Meditation in Action and Creativity. Linda Atwater

I have hesitated to send a “contribution” to our Sangha group since my creative juices lately have been used teaching sewing of outdoor gear, children’s clothing and creating sculptural garden directional markers. I guess that could be defined as creating for others and not as a self-expression. 

In a way that’s all working creatively within boundaries.I’m used to working within boundaries or working to please someone else; a client, a boss, a co-worker, a family member. We can all relate to that.

The garden markers came up as a request from several community members who are directionally challenged and the weekly work party notes often refer to “plant broccoli seedlings in the South East wedge. I was to come up with a way to physically mark the wedges without blocking the pathways, use some recycled materials, keeping the most of our growing space and BTW, make them durable and weather proof. AND they had to be designed to fit the garden and it’s beauty.

After some experimenting with materials, recipes and mockups, I began creating six markers out of recycled paper pulp,recycled polystyrene, plastic, glue and cement. a medium i have never used in this sculptural way.

I wanted them to be moldable like clay but they weren’t.  Each one had it’s own challenge of falling off when wet or not releasing from the yogurt container that I was molding around.  I wanted to reflect the image I had in my mind but they did not come out that way at all. The last one I made slid down the rebar pipe in the middle of the process and I panicked to figure out a solution before the cement set up and I’d have to start over. I wish I could say that after making six of them, I know the best way to create them and can replicate the method. it eludes me. They still need to be painted or stained and sealed but it will take another month to cure the cement before color. For now, they rest together, curing…

What does all this have to do with Buddhism or my spiritual practice? Some thoughts; 

The joy of failure, 

“let’s try one more time”, 

Whatever comes out of this is “what is”, 

Always the student never the master,

Problem solving on the fly and finishing each one “by the skin of my teeth”. 

An “art piece” has a mind and a life of it’s own, I am merely the facilitator, 

and finally, maybe other folks, (directionally challenged or not) will find joy and beauty in them when finally installed. 




Practicing in sangha, even virtually, supports the practice of meditation differently than practicing solitarily. The members of the Sangha of the Pandemic, invite you to practice with us. No experience is required. There is no cost. Everyone is welcome. 

 We practice on ZOOM:


  • Mondays: Calm abiding. 6:30 AM Pacific Time
  • Tuesdays: Body awareness. 6:30 AM Pacific Time 
  • Thursdays: Tonglen, 6:30 AM Pacific Time 
  • Wednesdays and Fridays: Zazen Practice 7:00 AM Pacific Time.
  • Sundays: Paramitas. 7 AM Pacific Time 

ZOOM Link: 

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