Does the idea of sitting down and meditating in silence make you cringe? Now you don't have to. Gisela Mara De Gregorio is an artist and psychologist whose combined elements of sacred art and mindfulness to create the practice of Meditative Art.
We asked her to tell us a little more about what the origins of Meditative Art and the benefits that it has in connecting us deeper with ourselves.
Meditative Art was the result of two therapeutic approaches I studied: the mandalas art-therapy and the mindfulness meditation.
Both, art and meditation, flow in an unique and powerful way of exercising it. If we try meditation not only by yourself sitting in a meditative position but adding a creative activity, the practice becomes much more wealthy with infinite ways.
The key to transform an activity into a meditative one is to pay attention to what is happening in your inside while doing anything.
Some call that kind of inner attention a feeling of being present, the here and now. Another old teachings explained it as a kind of self-observation to develop a higher state of consciousness. The contemporary best seller "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle also refers to the potential of this meditative awareness as if it's the solution of any bothering or disturbing thought, emotion or situation.
The rounded figure helps to follow a circular path that allows us to connect the patterns and layers, find a relation between them, a relation with our life, and ultimately discover our own world within. For Jung and others, mandalas often symbolize the Self, and appear symbolically to represent the striving for individuation, wholeness, and psychological integration through the reconciliation and unification of opposites. To see the entire forest instead of one single tree.
Why not only mandalas?
I include all kinds of techniques in one single activity that is drawing and painting with purpose and meaning. Expressing art with a clear purpose to learn, to know myself better (consciousness), to exercise the here and now, and accepting my artwork as I accept my life (the unconditional acceptance). It is also developing the strength in positive emotions over the negative ones (positive affirmations and power thoughts) through every single paintbrush stroke as a mantra.
The artistic creation with a deep meaning can help to discover and connect our different parts or "I's" and to be able to see the unique and loving person that we truly are.