Mindful Artistry

Helping Creatives Find Their Center

Read this first

Another Simple Meditation

Last time, we left off with a simple breathing exercise: counting 1-2-3-4 on the in breath and out breath. Now, we will begin the same way, but we will add some features of the meditation start to do the work.

Sit comfortably, as before.
Now, start to breathe. Instead of counting the breaths, this time, just feel out that deep breath in and out.

Focus on the rise and fall of the torso. The gentle swaying of the body.

Slow down the breath.

And, begin to think “in” and “out” while you are breathing.

This is called noting. It is a wise thinking tool that helps us focus.

As you notice your mind wandering, ask it gently to come back to the breath by noting the word “thinking”.

Keep going.

This is the full Shamatha or Focus meditation. The goals are concentration and the noticing and the returning to the object (breath, or an alternate object we discussed the other day).


Continue reading →

What is Mindfulness?

In the early 2010s, I attended my first weekend mindfulness retreat. Meet up with a bunch of ex-hippies and sit around listening to bells, breathing, and walking excruciatingly slowly? Sounds like a hip way to spend the end of a long school week. Surprisingly, I was enamored with the idea; I had wanted to attend a retreat like this for a long time.

When I showed up, I saw the sign that read “Shambhala Level One: The Art of Being Human”. I was in the right place. I was nervous because that’s the kind of person I am. New things scare me. That’s why it took me till I was 21 years old to go to one of these retreats. When I went inside, the weekend took off in a relaxing manner. Contrary to most weekend events–parties, motivation seminars, workshops, churches, etc.–we started with some hot tea and light chatter. We settled in on our cushions, or in my case on a chair with back support, and...

Continue reading →

A Simple Meditation

It’s best to start simple.

Breathe. It doesn’t matter what position you’re in. Sit still. Lie down. Be cross-legged. Wherever you are now is good. If you can, make sure your spine is tall. It’s important that you are comfortable and that your stomach is uninhibited (so you can breathe!).

Now, once you’re in position, we’re going to count together.

As you’re breathing in, count 1-2-3-4.
Wait for a second at the top.
As you’re breathing out, count 1-2-3-4.
Rinse and repeat.
Try this 3 times.

Now, if this gives you anxiety, as it may well do if you have a history of trauma, pick something else to count with. Maybe you can shift your body back and forth over 4 counts. Maybe you can count on your fingers. Maybe you can make small circles with your pointer finger. Choose a repetitive motion that you can count through.

The goal here is to establish a rhythmic concentration. We...

Continue reading →