Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Spinning Meditation is Not

I don't practise spinning meditation every time I pick up a spindle or sit at a wheel.  There are many times when I spin habitually, mindlessly, for relaxation or within a purely social context.  In the Western World, there is no great need for us to make our own yarns or cloth.  Fibre arts should be fun, not perpetually Serious Business.  We need to find ways not to take ourselves and what we do too seriously.

But, sometimes, we want to explore what we do a little more deeply.  The more I use spinning as deliberate meditation, the more this practice becomes a way of life.  Bringing intention to my spinning has helped me to appreciate the richness of my work with all its flaws and problems.

Unlike the popular belief that the meditative qualities involved in fibre arts requires "getting into the zone" or "zoning out," meditation is actually about paying attention.  As Jon Kabatt-Zinn says in Coming to Our Senses, "Meditation is not Relaxation spelled differently."  Rather, using daily skills to promote a meditation practice requires bringing yourself back to the task at hand.  Each time your mind wanders from yarn and spindle or wheel, every time you are distracted from your knit stitch, non-judgemental effort returns you to an appreciation of what you are doing right now.

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