Sculpting with clay to help meditation and mental health.

I have been improving my mindfulness and meditation now for a while. Exciting news, I am embarking on a Masters in applied Buddism this year for interest and pleasure.

.Link to the Institute

I love to study and have enjoyed all the Buddist reading I have been doing. For those who do not know me, my undergraduate degree is in Theology ( Bachelors of theology. ) I have a graduate diploma in Pastoral/ spiritual care too. I also achieved three Clinical Pastoral Education certificates, ( CPE ) which is Postgraduate, one certificate is advanced. They represent twelve hundred supervised hours of spiritual care in a specialise oncology hospital.

I learnt the importance of self-care during my journey doing CPE and all the change and challenges it brought about in my life and views especially on mortality. So part of my selfcare these days. I have started to mould and sculpt clay. I have never had any formal training or done this before ( self evident 🙂 just bought some clay and tool and off I went.

I am forever fascinated with Australian aboriginals and any indigenous people from around the world. I have been told I have aboriginal in me. However, this is impossible to verify. I chose this elderly fellow, possibly a tribal elder to use as my model for my first clay sculpture. IMG_0582Not easy I know, why didn’t I start with a tree or a cup or some other simple object? Well, my intuition told me he is a great start.  The head was my first effort and it took a couple days to create. I covered it in plastic so it would not dry in between sessions. This was few hours of creativity and having no experience with this medium other than school thirty years ago was challenging. Consequently, school days I can barely recollect and I was no sculpturer, I can assure you.  I was the guy smoking a cigarette behind the bike shed type. Ironically, I have been a non-smoker all my adult life. ( From 24,  I turn 50 in May)

 

When I decided to add the snake/serpent it just popped into my head and I moulded it purely from my imagination. I had no clue why, or how to add this. The idea and the creativity just flowed out and I surprised myself.

  1. It felt great being creative.

2. I was amazed.

3. It seemed too much of a dark idea. ( a snake around ahead what the hell!!)

4. Fascinated with how my imagination works.

4. I was so relaxed and shocked at the therapeutic results I achieved.

I decided to research the snake or serpent and its influence on the indigenous Australians. I knew that many native Australian animals had a deeper meaning to these people. I was very surprised to read this.

The Dreamtime

“In Judaism and Christianity, the snake was the bad guy who tempted Eve in the Garden and Eden and so forever damned humanity. In Aboriginal religions, the snake is the creator who was both revered and feared. The different status of the snake is just one of many differences between the religions of the middle east, and the Dreamtime religions of Australia.

The Dreamtime refers to a time before time or a time outside of time. In a sense, it is also an all-at-once time in which the past, present and future coexist at the same time. In some ways, it shares parallels with the story of Genisis as the Dreamtime was the time of creation. In other ways, it is different as years are not recorded since the time of Genesis. Instead, life follows a cycle in which there is no real beginning and no real end.

The story of the serpent began in the Dreamtime. The Aborigines told of a great snake that emerged from beneath the earth, winding from side to side, making the great rivers flow from its path. From its body sprang the tribes, the animals and the birds of Australia. Sometimes the serpent was depicted as a man. Sometimes as a woman. Sometimes as a man with breasts. It was spoken upon in a hushed voice for it inflicted vengeance upon those who angered it. Stories told of it swallowing people who had not observed taboos. It was said to be responsible for causing natural disasters such as floods and droughts. One story even told of the serpent swallowing an orphan boy, and all his tribe, because the boy wouldn’t stop crying. As the serpent returned to the earth, the boy and his tribe also became part of the land.”

Link to Dream Time story

Therefore my interpretation is the snake represents the protection of the aboriginals mind and his culture. Reflecting on the serpent as God in the rainbow serpent narrative. Then God (snake) is looking after him.

This is only my story, my art and my interpretations of my art and has no connections to any aboriginal communities here in Australia and its views or representation of the wider cultural views. Just my fun and relaxation.

 

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