Friday, April 12, 2013

A New Kind of Prayer Flag and Exploration of Spiritual Journaling

A week ago, I'd have been preparing to lead a workshop on spiritual journaling.  We talked about all sorts of approaches, including keeping a prayer journal.

One of the participants told us about her creation, a variation of Tibetan prayer flags. She writes prayers on tulle fabric. She ties them to a pieces of lattice in her garden, and she takes great joy in seeing them flutter in the breeze. The fluttering reminds her to pray.

I love this idea.  I love the idea of being reminded to pray.  I love what I understand to be the purpose of prayer flags:  that we release the prayers to go to the Creator who can handle it from there.  I love the visual reminder to let go of some of these issues once I've prayed about them.

I've wondered about this practice and how we might use it for non-prayer purposes. We could write our wishes for our creative work on tulle or write our problems for which we need solutions. We could write our dreams and visions, our hopes for what we'd like to see in our lives.

If we write them out, we may find ourselves able to release the anxiety that often comes from our unacknowledged needs or our inability to find solutions. If we tie the tulle in places where we'll see them, we can be reminded of both our goals and our wildest dreams. We may be more likely to stay focused with this kind of reminder.

We did a similar kind of project a few years ago, as a big group at the Create in Me retreat, when we wrote prayers onto strips of fabric which we braided together.  Then we attached the braided strips together.  And then a group of us took them to the chapel where we laid them out in labyrinth form.

Here are the blog posts that I wrote about the process, one with pictures and one without.

I find much of my spiritual disciplines coming back to fabric.  Even the ones that I think are word-based, like the spiritual journal, have some interesting possibilities in fabric.  I wonder how many other spiritual disciplines that I think involve other mediums could migrate to fabric.

Now that might make an interesting approach to a book!  I'll keep thinking about this.  Hmmm.

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