Tag Archives: guardian angels

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).


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.



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

Guiding Spirit (JM part 2)

Celtic Cross, Sancreed churchyard

Celtic Cross, Sancreed churchyard

To continue with the Jeremy Millar theme (previous post, Cosmic Coincidences?) he ponders the age-old question of where does art come from?  He also queries the possessive label we attach to a work as being ‘my‘ work?  After all, how can you quantify something that has had some level of appropriation taking place in the process?  By the same token, you could argue that this post is not strictly speaking, ‘mine’.

Celtic Cross in Churchyard, Sancreed, Cornwall

detail of cruciform man on cross


He suggests that in answer to the former question about where does art come from, we might consider the notion of genius.  Not in the modern meaning of the word as someone who is exceptionally talented and original, intellectually and creatively, but more in the  sense of the ancient cult of genius.  In ancient Rome, the genius was the guiding spirit (or soul) of a person.  The noun is related to the Latin verb gigno, genui, genitus, “to bring into being, create, produce.”  (Apparently, it wasn’t until the time of Augustus, 1st Emperor of the Roman Empire, the word began to acquire the more modern interpretation of genius as someone associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight.)

The guiding spirit or guardian angel, is the personal deity or daimon of an individual.  It was something you were born with and remained with you until your death.  It needed to be nurtured, fed, indulged and if you respected your genius, that made you a ‘genial’ person.  Every person, place or object possessed their own genii and were linked either to family gens, to things, or to a specific place genius loci, each taking on certain attributes of the Gods and Goddesses, the supreme deities who ruled over the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.

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The notion of clan or gens, can be seen in our own Celtic cultures – and later formalized religions – who also had their guiding spirits or guardian angels.  Does it also account for the behaviours we exhibit that seem to shape our characters? What drives one person to be a minimalist and another an avid collector?  Why do some artists want to be hands-on sculptors while others want to make 3D work using digital media?


crucified beach man

As readers of this blog, I know the eagle-eyed amongst you may have already realised something about me that is fundamental to the way I work.  I’m a collector.  Not of valuable antiques (I have a few treasured family pieces) or priceless artworks (only works by friends which may or may not be priceless but are of huge value to me).  I collect ideas or inspirational quotes and appropriate them for my own purposes.  My studio is organised around the discarded detritus that no-one else wants.  I find textural beauty in the rubbish that a storm throws up and dumps on our shore.  Instead of throwing away my kitchen china when it breaks, I gather up the pieces and put them carefully in the box marked ‘broken china’ where all the other shattered shards are stored.

Votive ribbons adorning a tree near Sancreed well

Votive ribbons adorning a tree near Sancreed well

Sometimes, something will trigger my interest, or I will feel compelled to do something for no apparent reason.  Its latent meaning will remain dormant for a while until something happens to reignite my interest and, ‘ping’, a connective synapse is made.  Call it coincidence (for want of a better word), serendipity or whatever.  I believe my guiding spirit – or my genius – is showing me the way with gentle nudges of recognition.  When those light bulb moments happen I cannot help feeling that they can only be divinely inspired and find myself raising my eyes to heaven with hands clasped, graciously thanking my guiding angels for their incredible gifts.


Filed under my sketchbook pages, Nature / Nurture Project, Personal Philosophy