At My Art Table

Buddha Board-Art and Life and Letting Go

July 21, 2016


 I Love to Share Resources

 This is a fun one.

Have you guys ever heard of a Buddha Board?


Buddha Board says that it is about “Mastering the Art of Letting Go” and is “inspired by the Zen idea of living in the moment”.  Basically, it is a board that sits on top of a vessel that you fill with water and a simple brush.

Buddha Board 4

You can then “paint” on the board with just the water. The way that it works reminds me of when rocks get wet and change colors, going from light to dark.  You know how that happens?

Buddha Board 6

Here is the catch and how it lends itself to “letting go” and “living in the moment”.  The painting disappears! Gone. Bye.

Buddha Board 7

See how it has begun to fade away? After about a minute or so the painting is completely gone.

Buddha Board 9

Buddha Board 11

After that you can start again. And again. And again.  Always in the moment, see?  Here is the struggle.  You make something you love, that you want to preserve, and you can’t.

You Must Let it Go  

I think this is a great tool both in art and in life.

So much of life is focused on what we produce, how quickly and efficiently we produce it,  and how well we do it.  Always checking the box. But not here.  This helps us to practice letting go, let what will be, be and to appreciate what we have while we have it.

I love it for art making and practice.  This is a very loose noncommittal way of practicing art.  If you don’t like it, wait a minute and you can begin again, over and over.  Also, there is virtually no mess involved as it only uses water.  Love that!  And, it really is so relaxing to use.  Lately, I have it sitting by my computer and I paint on it while I am listening to other things at the same time. I just “Zen out” and paint while I listen.

I Have a Funny Story About This Buddha Board

I was visiting one of my best friends, Bonnie, who lives in Australia. While visiting, I brought her one in my suitcase thinking she would love it. I was so excited and eager to give it to her. I brought it all the way to Australia with me! She was gonna love it!  I just knew it! She did not know of this plan, of course, as it was a surprise. Anyway, one of the days she was sitting with me near my suitcase and accidentally saw it, asking what the heck was a Buddha Board? I explained it to her, what it was, the premise of living in the moment, to which she exclaimed, “See now, I would hate one of those”.  Remember, she had no idea this was a gift for her at that time.

Oh boy.  Apparently, I was way wrong on the whole, “this is so cool”, factor.  Here is what you need to know. Bonnie is a low-key gentle type person. But this Buddha Board?  She was not having it!  Not. Having. It. She was really turned off by the impermanence of it all.  Make something you love only to lose it?  No thank you! Work on something only to see it fade away?  Nope, not interested.

Well…okay then. I giggled and sheepishly told her it was supposed to be a gift for her!  But now? Well, I guess not.  I was wrong.  Way wrong.  We laughed about it and then I packed that thing away and toted it all the way back to America with me! A few months down the track, after she thought about it for a bit, she said to me, wistfully, one day, “I sure do wish I had one of those Buddha Boards. Those things really do seem cool”.  Yep, I bet you do.  Too bad you, “would hate to have one of those”, and I had to bring it all the way home to America where it could live with me.  It is three years later and we still laugh about that Buddha Board and, “see now, I would hate that”.  I guess not.

Buddha Board 3

I have no affiliation to this product.  I just like it!

Copyright 2016 Shay Michelle All Rights Reserved

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  • Susan Weech July 21, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Oh MY!!!! This was EXACTLY what I needed to see today. You have NO idea!!!!! I am ordering this immediately and will have it in my office to remind me to STOP making the “bad moments” at work a permanent focus of my day. I need to improve my “a bad moment does not make a bad day” skills and this is just the tool! I will draw the moment and when it fades so will my anger, frustration, and hostility towards the hiccup. I needed this read so much today Shay! You have no idea how you have touched (and changed!) my direction JUST IN TIME!!!! HUGE HUGS OF GRATITUDE!

    • shay michelle July 21, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Susan! I am so glad this was helpful in some way! Yay! That’s awesome that you thought of a way to use the Buddha Board to have a little peace in your day. Way cool. You will have to tell me how it goes! FYI-they have a small travel version as well if you need one that is more compact if space is an issue. Have fun!

  • afitnesswitness July 25, 2016 at 6:41 am

    I just started following you and this is just lovely! I have seen these and have a really hard time with letting things go I love so the appeal isn’t there. As a new-ish mom, I now know the importance of letting things I love go. I am about to go on my first work trip away from my baby </3 eeee and it's hard! I have to trust in the Lord that it's all going to be okay and then beautiful things will come from my trip. Thanks for this post!

    • shay michelle July 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Welcome! I am glad you’re here! Yes, us moms really do have to learn to let go don’t we? Being a mom is such a tough job and stretches us in all kinds of ways. Oh, that first trip away from your baby is a tough one for sure! Good luck in that and I hope all will go well and that the trip is what you hope it will be. I know that feels hard and uncertain. Enjoy your Buddha board if you decide to get one!

  • Bonnie August 1, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Oh boy, this still cracks me up!! I’ll bet we will be laughing about this for years and years to come!!

    • shay michelle August 2, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      We will laugh about this forever!

  • Tina August 17, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I love this post! Reminds me of when I discovered a mini Buddha Board at the Boulder bookstore, brought it home, dabbled with it, admired its purpose, and then quickly relegated it to my collection of office toys! I actually do love it, really! I just need to learn how to make time to use it and, most importantly, how to “get good” with letting go. Thanks, Shay, for this post. If we don’t learn the art of letting go, we carry too much worry and expectation with us as we go through life — and that can zap the joy right out of the journey. Thank you for this wonderfully real reminder!

    • shay michelle August 18, 2016 at 8:09 am

      I am always working on what I can let go of! Sometimes it is not easy! Pull out your Buddha Board and give it a go again!