Friday, April 27, 2012

Painting as Mindfulness Practice

***The last post of this blog will be May 11, 2012. After that, I will only be posting to my new blog, Journey Dancing – Ideas, practices and tools for building a strong, connected, ingenious life Please follow me there!***
Practicing mindfulness of the moment brings me to be more conscious of what happens when I’m not in the moment. It makes me more aware of my monster-mind.
The other day, I was painting (yay!). In the moment, I am watching blobs of color interact with paper and water as I apply them to the surface. Observing mind.
Questions arise: “how has that blob of paint changed things in the composition as a whole? What do I want to do next?”
This is still observing mind, but the questions open a door for my judging mind: “That blob was a mistake. I no longer like that painting.”
Judging mind, in me, invites its bodyguard: catastrophizing mind: “I can try and fix it but if I do, I will probably make it worse. Maybe I should just stop now. In fact, why do I bother to paint? I’m not really an artist. I paint like a two-year-old. This is just junk.” [Catastrophizing mind can be quite long-winded. ]
Luckily, I know that I don’t have to believe everything I think. My monster-mind does not speak the truth.
I make the next mark.
In this way, painting is mindfulness practice as surely as sitting meditation.

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