Benefits of Meditative Art in Aging

Personally, I understand art as a meditation and meditation as an art form. Meditation is often the subject of my art. I can easily reach a meditative state when I’m in a studio space, slowing down to take the time for a deeper and more meaningful experience of my creative expression.


Most art classes focus on the end result or the finished product. A meditative approach encourages us to enjoy and treasure the process as we experience ourselves in the art as well as observing the art in progress.


So how is it done?


Take time for meditation before starting any creative work. Your eyes can be closed or open – it doesn’t matter. All lead to a place where body and mind become calm and serene. Heart rate slows, blood pressure drops, breathing becomes deeper, slower. Thoughts and emotions arise but are relinquished, not dwelt upon. The sights and sounds of the world may still be noticed but they are in the periphery of awareness. This is what people refer to when they use phrases such as “in the zone” or “in the flow.”  With practice this can follow us from the studio into our everyday lives so that life in essence is an ongoing meditation as well. When I’m painting water, my awareness can easily shift from being the painted water to observing myself paint the water. There is no judgment or criticism involved. I find I can easily shift in and out of this meditative state very easily in any given situation during the day.


Scientists from a range of fields are starting to compile evidence that rather than simply being a transient mental or spiritual experience, meditation may have long-term implications for physical health and mental well-being. For example, this type of meditation can help with my experience of normal age-related discomforts. I can be in the discomfort or I can be an observer to the discomfort. My awareness can shift as desired.


Subject matter for a meditative art session?  Water – Trees – Woods – Stones – Ether – Wind – Earth – Fire – Sun – Beach – Moon – Universe/Infinity – Symbols


Note: In 2002 I started Reiki treatments to relieve stress and migraine headaches. After several years, I completed the Usui Reiki Master Training under the supervision of Deborah Carter, M. Divinity at the Lotus Centre in London Ontario. I share my knowledge by offering Meditative Art or Reiki sessions – combining the Reiki Teachings and Creative Arts Instructor Training Methods.



Patti Barker Kierys, Reiki and the Art of Creativity

“Artistic expression can soothe the spirit for the creator and receiver. It can be a time of reflection and healing.”


Arthur Zajonc, Psychology Today, Meditation and the Arts

“Contemplative beholding of art – indeed of anything – can lead to the animation of whatever is before us. New eyes, “the right eyes,” suddenly open, waking us up, and consequently awakening everything around us.”



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