Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Book Recommendation - The Knitting Sutra: Craft as Spiritual Practice
My creative, crafty friend, Maureen, gave me a copy of The Knitting Sutra by Susan Gordon Lydon, with a box of supplies she had cleaned out of her space. I am not a knitter but she mentioned it is a book many creative people could related to. It piqued my interest and thanks to its small size I was able to read it over about one week of bedtime readings. Here is one quote I like because I sometimes suffer from "drunken monkey" and creating art calms her down ;)
"The purpose of meditation is to quiet the mind so that it can sink down into contemplation of its true nature. You cannot stop your mind by an act of will any more than you can stop the beating of your own heart. Some cultures describe mind as a drunken monkey, reeling from place to place with no rhyme or reason. Like meditation/ knitting calms the monkey down....I believe that in the quiet/ repetitive, hypnotic rhythms of creating craft, the inner being may emerge in all its quiet beauty. The very rhythm, of the knitting needles can become as incantatory as a drumbeat or a Gregorian chant."
I really enjoyed this book. When I looked it up on Amazon, to link it in this post, I noticed that other readers either loved it or hated it. It is difficult for me to describe the book in a nutshell so here is a review...
"This small, quite wonderful book shows all that knitting and meditation have in common--and it's more than some might suspect. In short essays, Lydon, a longtime knitter and dabbler in spiritual disciplines, winds her way through spiritual quests, physical problems, and, of course, yarn. Any knitter will readily identify with Lydon's take on the frustrations of knitting--the sweaters that don't fit, the half-finished projects that litter the house--but she also takes readers beyond the finished project and shows them how to appreciate the process. Seeing knitting as a road to contemplation may surprise some readers--perhaps even a few knitters--but by the end of Lydon's journey, most will agree that knitting "is the simplest and most ordinary of activities, yet somehow it mysteriously contains within itself the potential for expanding our conscious awareness." Ilene Cooper
If you do read or have read this book I would love to hear what you think of it...