Naropa University Oakland

Master of Liberal Arts Program in Creation Spirituality


CSP 744_                                                         Number of Credit Units:__1_­­­_______


Instructor _Mari Marks Fleming             Instructor’s contact telephone number:_510.548.3121___


                                                            Email address:  [email protected]

Class Schedule: spring 2004, Wednesdays Feb 11-April 28, 1:30-4pm


Course Description:

This course is designed to free up the creative potential within every student.  It introduces the philosophy and process of creative meditation to develop technical skills essential to the art of painting, and to impart a method of meditation and ritual which are integral to self-expression.


Through a weekly practice of painting, participants will develop a personal relationship to mater-

ials and image as a creative meditation. The  Buddhist concept, Esho Funi,  oneness of self and environment, provides a philosophy for a practice of responsive painting.


Course Objectives:

Experiencing the process of painting as a mirror of the self, discovering awareness of a personal

“sense of rightness.”

Personal exploration of materials, color, harmony, balance and touch. Focus on seeing and sensing

while developing facility with materials.

Using a personal exploration of the four paths in developing a unified theme and body of work.

Engaging in dialogue with the image (self), with images of participants (others), and with images

of the world (environment).

Creating an final exhibition of paintings created each week throughout the course for fellow



Course Requirements:  Graded pass/fail based on the following criteria:

            Attendance (One absence for serious reason allowed)     20%

            Completion of all projects                                               40%

            Participation in dialogues and class discussions                20%

            Final presentation of work                                              20%


List recommended readings: Handouts, reference list



Wed. Feb 11: Experiencing materials. Through a “learning station” approach, a wide variety of drawing and painting materials will be experienced. Discussion of experience and using the material “right for you, today” to explore a persistent visual or personal theme. Note: bring an image or theme you would like to explore. 1st painting.


Wed. Feb 18: Image as idea. Depicting the event (time and place) of the image, the image as symbol, as fantasy, as emotional expression, as spiritual expression. 2nd painting.


Wed. Feb 25. Image as experience in time and place. Change in perspective, focus, relation to the environment, relation to culture, relation to time, repeating the image. 3rd painting.


Wed. Mar. 3:  Image as personal history. Smell, sound, texture of image. Image with others or alone. Changing the emotional climate or weather. Intensifying and unifying the emotional content. 4th painting.


Wed. Mar. 10. The desires of the painting, empathic connection. Dialogue with the painting. Truth telling. 5th painting.


Wed. Mar. 31: Painting as integration. Painting the shadow or opposite. Interacting with the shadow. Experiencing the stuck place. Finding a new solution. The 6th painting.


Wed. April 7. Painting and communication. Interactive paintings, joint paintings. Opening to the visual dialogue. The 7th painting.


Wed. April 14. Painting in collaboration with a group. Dialogue with the world, with the environment. The 8th painting.


Wed. April 21. Painting as a journey. Viewing the body of work, presentation as narrative, theme or exposition. Final painting as the next step or synthesis.


Wed April 28: Class exhibition, presentation of paintings. Responses to class member’s work.