Mindfulness, Meditation, and More

Looking into ourselves using meditation and mindfulness is the big new trend. However, I know many people that use other things to center themselves and meditate. I know people who use  yoga, running, cooking, painting, photography, gardening, knitting, or other endeavors. Anything can be meditation, if done in a way that makes you more aware of yourself and soothes you.

mindfultop1I crochet to meditate. There is something about the rhythm, the textures of the yarn, counting, and so on that help me center myself and slow my mind down after a busy day, or to get me ready to face a busy day. The simple act of using a hook to shape yarn to create something soothes me in a way that can only be matched with how lost I can get in a fantastic book or singing a song that I know so well I do not need to actually think about the notes or words anymore.

mindfultopI have also tried traditional meditation and guided mindfulness exercises. While some have served to soothe and calm my mind, I much prefer using a tactile focus rather than sound or breathing based techniques. I think it is important for everyone to find a way to meditate; whether it with with the expected breathing and mental focus of meditation and mindfulness exercises, the rhythm of running or working with yarn, or the process of sifting flour and kneading dough for the perfect bread. There have been recent studies about how coloring is a wonderful form of meditation.

mindful2Here are some of the best books that have come my way that might come in handy if you are looking to learn about meditation, or to turn one of your favorite activities into a form of mediation or mindfulness.

How to Train a Wild Elephant: and Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays

One Zentangle a Day: a 6-Week mindful3Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun by Beckah Krahula

Moving into Meditation: a 12-Week Mindfulness Program for Yoga Practitioners by Anne Cushman

The Mindful Mandala Coloring Book: Inspiring Designs for Contemplation, Meditation and Healing by Lisa Tenzin-Dolmamindful1

Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

In Search of the Perfect Loaf: a Home Baker’s Odyssey by Samuel Fromartz

Turning the Mind into an Ally by Sakyong Miphammindful

Wherever you Go, There You are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Take a Deep Breath: the Haiku Way to Inner Peace by Sylvia Forges-Ryan, Edward Ryan

Meditation for Dummies by Stephen Bodian

If you would like a free class in mindfulness come to our Hypnosis Works! Hypnosis for Stress Reduction & Relaxation program on November 5th at 6:30pm.

Zen Doodles and Zentangles; When Creativity and Relaxation Collide

zen1Zentangles and Zen Doodling are an art form that has become a new trend. Many are using this artistic endeavor like meditation, others are using it to flex their creative muscles, and others are just trying it because it is new and fun. This art form is using structured patterns or forms. Since it all starts with following a series of steps and set pattern there is no real right or wrong way to go. It does not matter if you think you are lacking talent or a phenomenal artist, everyone’s effort  is wonderful and there is no way to fail. It can be a great way for the art leery to get started in creative endeavors.

zen2If you are ready to go, we have a Zen Doodle Program on May 29th from 3 to 4:30 pm in our Mary Baldwin room. No registration is required, so join in and enjoy. Interested but too nervous to jump on in? Well, you can always check out some of the books we have acquired on Zen Doodling and Zentangles. Most are new to the collection and offer clear instructions and samples to help inspire you.

zen3The art of Zentangle : 50 inspiring drawings, designs & ideas for the meditative artist senior editor, Stephanie Meissner

One zentangle a day : a 6-week course in creative drawing for relaxation, inspiration, and fun by Beckah Krahula

Zentangle basics. 1 by Suzanne McNeill

Zentangle 10 : featuring ideas for origami & paper crafts by Suzanne McNeill

Let’s tangle! the art of zentangle : a step-by-step guide to this simple but elegant art form by Kathleen Murray, CZT

zen4For further reading you might want to explore the Zentangle website or request these books from other libraries: Zen doodle : oodles of doodles edited by Tonia Jenny, Zen doodle : tons of tangles edited by Tonia Jenny and Amy Jones,The beauty of zentangle : inspirational examples from 137 tangle artists worldwide by Suzanne McNeill, CZT and Cindy Shepard, CZT, Zen doodle : tons of tangles edited by Tonia Jenny and Amy Jones, Joy of Zentangle : drawing your way to increased creativity, focus, and well-being featuring contributing artists Suzanne McNeill, CZT, Sandy Steen Bartholomew, CZT, and Marie Browning, CZT, Zentangle basics by Suzanne McNeill, The Zentangle untangled workbook : a tangle-a-day to draw your stress away by Kass Hall, or The book of zentangle by Rick Roberts & Maria Thomas.