02 March 2012

Crochet as Spiritual Practice: Being a Beginner

In case you missed it, here's a summary of the five 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. (see how here)
4. Three short breaths in, one slow breath out.

Three is a common part of many religions, faiths, and spiritualities, as well as quite pervasive in our culture. In crochet: shells of three, repeats of three stitches or rows, three loops or pull throughs for a stitch. Think about how you can incorporate 3 into your crochet practice and how it already is a part of your crocheting habits. More examples on the original post.

Remember to keep your hands and wrists happy while you work! They carry our intentions from our minds & hearts into the work.
Some suggestions: warming them up before you work; stretching before, during, and after; taking regular breaks; stopping if they hurt; giving yourself a massage before and after an especially large or difficult working.

Silence is beautiful. It can be difficult to find true silence, but it's necessary for clearing the mind. The mind gets cluttered with thoughts, so we need to find quiet time for emptying it out. Having a task during meditation allows the quieting of the mind without feeling like you're doing nothing.

Be a Beginner
Some of you readers may be beginners, and some of you may have been crocheting so long you don't even know when you started. For those experienced in a craft (or any repetitive task), it can sometimes be done mindlessly, without looking, or really paying attention. When using crochet as spiritual practice, it needs to be done mindfully. To help you focus on the work at hand and to help quiet your mind, practice being a beginner.

Remember when you first started to crochet? Every stitch was a labor. It had to be slowly pulled out of your hands. The yarn painstakingly took shape. To encourage your meditation, imagine you're a beginner. You'll slow down and and focus more on what you're doing. It can be frustrating, so you can alternate between rows of beginner concentration and rows of your normal pace. Good luck!

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