Some days, you’re in the drawing zone, and other days . . . not.  Today I just could not make anything I was really happy with.  On a couple of drawings, I thought the hands and feet were the best part (hence the detail shots that follow).  Maybe that was my problem–too much time spent on the hands and feet, not enough on the rest?  Whatever.  It’s all learning.

What continues to amaze me is how much I look forward to this time every week.  I know I’ve said it many times, here and elsewhere.  I just can’t get over how totally different I feel than a year ago, when I was about to go to San Miguel and (despite the thrill of going to Mexico) felt a sense of duty and dread about taking a drawing class.

It’s also striking how much harder it is for me to draw on my own than in the group.  I’ve experienced the same thing with meditation; the only time I’ve meditated regularly, and without more than minor resistance, was when I was part of a sangha.  One aspect is simple peer pressure.  I would be ashamed if I were one of the few people who didn’t show up.  Not exactly an enlightened motive, but as one of my favorite Buddhist aphorisms says, lotuses grow out of the muck at the bottom of the pond.  Attachment it surely was, but that attachment to status kept me planted on the cushion.

Buddhists give thanks for the three jewels:  the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.  Originally the sangha meant the community of monastics, but when I give thanks for the sangha I always think of it primarily as the local community of practitioners.  I seem to rely on a sangha for art too.

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