Meditation in Art
“When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” – Alan Watts
The Act of Creation
As playing the music, is the point when we play music, so is the actual act of creating art. When we are painting or drawing, or whatever medium you choose, your focus is on that your movements and the journey toward finishing your creation. It is there where meditation lies.
When you can begin to focus on what you are doing and not worry about reaching a certain point, then you are able to enjoy the immediate moment. Too many times when we are doing something, we want to put all our focus on when that task is going to be finished. This sense of urgency is what keeps us from finding a relaxed and peaceful state.
Focusing on the Immediate Moment
Consider what a regular day looks like for you. Are you rushing to and from work? Do you rush through lunch and dinner so you can get to the next thing? Do you only half-listen to someone because you’re thinking about what you’re going to do later? When was the last time you took time for yourself and enjoyed what was happening in the now?
These are the types of things that make our lives more stressful. Constantly worrying about the future is an anxiety-driven behavior. Always being anxious means you are not truly enjoying your life.
Think about the last time you bought something nice for yourself. Most likely, you were excited to buy that thing, but then something happened. Maybe it was immediate, or maybe some time had passed, but you forgot about it, or you didn’t enjoy it as much as you did in the beginning, because you began to think about the next thing you wanted to buy. You never truly enjoyed your purchase.
Moments in life are similar to this analogy. To find peace, we have to break this cycle of anxiety.
Eliminating Anxiety through Art
Most people have heard about the benefits of doing yoga postures. How movement and breath can help you calm your senses and quiet the mind. Creating art is quite similar, except we are not focusing on physical activity.
When creating art, you are seated with all your tools in front of you, thinking about what it is that you are going to paint or draw. This in itself can be a form of anxiety. Instead, try to clear your mind, taking your brush, pen, or pencil and just begin making lines. Experiment with colors and shapes.
Don’t worry about whether it looks good or not. Enjoy that fact that you are allowing yourself to be free to create anything that you want. You will find that as you go along, with your focus on your brushstrokes or pen strokes, that there is a sense of calm within you.
You’re no longer worried about the result. You’re just enjoying the process. It is precisely this moment that we want to capture and carry with us.