Do you live in southern California? I’m having a workshop at my Ventura studio on Sunday, August 12, 2012. Immerse yourself in the sacred silk thangka tradition for an afternoon. I’d love to meet you! Register at SacredArtExperience.com.
Last night I signed up for Jennifer Louden’s new class, “Creating Your Own Mastermind Group.”
Jen’s giving away a free spot in the course.
My immediate reaction: Awww shucks, I already registered…
A split second later: Hey, I could play anyway and give my spot to someone else if I win! (Jen said that’s okay!)
On the Buddhist path, we have sangha (spiritual companions) to remind us what we’re all about behind the daily drama.
In business, in teaching, in reaching beyond your comfort zone to spread the word about your passion, sangha is equally essential.
And for those of us whose spiritual-and-personal growth are inseparable from our business-and-promotion activities, it’s crucial to surround ourselves with people who “get” that.
Because most people won’t.
Our spiritual friends won’t get the business and internet stuff. And most business folks don’t work so close to the heart. This is an uncommon path that needs to be regenerated continuously (especially for people like me with short memories and sticky limiting beliefs).
I’ve found tremendous value in the mastermind groups I’ve participated in with coaches — most notably the amazingly empowering Christine Kane. In these groups, we rely heavily on the coach, the leader, to hold our feet to the fire. And we are encouraged and supported by each other, our companions. I participated in such a group last year and our growth was remarkable.
Since completing my stint with that group, I’ve continued to work with my accountability buddy (shout out to the fabulously tiggery and wise Elaine Bailey!). That’s been wonderful. And I want more.
Can a leaderless mastermind work? To be honest, I’m not sure. But a lot of people I admire are telling me it can.
I don’t know whether you (I, we) can create the same powerful bond without a coach or an intense unifying experience to get it started. But I want to try. It feels like a kind of maturing. And it feels like time. And I trust Jen’s got some great ideas for making it happen.
Danielle says, “You can’t get anywhere fabulous without a group.”
I’m eager to hit the road to forming my next fabulousness-oriented group. Might you be a member of it?
By writing this post, I’ve increased my chance of winning a free spot in Jen Louden’s “Creating Your Own Mastermind Group” class.
Since I’ve already registered, I’ll be giving that spot away if I win (if that’s okay with Jen).
Leave a comment below for a chance to get the spot. Tell me what you’d be looking to create in YOUR mastermind group!
Having just completed a live retreat with four amazing women from the Stitching Buddhas Virtual Apprentice Program, I’m more convinced than ever about the program’s value and effectiveness. The unique blend of spiritual and creative energy is really special. And the women who are drawn to the program blow me away with their open hearts and dedication.
Several of you have written to me saying you were interested in learning more about the program. Others just wonder what I’m up to. Either way is fine. I’d love to talk with you. I know it’s hard to imagine how an ancient art can be taught through cyberspace, how an exacting manual technique can be learned from a distance… So I want to help you understand how it works and whether it might be appropriate for you.
Now, here’s one thing I’ve learned about myself in many contexts over many years:
I don’t like making formal presentations but I love responding to people — to my students, to studio visitors, to curious questioners of all sorts. This has been reinforced in every call I have with my students, and in last week’s retreat too.
I’m interested in people and want to help them (YOU!) understand. So I am going to make myself available for a special one-time Q&A conference call to answer your questions about the Stitching Buddhas Virtual Apprentice Program. Whether you have specific questions or just wonder what it’s all about, I’d love to talk with you.
(Date passed. Links no longer available.) Click here to fill in the conference registration form and I’ll send you the call details. It’s easy — and FREE. Looking forward to meeting you online soon!
Love and joy,
P.S. Feel free to share this invitation with friends you think may be interested in Stitching Buddhas.
Several of you were unable to watch Career Day on TV and asked me to make my segment available online. Well, here it is! A little grainy but fun nonetheless.
Share it with your kids and friends!
And watch Career Day on TV if you can. (KTLA, Saturdays at 1:00 pm in southern California. Check your local cable listings for your area.) It’s a great show that inspires kids to explore a variety of career paths — many which you (and they) may never have thought of!
Have you noticed the new logo on the Threads of Awakening website and on this message? Okay, okay, it’s not SO new. It’s been on the site for a few months already! But as I mentioned last week, this is a time of acknowledgement and celebration of imperfect accomplishment and continual unfolding. I’m doing it, and I encourage you to do the same. So here goes!
This logo is my personal seal, designed by Tashi Mannox, an English calligraphy artist. I met Tashi by chance on a short visit to London in November 2001. He was meeting with Linda Wrigglesworth when I entered her gallery of Imperial Chinese Costume and Textiles for the first time. They were discussing his recent calligraphy exhibition there.
Tashi was trained in fine art in England before becoming a monk in the Tibetan Karma Kagyu lineage. For the next seventeen years, alongside his monastic training, he studied Tibetan art and calligraphy, taking inspiration and guidance from well known spiritual and artistic masters such as Sherab Palden Beru, H.E Situ Rinpoche, and Chogyam Trungpa. You can view a beautiful short film about Tashi and his work here:
Like me, Tashi Mannox uses a combined Tibetan and Western name, uniting his English origins with his Tibetan-infused life.
Ten years ago in London, I was struck by Tashi’s gentle and open presence. He spoke of his work with Tibetan and Mongolian scripts. And Linda joined the conversation as we spoke about signed vs. anonymous artwork.
Tibetan thangkas were traditionally anonymous and unsigned. When names or dedications were added to a piece, it was more common for the patron of a thangka to be identified than the artist.
Linda asserted the importance of signing contemporary works (even if traditional in nature). If I recall correctly, she said that contemporary collectors want to connect with the artist, and a signature supports that connection. Tashi suggested a personal seal could add a unique yet traditional way of signing my work.
As I wandered into other galleries later that day, I noticed the personal seals that marked a contemporary Chinese artist’s work. Later I would notice such seals in a variety of contexts.
I wrote to Tashi and asked him to design a seal representing my name and perhaps also representing an integration of east and west, inner and outer. At that time I was still using my given name “Leslie Freilich” and my Tibetan name “Rinchen Wongmo” separately. I had not yet integrated the two. So my original seal contained the initials “LF” alongside the Horyig “Rinchen.” We’ve since removed those letters.
What is Horyig? It is the Tibetan term for the neo-Tibetan/Mongolian scripts used in seals. Tashi uses these scripts, along with his artistic skill, to create personal symbols.
“Incised with the name of the individual or a pictorial design representing qualities admired by the owner, seals can be applied as a form of signature to personalize artwork and correspondence much as a logo is used in the West.”
So the center of my seal says “Rinchen,” precious. You can read more about the meaning of Rinchen-Wongmo here:
Below my name is a lotus, symbol of our always clear, unstained nature, our ever-present buddha potential rising out of the muck of samsara.
Above my name is a sun and moon, symbol of wisdom and skillful means, emptiness and compassion.
Since 2002, I’ve been using this seal to stamp my thangkas, sometimes in a corner on the front as in the Three Mongolians, more often on the back as on Nomad Girls and Chenrezig. I then sign “Leslie” across a corner of the stamp by hand.
In April of this year, Stacey Lawlis, WordPress designer and copy writer extraordinaire, had the brilliant idea to turn the seal into a logo, incorporating my name in a curly thread-like font (Sweet Upright Script) and “Threads of Awakening” as you now see it on the website.
Tashi very kindly spiffed up the original artwork for its new position in the spotlight. He’s improved his already excellent skill over the past decade and wanted to give us his current best. Beautiful, isn’t it?
If you’d like a seal of your own, you can contact Tashi through his website. He’s a truly talented and humble individual and a pleasure to work with!
P.S. The great Steve Jobs passed away this week. The announcement came as I was headed to the Apple Store for help in my struggle to transfer data from a failed MacBook to a shiny new one. I was not particularly happy with Apple (or computers in general) at that moment. But the imperfection of my experience with Steve Jobs’ creation in no way diminished his accomplishment nor my appreciation of it.
As Jobs said in that well-watched 2005 Stanford commencement speech, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
I’m grateful for the dot on which I met Tashi Mannox in London and the dot where Stacey Lawlis recognized the seal’s potential as a logo. And I’m grateful to be able to share the current result of those connected dots with you. I trust that the connections will continue and that many many more shimmering dots will define an unfolding beauty.
You can view my seal on Tashi’s website here:
And above every thangka on my own website!