The visual sense has a powerful hold on our consciousness. At the Center for Sacred Art we believe in the power of art as a tool for spirituality and the development of human consciousness. In our programs we explore sacred art traditions throughout the world developed to guide spiritual practitioners toward connection with the divine.
In 1999 the Center for Sacred Art developed the Visio Divina meditation technique, modeled on ancient monastic practice but informed by our cross-cultural studies. Instruction in Visio Divina technique can be included as part of any number of our programs.
Sacred Images and Spiritual Practice
An illustrated talk about how sacred art can enhance spiritual practice and meditation. The presentation includes a review of traditional devotional and meditational practices involving visual art. Case studies are drawn from Roman Catholicism (devotional paintings and altarpieces), Russian Orthodoxy (icons), Hinduism (the practice of darshan), and Tibetan Buddhism (thangkas and mandalas).
Visio Divina: Sacred Seeing
An introduction to Visio Divina ("Sacred Seeing), is an approach to visual meditation developed and promoted by the Center for Sacred Art. This four-step holistic process progressively focuses body, mind, heart, and spirit on the divine, and is based upon an ancient Christian contemplative process. Images for the workshop are drawn from a variety of world faith traditions. The session sensitivity training in seeing, and an opportunities for participants to experience Visio Divina themselves.
Meditating with Images of the Virgin Mary
An exploration of European painting (drawn from both the Orthodox East and the Catholic West) that represent Mary as the embodiment of love, charity, and kindness. Compositional types (such as the Madonna of Mercy) are discussed, along with the nature of compassion. The event concludes with a Visio Divina workshop in which participants have the opportunity to meditate with images of the Virgin Mary.
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