“I think of compassion as a natural result that comes from actually paying attention.” – Sharon Salzberg
‘Let’s make happy’ is the slogan over at Mochimochi Land, where Anna Hrachovec, a knitter who lives in Chicago, showcases her original designs.
I love this joyful, sweet & funky video she made in collaboration with Maureen Boyle (music by William Steffey).
Don’t be ashamed if you, too, like cute things. Have you heard about the 2012 study conducted to examine the effects of viewing cute images on subsequent task performance? Basically it concluded that cute improves concentration. Which leads me to conclude that you should view adorable, sweet, heart-warming things before you sit on your meditation seat.
A healing guided meditation by Jack Kornfield to open your heart. Find a quiet place, 24 mins and enjoy:
“As you breathe in the heart area gently… let yourself remember and feel the sorrows you carry from betraying or harming others… from betraying or harming yourself… and from being betrayed and harmed by others.”
Allow the meditation to take your heart from the feeling of sorrow to the peace of forgiveness, and finally to the mind of lovingkindness, for your self, your friends, your enemies and all living beings.
Oh, boy! I just love the build up. Brilliant, natural progression:
In order to generate a spontaneous feeling of love and caring, first imagine an easy-to-love being (we used a helpless baby bird). Then gradually, in ever-widening circles, spread that feeling of tenderness to other imagined beings, until eventually you have imagined including all sentient beings. Finally, in a surprise twist ending, give that lovingkindness even to that person who can be the most challenging of all to love and accept: your self.
Go, find yourself a quiet corner, take 36 mins and wash your heart.
Ambika Cooper’s beautiful melody has the power to embed the lovingkindness (metta) verses in your heart. It’s in just the right key for me to sing along and I am loving that it’s become an earworm, with the prayerful verses surfacing in the spaces of my day.
Plus, Sharon Salzberg joins in this kirtan-style recording, bringing it to a beautiful close with her spoken word version of the verses.
Digital download, regularly $1.99, is currently available free: vanarasmusic.com
Sample the melody:
May I be happy and peaceful
May I be healthy and strong
May I be safe and protected
May I live with ease
May you be happy and peaceful
May you be healthy and strong
May you be safe and protected
May you live with ease
May we be happy and peaceful
May we be healthy and strong
May we be safe and protected
May we live with ease
May all be happy and peaceful
May all be healthy and strong
May all be safe and protected
May all live with ease
I’m soooo excited! UK-based performance artist Harriet Riddell is coming to stitch in Guelph this Saturday, December 6th. She’ll be setting up her sewing machine here in the What World Common Room (123 Woolwich Street, Second Floor, Guelph).
Be sure to call (647-231-8111) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) this week to book an appointment if you want to be certain to sit for your portrait! Or take your chances by dropping by to check it out first. Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your dog. A stitched portrait is a great keepsake and totally unique Christmas gift.
Even if you’re too shy to sit, Harriet’s is a fascinating sort of performance art. She works stitching live subjects in real time. I always marvel at her easy manner and mad skillz. Come and see!
As a happy scheduling coincidence, on your way to see us, say hello to John at Earth Tones Studios, our new neighbour down the hall here on the second floor. Earth Tones is having an open studio this same day. John teaches workshops on how to make drums as well as percussion instruments, including found materials such as durable PVC plumbing pipe. He facilitates drumming circles and sound scapes for people of all ages who respond to the call and the dance of the drumbeat.
I was delighted to reunite with my long-lost high school chum, Colleen, and her youngest son, Bennett, who sat for their portrait on Sunday afternoon.
Previous GDS posts about Harriet: Has sewing machine, travels
UK-based performance artist Harriet Riddell is coming to Toronto. Trust me, this is something worth seeing.
Harriet stitches portraits using her sewing machine. Last year when she visited Canada, I had my portrait stitched and was utterly charmed and awed — both by the intimacy of the experience and by her seemingly effortless skill.
Earlier this year, Harriet explored India with her sewing machine and this wonderful video was made while she stitched a tailor as he worked in his shop in Delhi:
“Would you mind if I set up to stitch a picture of you…with my sewing machine?” Sweetie!
Don’t miss the opportunity to see Harriet perform live in Toronto and to get your own portrait done. Unique and rare gift idea! She will be at Kendall & Co, 227 Carlton Street in Cabbagetown on Saturday, September 6th and Sunday the 7th.
Head over and see more of Harriet’s work on her blog: institchyou.co.uk
File this under S for SWEET!
In addition to making the heart all warm and fuzzy, have you heard that exposure to cute things has been studied and shown to improve concentration? This means if you’re looking to hone your attention, study for an exam, even engage in some practice that requires manual dexterity, you ought to warm up with exposure to sweetness!