Meditation has been an important part of my life since I was lucky enough to attend a mediation retreat my last year of high school. There was a profound shift or awakening that occurred within me by the end of those ten days of sitting and focusing on my breath. I felt connected to the people around me and the environment around me in an intense way.
The freedom and peace that can be attained through meditation is similar to the flow state, which can be acquired doing different activities, especially those that you naturally enjoy.
When I am painting or drawing for awhile I end up getting into that flow state, where I am not thinking about anything and time flies by while I am completely and deeply engaged in my work.
So, even if making art isn't your forte, I believe that if you follow this exercise you will find a flow state through the act of drawing.
Meditation Drawing Exercise
You will need: a few pieces of paper, and a pen or pencil.
1) Set a timer on your phone for one minute. Close your eyes and let the pencil glide over the paper in any way that feels natural at the time.
2) Take a minute to reflect on that: were you rushing? Was the pen or pencil moving slowly over the paper? Did you pause? Lift up the pen or continue in one long stream? Were you thinking about something? Were you concerned with the final image?
3) Repeat this on the back of the paper.
4) On your next piece of paper, do this exercise again, but this time you are going to keep your eyes open. Set your timer and let your pen go, try to observe how your hand wants to move. Don't overthink it. Let it be more about the movement and energy than the outcome.
Imagine it as if your hand were dancing to the music of your current state of being.
5) Observe your drawing and notice if there are any parts of it that are particularly interesting or intriguing to you. Turn your paper around to see it from different angles. Walk away from the paper and return. Hold it close to your face and far away.
Seeing your work from different points of view can help you see more and better.
6) On your last piece of paper you will create an abstract drawing that is based off of the former exercises. You should have an understanding of your state of being (energetic, calm, anxious, joyful etc.) and how that may be affecting your marks. With this awareness you will craft your drawing in a similar style repeating the strengths of the last drawing in this new piece. You should maintain the meditative quality as well so that you will enter the flow state while drawing.
If you need - set a timer for at least 10 minutes.