Please bring your own preferred art supplies (pens, pencils, paper, canvas, paints, etc.) if you have them; there will be only limited supplies provided.
Experience the Power of “Flow” to Reduce Stress & Cultivate Inner Peace.
Many of us are familiar with the image of Tibetan monks hunched over a vast sand painting, meticulously pouring vivid lines of color into an intricate design they will eventually, in an act symbolic of impermanence, destroy entirely. What they are making is known as a mandala.
Mandalas are circular, sometimes abstract, ritual artworks found throughout many cultures, and in each they serve a distinct spiritual function. They can be cosmological maps, focal points for tantric visualization, creative representations of inner realization, diagrams of sacred space. The process of making a mandala is as important as the final image, a profound spiritual practice that requires concentration, attention, and surrender to a state of “flow.”
“Flow” has been a much-discussed idea in recent times, appearing in new articles, spiritual guides, and neurological research journals: a mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. The benefits of abiding in “flow” are many, but most have to do with experience of “getting out of ourselves.”
Are you stressed? Feeling chronically tired? Restless? Chances are that you’re spending too much time in service of your Self. We spend so much of our lives lost in worry, listening to our own insistent mind-chatter, caught up in thoughts and plans and forward momentum; any period of respite from the demands of the internal voice of the Self can be incredibly calming and lastingly restorative. “Flow” experiences provide exactly that break from our default mode of problem-solving, future-planning, and Self-talking.
If you’re curious about how art-making can connect you to that sense of deeper inner peace, or if you’re already familiar with the Self-less sensation of “flow” but would like to be able to access it more intentionally, please join instructor Sam Cooper for an evening of mindful mandala practice at the Frederick Meditation Center.
In this one-night workshop, you will use mandala-making as a springboard for connecting with your innate capacity to cultivate creativity and tranquility. After a group meditation, you will embark on a process-driven experience of creating your own completely personal mandala. And you won’t even have to destroy it when you’re done!
All skill levels are encouraged to attend!
Experienced artists can sharpen their observational capabilities and discover the root of their vision. Complete beginners can expect an introduction to the profound fun and benefit of artistic expression. And any level of meditation proficiency is welcome as well; the group sit will be guided.
About Sam Cooper
Sam Cooper has been making art all his life. A voracious childhood doodler, he later trained in fine art oil painting as a teenager and young adult, culminating in a solo exhibition at the Yellow Barn Gallery right after high school. High school was also when Buddhism first found him, at the Tibetan temple outside his hometown of Poolesville, MD.
In college, he studied metal plate printmaking as well as Zen–his first introduction to formal meditation. In the years since, he has worked professionally as a graphic designer in the publishing sector and rock music scene, and has transitioned to practicing insight meditation.
He also is an active musician and songwriter, and makes meditation-inspired drawings and paintings. Seeing creativity as one of the most beautiful fruits of mindfulness, Sam enjoys sharing his love for both with the artistically and insightfully inclined!