“Art as a Meditation” Workshop

For many years I have realized that doing artwork gives me a sense of freedom and timelessness.  When I paint, my focus is complete, I don’t notice the passing of time or feel any of my physical ailments.

I’ve never tried to put this experience into words before but have just enjoyed the process and the way it makes me feel.

Recently to celebrate Earth Day 2018 I was asked to repeat a workshop I gave last year at my local yoga center where I take classes several times a week.  I’m very excited to be giving the program again.

As I developed my focus for this year’s workshop, I realized that at least to me meditation and art are almost the same thing:  both calm my mind and my body in a healthy and positive way.

I have purchased a book written by Ilchi Lee the founder of my yoga studio system.  The title of the book is “Calligraphic Meditation for Everyday Happiness”.  In his Preface, he begins,

“Early one quiet morning, I lift my brush.  Flowing and Dancing, the brush moves on its own, creating shapes and meanings.  Whenever I put my mind into my brush like this, I feel the joy of creation, of escaping from some confining mold.

“My life reveals itself freely moment by moment.”

It was a treat to find a book that captured in words and drawings the feelings I have struggled to explain to students in an understandable way.  Today I believe the way to help a student understand his concept, is to get the student doing art, where they will learn the art of meditation by experiencing it themselves.

I have tried and practiced many forms of art over the past twenty plus years.  Of all these forms Acrylic pouring seems the perfect candidate to introduce painting as meditation.  The mixing, stirring, sorting, layering and pouring provides repetitive movements that naturally lends itself to meditation.  We let go, relax our body, focus on the seemingly simple steps we follow, and time passes without our noticing that both our body and brain relax.

Acrylic pouring leads us to

  • repetitive motion
  • A feeling that we cannot control the paint, so we must let go
  • A series of steps that causes our brain and body to focus
  • The magic of the paint acting on its own to create colors and textures
  • Simple movements, flipping, pouring, mixing
  • We must let go or it doesn’t work.
  • Overall, I believe pouring leads to enhanced body and brain health through a meditative process.

2 thoughts on ““Art as a Meditation” Workshop”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *