If you have trouble quieting your mind with a traditional meditation practice, you may find that art meditation is the right fit for you. Creating art helps calm that monkey mind which can get out of control and often leads to rumination and worry.
It also fosters mindfulness and acceptance of emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations in the body. As a result, you can have an increased sense of self-awareness and be more able to observe and evaluate your life.
Meditative painting can be done with any material you choose but typically requires that you be very present in the process and concentrating on the task at hand. For example, when drawing, pay attention to how the pen glides across the paper, how the brush moves as it reaches out to paint, or how the ink dries on your paper.
Meditation and art are a powerful combination that can be used to help with a wide range of issues. In particular, it can be helpful for those who are facing a serious illness, end-of-life issues, or who just need to relax and get away from everyday stress.
How to meditate with art
To begin, look at a piece of artwork you love and practice mindful observation and appreciation. Then, stand back and watch your reactions to it as they manifest themselves in your mind and body.
For example, you might notice a subtle like or dislike to the painting or you might have an emotional reaction that you aren’t aware of at the time but which is still valid. Sometimes this is because you are recalling a certain situation or event that happened in the past, and sometimes it’s because your body feels physical pain from an ongoing issue.