Mindfulness in Sky Space

It is indeed strange and a source of wonder how life can often take sudden twists and turns.  When I began this particular venture I didn’t realise it would reveal to me the rainbow of Chakra colours in all their magnificence (only the orange being noticeable by its absence!).   The full extent of this would only become apparent during the process of writing up this post.  Such is the nature of blogging.

Mindfull Meditation in James Turrell's 'sky scape'.

Poster advertising Mindfull Meditation in James Turrell’s ‘sky space’.

It all began when I saw this ‘poster’ on one of my trawls through fb.  Now, I am not particularly feeling the need to join a meditation group at the moment but Richard Ballinger’s image just grabbed my attention.  I have always thought that James Turrell’s rotunda – open to the sky – would be a unique place to meditate.  (Some have even called it a ‘camera obscura’)  I was also aware that the ‘still small voice’ within (that I like to think are my collective guardian angels) was urging me to go.  I was sufficiently intrigued enough to make a mental note that come Sunday, if it wasn’t raining, I would go along to the Sculpture Garden for a bit of quiet contemplation.

an early morning walk through the gardens

my early morning walk through the gardens, a symphony of luscious greens, greys and blues

I have meditated on and off all my adult life.  I remember when Maharishi Mahesh Yogi first came to the attention of the world back in the 60’s.   My real induction began in my early 20’s when my first husband, Graeme, was diagnosed with a virulent form of cancer.  This devastating news began a period of deep enquiry for him into the ‘how come’, the ‘why me’ and the struggle to understand the meaning of life / death and his place in the scheme of things.  It helped a little but in the end the only real solace for him was listening to classical music, such as this Chopin Nocturne, and the only time I ever saw him at peace with himself throughout this difficult time.  Sadly, he lost his fight and died at the age of 24.

The light catching an iris showing off its magnificent bee attracting patterns.

near the entrance to the sky space I found this beautiful purple iris.  I have included it as a tribute to Graeme because the colour represents psychic development and the release of grief – the yellow for learning – as I’m sure his journey continues in another spiritual dimension. Then I decided to delve a little deeper.  In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky. Iris links the gods to humanity.  As a goddess, Iris is associated with communication, messages, the rainbow and new endeavors.  Was this a message for me also?  Of course I was not conscious of any of this at the time, just remember vaguely thinking why had I been drawn to these irises?

The spiritual quest that Graeme had begun lived on in me and over the years I have taken several paths down the esoteric route in my search for the ‘meaning of life’, embracing alternative healing, psychic enquiries, aspects of Eastern Mysticism and philosophies, and dowsing (earth energy lines and sacred sites, see elemental energies).  I have come to the conclusion that they all spring from the same source and that dowsing is the key to unlocking the spaces between the material and the spiritual.  The space that quantum physics is trying to explain.  For me this is the liminal space, the pause just before a new discovery is about to take place, or a ‘sub’-conscious thought hovers before becoming conscious.  A place which holds the space of ‘nothingness’ yet possesses the potential for everything.  It is also the metaphysical area in which I have chosen to focus on in my creative practice, so relevant to me at the moment.

the yellow 'flag' iris, another one I found on my way to the sky scape.

the yellow ‘flag’ iris, another find on my way to the sky space.  (I was surprised it didn’t have its feet in water).  Chakra meanings: yellow is the colour that represents the Solar Plexus, assimilates experience and has the power to manifest goals. (Also, in the art spectrum, yellow and purple are complimentary colours).

So Sunday dawned with a limpid sun but no rain.  Living just a 5 minute drive from Tremenheere, I was the first to arrive and walked up through the garden to the top, startling a pair of buzzards (although they looked bigger than buzzards?) that flew off into the woods.  (The eagle represents wisdom in ancient cultures).  The view from the top of the garden takes in the sweep of Mounts Bay with St Michael’s Mount standing sentinel in the sea but which only a couple of days ago, because of some strange optical illusion, had appeared to be hovering in space.  I entered the sky scape space and took these photographs.

the view of the sky through the oval

the view of the sky through the oval opening : blue represents communication

Soon, the others arrived and Chris Priest guided us through a beautiful ‘mindful’ meditation.  At one point, he talked about being in the ‘now’ and ‘the space between’.  (I thought that’s a bit of a coincidence as ‘the space between’ is what my research is all about.  Perhaps I will have to make this my new title).  I am getting vibrant, pulsating circles of colour in my third eye area above the bridge of my nose: indigo and ultramarine blues and vivid magenta tinged with a brilliant pink glow around the edge.  And then  a sort of vintage yellow – like the tint on Richard’s poster – which brought to mind ‘old’ learning / knowledge, or previous grief now in the past.

the 'eye' of the sky

the ‘eye’ of the sky

This is how Chris described it afterwards in an email.  ‘What came to me primarily was this ‘space between’: space between sound, sensation, thought and breath, which was something we touched upon after our sitting practice.  It seems that this is almost the only space that gives rise to a pure awareness.  I believe when we connect with space we are in fact connecting with the vast and profound emptiness / nothingness that only love can exist within.  I believe this ‘space’ is a wordless state of awareness / being.’

This is major Tom to Ground Control....

This is major Tom to Ground Control….

Over coffee, cake and chat in the cafe afterwards, it dawns on me that all the participants are artists (let’s face it, who in Cornwall isn’t?) and like-minded people.  From that moment, all the unanswered pieces in the puzzle just seemed to tumble into place.  Why I had come: the conducive gathering; The Space Between; the Chakra colours; the irises; the reminder to be mindful; the sea, the sky.  So many little synchronisaties making me believe they have a meaning beyond a series of mere coincidences.

the space between the sky and the beam of light on the wall

The Space Between the sky and the beam of light illuminating  the wall

So you see, this little episode has revealed a host of things that I might have completely overlooked if I had not become ‘mindful’ of everything that was going on.  It’s like a game of hide and seek.  If you stop your ‘babbling’ thoughts for long enough these things will be revealed to you, because they are meant, especially for you.  In true Greek mythological fashion, messages from the Gods.  And I give thanks, wholeheartedly, for these simple, brilliant gifts.

the space between 3

the space between 3 (dark matter)

The next meeting is planned for 9th June.  If anyone is interested in joining the group the contact numbers are on the poster above (enlarge the image).

IMG_9473

space between 4

As a finale to the synchronicity, have a listen to Martin Cook talking about his mindfulness garden at the Chelsea Flower Show on a ‘learn to be silent’ blog post.

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5 Comments

Filed under my sketchbook pages, Nature / Nurture Project, Paths of Enlightenment

5 responses to “Mindfulness in Sky Space

  1. Wonderful Caro, thank you. So interesting about purple being the colour of psychic development and the release of grief. My stepmother died very recently and amongst her possessions I found a ring which is a simple setting of a very large amethyst. I never saw her wear this ring and so think that it probably belonged to my real mother, who died when I was two. For some reason I felt drawn to wearing it – partly as a protection against a potentially unpleasant situation (I know that amethysts are meant to protect against psychic powers) but also because it was such a beautiful colour. I find it comforting. I have also found out that amethysts are supposed to assist in developing creativity – so I am hopeful it will help unblock mine!

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    • Thank you ‘durganbelle’. Purple is such a beautiful colour. Wearing your mother’s ring – apart from the feeling of being close to her, it will also help connect to her spiritually. You were probably right about your hunch that it belonged to your mother which makes me think you should have had it ages ago! How wonderful, and no wonder you were drawn to it. If you want to boost your creativity, focus on orange! It is the centre for sexuality and creativity. Strange, that is the only colour I didn’t mention in this post……perhaps ‘they’ are saving that one for later! xx

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  2. morvah

    Ah, the mystery is revealed! What a brave and lovely post Caro..the Chopin has colour too I feel, soft November colours perhaps? Virtually all the plants in Martin’s garden are ones that I grow or have grown at some time – such a haunting loveliness in spite of the chaotic nature of the planting; thanks for adding to the enchantment…

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    • Thank you ‘morvah’! Yes, you will agree the Chelsea garden had to be included? I liked what he said about planning the planting like a Jackson Pollack painting….and I love the fact you saw the colours in the music xx

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  3. Thank you Caro for such a beautiful post – a couple of students on my M A are dealing with ‘luminal space’ in very different ways although they both use the moving image – do you like Tacita Dean’s films? I didn’t,t know there was a James Turrell in Cornwall but have visited the one in Yorkshire Sculpture Park many times before I moved down to the South West

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