Autumn has always been a favorite time of year of mine, for a myriad of reasons: comfortable temperatures; the shift in sunlight to gold and amber tones; the dramatic transformation of the landscape from green to a range of colors--both bold and muted, to name a few. After summer's hot and humid, languid days, Autumn invigorates and inspires my creativity. For the ancient Celts, Autumn, specifically the midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, it is the end of the previous season cycle and the beginning of the new one. It was a time to reflect on and celebrate all that the previous year's cycle provided. Being a descendant of ancient Celtic lineage, I have embraced this connection to the seasons' cycles, in fact, it seems to have been innate in me, as I have enjoyed Autumn for as long as I can remember. It makes sense to me that emerging from darkness and entering darkness are the two thresholds all living things share. Autumn's yearly visit stirs me, activates me, and reminds me that life is fleeting. Autumn is not the time for regrets or pining for days now past, rather it is a time for celebrating days lived, and for living fully in the time we still have.
For me, creativity is one of the highest expression of life and living fully, that I can embody. Today I am working on a design I call the Autumn Owl poncho, every stitch, every row I create, is a reflection, a meditation, a contemplation of living fully. It is my hope that my completed poncho communicates this in a similar way that Autumn inspires me.
About My Work
Before I became a monk I made a living creating art. When I took the five Buddhist precepts in 2002 I was given the dharma name Do'an (pronounced Doe-ahn), which loosely means "path of the eye". From that moment on, the focus of my art shifted toward contemplative practice, in which I used meditation and breath to facilitate my creativity. I studied Asian brush painting and calligraphy techniques, which had a great influence on my painting style and composition. In 2008 I discovered fiber. I learned to knit, spin yarn, needle felt and weave.