Practice and Resources
Flow Practices for Artists
Welcome to the Artist Training page of The House of Flow.
Exercises for Going Deeper with your Creative Process, and:
- Releasing fears and blocks to doing your work
- How to Get into Flow easily and get better results with your work
- Using Compassion and Intuition to release stress and amp up your creative process
- Art as Meditation and other practices to keep you in your Flow
”Scuba Training for
(Art as Meditation Practice)
‘Without seeing things as they are, it is hard to create art. Our perceptions are obscured and our mind is not fresh, so making art becomes a troubled, futile process by which we’re trying to create something based on concept.’ – Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
These practices are also in Douglas’ book, The Infinite Artist.
From the book:
“Scuba Training for the Artist is a name I use to describe my process of using various meditative practices I’ve learned over the years, with the practice of using a medium. It focuses on gaining an experiential understanding of the psychology of creativity – how our mind thinks and feels. It can help us in ways that go beyond our creative abilities, but focuses primarily on how we can use the power of our felt senses to deepen our creative process. My medium of choice is usually black Sumi ink, oil crayons, or finger paints. If you don’t have any of these and don’t have access to them, feel free to find something suitable to substitute. If you are a writer, or a dancer, or musician, you may want to experiment with writing out the exercises, or dancing or playing them, instead of painting them.
One more thing before we get started. Very important! These Artist Training practices are in no way a substitute for doing your own creative work, whatever that may be. In my case, this mostly involves painting. Whatever your medium is, is not important. What is important is that we do not use these practices as a distraction from doing our real work, as they are meant to be done alongside our own creative work and I would strongly encourage you to do your work right after doing them. The beautiful thing about these practices is that they will grease the wheels for you and get you into your Flow.
The [art and meditation] practices below are in the order I believe most people need to do them. If you feel compelled to do any of them in an alternative sequence, by all means, feel free to do that. It’s more important to feel good about doing them than it is to try to do them in any particular order. Also, I have found that when one of them is really working for me, I will stick with it for awhile. I tend to trust my intuition and do the practices that feel right, for however long I need to.”
Practice 4 – The Line of Compassion
Excerpt from the book The Infinite Artist: “Compassion is one of the things that can really motivate us in our work. Not only does it speed things up and get us synced with our purpose, it’s a kind of hack to getting deeper into our process. If we’re working with others in mind, inspiration will come more readily, and at a faster pace. It just amps everything up, and makes it more fun and more doable. I believe the reason it works so well is that it addresses a core reason around why we create in the first place.
As creating art sometimes needs to be a solitary act, we can grow out of touch with people. Working with compassion and love in our process connects us to a greater purpose. It keeps us in an expanded mode of being so we don’t fall into isolation, or into the trap of thinking that we are better than others, or that it’s ‘all about me’ (the little ‘me’ / ego). I have noticed that so many of my artist friends, including myself, have fallen into this trap. It’s what leads to social awkwardness and anxiety, depression, and in severe cases, suicide. Being disconnected like this is no ride in the park, as I’m sure you know if you’ve ever done your work in solitude for extended periods of time.
This is practice will tap into your innate capacity for compassion, and give your creative batteries more energy. (Note: I encourage you to experiment in using your preferred creative medium with this exercise if that feels better – writing, dance, music, etc.)”
Practice 4 - The Line of Compassion
Practice 6 – The Line of Intuition
Excerpt from the book, The Infinite Artist: “Intuition is essential to doing any creative work. To make genuine art means that we let our intuition guide us. What we’re mainly concerned with in this Artist training is accessing our intuition via bodily awareness. Like when we do Vipassana or other similar types of sitting meditation, the focus is on our physicality. We keep our attention single-pointedly there, and let thoughts come and go – just noticing them, without trying to manhandle them or make them go away.
Keep in mind, it is perfectly fine and to be expected that your thoughts will come up. The practice is just to notice that they are there – like clouds floating by in the blue sky, you can just appreciate them, then go back to what you were focusing on before – the body.
This practice will quickly give you access to your intuitive, greater Self. (Note: I encourage you to experiment in using your preferred creative medium with this exercise if that feels better – writing, dance, music, etc.)”
Practice 6 - The Line of Intuition
Practice 7 – The Emotional Laundry Chute
The point of this practice is to become accustomed to giving your emotions the mic. (Note: I encourage you to experiment in using your preferred creative medium with this exercise if that feels better – writing, dance, music, etc.) – More on this Practice and on the subject of emotions and how we can use them in the creative process, in the book – The Infinite Artist.
Practice 7 - The Emotional Laund...
On this page:
• Artist Training
• Art and Meditation Practice
• More to come!
Recommended Books and Websites for Artists:
• The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
• The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
• True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art, by Chögyam Trungpa
• Creativity, by Matthew Fox
• The Artist as Culture Producer, edited by Sharon Louden
• Launching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide for Artists, by Alix Sloan
• Super Accelerated Living, by Bentinho Massaro
• The Mind Illuminated, by Culadasa
• Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius: A Guide for Artists, Entrepreneurs, Inventors, and Kindred Spirits, by Brainard Carey
Learn more Artist Trainings / Meditations in the book, The Infinite Artist.
The book is also available in Europe on Amazon.de and other Amazon stores wordwide.