We will have a day together in the countryside at the workshop near Lenzie – to be in the landscape and to be with the relationship between clouds, water and the character and shapes of trees. Through mindful awareness of our senses, we will investigate the atmosphere, light, textures, humidity, roots, branches and shapes and feeling of being in this environment.
Engaging with the meanings and styles of old Chinese/ Japanese visual characters we will look for connections in nature to inspire us and to express our experience.
Our calligraphy work, meditation and markmaking will be indoors, but if the weather is suitable, we will also have some peaceful time outdoors to enjoy being in the fresh air, and being with the seasonal transition. There will be some extra free time for a walk at lunchtime if people like.
Outside we will collect some natural objects to connect with nature, such as branches to engage with ‘ki’, tree or wood, one of the Chinese five elements. We will experiment in mark making using natural objects, noticing the different types of marks and how that affects the feeling of what we are working on.
Markmaking and Shodo calligraphy encourages mindful practice while nurturing creativity and expression. We will use traditional Japanese materials and paper, which are nice to hold and notice their feeling through touch. As we experiment with the marks we aren’t looking for perfect pieces, as this is much more a way to enjoy the process of engaging and expressing whilst relaxing and being supported by Blair and Margaret. So we welcome the splash of ink and our imperfections wholeheartedly.
Guided meditation will naturally combine with being in the open grounds or in the trees, and being mostly silent during the day, to deepen our sensory awareness, sense of breath and embodiment.
About Margaret & Blair
The day will be led by Margaret Kerr and Blair Thomson. Margaret is a mindfulness teacher, counsellor and mountain leader working outdoors with groups regularly, with her own art practice working with trees, water and the land, and will lead us outside. Blair is an artist and meditator, a member of Glasgow Zen Group who studied Sho calligraphy and markmaking in Japan with Master Wakabayashi.
No previous experience of meditation, markmaking or calligraphy is needed and all materials are provided. There is a one hour lunch break – please bring your lunch or some to share. Waterproofs and walking boots or wellies are recommended.