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.
Excerpt from CONCENTRATION
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.
Excerpt from CONCENTRATION AND IMAGINATION
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.
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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