Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Spirit in Practice: An Adult Program for Developing A Regular Practice of the Spirit

Activity 4: The Way Of The Artist

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Leader Resource 1: Guided Meditation on Art"Art box"-a large cardboard box containing many different kinds of art supplies (see Preparation)
  • Tables (see Preparation)
  • Newspaper, plastic tablecloths, or other means of covering the tables
  • Optional: Microphone (preferably cordless)

Preparation for Activity

  • Arrange the room-or arrange for a room-so that participants have tables on which they can do their art projects. Cover the tables with newspapers or plastic tablecloths.
  • Gather together the supplies for the "art box." Possibilities include watercolor paints, markers, crayons, art paper, construction paper, old magazines, scissors, glue, glitter, clay, and so on. The religious education program might have some art supplies to share (be sure to obtain permission); otherwise, a quick trip to a local arts and crafts store should do the trick. Remember: nothing fancy. Look for the kinds of things you'd give to kids.
  • Read over Leader Resource 1: Guided Meditation on Art so that you're familiar and comfortable with it.
  • If you have more than one hour to present this workshop, review Alternate Activity 1 for ideas on how to expand this art experience to 50 minutes in length.

Description of Activity

Invite participants to close their eyes and get comfortable. Lead the meditation in Leader Resource 1: Guided Meditation on Art. Read slowly and clearly with a calm voice. Pause where indicated so that listeners can visualize each image and action you describe.

After the meditation is finished, when everyone's eyes are open, show participants the art box. Invite them to go to it and take out some materials that appeal to them. Explain that they will use the materials to create not an image of what they saw, but an impression of what they felt during the guided meditation. What did it feel like to be in that special place? What did it feel like while they were doing their art there? What did it feel like to come back to the room? The intention of this assignment is not to be representational, but rather to be impressionistic-to try to express the feelings, not the facts.

After 10-15 minutes, ask volunteers to comment on their experiences. (You can choose to bring participants back into a group or, if people are still working, to have the discussion right where they are.) Ask:

  • How did it feel to be creative like this?
  • Were you surprised by your experience?
  • Could creativity be part of your spiritual practice?

Including All Participants

Provide a variety of art materials that can be used by participants with varying physical abilities.

Offer several options for posture and positions during the guided meditation to include people of all abilities and mobility levels.

When you read the meditation, use a microphone and/or choose to stand or sit near participants who are hard of hearing so that they can hear you better. You may wish to pass a cordless microphone when participants comment on their experiences so that they can hear one another better.