forward, breath by breath…

Prior to the Christmas holiday, a dear friend reached out and commissioned some ensos.  These were to be particular ensos incorporating a semicolon, which was brought into focus as a simple of hope and journeying forward through the semicolon movement / Project Semicolon.

Here is a photo of one of the ensos I painted below, with an explanation of each element (the enso, the semicolon, and the phrase placed with it):

 

 

 

In Zen, the enso is a circle that is usually painted in one brushstroke, sometimes two, to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. It is considered abstract minimalist fine art. The enso is not about creating a “perfect” piece of art, rather the purpose is to authentically express “this” moment. The enso can symbolize our journey, the universe, enlightenment, awakening, life, and what I like to call “perfect imperfection.”

 

The semicolon (as expressed by Project Semicolon), “…is to restore hope and confidence in people who are troubled by addiction, depression, self-harm, and suicide. The semicolon symbolizes that the difficulties they face are not the end but a new beginning. A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

 

The mantra/phrase, “It’s just one breath”, is a phrase I’ve heard the meditation and Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg use often.  I have often incorporated this mantra into my meditation practice from time to time. When life or situations can feel overwhelming, it can be a wonderful salve to bring oneself back to this present moment, one breath at a time, remembering that “it’s just one breath.”  I thought this phrase made for a beneficial pairing with the semicolon and the enso.

 

~j

 

*Please note: Although meditation can be a beneficial and fruitful companion to professional medical or therapeutic help, it is not a substitution for these in the case of severe or clinical depression. It is best to seek professional advice when incorporating a meditation practice.

giving space to choose…

  

“Mindfulness creates a spaciousness to choose which thoughts and emotions we want to nurture and which we want to let go of.” ~Sharon Salzberg
Day 21 complete. a great couple of weeks exploring and being with #mindfulness for the #RealHappiness #Meditation Challenge.
it’s hard to believe there are only 7 days left. looking forward to diving into #Lovingkindness meditation in this last week.
#commit2sit

it’s just one breath…


 

hello friends!
for those who may not know already, i’m participating in Sharon Salzberg’s 28 Day Meditation program, Real Happiness. it is free and beneficial to those just starting their meditation practice and also for those of us who have been meditating but can use a nice refresher or perhaps a refining of skillfulness in our practice (that’s me for sure!)
today’s meditation focus was Hearing Meditation. i probably won’t write on this meditation challenge daily due to other commitments and lack of time, but I wanted to share a phrase that came up in yesterday’s guided meditation (Breathing Meditation), the first day of the challenge. i keep coming back to Sharon’s wonderful phrase in the meditation, “It’s just one breath.”
breath by breath we build a practice.
i think it so perfectly and beautifully describes the grace of this practice. what a wonderful mantra to hold in our hearts and share. I came back to the phrase again last night and was inspired to paint an Enso with the phrase.
if you wish to participate in the Real Happiness 28 Day Meditation Challenge, you can still sign up until February 6th! just go to Sharon’s website, www.sharonsalzberg.com
wishing you wellness and happiness on this journey!
~j

February 2nd 2016

Lion’s Roar…

  
the all new Lion’s Roar is out!  formerly Shambhala Sun, so looking forward to diving into these articles and interviews. this first issue has some of today’s leading Buddhist teachers on the fold out cover including some favorites of mine, Sharon Salzberg (who’s 28 day meditation challenge “Real Happiness” I begin Monday with over 5,000 others – you should join us!), Ethan Nichtern, Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Norman Fischer, angel Kyodo Williams and Silvia Boorstein.

check it out online or at you local bookstore.

~j