Artists don’t need to learn conventional meditation, we have an easier way. We have an inner sweet spot that we can use to quiet the mind and restore our heart and soul.
John Paul: Hi, welcome to this week’s Hot Tip. This Tuesday in the studio I’d like to introduce you to Bassam. Bassam and I had the good fortune of meeting this weekend at a workshop and we had this discussion about artists and meditation and mindfulness. Bassam was telling me that he had just come from working with a dance company, the Gauthier Dance Company in Stuttgart.
Bassam: Correct, yes.
John Paul: We were talking about the different things that artists have in their mind about meditation and mindfulness and the fact that we have these busy, creative minds that are buzzing all the time and it’s so hard to still the mind and we work and we sweat to still the mind. You said, it’s not about that.
Bassam: I think there’s a lot of ambiguity about the word ‘meditation’ and what it means and what people expect from that. To demystify that word is really important. With the dancers that I was working with it was always important for me to simplify it as much as possible and generally with people in general. I found that if I was able to qualify meditation in some way that they could visualize it, they could see it then it would be beneficial and the idea of a sweet spot and as you yourself yesterday said, sweet spot. Everybody understands what a sweet spot is.
There is a sweet spot inside of us. It is possible to move toward that sweet spot and the idea of this sweet spot is that meditation itself presupposes the existing of this place and if we can move towards it then we would some balance and we would find some equilibrium. Moving towards that sweet spot, it is really the spot of our center gravity. It is the center of gravity of self. When we move away from that sweet spot we’re actually effectively moving away from the center of self. The sweet spot is merely an indication, an indicative way of saying that inside the self there is a center of gravity.
There is a place where we can be still and if we can have the right technique such as meditation or mindfulness or whatever it may be and then by way of this technique that we can begin to move towards that sweet inner spot which is the center of gravity and from that center of gravity I can feel centered. I can feel ready to take on the way of life. Whatever it throws at me, whether I am an actor, whether I am a singer, whether I am a dancer, a performer of any sort or even just a lay-person on the street. To be in the center of gravity, to be in close proximity of that sweet inner spot, I am simply more able to deal with whatever life provides my way. It’s not a psychological process. It’s not that I’m trying to do anything. I’m just trying to move back to myself, to the place that I am most centered.
John Paul: I love that. It makes perfect sense for artists. We know that place. We know how to move to that place. We know how it feels like when we’re there. We know what it feels like when we’re off that place and that is our meditation. That is our active practice.
Bassam: Active practice is simple but it begins with understanding. There is a place, the center of myself that I am trying to return to. It is myself. It is who I am. I have merely stretched away from that and now I just have to have some way of coming back to that place where I am most centered where I dont feel like this or I dont feel like this. I’m most centered or as centered as I can be.
The active ingredient is simply to take regular moments, little pauses, little stops during the day to come back to the self. I may need some help. I may need a technique. I may need somebody’s advice but the bottomline is to take active, small moments where I can come back or where I can retract my attention from the world and bring it back to the self, to recognize myself, to acknowledge myself I am here and then from this place, referencing this place, this center I can move into life and then continuously coming back to reference it again. I am here. I am here.
John Paul: There you have it. Take those moments. Find that place, that inner sweet spot that you know and just visit it. Just be there. That is beautiful. Thank you Bassam.
Bassam: Thank you.
John Paul: If this tip was really helpful and I’m sure it was send this to a fellow artist. Let’s share this around. If you want real practical advice like this for yourself and your arts career please check us out at www.auspiciousartsincubator.org and if you want to check on what Bassam is doing we’ll put the links to how to track him down whenever in the world you’re going to be next. Thanks.