When Harold Kirby, founder of the Mindful Stress & Anxiety Management(MSAM) Center asked us to create a mosaic, we were honored. He wanted the small pieces of glass that I specialize in, but the effect of translucence that Wayne creates with his stained glass. This led to our first glass-on-glass mosaic sign. Wayne designed the letters and glued them to a piece of clear glass, and set up his lightbox in my studio, so that I could see how glass looked with light shining through.
The difference between glass on a opaque surface and glass with light shining through reminded of me of the difference between seeing an ungrouted mosaic and the grouted one. In both cases, I have to imagine how the final piece will look, though this first time with glass-on-glass felt daunting, since I have grouted many mosaics since 2006.
The lightbox helped me visualize, but the first time I held the grouted piece up to the window still surprised me with its glow. This is like mindfulness itself, holding ourselves in a window of light, letting the present shine through us. I’d like to share some of Harold’s words from his blog about mindfulness[emphasis mine]:
If I’m honest, my mindfulness meditation practice has probably saved my life, not literally but emotionally. Maybe literally as well. I finished meditating a few minutes before I started this blog and found myself censoring and not wanting to write about the internal sense of beauty and connection I felt. My thought says, “Don’t tell them that. They will think…” The question becomes, do I choose to be limited by my fear or honestly share what I value.
The experience of beauty and connection was a reminder to notice all that I have or more accurately all that is here in this life to be valued and cherished if I will allow myself to become aware of it. I did not have to do a thing to deserve it. Committing to this moment helps me see that. It might seem like I’m saying that being in the moment makes all of my troubles go away, I’m not. I’m saying that I am working to change my relationship with this moment so that I see what is actually here, beauty and pain and learn to work with both as best I can.
Harold Kirby, What is Mindfulness Meditation?