People have used and continue to use beads to make prayers, to relieve worries, to count, to decorate clothing, to spin cotton for clothing, to entertain as toys, to be an alternate to money, to express the identity of both the dead and the living and to meditate. So mundane, it is easy to forget that beads – or “art spheres” have a universal quality that connects participants with cultures from around the world and ancient history to the present.
The process of beading entails concentration and sharing. Outcomes are positive as participants use controlled breathing in the process. They breathe in: bead and string held in each hand, hold their breath while inserting thread, and exhale while pulling string threw other end of bead. In this way, participants practice both beading and focused breathing which are both deeply relaxing and healing. Self-adornment made for the benefit of others is also gratifying.
Directions for Beading is Much Like Directions for Meditation – Both keep the breath in mind!
During this project we ask participants to work in silence to create a space for reflection and concentration.
Signal others using eyes and gestures when needs arise as we will be interacting and you may need to share materials.
1. Setting intention: Will this be a gift and who to? Why? Will you spontaneously choose beads or will you repeat choices to make a pattern? Will the colors of the beads chosen mean anything special to you?
2. Inhale Hold string in right hand, hold bead in left hand
3. Hold Breath – Put string through hole in bead
4. Pull string out other end of bead -Exhale
5. Bead following the rhythm of your breadth. Repeat until necklace complete.
6. Group Conversation and Reflection:
What did you notice?
During this time just for yourself how did you get what you needed?
How were you aware of what others needed?
What does the following quote mean to you? and How might it relate to the beading process or creating community?
“He drew a circle that shut me out. A Rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the will to win. I drew a circle that took him in.”
More on mindfulness can be found here:
Art Sphere Inc. integrates creativity and meditation for healing with unique programs that help participants
• develop attention and awareness to naturally calm the mind, body and spirit
• enhance self-exploration thru creativity and fun and innovative ways of using art materials
• use art making as a form of mindfulness meditation (the qualities of mindfulness include: being with /allowing, non-judgment, acceptance, gentle curiosity (insight and inquiry), compassion (kindness to self and others), clarity (seeing the “big” picture, equanimity (non-reactiveness), and discernment /right action)
• release emotions thru self-expression
• integrate life experiences with symbol and metaphor
• practice being present in the moment and being in the playful state of flow
• find a center of control where one is empowered to respond not react
• move toward community healing and personal wellness
• face challenging struggles with art activities that promote relaxation, direct focus, and slow down breathing
• nurture internal resources for strength
• support and sustain themselves with art imagery they have created