our thoughts then our bodies respond naturally in beautiful and harmonious movements. So I asked the participants to sit for a moment, making themselves comfortable and think of the following things as they worked:

How are we sitting in our chairs? Are our bodies comfortable? Is there any part of us that needs to be shifted, relaxed, straightened, in order to feel like we are sitting in a way that makes us feel alert and happy?

How do our bodies move as we begin painting? How does the brush feel in your hand? How softly can you hold it, and still control it? What does the brush do when you dip it into the water? How does the water respond?

When you choose your colour, how does the brush and colour meet and join? How then do they part as the colour is applied to the wet silk? How does the silk greet the colour as your brush moves over it? What happens when the salt is sprinkled over the colour?

It was challenging to let go of form and transform the experience into a meditation. I struggled with it myself as I was painting during the session. In fact I ended up crumpling the silk in my hands, not because I was unhappy with my efforts (which was not the purpose) but because I felt it would help me to let go of the form I had made. Applying salt to silk dye on wet silk changes everything you’ve done to it also: it draws the colour out of the silk, forming rivers of no colour, and concentrated spots of intense colour. Our silks were beautiful. I would have liked to spend more time on it, but I was conscious of being able to clear up before the lights went out!!

Such worldly interruptions to matters of spirit 🙂

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