The Want Box and the God Box
It is said that The Dali Lama shed tears and held his head in his hands while teaching Americans to meditate. When he finally looked up he instructed them to chant, “There is no easy, quick, way! There is no easy, quick, way!” which rings true to me after over forty years of teaching art, meditation and stress reduction techniques.
In the yoga world, “Desire” can get some pretty bad press as undisciplined, which can lead some to a stoic positioning. In the art world we call desire “Inspiration” and it heralds the birth of Creativity. Any Mom can vouch for the tempering truth that artists are also taught about the muse of desire and creativity, “It is 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration.”
Yesterday I sat with friends in a café talking about holiday spending and how demanding the kids can be. One mom with twins told me about the computer presentation that her eight year old son had made for Santa, complete with pictures of desired items, price comparisons, priorities, model numbers, and all other relevant facts and demands. Impressive as this is, it pointed up the challenges many face to maintain their sense of center and connection with the peaceful spirit of the season without reacting like the other member of our party did, rejecting the holiday as capitalist Christmas to be ignored.
Being the Arts and Crafts Lady that I am, I came up with a project. With my interests in comparative religion and mythology, I suggested making and decorating two boxes where notes can be submitted at will. The children are to suspend nagging demands and instead submit written requests to the boxes. Santa knew what he was doing when he asked the kids to send letters to the North Pole. One box is the Want Box and the other is the God Box.
The Want Box is a place for whimsical, unbridled and expansive desires, often the province of Ego. The God Box is for co-creation, grace, and the alignment of desire. It is where the shadow and light are of equal importance, to paraphrase a line from Jane Eyre and any classical drawing teacher. Contrast is interesting. Like in the story of Shiva when he made the God Desire vanish because Desire shot him in the third eye with an inflamed arrow. Desire kept in line with the light of awakening becomes stronger even if unseen. It’s a place to ask for the destruction that is always a part of creation. We must have a shift and create space for something new, new eyes to see if you will, by removal of stagnation. This is a place to contemplate the creation of space in order to allow the abundance to rush into the spaces which nature abhors and tends to fill.
The materials are simple: Two boxes, scissors, tape, glue, images to collage on the outside or some wrapping paper, note paper, pens, and if you fancy, some ribbon.
If nothing else, these boxes and notes will be the first concrete actions toward the contemplation of and manifestation of your desires. Figuring out which box to put things in is not always as straight forward as one might think. Putting things out there relieves stress and obsession, teaches children about generosity and greed offering a creative outlet that can snowball in magnificent ways.
The Want Box and the God Box