In this workshop we began by exploring how the mind can be likened to an iceberg. The most of an iceberg is hidden beneath the water, whilst only a small amount of it visible. Similarly with the mind, consciousness – the part of the mind that we are aware of, plays only a small part, whilst much of the brains functioning continues without our knowledge of it.
During the workshop we practiced mindfulness and meditation, exploring that relationship between subconsciousness and consciousness. As a group we took part in a meditation session – becoming mindful of our breathing. Specifically breathing, as this is done unconsciously and automatically – by becoming mindful and conscious of an unconscious activity we are able to bring the subconscious and conscious parts of the mind together.
We looked at consciousness form the perspective of Eastern philosophy. It was fascinating to see how the understanding from this view point is incredibly influential in allowing insight into brain function.
I was particularly interested in the philosophical depth of ‘Ensō’ symbolism.
This Buddhist symbolism carries so much depth. The mark requires preparation and planning, but is carried out instinctively in one movement. I am particularly interested in its address of boundaries, absence and presence, emptiness and fullness. Its such a simple shape, but carries so much weight philosophically.
During the workshop we also looked at the impact that mindfulness and awareness can have on benefiting our creative flow. It was so helpful to discuss in groups, our approach to work and how we felt we experienced creative flow and also creative block. It was beneficial to have a cross-disciplinary discussion about different experiences.
One point that I felt was particularly interesting was talking about allowing external happenings to influence the creative process, we briefly discussed that there is ‘no such thing as original thought’ and so its important to acknowledge the difficulties that may arise if you rely on yourself to come up with ideas – if you do not feed it with information from a variety of sources. A way of combating creative block, can often be to go off and explore other areas, talk to other people, investigate other artists, in order that you might find stimulus in other places – not just recycling your own thoughts continuously.
We were also given the task to respond visually to the workshop, particularly the first part. This was my response to the discussion.