A C T I V I T I E S   ии  C R A F T

R  E  S  O  U   R  C  E  S


Buddha Mind - get one, be one.


Craft is an activity accessible to most people - pretty much anyone can make something. It is an excellent place to start when trying to find a way of 'activating' a concept - making an idea into something tangible? By giving thoughts, ideas, concepts, a form or shape they can be more easily related to, discussed and hopefully understood. In essence, this is the process of creating symbols. Traditional symbols can be reproduced in many different ways and their meaing and value investigated. Sometimes the development of unique symbols is more fun, creative, challenging and potentially provides a fresh way of examining the concept under review. Try both. [see: ART & CULTURE - SYMBOLS]
I divide these into roughly three groups - construction | surfacing | joining (shape | appearance | cohesion).
1) Paper or card is the basic material and can be used for both construction and surfacing. Wood is next in (my) line but only its strength puts it in front of clay and other modeling substances. Glass and metal are brilliant but require handling and tools which are not always so readily available. Natural materials like stone, earth, sand, bits of plant things (branches, stems, bark, leaves) can be used well in many situations.
2) Paint, crayons and pencils are the primary surfacing materials but there is no end to the creative scope with which projects can be surfaced. Many materials - like fabric, beads, coloured 'bits' (foil, plastic, seeds, petals, leaves, etc) - often require adhesive.
3) String, staples, adhesive tape and glue are the easiest ways to join things together. Nails, wire, various tubed applications, rivets, paper clips, pins, (cotton) sewing will all be useful at different times.

It is always good to have a variety of materials on hand. Often, contemplating a pile of  'stuff' in relation to a selected theme will suggest an activity. Collecting stuff for free is not so difficult - try factories, printers, packaging companies, supermarkets, etc. Just about any light industrial process produces waste. Don't be above poking about in the odd dumpster / skip for throw aways. Collecting natural (or any) materials can form part of the activity - it can be done in silence - specific items could be prelocated as part of an awareness trail.

Below is a brief summary of each item:

Light is always a beautiful medium to work with and requires no special occasion. Vesak is a time in the Buddhist calendar when lights are often made by families and brought to decorate the monastery as part of the evening's ceremonies.
Lotsa Fire
I like **fire** --- lots of it. There are ideas here of how to make it and how to use it in ritual and ceremony. Electricity and fire are the main ways of producing light. Using mains power needs good supervision. A battery light is safer and can be used with flammable materials in a way that a flame cannot but the result is often not as aesthetic. This item looks at *fire* ! !
These are a Buddhist memorial. They can be built small, large or extra large - the only limit is time and space. They can be an ongoing group project for all ages with a range of skills required.
Buddha Image
These can be made from a wide variety of materials and to a variety of standards - rustic to refined. Big or small - many types of finishes.
Make those 3D magic eye pictures. Great for the computer inclined with relatively easy to obtain results. Very satisfying and no-one can resist trying to find the hidden pictures.
An activity that younger children always enjoy. Anyone can do it! The pictures here are relatively simple line drawings from various sources. They all have a Buddhist theme and can be the focus of discussion and further creative work. I would be delighted if you sent me any other images that could be included here.
Meditation stool
Something that many people find useful - both young and old. These are very simple designs and can be made with access to limited resources; all you need is a few off cuts of wood and some basic woodworking tools. Product testing is a delight with 'whose works the best' leading to some good, silent meditation.
A way of combining many symbol elements. A meditation object.
This section looks at the physical elements and construction of a shrine. For a more in depth look at the symbolism and cultural aspects see ART & CULTURE - SHRINES
Bodhi Tree | Lotus Flowers | Incense | Stencils | etc. All sorts of odd ideas and bits that didn't seem to warrant a whole item.