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Topic: meditation labyrinth  (Read 14146 times)
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sarahmakes
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« on: February 03, 2009 07:37:47 AM »

I am trying to finish my dissertation and graduate in the next few months (that would be THE resolution), and I am having anxiety attacks over it. My other resolution is to cope with stress and anxiety by meditating daily. I made a finger labyrinth to facilitate the process.



First, I traced an eleven-circuit labyrinth with a pencil onto a piece of fabric. I decided to trace the path instead of the walls of the labyrinth so that I could make it with one continuous piece of cord. I started with six yards of drapery cord and couched it with a matching color of embroidery floss. I've never done couching before, and I love the process and the end result. I will definitely try more couching later.

To use it, you lay your finger on top of the cord and follow it all the way to the center and back out. For more info on using labyrinths for meditation go here:
http://www.labyrinthsociety.org/

Here is an in-progress photo:



And here is a close-up of the couching:



Because the cord is twisted and the thread matches it, you can barely see the couching threads.

This will be my last post for a long time because I can't craft anymore until my dissertation is done!
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kstaron
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009 08:18:21 AM »

very nice work. I love using a labryinth for meditation and peace.  Good luck on your dissertation!
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Jatoha
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009 08:31:36 AM »

I love this, it's fantastic!  It must be wonderful to move your finger over that cord.

My family stumbled upon a labyrinth when traveling a few years ago.  My kids raced through it while my husband and I walked slowly through.  I've been hooked on them ever since, it's very meditative.

This is really beautiful.  Best of luck with your dissertation.
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envirocraft
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009 09:50:42 AM »

This is gorgeous!  I like that it serves a purpose, yet it's pretty and decorative. 

I think I might have to make something similar for myself.  I'd use the excuse that engineering school is keeping me too busy to get it done, but seeing as how you're working on a dissertation, I don't have an excuse! lol Best of luck with that.  I have  a friend finishing hers, and I know she wants to rip her hair out, and I can imagine you feel the same way! 
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melar
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009 10:27:39 AM »

I love this. I came across labyrinths awhile back and always wanted to make one. I never thought of making the path, instead of the walls. Great idea! Thanks for the labyrinth link. I'll definitely check it out. Good luck with your dissertation. Smart to make the labyrinth to help ease your mind through such a tough period.  Tongue Grin
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009 02:26:30 PM »

Your labyrinth is beautiful! I've never seen one with the path before and I think that's probably the best idea i've seen in a really long time!
Selkie
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sarahmakes
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009 05:20:33 PM »

Thanks, everybody! One result of tracing the path is that the process of laying the cord was similar to walking a labyrinth--I just followed the path much more slowly. Completing this craft was a meditative experience in itself. I do like the feeling of the cord on my fingertip when I'm tracing it. That sensation gives me something to focus on to help me calm down and feel more stable.
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Belladune
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009 05:30:48 PM »

so you just trace around the labyrnith with your finger over and over, or just stare at it?  Not sure how it facilitates meditation.....  But apparently others would find it relaxing.... I just can't see how it would be.   What ever floats your boat I guess. 

But, it is very pretty and the couching is done very well!  I think I'd hang it on my wall, as a piece of art Cheesy
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craftADDchick
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009 06:07:13 PM »

I so want to touch this! It's just so pretty, and the cord looks so touchable! I never would have thought to do the path instead of the walls, either. I don't meditate, but I can absolutely see how this would have a calming influence.

We have a program in our school for autistic kids, and I wonder if I made a couple of pillows like these if it would help during some of the more stressful moments...

Thanks for posting such an inspiring project!

Oh... one quick question- How did you keep the ends of the cord from unraveling. I have some of this cord in blue, and it drives me insane when I try to work with it!
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009 06:11:34 PM »

Oh wow that is lovely.  Great work and I hope this helps you de-stress!

Sort of related, I've done something similar my entire life, just tracing my finger on edges of a desk or cushion or something, almost sub-consciously, to just let myself zone out for a bit.  I never thought of it as sort of like meditation, I'm going to have to look more into this, thanks.
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2009 06:14:16 PM »

We have a program in our school for autistic kids, and I wonder if I made a couple of pillows like these if it would help during some of the more stressful moments...
I made a wood and stone labyrinth for myself and my son who has autism would spend time doing the labyrinth.
I'm guessing this softer version would be even more calming!
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2009 06:22:29 PM »

We have a program in our school for autistic kids, and I wonder if I made a couple of pillows like these if it would help during some of the more stressful moments...
I made a wood and stone labyrinth for myself and my son who has autism would spend time doing the labyrinth.
I'm guessing this softer version would be even more calming!


That's good to know that it helps! I wish I had the skills for a wooden one, but this is more up my alley Wink
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Gemcraft
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2009 03:15:52 AM »

wow thats a great idea.
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Gemcraft
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bron
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2009 03:34:32 AM »

What a great idea! I'd never heard of a meditation labyrinth but it sounds very relaxing indeed Smiley As a Phd student I can totally understand why having to finish your dissertation would stress you out. It's important to remember that you're not the only one struggling, that everyone finds it hard and depressing and that you're most certainly doing just fine!! It'll all be over soon and you can move on to something new knowing you've pushed yourself and proved yourself Smiley Best of luck and thanks for sharing the labyrinth, I will try to make one of my own!
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sarahmakes
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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2009 06:24:09 AM »

Belladune: Meditation is difficult for me because I am distracted by everything around me and it is hard to get to a still place where I can let my breathing and heart rate slow down. If I concentrate on something specific, like the sensation of the cord on my finger, it helps to block out external disturbances--just like Boogirl's tracing the edge of a desk! The other soothing element is the repetitive motion--that's why a lot of people find needle arts soothing. I think just staring at it could work, too. I might make another one to hang on the wall.

CraftADDchick: I used Stop Fray on the edges of the cord. It shows--the ends are a little darker than the rest. If I make another one, I am thinking of making the ends a bit longer and covering them with a small decorative piece of fabric. A small round applique right in the center, for example, would cover the end of the cord in a prettier way. I did struggle with the ends. Making pillows is a great idea. I think mine will become a pillow eventually. Right now it is just a piece of fabric, and I can fold it up and carry it in my bag.

I recently found a small walking labyrinth in a garden at a church in my town, so I've used that a few times, too.
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Belladune
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2009 06:49:12 AM »

It works the same as spinning yarn does for me then.  the continuos pump of the treadle, wool slipping past my fingers, constantly drafting to keep it even....     I think some people would go nuts at a wheel, I find it the best way to wind down.   I can see it now.  thanks for the explanation Cheesy
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sarahmakes
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2009 07:01:24 AM »

Bron Thank you for the encouraging words!
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2009 08:38:55 AM »

That's good to know that it helps! I wish I had the skills for a wooden one, but this is more up my alley Wink

I don't really have the skills... I the outline of the labyrinth in pencil on a square piece of plywood. Then I used gorilla glue and aquarium stones to mark the path. It was the first time I used gorilla glue so I didn't know that it would expand so much. In the end that worked out great because it made a smoother path for tracing. I gave it to someone who needed it more than I did, or I could take a picture of it.
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Selkie
sarah - I still think I want to try your idea!
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2009 01:22:52 PM »

Thanks for the added info, sarahmakes and selkie! I checked with out autism specialist, and he said that it couldn't hurt to add some more sensory materials to the classroom. So, I'll try to locate my cording and see if I can give it a go over vacation.

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ohsosuite
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2009 06:43:02 AM »

brilliant!
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mambosushi
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2009 02:47:28 PM »

That's cool
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2009 10:08:07 AM »

Haha...I'm working on a dissertation myself, which is why I'm on here looking at projects instead of entering my data into SPSS...
It's amazing how inspired I am to work on crafty projects now that I'm faced with the prospect of statistical analysis!

Good luck on the dissertation, and beautiful job on the labyrinth!
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