Have you been wanting to learn meditation but noticed that you can't sit still, your shoulders hurts, your back is tired and the more you try to silence your mind the noisier it becomes? If you're experiencing these, then YES! meditation through arts is for you 😊
What is Meditation Through Arts?
It is a way to develop your meditation practice through the various branches of creative activity such as painting, music, literature, and dance.
This meditation technique allows you to freely express your emotions, thoughts, feelings and ideas in a relaxed and non-judgmental way. Although your body is in motion, you are able to access a meditative state of mind by concentrating on the creative process. A meditative state is similar to a deep relaxation state and that is why we often feel relaxed after a dance or painting session.
Back to Basics
Before we explore the technique of using arts as tool, let's get back to some basics first.
What is Meditation?
Meditation can be defined as expansion of consciousness through mindfulness, awareness and compassion. It is a state where one is physically relaxed but mentally alert. In yogic meditation technique, meditation can be described as a state where one has achieved unity with the object or subject of meditation, the initial stage of enlightenment.
If you're thinking that meditation is about emptying the mind, NO, it is not! 😊
What about Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be described as mental strength. It is our ability to engage fully on the object or subject of concentration. A practitioner can be chanting a mantra or gazing at the 3rd eye but the mind can be wandering off at the same time. When one is being mindful, she is at the same time aware of her awareness hence, able to bring her attention back to the point of focus.
Mindfulness can be easily applied to many different aspects in our lives, anytime anywhere, from eating to running, painting and talking, mindfulness is an art of living. It is a fundamental of meditation.
What is a Subject/ Object of Concentration?
It can either be your breath, an action, movements, a chakra, a Deity, a divine symbol...something that helps you to stay focused and grounded.
Let’s use Painting as an Exercise!
Painting is a friendly way to develop mindfulness by observing the way you breathe, your emotions and thoughts, to the way you paint. You will notice that when your mind wanders, painting stops. But if you stay focused and be at the present moment, the flow continues as if there's an everlasting dialogue with the canvas.
Observe your breathing every moment. Notice the patterns of your breathing and your brush strokes in relation to your emotions and feelings. If you are able to accept the pleasant and unpleasant with equanimity, with the same amount of care and compassion, you will be able to tap into the deeper, quieter and truest part of yourself. Observe what appears on your canvas when your strokes are calmed and relaxed. 😊 You might even realise that you have been sitting down most of the time here and your shoulders are not in pain. 😊 Continue to paint for as long as you wish.
(Do remember that the art that you're creating is purely for yourself and as a tool for practicing meditation. Focus on the creative process instead of analysing your final creation).
A Lifelong Companion
The continuous process of observing and focusing might sound overwhelming but once you've experienced it, it will become your lifelong companion to enjoying the art of meditation. You won't be surprised that one day, you are able to sit still and meditate away! 😊
"Art, is a sacred channel for self exploration, expression and empowerment. May you be well and happy". 😊