These little watercolors in my sketchbook are a practice of intimacy.

They are a way to ask what is here to encounter directly in this present moment. A way to look deeply at something I assume I already know well.

I remember an art teacher telling me to draw what I see, not what I think I see. I try to honor that.

I spend most of my day in a cozy sunlit 8×8 ft loft, beginning with zazen (sitting zen meditation) and yoga practice followed by several hours of meeting online with therapy clients. At the end of the day is another period of meditation.

In between I play a little music and paint what I see that is closest to me. It helps me feel connected to the ‘what is’ of right now rather than getting swept away in memories of how life was a couple of months ago, and thoughts about what will come. It keeps the scale of things in my mind appropriate to the home-anchored circumstances of life during pandemic.

Lisa Gakyo Schaewe is an artist and a counselor and art psychotherapist in private practice. After teaching at Naropa University from 2002-2017, she currently teaches The Role of Art in Healing in the Integrative Health program at Red Rocks Community College. She facilitates Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes in Boulder County and Mind-Body Resiliency and Reconnection workshops in the Service to the Armed Forces program and provides Disaster Mental Health for the American Red Cross. She began Zen practice in 1990 with John Daido Loori, Roshi at Zen Mountain Monastery and studies now with Paul Gyodo Agostinelli, Sensei of Eon Zen Center. You can find more of her work here.