Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spiritual Searches, Meditation ... and Doodling

There is an intimate inter-flow between the mind and body.  A scent can elicit a vivid memory. A sound can trigger physical reactions. A certain amount of fidgeting can help a person who needs to move often be able to stay in one place and concentrate. Meditative practices enhance physical well-being.

"Doodling" may sound like an odd spiritual practice because we often doodle when our attention is mostly otherwise occupied, but in fact Lindy Gifford, an interfaith chaplaincy student, has been developing a gentle, spiritual practice around doodling. She's coming to Midcoast Friends Meeting to lead a session with us.

Workshop: Doodling as a Tool to Increase Focus and Self-Awareness

What does doodling have to do with the spiritual search? Anyone can find out Thursday, April 16, 6:30-8:30 pm at Midcoast Meeting of Friends, 77 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta. Lindy Gifford will lead a free workshop in focused doodling, sponsored by the Midcoast Outreach and Peace Center. The workshop is open to the public and is designed for anyone interested in enriching their spiritual life, whether they identify with any religion or none.

Currently there is an explosion of interest in doodling and with good reason. The word is out that it is very calming and increases mental focus. Lindy’s approach to doodling, called Doodle-ography, stands out from other doodling books and programs in that it is a spiritual practice and a non-directive guide. And anyone can do it, anywhere, anytime.

Lindy Gifford is an artist and graphic designer and will be ordained as an interfaith chaplain this June by the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine. Like many people, she has doodled all her life. Recently she published the Doodle-ography Journal with Maine Authors Publishing in Rockland. As a part of her chaplaincy program she has been leading workshops with elders at the Lincoln Home, US veterans at Camp Kieve, and inmates at Two Bridges Jail. She has found participants are very often both surprised and uplifted by what they discover in doodling.

At the workshop, Lindy will introduce the concept of doodling as a spiritual practice and answer questions. The majority of the time will be spent with the practice itself and sharing thoughts and reactions. Pens and sample pages from the journal will be provided for use during the workshop. Participants can purchase a copy of the Doodle-ography Journal there. The journal is also available at Maine Coast Book Shop in Damariscotta.