10 February 2012

Crochet as Spiritual Practice: Mystical 3

For those just joining in, here's a summary of the two previous posts about Crochet as Spiritual Practice:

A spiritual practice is an activity that you do regularly which either pulls you into your inner space or connects you with the greater universe. Try spending 10-15 minutes each day crocheting and only focusing on the yarn and pattern in front of you, pushing other thoughts aside.

Incorporate some special breathing to help relax yourself at the start.
1. Breathe in deeply and let it out slowly
2. Count your breaths up to 10 and then start over.
3. Alternate nostril breathing. (tutorial)
4. Three short breaths in, one slow breath out.

The mystical number 3!

Three is a common part of many religions, faiths, and spiritualities, as well as quite pervasive in our culture. Here's some examples I came up with after a few minutes.
The mighty triangle! The strongest geometric shape, it's used quite often in bridge construction.
Christianity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the holy family was three people (Mary, Joseph, Jesus); Jesus rose after three days; three virtues of faith, hope, and love/charity
Many pagans: three stages of life & the Goddess (Maiden, Mother, and Crone) and her God counterpart.
Buddhism: two loving kindness meditations are three parts "may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be kind" and "may you be loved, may you be comforted, may you be whole"
Abraham is the father of three religions - Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Sports: three strikes in baseball, three periods in hockey, three-point scores in basketball and football
Ideas of mind/body/soul and head/heart/hands
Lucky (or unlucky) events come in threes
Stories: begining, middle, end; three blind mice; Goldilocks and the three bears; jack climbs the beanstalk thrice; Rumplestiltskin lets the princess guess thrice; Scrooge sees three ghosts of Christmas
Jokes are often told with threes: a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead
Sets of three are easier to learn/remember.
I'm sure there's plenty more. What are some examples you know?

In crochet, there's a variety of stitches which can incorporate 3:
shell stitches of three (common in the classic granny square)
single crochet is made of three loops (on hook, 2 yarn overs)
half-double crochet pulls through three loops
double crochet needs three pull-throughs
treble crochet gets three pull-throughs above the stich (and has two sets of three yarn overs)
the trinity stitch
multiples of three in stitches or rows for patterns

Some people chant while they stitch (such as the loving kindness series), or they may sing or hold good intentions for the recipient.

Think about how you can incorporate 3 into your crochet practice and how it already is a part of your crocheting habits.
I kinda like the idea of using the three breaths in and one breath out while I'm crocheting to help me focus. Also, since I'm crocheting for charity, I'll try saying/thinking the loving kindness meditation, one "may you" per stitch. Maybe that'll help me slow down and pay attention to what I'm doing. As always, leave a message if you've got ideas, reflections, or questions.

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