Lesson Video and Resources Below…

“We are a collage of our interests, our influences, our inspirations, all the fragmentary impressions we’ve collected by being alive and awake to the world. Who we are is simply a finely-curated catalogue of those.” 

Maria Popova, author and founder of popular blog, theMarginalian

Way to Being: Collage

The second evening of Way to Being reviewed the three foundational practices for this series, researched tools that are practical and transferable to other settings and groups: creative expression, reflective writing, listening and speaking in-depth.

“What lives at the heart of me and calls me to life?” guided the opening meditation of a quiet, retreat-like evening. An orientation to the Diagram of the Person and the 5 pivotal centers helped to ground the method of following a sensation or felt-sense. Students were reminded about the poverty of materials, detaching from ideas, performative motivations or interior critiques. All were encouraged in choosing parts of or whole images, to cooperate through listening and responding, following a “gut” wisdom in seeing, selecting, cutting, ripping, and gluing their colors, lines, and forms.

Individual time for collage was followed by reflective writing. Small groups allowed an opportunity for speaking and listening in-depth. We closed the evening in the large group, sharing questions, comments, challenges, and graces from the practices.

Between now and next time:

  1. Dedicate a place and time for your creative expression. Keep your collage or painting materials easily accessible.
  2. Take time for reflective writing. Close your contemplative practice by asking, “What’s alive in me now?”
  3. Make notes regarding any personal observations, questions, or challenges.
  4. Please send any suggestions or needs for adjustments to Sylvia or Carla so that we can better teach and facilitate your experience for next month.

Additional Resources:

Persons and Their Growth – The anthropological and psychological foundations of PRH education (pdf.) Purchase here.

When Life Breaks Through – The Dynamics of PRH Helping Relationships (pdf.) Purchase here.

The Zen of Seeing, Fredrick Frank

The Artists Way, Julian Cameron

Catch-up or Re-visit:


With this contemplative practice, we begin slowly, spending time with the presented theme before making any choices about creative expression with collage. The quiet space allows for the mind to notice a felt sense, a response to the theme from the interior life that is “below the neck,” guided by a body sensation. The choices of image, placement, and form follow. Stepping back from the collage work can deepen the meaning and invite further exploration, “What does this expression reveal to me?”


Simple, easy, and inexpensive, meant to encourage freedom and use, located in or around home or found at a local drug store or craft shop. Please do not feel pressured to go to any significant effort or expense to prepare for this program.

  • Old magazines, calendars, greeting cards, recycle papers, mailings, or brochures with colorful images or design;
  • ·Scissors
  • ·Rubber cement, glue stick, paste, Modpodge, or Elmers glue;
  • ·If using Modgepodge  or Elmer’s glue: a small brush, yogurt container with water for washing brushes, plastic lid for a glue palette,  rags or paper towels for any spills;
  • ·Paper, tablet, sketch pad, or unlined journal of any size;  
  • ·A board or flat surface for working, protected as needed by newspaper, brown bags, or sheet.
  • A pen and lined paper for reflective writing.

Optional and additional materials for collage:

  • Materials from evening #1, painting with color

Session Two Video:

Catch-up with Way to Being Session One

Catch-up with Way to Being Session Three

Next Session: Wednesday, March 9 at 6pm PST, via Zoom. Register here. (If you registered for session one, you don’t need to re-register.)

Our Guide:
Carla Orlando, M.Ed, is an educator and spiritual director who teaches discernment, reflective writing, and contemplative prayer at Seattle Pacific University and at the Grunewald Guild for art and spirituality. Carla’s ministry includes Spiritual Direction Services at the Ignatian Spirituality Center, the Spiritual Exercises of Everyday Life retreat, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative. Carla’s somatic method, training, and supervision with PRH (Personnalite et Relations Humaines) International School of Adult Development is integral to her personal approach and guides her work with university students, faculty, organizational professionals, and people of faith.

Questions? Email Sylvia Sepulveda.

Contemplative Creativity meets the the second Wednesday of each month at 6pm PT, via Zoom. 

Learn more at our Contemplative Creativity Page.

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Way to Being II – Resources