March 2012 sitting-in-peace

March 16, 2012

How did we get to this? I suppose it’s all the same story, just several different chapters. When we started out as Skyspace supporters we just wanted to tell people about the wowness of it, and to get them to share it. Not everybody gets it, some walk in, turn round, find nothing much and go in a minute. But if you follow the instructions to ‘enter, sit and gaze at the sky’ it usually gets to you.

To help the sharing we ran three sundown events, at the time which marks the change from day to night, as advised by James Turrell himself. The effect of sundown or sunrise on the blue in the aperture is spectacular, quite independent of the weather outside. It is worth a special trip, but it also needs extra arrangements for the Sculpture Park to be used out of hours, so running small events is complicated.

Now in Yorkshire
¬†This new free event of ‘sit-in-peace’ makes it easy to use the Deer Shelter Skyspace for Turrell’s original purpose ‘to create an experience of wordless thought’. When we learnt about ‘sit in peace’ in London we thought where can we go to join in this in Yorkshire, then we thought we know a good place and suggested it, then we thought nobody is going to organise this but us. So we did. It fits just right with where we started out.

So our Yorkshire version has no Thich Nhat Hanh, except what some may have learnt from him and bring with them in their hearts. We expect no conformity to a method, we would hate people to be sitting there wondering ‘am I doing it right?’ If you have a regular practice of stillness, meditation or mindful knitting, bring it and do it for as long as suits you in the two hour time slot. Feel free to come and go as you wish. Or be a reflective tourist, sit, wait and see what happens. It’s all a bit of an experiment, in a special place. Just sitting in peace.

Everywhere
But the special experience in the special place is also everywhere Рlight is always there, somewhere.  Lucy Partington wrote

I can fill a whole body
a whole day of life
with worry about a few words
on one scrap of paper;
yet the same evening looking up,
can frame my fingers to
fit the sky into my cupped hands.

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