Today I was discussing my process of intuitve painting with a friend over coffee and tea via video chat.
The conversatation prompted me to write a post explaining how I control what I like to call the fire mind of emotion with the water mind of intent which allows my intent in painting to be realized.
There are three steps that I use in meditation before starting an intuitive work. The first step is to stop and observe. This involves paying close attention to how thoughts arise and fade in the mind, and learning to let them pass like wisps of fog without clinging to any particular one. The way I do this is to let each thought come into being, acknowledge it briefly and then immediately let it go. I repeat this step until all thoughts cease. This develops awareness of the basic emptiness of all thought, as well as non-attachment to the rise and fall of emotional impulses. Gradually the intrusion of these thoughts cease arising for sheer lack of attention.
The second step is to observe and imagine which refers to visualization. I employ intent to visualize an image (such as buddha, a sacred symbol, the moon, a tree or whatever resonates within) in order to shift mental focus away from thoughts and emotions and stabilize the mind in one-pointed awareness. Sometimes I may also visualize a particular energy center in my body or listen to the real or imagined sound of a bell, gong or cymbal ringing in my inner ear. This point of focus is not important. What counts is shifting the focus of your attention away from idle thoughts, conflicting emotions, fantasies or other distracting antics of the mind and concentrating attention instead on a stable point of focus established by the "mind of intent" or "wisdom mind."
The third step in cultivating control over the mind is called using the mind of intent to guide energy. When the emoitional mind is calm and the breath is regulated, I focus attention on my internal energy. I have learned (through practice) how to guide it through the Chakra network in order to energize and raise creative energy from the sacrum to the head to nourish spirit and mind; and also to exchange stale energy for fresh creative energy from the external sources the universal creation/creativity energy.
I begin by focusing attention on the root chakra then moving energy from there up through each chakra along the spine centers (base, sacral, heart, throat, third eye) and into the crown chakra, after which attention shifts to the upper fields which I leave open to the creative energies of the universe.. and here is where I start to paint.
Although it may sound a bit time consuming once you have practiced guiding your energy and opening yourself to the universal creation/creativity energies it becomes like second nature. Sometimes I will chant a creative Mantra when the energy hits the crown of the head: Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru and then I begin to paint.
"Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru" translates as "All aspects of the creator are bliss." This mantra expresses the three qualities of the word Har (seed, flow, completion) It is the Shakti mantra that uses the primal force of creativity to rid one of obnoxious situations in life and can bring you through any block and opens up your own creative energy!
If you would like to pursue your own meditative practices with your art check out Milwaukee's Shambhala Art below.
Shambhala Art is art that springs from clear perception and pure expression. To artist or non-artist, the creative process often seems mysterious and magical. The Shambhala Art Program's purpose is to explore the creative process and the product we call art from the point of view of clear perception and pure expression. It is about the source of inspiration, how the creative process manifests and finally how what we create communicates that inspiration.