Artful Contemplation is the daily practice of mindfulness through the contemplation of visual art.
Mindfulness is about cultivating an awareness and appreciation of the here and now, of the richness of your present experience.The South African College of Applied Psychology, blog, 2018
Mindfulness has become a common phrase in the modern world and is really a contemporary term for an ancient practice of finding connection with environment and integration within.
How does it work?
You may already be practiced in sitting meditation. And you may feel inspired to create or appreciate art. Artful Contemplation brings the complementary practices of curious inspection and deep contemplation together in a powerful experience that extends beyond language, concept and cultural narrative.
In the spirit of Focused Meditation, Artful Contemplation invites a practice of focused attention on a single inspirational image.
Metascape artist Lanon Prigge, who has over 25 years of experience in shamanic practices, embodiment, somatic investigation, existential musing and multi-disciplinary artistic expression, has originated all of the artworks for Artful Contemplation.
Lanon refers to his artworks as metascapes since they speak in codes of colored light, patterns of energetic vibration. Meta-, derived from the Greek meta– μετά-, means ‘after’ or ‘beyond’ and refers to the non-ordinary nature of these artworks. These metascapes reflect the fundamental, elemental, fractal patterns of organization underlying visible reality.
Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems.Fractal Foundation
The already powerful metascapes are combined with inspirational, often poetic, phrases to serve as a mantra. This is a potent tool for minimizing the relentless background chatter of the mind and integrating an overtaxed nervous system.
What are the benefits?
Our need for stillness, silence and personal sanctuary increases in proportion to the speed, intensity and sociability of our contemporary lives. Urbanized humans are overloaded with information, much of it contradictory and competitive. We have been schooled to think in terms of measurement, reward, deadlines, achievement and opinion. Like any mindfulness practice, Artful Contemplation offers opportunities to slow down, settle in, pay attention and appreciate from a place of creative agency.
As non-representational artworks, metascapes invite curiosity, leading you into a state of awe and wonder. They simultaneously encourage contemplation, leading you to acknowledge and integrate arising thoughts and feelings. This expansive dialogue between what you see and how you feel in the moment offers personal healing and illumination.
As a daily mindfulness practice, Artful Contemplation enhances:
- Non-judgmental perception.
- Intuitive responses.
- Deepening personal insights.
- Non-linear knowing.
- Stillness and serenity.
What makes Artful Contemplation unique as a meditative practice?
Our exposure to technological innovations and diverse forms of sacred art gives artists at the dawn of the twenty-first century a unique opportunity to create more integrative and universal spiritual art than ever before.Visionary artist, Alex Grey
Artful Contemplation integrates seamlessly with the rhythms and requirements of a contemporary lifestyle. It uses the same digital technology that tends to overstimulate and speed us up, to settle and slow us down. It offers a practice of embodied awareness through the devices that have become integral and indispensable to our daily activities. In this, it functions like a Sadhana.
Sadhanas are practices that help us to live more mindfully by integrating our spiritual life and our “normal every day experiences” thus creating a lifestyle filled with meaning, connection and well-being.Sacred Arts Research
Artful Contemplation can be practiced in the midst of your daily busy-ness, It makes use of the immediacy, vibrancy, intimacy and efficiency afforded by digital devices to create a daily sanctuary, an easily accessible restore point.
So where do I start?
There are several ways to get started with the practice of Artful Contemplation. Choose one that fits your current context and needs:
1. Search and view archived Artful Contemplation posts
In 2019, over a period of several months, more than 100 Artful Contemplations were posted on a daily basis. These have become our current archive and are freely available to all visitors and followers of Artful Contemplation. Type in a search term such as ‘direct experience’ or ‘intuition’ and a selection of mindfulness prompts will be displayed. You do not need to subscribe to benefit from these resources.
2. Subscribe to receive a weekly e-mantra
When you subscribe to join the Artful Contemplation community, you receive one e-mantra a week sent directly to your inbox. You will also be granted access to the Artful Contemplation Facebook group where discussions and resources on mindfulness practice, living open-ended and tools for contemplation are made readily available.
3. Commission a personal talisman artwork
Commission the painting of a unique, original, personalised metascape to serve as a talisman or mantra for daily mindfulness.