Mindful drawing or drawing meditation is a practice of using drawing to focus the mind in a similar way to mindfulness practice and meditation. With a close focus on what we see and using our hands to follow our eyes while holding a pencil, we can see more, engage with life more closely and create a calm and tranquil space in which to dwell.

Mindful drawing or drawing meditation is an idea that comes from thinking about how we meditate. Traditionally meditation is taught by focusing on an object like the breath, sounds or feelings. Seeing however is not usually used in meditation. This may be to do with the traditions from which meditation has arisen.

This website is a repository for information about how it is possible to use drawing as the focus of attention in meditation. Through the use of examples and guidance the site will explain how it is possible for anyone to use drawing as an alternative to other forms of meditation.

mindful drawing

In traditional Buddhist meditation (Vipassana or insight meditation) we are taught to focus on the breath. We can also scan the body for physical feelings or concentrate on sounds but the standard instruction is to stay with the breath. By focusing on the tiny variations and subtleties of the breath to the exclusion of all other thoughts or experiences the mind is trained to focus on exactly what is happening at any moment as it happens. This is called mindfulness.

A trained mind can then, theoretically, observe all life in this way, totally aware of everything that is happening, exactly the way it happens, exactly when it is happening; total, unbroken awareness in present time. Though this is a lofty aim we can start the process via traditional meditation practices.

mindful looking

It is though possible to use drawing as an alternative to the breath as the focus of your attention. A useful object of meditation needs to be something that promotes mindfulness. It needs to be portable, easily available, and cheap. It also needs to be experienced directly without the need for thought. And it needs to provide a constantly changing process. The breath clearly fits these criteria but by following the exercises outline on this site mindful drawing can be experienced as an adjunct or even an alternative to the breath.