Pottery as a spiritual practice


I grew up with no religious practice and a healthy does of skepticism about religion.  Too much harm in the name of god for me.

But the absence of religion didn’t mean that I was void of spirituality.  Being an outdoorsy type, hiking and biking, I I lived a spiritual life with the mountains and forest as my sanctuary.  The only dogma I followed – the Golden Rule.  In many ways I still feel that way, I just don’t do as much hiking as I used to.   This practice served me well for many years.

Eight years ago I learned of a religion that mirrored my spiritual beliefs – Unitarian Universalism.  I began going to church every Sunday – a shock to me and my friends.  But I was drawn to the community of the place, and the assembling of like minded people all pursuing their own spiritual journeys.  It was a great place to deepen my own journey.  I began to meditate. I studied paganism, buddhism, hinduism, taoism, christianity, judaism, and islam and further defined my own spiritual beliefs.

Just after finding the UU church, I began taking pottery classes.  For many years, the two were separate endeavors.  But as clay took a firmer hold in my life, the two presented a scheduling conflict, and church was losing out.  Last year, when I dove deep into clay, I stopped going to church with any regularity.  But as before, I found I didn’t need a church building to build a spiritual practice.

I spend 3-4 days in the studio each week and I find myself as spiritually involved as ever. It seems my original nature-based spiritual beliefs had just taken a more micro turn to focus  on one of earth’s most plentiful resources – clay.  I joke to my ministers and church friends that I am still going to church, its just that my sanctuary is the studio.  But it isn’t a joke.  I am learning fundamental spiritual lessons in the studio that no amount of worship, study or meditation ever taught me.

What lessons you ask?  Oh, come on, I can’t give it all away in one post.  And they are too numerous to do justice here.   I will be exploring and sharing these spiritual lessons of pottery as an occassional installment to this blog.  Check back regularly or subscribe so you don’t miss a word.

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About Claytastic

Health coach. Writer. Teacher. Artist. Living an amazing life with MS. Interested in bringing peace and beauty into people's lives.
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4 Responses to Pottery as a spiritual practice

  1. Linda Ellett says:

    Lovely post – I’m right there with you, although I was brought up Catholic until I exited that scene when I was 14. But the observation of the beauty of nature and the translation of it into art (ceramic for me) is as much – and usually more – a spiritual practice as any organized religion could ever offer!
    Thanks for your thoughtful post!

  2. Pingback: Pottery as a spiritual practice « Claytastic, fine art pottery by … | Beauty of Ceramics

  3. Kathi/EE says:

    Looking forward to hearing more!

  4. I think a lot of potters will share the same feeling … All I have to do is enter the studio and just the smell fills me with a sense of calm and that all’s well with the world. Looking forward to future instalments!

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