2010 Program of Mindfulness-based Art Therapy Workshops for Health Professionals

Introduction to Meditation and Mindfulness based Art Therapy practices.

Friday, 7 May 2010 - 9:00am - 3:00pm
Meditation, breathing techniques and image making will be explored together in this workshop.  Inner artistry will be accessed and consequent experiences created and committed to shape, form, colour and texture. The art making process and Meditation are both solitary undertakings and often operate in the context of silence.  In the quiet inner space the world of one's thoughts, feelings and experiences can be witnessed, organized,created and externalized.  In both practices we cultivate witnessing awareness - being grounded and open to the fruits of Mindfulness, Meditation, contemplative and creative practices.

Meditation is a mental discipline, an effort to train the mind through the cultivation of mindful awareness and attention to the present moment.  Meditation is intended to still and purify the mind.  It cleanses the thought processes of what can be called psychic irritants, e.g. Anger, hatred, greed, jealousy things that keep you snarled up in emotional bondage.  It brings the mind to a state of tranquility and awareness, a state of concentration bringing clarity and insight.

Throughout this workshop the process of creating an art image becomes the focus and the anchor concentrating and cleansing the mind.  Restrictions and barriers may fall away as you open and enter new doorways to your essence where there is flow and creativity. 


"Art is the set of wings
to carry you out of
your own entanglement".
"The creative act is
not hanging on, but yielding
to new creative movement".


                                                     Joseph Campbell

Art and the Creative Spirit.  Rediscover the moving power of your life.

Friday, 4 June 2010 - 9:00am - 3:00pm
The Spirit of the sacred space.  Rediscover the moving power of your life and explore your sacred space through art making and the creative process.  Through ritual and image making focus and create this space, that creates joy within, not something external, a place that lets you experience your own will, your own intention and your own wish.

Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need.  Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy.  Focus and explore through image your sacred space.  Allow this rediscovery to create a pathway back to your Creative spirit.   Focusing helps you to learn to be present and listen to your inner self so that you can move in the direction that feels right in an empowered and safe way.  Focusing allows your to access you inner wisdom and intuition – helping you to move in the direction of your potential.  Focusing is a gentle and powerful way to develop a deep interpersonal relationship with self and the creative spirit. 

 Experience the healing power of combining image making with guided imagery, body awareness, dream work, ritual, poetry, journal writing, movement, music and story telling.

Your sacred space
is where you find yourself
again and again
Joseph Campbell
 In the morning when I began to
Wake it happened again, that feeling that the Beloved
has stood over me all night long keeping watch
…that feeling that as soon as I began to wake you put your lips to my forehead
and lit the holy lamp inside my heart. 



Art for healing: To Grieve, to Create, to New Recognitions.

Friday, 2 July 2010 - 9:00am - 3:00pm

Many individuals stuggling with life's difficulties such as grief, loss and low self esteem have gained courage and insight from Art Therpay.  Art for healing is an experiential workshop aimed at allowing participants to express painful emotions in realtion to grief and loss.  Art Materials and image dialogue provide an opportunity to access areas of the self where ambiguity, uncertainty and confusion are present.  Emotions may be realeased and transformed.

The aim of the workshop is to provide a multi modal journey through grief and loss to new recognitions.  The workshop will include image making, creative writing, poetry and music.  This creative process takes you on a journey of excavation to your inner self until you find and recognize, that which you have lost.  The process will encourage you to explore and express feelings of sadness and grief.  The process moves you from a place of loss and emptiness to new dimensions within yourself.  These dimensions are constructed through image making and the creative process. This may lead to a rediscovery of meaning, hope, self-esteem and creativity in your life.

In Art Therapy one is dealing with something – an emotion, a conflict, puzzlement.  The reward is some sort of resolution.  Often it is the act of making something that provides the benefit.  The images and writing may not take away the pain.  They give it form.  Creating art opens a door to transfiguration.  Something gratifying is created out of pain.

"Healing from Grief is not the processing of forgetting, it is the process of remembering with less pain and more joy".

The Creative Journey (the Hero/oines journey).

Friday, 13 August 2010 - 9:00am - 3:00pm

A journey - story structure adapted from Joseph Campbell called "The Heroes' Journey" will provide the structure of this Art Therapy workshop.  The sessions will focus on one or more of the stages identified by Joseph Campbell (Campbell 1968).

  • Hearing the call
  • Setting out
  • Obastacles
  • Reaching the Goal
  • Bringing back the gift

This is an experiential workshop where various art materials will be used including clay, tissue paper, leather, fabric, string etc.

All Therapy can be described as a journey: all life can be thought of as a journey from birth to death.  Some people become stuck in the journey; others become trapped in a repetitive circle.  Circular journeys become very demoralizing and destructive for people.   The art therapy process provides a journey though the use of art material, colours, line and texture.  Initially the art making process provides a means to express where the person is at in one particular moment in time.  The use of specific journey structures can then be used to enable the experience of personal growth and to reappraise their current journey.  E.g. The Heroes Journey.

The art making activity will provide a process that will take you from one place to another, a journey of sorts.  And every journey has if not a definite, destination, at least some movement.

"The privilege of a lifetime is being
 who you are
The goal of the hero trip
Down to the jewel point
Is to find those levels in the psyche
That open, open, open.
And finally open to the mystery
of the Self
Being Buddha consciousness
or the Christ.
That’s the journey".
                           Joseph Campbell

Journey to the Heart.  Meditation and Mandala making

Friday, 10 September 2010 - 9:00am - 3:00pm
In this workshop discover your personal symbol and visual meditation in the form of a Mandala. The process of this session takes you through meditation techniques, visualizations, the creative process and image making to a place of renewal at the centre of your heart.  In this session you will discover the nature and meaning of the elements - Earth, water, fire, air and ether and intergrate theses elements into your Meditation and Mandala.  

Mandala means ‘circle” in the Sanskrit language, and mandala art refers to symbols that are drawn sketched or painted in a circular frame.  Mandala art has been used throughout the world as self-expression, in the service of personal growth and spiritual transformation.  Tibetan Buddhism has employed mandala art for thousands of years to capture images of the countless demons and gods, which it believes both plagues and uplift humanity.   Navaho sand painters use them in their healing rites.  Many native people use the Medicine Wheel, a mandala to connect to earth energies and the wisdom of nature.

 The very fact that mandalas are drawn round can lead us to an experience of wholeness when we take time to make them and then wonder what they mean.  In the strict use of the Mandala, there is a central point within the symbol, from which radiates a symmetrical design.  This suggests there is a centre within each one of us to which everything is related, by which everything is ordered, and which is itself a source of energy and power.   Virtually every spiritual and religious system known to man asserts the reality of such an inner center.  The Romans worshipped it as the genius within.  The Greeks called it the inner daemon.  Christian religions speak about the soul and the Christ within.  In psychology we speak of the higher self.

 Carl Gustav Jung claimed that the Mandala, or circular art form, had a calming and centering effect upon its maker or viewer.

  And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions;
And he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed;
But they replied:
“of elements.”
“Are there then four “he asked”
“Not four,” said Iarchas, “but five.”
“And how can there be a fifth,” said Apollonius,
alongside of water and air and earth and fire?”
“There is the ether”, replied the other,
“which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made;
For just as all mortal creatures inhale the Air,
So do the immortal and divine natures inhale the ether.”
Apollonius again asked which was the first of the elements,
And Iarchas answered:
“All are simultaneous, for a living creature is not born bit by bit.”
“Am I,” said Apollonis, “ To regard
the universe as a living creature?’
“Yes,” said the other, “if you have a sound knowledge of it,
for it engenders all living things.”
-The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, 220AD