Bright Ideas, Week 6

This week I’ve taken care of business — my jewelry business,
as I am hoping to wind it down and close shop this year.
(If my readers fall in love, note the 40% off using the code “SPECIAL”. Shameless plug.)
I want to make marks and work in our business and write…
This week I also repaired Mitchell’s necklaces, and created a new mala for myself.

Two weeks ago I drew my old mala, with the broken bee wing, below.
When I made that mala I chose rose quartz to open my heart to compassion, hematite for spiritual grounding, and clear quartz and turquoise to round out the directions.

W16 5 24 ROSE QTZ MALA 01 This week’s BI journal was hardly touched BUT,
I had to take the time to draw my new mala, below.
Mitchell bought me the brilliant red hand-blown African whitehearts
for our anniversary, which means they are special to me.
As my old mala was near to breaking, I took it apart and used a few of the beads.

W16 5 24 RED MALA 01A mala is a counter for keeping track of prayers.
I grew up with a mother who said the rosary daily, often in the car when driving,
which was why her crystal rosary stayed in the car.

As a zennie I never needed a mala, but when accepted Chagdud Rinpoche as my root teacher, and despite my resistance to his processes (we negotiated my practice), I finally succumbed to doing the Guru Rinpoche prayers as a result of his saying I lacked faith.

W14 2 Mary_2“Whaaaa?  FAITH?  I don’t think so.”
But I was having a spiritual crisis of sorts, and so, I went along with this very non-zen ritual.  And oh, I learned a lot!  As I was counting in the one-thousand mantra range, I found myself saying, “Hail Mary, full of Grace….”  I wept.
I remembered loving Guadalupe so,
so much as a child, lighting candles
in her small shrine at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, and praying to her
for comfort and guidance.
This was before I met the awful bigot
and hateful priest who drove me out, straight into Buddhas waiting arms.
I through the baby out with the bath water, and turned my back on G-O-D. Buddhism is a better fit, extremely
clear, and in the beginning I had no
need to discuss G-O-D, as it was all
about mindfulness and mediation.
When one bowed to Buddha we were bowing to the Buddha nature within,
and the path was one anyone can step on and achieve. It was a long time before I could even say the G-O-D word again.
But there I was, that summer day, weeping with the child who loved
the virgin mother. I placed the crystal statue (right) on my altar, and soon
began painting lovely goddesses
from cultures around the world.

I have a Tibetan-Zen Buddhist practice now,
with the occasional dip into my religion of birth,
and a shared practice in the Vedic traditions with Mitchell.

W16 5 8 BI MALA 01My new mala has special meaning for me, and is different because I am different, having grown spiritually from the time I made my first mala.
I yearn for patience, not compassion, because I see impatience as my worst trait.
Yes, I still work on anger and compassion and wisdom and and and…
But as an elder I need fire to warm me, and the red beads do that.
They are a pleasure to touch, and the turtle is about patience, and my love for our earth and its living things, of which I am terribly concerned.
It would be sad for the human race to be wiped out.
It would be a travesty for us to take sea creatures and winged creatures
and woolly warm blooded creatures and desert creatures
and tree creatures and all manner of living beings out too.

My new mala and prayers will be for human beings to come to their senses….

W16 5 24 BI NEW RED MALA 01And then there is my favorite movie, with Sarandon at her best:
Bull Durham “I gave Jesus a chance…”

All these images are sketched in the Bright Ideas journal with Platinum Carbon pen,
Lamy Al-Star with De Atramentis Document black ink,
White Uniball Signo pen, Fat white Pitt pen, and colored pencils.


 ©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art journal, Buddha, gods and goddesses, journal, meditation, memory, pen & ink, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Bright Ideas, Week 6

  1. Reblogged this on Zenkatwrites's Blog and commented:

    About my mala, posted on my OTHER blog!


  2. bikerchick57 says:

    Katie, I enjoyed reading about your faith and spirituality. Although I have always been Christian, I’ve gone from practicing Catholicism growing up, to not practicing (praying) much for many years, to coming back around to a non-denominational based faith and church. It’s funny, I’ve recently made peace with the reason why I left the Catholic Church and have been praying some of the prayers I learned growing up.

    I’ve always thought that if one believes in their faith or spirituality and it makes them a better, kinder, gentler human being, that is what’s important. It’s about changing in a positive direction, right?


    • I think so. I also am careful these days with so many fundamentalist “Christians” to always remember the many Methodists and Catholics who raise me, who were not bigots, and who were kind, caring, compassionate, practiced the words of Christ, etc. — even when they thought someone was not a good person. I remember not to lump them all in together, because many faiths have more in common as a template to a caring life. We occasionally go to the local Unitarian Church as teh pastor is a client and has invited us to nights of music and prayer. My favorite Buddhist teacher is a woman who I can recommend to any one of any non-fundamentalist faith — Pema Chodron. I still read books of various faiths, although mostly now I flip through art books and catalogues on paint….

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Beautiful artwork Kate, and I am glad you shared the story.


  4. Yes, lack of patience. That is me. It creates that tone of voice I use in talking to my husband and son that causes poor responses. I am trying to change, but it is so difficult.


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