Meditating on making
When I would picture someone meditating in the past, I used to picture an elusive woman so gracefully folded into a yoga pose while perched on top of a rice field. Eyes closed, breathing loudly as if competing with the wind. There is nothing that so completely epitomizes inner peace as she, and if we were to weave through the threads of her thoughts, we would find ourselves cuddled up in the finest of satins and the softest of cottons.
Now scrub back to today, in a post-“Eat Pray Love” book/movie world, having worked high-intensity jobs, and after listening to a lot of podcasts with guys like Tim Ferris and Sam Harris, meditation no longer lives in that section of the brain reserved for wishlists, but is now thought of as a practice to combat procrastination, depression and anxiety. It is a tool to tackle problems with a clarity and presence.
There are many organized types of meditation out there that range from the secular to the spiritual. The one that pop culture has started to eponymously adopt is mindfulness meditation and vipasanna. These are types of meditation that teach you to notice things as they are by following certain steps. You practice accepting the fact that wandering thoughts will bubble up, and instead of chasing them, you have to recognize them and refocus on your breath. In a way, by watching your thoughts, you start seeing these states of thinking as waves, and practice being less reactive to their tides. So next time someone makes you livid, instead of barfing emotions at them or recoiling away from confrontation, you may hopefully notice your initial reactions, and then calm down faster before making your next move.
In a way, by watching your thoughts, you start seeing these states of thinking as waves, and you practice being less reactive to their tides.
Meditation has many benefits, but remember how I said there are many types of meditation? Well, mindfulness can also come in other forms. Meditation is about focus and presence. It’s about routine and habits, and the mastery that comes with it. Making things can be an art, but it’s also persistence through creative blocks and self-doubt. So to me, wheel-throwing is a form of meditation. Centring a mound of clay and pulling up those structural walls takes skill but after a couple of times, it becomes a process, a mantra even.
Making things can be an art, but it’s also persistence through creative blocks and self-doubt. So to me, wheel-throwing is a form of meditation.
You and I are busy beings with buzzing phones calling on us, but I challenge you to carve some time out of your week to focus on your personal mantra. Maybe you're into wheel-throwing, or maybe you’re into running or gardening - whatever it is, notice where it takes you. At Rise Studios, two ideas really help define us - creation and happiness. As we meditate on what it means to be happy, we sometimes feel the weight of the concept, but we now understand if we are mindful of this challenge and this mission of creativity, we'll truly enjoy how much fun we're having sharing all of this with you.