I have been rebuilding my meditation habit with the Headspace app. When I meditate I feel more centered and able to step back from the flurry of thoughts that are part of my everyday life. I also know that the more I make meditation part of that daily life, the less I’m sucked into those frantic, volatile patterns of thinking. This used to be a part of my routine but got knocked out by a lot of travel, visitors, and other disruptions; returning to meditation is like getting a gust of fresh air or a spot of sunshine back into my day.
At the Manchester Art Gallery this summer I encountered an exhibition called And Breathe…. Part of the gallery’s Mindful Museum campaign, this exhibition invites you to sit and listen to guided meditations as you look at the paintings.
One of the meditations led me to look around a painting clockwise, taking in the colors, textures, and other characteristics without judgment. Another encouraged me to slow down and notice small details. By the end of the visit, I was looking at the paintings in new ways — enjoying the experience of seeing without worrying about what I was meant to see.