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    Gallery:  Center Down Spiritual Practice

    From Blog Post, May 24, 2017:

    Hello again, dear friends. So many of us are feeling the heaviness and negativity of our times, wondering what our responses will be.  This winter when I felt particularly burdened by the political unrest and injustice I saw in the news each night, I created a piece of fabric art called Center Down that reminded me about returning to my spiritual center to listen for guidance about my part in help and healing.  The image is partly inspired by Quaker teachings, and Thomas Kelly’s Testament of Devotion in particular.  Both the art and the practice it portrays have been such good help to me as it hangs in my studio!

    So I wrote out a few lines to describe the spiritual practice related to this art.  I made a little printed card to share with my students, clients, workshop members and at two conferences.  It’s been so fun to pass these out, I decided it was time to share it with you all, too.  So here’s the text, below.  See the link button at the bottom of the page to a free PDF postcard download (front and back) so you can view it or print it yourself.  Please keep my copyright information on it, and do not sell it or reproduce it for anything beyond your private use.  Thanks.

    Enjoy, and if you think of it, please let me know if this is helpful to you…

    With blessing– Melanie

    A Spiritual Practice Inspired by Quaker Tradition:

    Center down: Settle down through layers of speed and distraction into stillness and openness. Choose to arrive in this moment– arrive in your heart and in your body. Remember yourself in the web of life, and connect with the Sacred Presence as you know it.

    Clear out: Make a space for the Sacred within and around you. As best you can, set aside your worry, fear, or habits of thought. A purposeful place or practice might help– a patch of ground or sky, favorite chair or cushion, meditative walking, deep breath, a prayer or ritual– return to whatever brings you into Presence and protects your inner quiet.

    Listen in: Open your spiritual ‘ears’ and listen within your heart and soul for impressions, phrases, images, or an inner knowing. Wait patiently for some inward spark or impulse that is loving and empowering, for a bit of wisdom from beyond your usual mind chatter, or for a truth felt in your gut or bones.

    Rise up: Allow and follow through on right actions that rise naturally from the inspiration or wisdom you receive. Make intentional movements supported by that listening stillness, with love and goodness as your motivation. This kind of doing is fueled by spiritual purpose, and it calls you to become your best self.