MichaelEmeryArt

Ways of Meditation

Busy Hands, Quiet Minds: Weaving As Meditation

We invite you to join us in exploring the ancient craft of weaving through creative meditation and wildflower essences. During class you’ll learn, from start to finish, how to weave tapestry on a simple wooden loom. Weaving is a methodical and slow practice. As our hands get involved with each stitch our mind is free to rest from our conscious stream of thought. It is in this state of quiet that we are best able to hear our creative voice and let it shine! We’ll use the wildflower essence to unlock any barriers to our imagination as our fingers dance across the loom-spiritweaversgathering.com

Knit one. Purl one. Knit one. Purl one. Knit one. Purl one. The rhythmic and repetitive nature of knitting is calming, comforting and contemplative. It’s not a stretch for you to imagine knitting as a mindfulness practice, or perhaps a form of meditation.

I’m delighted to report that neuroscience is finally catching up on brain health aspects of the trend some have called "the new yoga."

Research shows that knitting and other forms of textile crafting such as sewing, weaving and crocheting have quite a lot in common with mindfulness and meditation — all are reported to have a positive impact on mind health and well-being.

In an online survey of more 3,545 knitters, by Betsan Corkhill, a UK-based knitting therapist who has done research on the therapeutic effects of knitting, more than half of respondents reported that knitting left them feeling "very happy." And many said that they knitted solely for the purposes of relaxation, stress relief and creativity.- mindbodygreen.com


The Science of Meditation

Meditation may help squash anxiety. The practice brings about dramatic effects in as little as a 10-minute session.

 
           

In the highlands of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, people look at life differently. Upon entering the local Buddhist monastery, there is a spectacular sculpture the size of a large oak. The intricate carving of clouds and patterns are painted in powerful colors. But as soon as winter gives way, this magnificent work will melt to nothing. The sculpture, in fact, is made of butter, and it is one of the highland people's symbols of the transient nature of life.

And life here is not easy. Villagers bicycle to work before dawn and return home long after sunset. Many live with nothing more than dirt floors and rickety outhouses. Upon entering these modest mud-brick homes, you'll find no tables or chairs—just a long platform bed, which sleeps a family of eight. However, when the people invite you in for tea, their smiles are wide and welcoming. How do they possess such inner calm in conditions we would call less than ideal?

When villagers cook, sew or plow the fields, they do so in a tranquil state. As an approach to life, weaving meditation seamlessly into almost every action throughout the day seems unfamiliar to Western cultures. Is there something we can glean from this way of life that will improve our own? The romantic notion of quitting everything and joining Tibetan monks on a mountaintop is not the only way to meditate. You don't need to quit your job, give up your possessions and spend 30 years chanting. Recent research indicates that meditating brings about dramatic effects in as little as a 10-minute session. Several studies have demonstrated that subjects who meditated for a short time showed increased alpha waves (the relaxed brain waves) and decreased anxiety and depression.

To explore exactly what part of the brain meditation acts on, researchers at Harvard Medical School used MRI technology on participants to monitor brain activity while they meditated. They found that it activates the sections of the brain in charge of the autonomic nervous system, which governs the functions in our bodies that we can't control, such as digestion and blood pressure. These are also the functions that are often compromised by stress. It makes sense, then, that modulating these functions would help to ward off stress-related conditions such as heart disease, digestive problems and infertility.- psychologytoday.com

on lotus weaving

     In central Myanmar there exists an enchanting lake. It is there, on the water of Inle Lake, that the Intha people live as they have for centuries on wooden houses built on stilts. 

And it is there that the noble tradition of lotus weaving begins . . . 

Journey to Inle Lake with Emmy-award winning producer Staci Dunbar to discover the art of lotus weaving.

Tlingit-Rattle-top basket top