We have at our disposal substantial research on the benefits of practicing standard mediation. In typical meditation, one is taught to watch the thoughts enter and pass. When meditating, one can think of thoughts as waves. During meditation, you are taught to watch the thoughts enter your mind like oceanic waves, both good and bad thoughts- and you learn to accept these thoughts and brush aside the bad ones.
But what happens when an individual suffers a trauma – such as the loss of a loved one? Or perhaps they are suffering through cancer, autism, mental illness, suicidal ideation, ADHD? And every thought is the thought of the passing of their loved one, some traumatic incident, or a series of obsessive thoughts spiraling out of control? Or for others, their mind is stuck in a restless state of a high pressure job that does not wind down at the end of the day.
In these cases , when standard meditation can’t be done (at least at first) art can be utilized as a tool or vehicle to help focus the mind and calm the senses.
Already art therapy research is springing forth positive results for patients suffering a vast array of ailments. For example, in most recent research when using art therapy in comparative groups along with standardized cancer treatments, the group exposed to art therapy not only reduced symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and pain but also increased life expectancy.
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We are glad to see from the above research that modern science is now catching up to the benefits inherent in art as meditation that both artists and monks have entertained both in theory and practice. For example, Sumi or Sumi-e painting is an art as meditation method utilized by monks that has a history of well over 1000 years.
“Art is a guarantee to sanity,” said Louise Bourgeois, a French-American artist She even went on to add, “…This is the most important thing I have said.” For Bourgeois, art — making art — was a tool for coping with overwhelming emotion.
It is our mission to provide art as meditation lessons in plein air, studio, acrylic, sumi, and charcoal methods for the general population.