15 mai 2016, 4h31

I am sorry that I just have not got round so far to write about my involvement with the Point Couer, which must go back some sixteen years, I would guess.I was invited to visit the « Hearts Garden » soon after it was bought by the Point Couer, and at that time there were no buildings there. The idea was to construct perhaps a small prayer room on the site. I went with my daughter, Lavanya, who was then living in Chennai.I have always been interested in the relation of art to compassion. As an artist, I was attracted to the life of Dom Bede Griffiths who was one of the co-founders of the Kurisumala Ashram in Kerala. I had met him when I was an art student in 1963, and he invited me to visit his Ashram, as he felt that the work of an artist in the Christian tradition is related to the contemplative life of the monk. My interest in the Ashram movement in the context of the Church in India brought me to Bangalore to work in relation to the NBCLC which was started in 1967 to implement the approach of the Second Vatican Council to local churches embedded in different cultures. This was called « inculturation »

My interest in the way that the Point Couer approached local cultures, was linked to what I felt was a tradition going back to the importance of the heart in spirituality. In India we also find this focusing on the feelings of the heart, which is called « Hirdaya » in Sanskrit, a term close to « Hertz » or « Heart ».We have been happy to welcome members of the community at the « Heart’s Home » to visit our own home situated in a village on the outskirts of Bangalore. Here in 1984-85 I had the idea of trying to develop what I called an « Art Ashram ». Art should be related to a way of looking and feeling about our environment, both in terms of the livelihood of people, and also to nature around us. Art should be founded on a feeling for the land.These ideas, I felt, were in harmony with the approach of the community at the Heart’s Home, and the ideology underlying to Point Couer. We have been very much enriched by our contacts, and friendship with members of the Point Couer, and hope that this can continue in the future. I hope that these points will serve your purpose to get from people you have been interacting with some kind of testimony about what has interested your friends in your approach to community and culture.We look  forward to your coming and visiting us again in the not too distant future. We have been very busy with trying to remodel the buildings that Jane has called the « Sita Vanam » where the sita school has been functioning over the last 42 years. Now that this school has been closed, we are thinking of new ways in which this space can be used, possibly as a learning centre  and a place where people can come for workshops thinking about the place of art in education. We will be happy if you can also be involved !!!

Much love from J. and myself,J.