Finding Meditation In Motion

photography by dan james
photography by dan james

Sometimes we come across a practice that sounds exactly what we need.

Meditation might be such an example.

Increased calmness? Yes please.

Space and time to relax without any obligations? Great, sign me up.

Deeper breathing, reduced stress and other health benefits? I’m sold, let’s begin!

But when we try to follow the instructions, it doesn’t quite work how we planned, and we don’t instantly get the results we were promised.

At this point, we can either choose to dismiss the whole idea and give up completely, saying it’s not for people like us.

Or, we can experiment and find different ways of achieving a similar experience, that do work for us.

Continuing with the meditation example, maybe sitting cross legged on a cushion staring at a candle for an hour (which is possibly your perceived idea of what meditation “should” be) doesn’t work and isn’t ever going to work for you.

So widen the definition a little. Consider how a slightly different strategy can satisfy the same needs.

What if instead you thought of meditation simply as any practice that involves a stillness, gentle focus, repetition and momentum, and relaxation?

You might then start to consider walking, yoga, tai chi, doodling, colouring in colouring books, knitting or African drumming as forms of mediation.

All of these practices involve gentle focus, repetition and momentum, and relaxation.

But they’re all a bit active, you might think, where is the stillness of sitting cross legged on a cushion for an hour?

What these suggested practices also all have in common is a stillness from motion.

By walking, or doodling, or knitting, you can quickly slip into a steady, almost hypnotic rhythm, which can create great inner stillness. Just by repeating the same very tiny and basic action over and over.

And, as with any such activity, regular practise leads to a deeper, more rewarding experience.

You don’t have to be a brilliant doodler or drummer to benefit from the activity either. It’s not about competence or technical prowess, or the end result.

Instead, it’s about immersion in the practice – finding and enjoying that meditation in motion that works for you.

Now, A Big Creative Yes is about being more creative, saying yes to the creativity waiting within. It’s not about to morph it into a blog about meditation.

But I do believe, from my own experience, and that of the artists I talk and work with, that simple practices of meditation in motion can form a vital part of a healthy and abundant creative life.

So if you’ve either longed to try meditation in the past but not found the sitting form worked for you, or you simply would enjoy more calm, freedom and space to ponder, I would recommend trying a version of meditation in motion.

Maybe one of those we talked about above might be a place to start?

When you have (or if you already do), come over and let us know what’s working for you.

 

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