Drawing In the Sand - A Mindfulness Exercise
The hardest part of this mindfulness exercise is finding sand. I suppose you could draw in shaving cream, or rice in a pan. Sand is awesome to work with because each grain contains the story of mountains, and time, and the relationship between Earth and Water. Sand is basically magic. So, find some and draw in it.
There is no wrong way to draw.
You can begin by simply investigating the sand: texture, weight, size, color. Try making shallow marks, deep ones, long lines, circles, dots, dashes. The key is to remain focused on the sand, and your finger, and your being. Listen to your heart, is it singing with memories? or beating calmly with your breath?
Visit the beach if you can.
Go, because the beach is good for you. All moments spent with wildness and nature are good for our wellbeing. There is also a special kind of magic in making art that will not last. To draw an ephemeral work of art is to both create and release. It is a zen art, to be at peace with the inevitable disintegration of beauty. This practice is powerful, healing, and beautiful.
An ancient technique for focusing and calming the mind.
Japanese Buddhist Temples often have gardens with beds of sand raked into nature-inspired designs. The patterns imitate the movement of water, and can be meditated on for days after they are made. Many people find a desktop Zen Garden to be helpful: check out this article and this one. I would love to have a desktop sand garden like this.
Meditate on the movement of water.
If you are ready to take it up a notch, make rounded parallel lines in your design, like ripples. Focus on the relationship between water and stone. There is no right way, simply feel into it and see what patterns emerge. Be willing to create something that you know will wash away, and love it even more because of its brief existence.
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