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Tree fern frond uncoilingHave you ever looked, really looked, without thinking, at the unopened coils of a tree-fern frond? If you give yourself time to absorb the shape and contours you find your attention becomes one with the plant. It’s so mathematically perfect and alive at the same time. You can almost feel the force of life that will gradually unfurl the coils as the fern grows.

As artists and writers we love to find examples in nature of what happens inside us when we enter the meditative state. So, drawing a tree-fern really appeals because we can relate the uncoiling of our own energy to the pattern of the fern’s growth. Spiritually, we are born from the light above, and in that light we can see our own true potential for the first time.

Several of us gathered in a friend’s garden in front of her tree-ferns and looked intently at the plants for some time until our attention became one with them. Then we examined runner bean seeds by separating the different parts to look at the primule and storage material and to search in vain for any image of the bean plant it would have become.

From that we closed our eyes and put attention on the base of the spine where the earth is represented in us and from where the wisdom and innocence needed for our growth into the true self come. Next the attention moved up the spine to the “seed” germinating within the sacrum bone and rising to meet the nurturing energy from the light above. With attention at the top of the head we watched the silence between the thoughts in the same way that we had observed the fern and the seed.

Afterwards, one lady who was new to meditation said that she had experienced a gap between her thoughts for the first time ever. So, we talked about the Kundalini as a mothering, nurturing energy expanding our creativity as we grow closer to our inner potential and about how to use this attention during such activities as drawing and writing. She was able to feel the Cool Breeze coming from the top of her head. We sat in meditation again for some time.

The next step was to write in silence and continuously for about ten minutes on the subject of “myself and my art”. All of us felt it was easier to write after being in meditation and that what we wrote was valuable for our growth in spirit as well as in art practice.

Finally we drew a self-portrait with the aid of hand-held mirrors, while focusing on the thought, “Am I what I see?”  You may find this an interesting activity whether or not you are an artist.

Christine Driver

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