Knit, purl, knit, purl. Knit, knit, knit, purl…
In the hush of early morning, there is a rhythm and a pattern that emerges for me both figuratively and literally. As my needlework grows, so does the grounded, creative energy within.
I wonder – is there such a thing as a knitting meditation?
I’ve recently discovered that this consistent morning ritual is serving me: setting me up for my day, clarifying long-lost threads of thought and bringing a sense of centered peace to my work. Is there any kind of scientific backing to this experience?
It turns out there is more than I ever imagined! An enormous body of work exists to support the benefits of this traditional past-time. In my research, I discovered a basic article written by Angie at Love Knitting, that touches on how knitting not only provides a calming effect that stimulates brain function but how it also improves management of eating disorders, chronic pain, memory and dementia, depression, anxiety and more.
I’m not dreaming it up; there is something very real and very tangible going on here on the tips of my double-pins. The textures, the colours, the weight of the work in my lap all play into the tactile experience. The ongoing daily commitment to my knitting is reaching beyond anything I anticipated. When I settle into this mindful activity there is a contentment that settles over me; I can let my thoughts come and go without judgment. My body is at rest – the cadenced action of my hands is soothing as the yarn slides on and off the needles. My breathing settles into a rhythm that few other activities promote – it’s deep and restful. My awareness expands and I am able to tap into something greater than my own skill.
Free Meditation offers this basic insight:
When we take a look at the various explanations of meditation, we often see mediation defined as taking a moment to sit quietly or to ponder. True meditation is much more than this. It is a state of profound, deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely alert. This is just the beginning of an inner transformation that takes us to a higher level of awareness. This enables us to fulfil our human potential.
Yes, for me there is a knitting meditation.
As I sit in the dawning light, the lazy afternoon sun, the increasing twilight – whatever time of day it is – I find I am right where I need to be. I am in my own space and I feel connected to the many other men and women in my life who have mended fishing nets, knotted ropes, spun fibres, warped a loom and knit for need. I am part of an ongoing legacy of craftsmen and artisans – finding peace and joy in my solitary time. None of this is in my mind as I pick up the needles, in fact – it is as if it falls away in the experience as I begin the sequence: knit, purl, knit, purl. Knit, knit, knit, purl…
Where in your life is there an activity that takes you out of your current state of mind and allows you to access another kind of awareness? How do you meditate?