Summer is a great time for extra rest, spending time in nature, and creative activities. At MORSL, we're aware that nature and art are very important to many students, including when it comes to spirituality. In a recent talk given to colleagues across Canada, MORSL's director Carlene discussed how based on recent research, Gen Z young adults report experiences in nature and artistic activities to be among their most highly prioritized and valued personal spiritual practices.
What activities might you do this summer to get in tune with your spirituality and replenish your inner strength? After a couple rough years, we all need some renewal. Here are a few ideas for nature-centered and artistic experiences. You are welcome to morsl [at] mcgill.ca (email MORSL) to share how you are engaging art and nature to strengthen your spirituality.
Get out into nature:
- Take a hike in the Morgan Arboretum, up Mount Royal or go father afield to a nature park and pay attention to what you take in with each of your senses, including sight, sound, smell, and touch.
- Visit sites that integrate nature and spirituality, such as the First Nations Garden at Montreal's Botanical Gardens, or the stations of the cross trail at Oka National Park.
- Learn about qualities of different birds' songs such as the unworldly song of the Hermit Thrush. Or learn how listening to birds can help center you spiritually, such as on Lesley the Bird Nerd's channel.
Engage in music, writing and art:
- Explore music that matches your emotions or is conducive to peace and mediation, such as this meditation music video by Pavaka Ensemble.
- Use photography to explore sacred meanings and questions in your life. Many students have done this and shared their work in issues of Radix magazine.
- Check out this conversation with artist and Sikh faith volunteer, Juss Kaur, about art as a form of meditation and spiritual dialogue.
- Express yourself through art or writing. MORSL's lounge is open this summer, and offers colored pencils and mandala coloring pages for your use. Or come to just use the space to do spiritual writing in a tranquil setting.
- Reading is another great way to find flow and engage creative thought. MORSL's has a wide variety of spiritually-focused books in our lounge.
- Try a form of crafting that offers flow, rhythm and fun, such as crocheting amigurumi animals.
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