Mindful [Art] Projects
How many times did you pass by artwork and not even notice it? Street art, collection of thematic awareness-raising prints at the entrance to the train station, paintings on display in a coffee shop, photographs on the walls of a restaurant…
You can only appreciate a piece of art if you pause and practice being in the moment.
Ever tried meditation, yoga, walk in the woods, live concert? These experiences feel best when we dedicate them our full attention. What about having a mindful conversation or spending mindful quality time with our children or friends?
If you haven't done any of these in a while I dare you to sign yourself up for a challenge. Are you ready to follow these 3 steps?
- Mindful eating
- Mindful walking meditation
- Mindful art contemplation
Step 1: Mindful eating.
Make your next meal special. Let it be coffee, cereal or fruit, or any other treat.
Select your space. Only eat at one time, do nothing else. Try to do it mindfully by appreciating its look, weight, colour, smell, texture, temperature, and taste. Listen to your first bite (or sip). Chew slowly. Take your time.
The whole world stops for a moment. No matter what's going on in your life right now you own the way you live. You can make any ordinary moment special.
We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Step 2: Practice mindful walking meditation for 10 minutes
Maybe you tried the sitting meditation before and you just felt constantly distracted, or perhaps, on the contrary, you got to relax so much that you were falling asleep unable to keep your focus sharp.
Maybe you have never actually tried any form of meditation.
Why not allow yourself to do something new today?
“Walking meditation is a very powerful practice in well-being meditation. It is unique to Buddhist Mindfulness and needs to be done technically. Select a straight and flat path of 6-8 meters long. Walk back and forth between two points. Walk extremely slow, noticing each part of the step: LIFTING [the foot], MOVING, PLACING, PRESSING, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, lifting, moving, placing, pressing […]. At the end of the walking path notice STOPPING, stopping. Then STANDING, standing. Continue to meditate on walking as you notice the lifting, moving, placing and pressing."
One of the numerous benefits of Walking Meditation is the immediate elevation of energy and mindfulness.
Step 3: Contemplate a piece of art
For the final challenge, you don't need anything but your undivided attention and permission to enjoy the moment. Pick your own choice and pause to appreciate an artwork: medium, support, materials, technique, texture, color, light, hues, size, subject, composition, feelings it evokes, imagination it awakes, perhaps a story hidden behind it. Unbelievable how much a piece of art can give you back when you just look at it.
Hungry for ideas? Check recent art news and get inspired by diverse artists from all around the world in the digital space of Art Gallery Portocolada.
After Anaïs Nin
**From Bedford Mindfulness Buddhist Meditation Beginners Introduction 10 Weeks Course