Fall semester for the Emeritus classes just started. Found myself a bit rusty after not drawing for a few months . . .but nudity has a way of waking the senses .
As I posted these sketches I realized the model did not have a hair on his body ANYWHERE . . . except on his chin. Just goes to show how intently one looks at contours, lines and shadows when drawing, “nudity” isn’t the focus.
How can we find balance in the chaos that surrounds us? This was the question at the recent HeART of Spirituality workshops held at Tapestry Unitarian.
“As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the balance—this is the balance—this is the balance.” – Baha’i World Religion
The participants picked images that represented spiritual balance and spiritual imbalance and made collaged Contemplation Cards. Similar to tarot cards or vision boards these cards can be used in many ways.
Can you tell which cards represent BALANCE and which represent IMBALANCE? See all the cards on CATNIPblog.
To see all the Contemplation Cards, a picture of the participants and directions how to make the cards click HERE.
My computer crashed the day after our last HeART of Spirituality at Tapestry Unitarian Church. I’ve been cyberless for days. I tried using my husband’s computer but it drrrrrrrrrove me crrrrrrrrrrrazy. If I didn’t have the correct attitude it did weird and unexpected things. I never realized how spoiled I was on an Apple MacBook.
It also was weird . . . I missed YOU – bloggers, subscribers, cyber friends – more than I missed the computer.
Now that I’m back on-line I can show you the Contemplation Cards everyone made. Here’s a sample and if you want to see ALL 9 cards click here:
Take a look at the second group of fabulous prayer/contemplation cards! Here’s the first group – Take 1
“Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all.
Read the Gospel and the other Holy Books. You will find their fundamentals are one and the same. Therefore, unity is the essential truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues of the human world.”
Reverend Kent Doss talked a bit about the history of communion before making the prayer/contemplation cards, The group was small enough for each person to share what their cards represented. The evening ended with a discussion about virtues.
Card #1 – The love of God, love of self – the spark within or what is holy to you
Card #2 – Virtues that connect you – unity with family, friends, colleagues and the world
Here’s the first group of cards and the spiritual principle of unity, oneness and love guiding my choice of focus for the cards.
Can you tell which cards reflect LOVE and which cards express VIRTUES?
“All the divine Manifestations (Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh) have proclaimed the oneness of God and the unity of mankind.
They have taught that men should love and mutually help each other in order that they might progress. Now if this conception of religion be true, its essential principle is the oneness of humanity.”
“The fundamental truth of the Manifestations* is peace. This underlies all religion, all justice. The divine purpose is that men should live in unity, concord and agreement and should love one another.” – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace
*Throughout the ages, God has sent Divine Messengers known as Manifestations of God among them – Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh)—to cultivate humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities.
After so many years of having the luxury of giving workshops in my own office – with the set-up in place and all the materials on hand – I’d forgotten how much prep there is in doing a workshop off-site. (I’ve also forgotten lots of other things . . . like what I had for breakfast).
Here’s a small sample of what we did and a few of the INCREDIBLE prayer/contemplation cards created by the participants(Unfortunately not all the photos I took “took”.)
Take a look at a few of the Prayer/Meditation/Contemplation Cards!
After making the cards Reverend Kent Doss led participants in a Wisdom Circle discussion of what spirituality means, how we define it and experience it in everyday life.
“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.” Pope John Paul II
“If a man engages with all his power in the acquisition of a science or the perfection of an art, it is as if he has been worshiping God in the churches and temples.”Abdu’l-Baha
Assignment from my writing class – “An incident when you were treated unfairly or you treated someone else unfairly.” I think I covered both . . .
Unfair Treatment – Body, Mind & Me
By judy westerfield
“More! More!” my mind screams at me. Her desire reverberates throughout my body. Once again, I’m caught in the middle between body and mind, between hedonism and health.
The three of us — body, mind and me — have been together a very long time. Over the years the mind has grown bolder, louder. To keep the peace I usually do what she says, even though it’s often based on want rather than need. Today is no exception.
For the second time in less than an hour I retrieve the half-gallon carton from the freezer.
“More! More!” She is unrelenting.
“Calm down. “I’m scooping as fast as I can.”
I ladle from the carton to the soup bowl — 1/3 less fat, 120 calories, $2.99 on sale — spoonfuls of vanilla, chock full of chocolate chunks and ripples of golden caramel. Hard, too hard. I like it soft, just this side of starting-to-melt. Ten seconds in the microwave will do it. I’ve perfected the timing.
“You will just have to wait 10 seconds.” I can be firm.
It’s creamy, cold, sweet and glides deliciously from the lips all the way down to the stomach.
“Ahhhh. Mmmm,” the mind purrs and declares it to be an invention ranking right up there with the discovery of fire, the wheel and Tampax.
The bowl is empty. She points out that there’s more in the carton, purposely left out on the counter, which is now just the right soft consistency.
“120 calories per serving . . . 12 servings per carton . . .1,440 calories,“ she calculates. “We’ll just skip dinner.”
* * *
“Why? Why?” My distended stomach cries out, pushing painfully against the waistband of my pants. Hips expand, thighs grate together, intestines grumble while impolitely relieving themselves of gas as I walk to the trash to throw away the empty carton.
The body unfairly treated, yet again, by me. And the mind . . . she’s still screaming . . .
My inner 7 year old slightly rebelled at this assignment from my new writing class.
A Serious Assignment for the Deserving
(prompt: start the story with “I deserve . . .”)
By judy Westerfield
I deserve to be punished for my sins which are the following — Jennifer stopped writing. She mindlessly scratched Trotter, curled up next to her, behind his ears with one hand while the other hand pushed the eraser end of the pencil in her cheek — the part of her cheek she checked every day to see if she had a dimple yet. Like the dimple her best friend Carmen had.
She read “which are the following” out loud. Grown up words, and sin was a grown-up subject. A good way to start so the teacher would know she took the assignment seriously.
Deserve . . . she thought hard, rearranged the pillows, propped herself up on the bed startling Trotter who rearranged himself and curled up again.
I deserve to be punished for my sins which are the following–
#1. I ate my brother Josh’s Jelly Bellys and said he was lying when he told Mom.
#2. I hit my brother Rick and told Mom he hit me
#3. I watched my brother Sean kiss his girlfriend.
Carmen agreed with her, it was a stupid assignment writing ten things you “deserve”. The teacher said it had to be about “deserve”, not about what mattered, like what you want or what you need. Carmen called it estúpido. And it was hard to figure out what qualified as a sin. Jennifer squinted wondering if calling the teacher’s assignment stupid was sinful.
#4. I deserve to have my own room and not have to share it with my s stoopido sister Becca.
#5. I deserve to be punished if it’s a sin calling my sister and this assignment stupid.
She flipped open her i-pad and Googled “deserve” — “to merit or have a claim to reward, punishment . . . because of circumstances: to deserve a pay raise; to deserve exile.”
#6. I deserve a pay raise because I need more money to buy things.
#7. I deserve to have my sister and brothers exiled so I can be an only child.
She added exiled to Alaska.
Trotter nudged her, rolled over on his back, signaling time to scratch him on the stomach and think some more — If her mom and dad really loved her they would give her everything she deserved. It wasn’t fair her sister and brothers deserved a bigger helping of dessert, or deserved to stay up late or deserved their own room, just because they were older. It wasn’t fair and proof her parents loved them more.
#8. I deserve to get a good grade for this assignment.
Scratching Trotter with one hand, she tapped out a text message to Carmen with the other: need 2 mor deservs txt me yurz
Decided to start the year out smiling. So I am taking SILLY 3, an on-line class with Carla Sonheim.
Every day for a month Carla sends a stupid, er silly, worksheet out which you color, doctor, rearrange, derange, interpret in a stupid, er silly, way. I took Carla’s Silly 2 and it was really fun being SILLY. AND! It’s cheap, er inexpensive. If you’re interested here’s the link.