Playing with your mind – Sketching as a contemplative meditation exercise 10-15-21


1. Begin with an intention

2. Contemplative topic

3. Contemplation 10 to 20 minutes

4. Visualize some aspects of the contemplation

5. Sketch a representation in symbols of the visualization

6. Contemplate the sketch

7. Make notes on the sketch

8. Contemplate the sketch and notes

9. Add more notes or more to the sketch

This exercise or process felt like I was playing with my mind; like finding a new tune while playing with the keys on a piano.  A thought turns into a sketch and then the sketch turns into another thought. By visually contemplating the sketch it is not just held in the mind but held in the visual field on the paper.  As the contemplation of the sketch continues related thoughts spring off and are added as words or more sketch.  This expands until the wave of sensation related to the sketch has subsided and it feels compete.  If not go back and contemplate the sketch and see what else arises in thought or sensation.

My intention was to explore a connection between nothing and something.  My thought to contemplate was a kalapa – the smallest sub atomic particle that is in constant vibration. I sensed that it pops in and out of existence.

The sketch started with the circles in the center as the edge of existence. Objects of particles formed at the top of different substances. The bottom was the birth and death of the vibrating particles. Some of the shapes and shading just fell out of my pen; possibly with deeper meaning or none at all.

Contemplating the sketch I sensed that the heart filters the vibrating particles into thought waves.  And that reminded me of the story of the guy looking for his lost car keys under the street light.  When a passer by asked what he was looking for he replied, “his lost keys.”  The passer by asked where he lost them and he replied, “up the street.”  He was asked, “then why are you looking here?”  He replied, “because this is where the light is.” 

Whatever the reality is of the smallest vibrating particles that may make up the universe or its connection to awareness or God; the light is in the heart and that is where the light of my attention and “looking” became focused coming out of this contemplative sketch. 

Perhaps you would like to give it a try.  Plan about a half hour in an quiet undisturbed space. Let me know what come out of it for you.

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