Excerpts from


Art As Meditation

by Sara Deutsch, M.S. (Ph.D.abd)
Creativity  Consultant


Soon after I started taking cello lessons at the age of  7,  I began to tune my  strings to a new chord each morning. I tuned  to bird calls, traffic noise, electronic hums, wind, rain on the roof...to any sound of the moment.  My cello teacher  gave up on me,  saying, "I cannot teach this child. She does everything her own way!"

The  unknown chord was my way.  It  was my true teacher.   I  never knew what to expect when  I moved from one string to another on the  fretless cello finger board.  Anything could happen!   I could not plan  or prepare or practice my response. The unknown chord taught me  to  ride the crest of the moment,  to be prepared for anything,  and to hear unfamiliar sounds with  new ears,  without judgment.

Art as meditation  teaches  the same lessons:to have faith in the unknown,  to create in the instant,  to plumb the depth of mind and emotion without fear of judgment, to let go of  the illusion  of control--to play.   Artful meditation trains our concentration,  deepens our relaxation,  focuses our creativity,  and  centers our attention  in all aspects of life!

This  book is tuned to an unknown chord.  It has grown to  include   recipes, stories, memories, fantasies, musings,  art and  do-it-yourself  experiments  that  you can cut out, fold and color.  It is  a seed packet full  of   ideas  for combining art and meditation.   Art that can be created from unlimited media--ink, rubber stamps, words, sounds,  images, food...life itself!    Art that mirrors the inner world and chronicles our blind dates with the infinite unknown.    I hope you will find mystery, memory,  revelation,  guidance, healing, catharsis, centering, beauty and fun in the FIVE-MINUTE MUSE,  as I did.   I hope  your artful meditations will lead you on an inspiring, spiraling journey  to your  creative source.


In Nepal I saw very young children sitting cross legged, in silence, all attention focused on the tip of a candle flame. Long before school, they  were learning how to focus their minds into one-pointed concentration. In Western schools, we teach children math, spelling, English, geography. How much more fruitful to first teach them how to focus the limitless power of their minds!

Excerpt from  EXPLORE

Sit near a candle flame at night in a darkened room.   First,  relax your body and your eyes, breathing   freely and slowly as you gaze  gently at the tip of the flame for  a minute. (You  may gradually lengthen your  concentration period  to 5 or more minutes.)  Then,  close your eyes and notice  how long you can keep the afterimage alive by focusing  on it.   The after image  is, at first, caused by the bleaching out of cells in your retina.  But long after the chemical effect wears off,  your  concentration sustains the pattern.  The power of your concentration develops quickly with practice and   generalizes to all  areas of your life.   Using a stopwatch, measure how long  you are able to see the flame’s after image on successive days.     Make a painting of the colors you see in the after image.   Keep a record of your progress in this section.


When I was a child,  I lived in a world of sparkling, moving particles of  light--a world of pure imagination. I remember being bathed in a tin pail when  I was an infant...the magic of sun beams glancing off the water and rainbow patterns of light in the water. I lived in  a bright world of dancing geometries and kaleidoscopic designs.  In bed at night when I was lonely, I would gaze into the light-filled darkness; and lo! Instantly gathered around me were people made of sparkling yods of light. I would say to them, "I'm hungry.”  And they would feed me with food made of  light...

Excerpt from  EXPLORE

Before you  go to sleep,  look into the darkness and watch the tiny, moving yods, or sparks of light.  If you watch them long enough, you may  see patterns and forms. It’s  like finding images in clouds or inkblots. If you think about a horse, you will see a horse.  If you think about dragons or trees,  colors,  geometrical shapes, elves or angels..you will see them.   Whatever we hold in our attention long enough becomes real!   Try this with clouds,  cracks in the ceiling, and inkblots.   The magical   skills of imagination and visualization you had as a child   recover  rapidly with  a little practice.

(From The Five Minute Muse by Sara Deutsch.  The author is seeking a publisher for this completed book. Material from this excerpt may only be quoted or reproduced in any form with writtenpermission from the author.)

(c) 1998 Sara Deutsch. All rights reserved.

Sara Deutsch
Creativity Consultant/Educator/Creative Arts Therapist
PO Box 17712
Asheville NC 28816

Sara's online art portfolio:  http://ArtWanted.com/Saraphael

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