312: The Power of Meditation

–TO be successful artists need to learn how to generate and maintain energy. The best ways are to eat well, sleep well, exercise, and meditate.

For me the key to achieving the other three objectives is meditation. I’ve read a cross-section of the myriad books on the subject. Most seem to delight in making meditation excessively complicated. But meditation is a simple and easy way to conserve energy and should be a staple in every artist’s energy conservation strategy. Science has proven that meditation boosts the good chemicals in your brain and inhibits bad chemicals (like cortisol and norepinephrine which are linked to fatigue and depression as well as a host of chronic diseases). Meditation is used by many people for a wide variety of solutions including organizations such as the U.S. Navy SEALs (who use a variation of 4 x 4 x 4 technique).

Meditation is comprised of two parts–correct breathing and calming the mind. Many make the case that correct breathing is all that is necessary and that you can meditate while you paint or engage in any other activity. The Kindle book Cubicle Mediation outlines breathing technique and three methods of calming the mind:

Guided Meditation, the first method described, is where you breathe calmly while engaging in an internal dialog. This most closely resembles self-hypnosis and can be used for a variety of rehearsal techniques such as imagining painting an intricate passage of a composition before you actually mix paint.

The second is Clearing the Mind Meditation, where you swat away thoughts like errant insects. The third method is Focusing the Mind Mediation where you allow any and all thoughts to come into your mind, but you keep moving from one idea to another, not allowing yourself to obsess on any one thought, like a bee going from flower to flower.

As the title suggests, Cubicle Meditation was written with office workers in mind, but the broader lesson is that meditation can be practiced anywhere by anyone. When you practice meditation, you will find yourself renewed and refreshed, like taking a power nap. I use meditation to rehearse a painting, to relax before sleep, or any other moment when stress becomes an obstacle.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Brad Teare –February 2017

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Updated: 19th June 2024
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