Monday, November 7, 2011

Ten Steps to Greater Awareness (from my own back yard)

What's really going on?

In the process of composing a post on another topic, I kept looking outside. It's a gorgeous fall day here in Nashville. So, remembering lessons from John Cage and Pema Chodron, I decided to make you a video.

Creativity is a process, whether you're designing, writing, drawing, painting or doing physics. There is no there there. Ideas arise but then there's development, refinement and springboards into new ideas, new processes. Developing creativity is a process that requires the development of awareness. There are ways to prime the pump of awareness. Here's one.

Use this exercise as a meditation if you like. It's designed to help expand your awareness.

Read the steps, then start the video and follow the steps.

Here are the steps:
  1. Forget about time. How long is this going to take? Not long. Surrender to the exercise. Don't multi-task (there's no such thing.)

  2. As you watch this video, see if you can count the different colors of green. What other colors can you see in the greens? Can you see yellows, reds and blues in any of the greens?

  3. Now, look at the other colors; the reds, yellows browns. Look at the lightest colors. Are they colors at all? How about the darks? Are they black? Can you see any actual lines?

  4. If you are not alone, put in your earphones and listen. This is quiet. No one is talking to you or at you. How quiet is it?

  5. Start to separate the machine sounds (cars, freight trains, planes, etc.) from the sounds of nature — the birds, the wind, crickets, squirrels, dogs.

  6. Any incidental sounds? One thing knocking against another? Camera noises?

  7. Are you experiencing impatience? Are you bored? Imagine how much is going on in this video.

  8. So, this is a video, of course. You're watching and listening on a machine.

  9. Next time you're outside in your own back yard (or anywhere), practice this exercise. Notice the colors, the sounds. How does it make you feel to simply observe for a while?

  10. Notice how every moment is unique. Never to be repeated exactly the same way.
Notice how many moments slip by as we're caught up with thoughts.

Want a cure? Make an intention to start paying more attention.

Want more of a cure? Check out my Online Drawing and Watercolor Course.
We spend a lot of time learning to pay closer attention.

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