13 Jan 2011 1 Comment
a (1) : an address (as a petition) in word or thought <said a prayer for the success of the voyage> (2) : a set order of words used in praying b : an earnest request or wish
I recently learned how to really pray. Rather, I expanded my understanding of what prayer is to include my creative activities. Knitting is a prayer. Singing is a prayer. Art making on the whole is a prayer. And make no mistake, I am not advocating prayer as a conversation with any particular deity. In fact, that was my biggest stumbling block when I was reintroduced to the idea of praying. “Not sure who I am talking to here,” was my first thought. But then I realized that it did not matter to whom or what I was praying. My prayer is a shout out to the universe and I do it by singing, dancing and making art. I give thanks, I ask why, I shed tears, I pour my whole self into it when I am making art. Is that not a prayer?
Do you have a regular spiritual practice that you engage in? Is art making a part of it? What is your prayer?
Before you get too worried that I am taking this blog in a weird direction, let me be straight with you about my spiritual practices. I am a Unitarian Universalist and an agnostic. I believe in peace, social justice and community. I tell you this because my spiritual practice and my art practice are closely intertwined. I advocate for prayer because it is a deeply meditative and reflective practice, as is art making. I don’t care whether you pray or which deity you pray too. I am just telling you that it helps me.
I encourage you to approach your art making as a shout out to the universe and to use it as a means of self-exploration and deeper understanding of the ways of the world.