Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Mindfulness Studies

First Advisor

Melissa Jean

Second Advisor

Andrew Olendzki


A significant part of the earth's history, clay represents the interconnectedness of all life. While clay has long been used in the field of art therapy, the use of the material in mindfulness has been unfolding. This creative thesis explores the significance of clay to humankind. It reviews Buddhist literature and text to identify the elements and parallels of clay work that make it a compelling contemplative material. Neuroscientific research that connects the mind and body interaction further make the case for clay work as an effective mindfulness-based practice. The creative component of this thesis is a clay retreat that offered a variety of contemplative practices centered around clay work. Practices included pinching clay and breathwork, R.A.I.N method inspired by Tara Brach, mindful walking and a Metta meditation. Each practice invited the clay as a companion or an anchor. The knowledge and skills may serve as a guide to other practitioners who seek to incorporate clay to their practice of mindfulness.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.