Art and science are often talked about as two separate worlds with thick walls around them that no one can or should pass between. Drawing a line between art and science keeps art dreamy and science dependable. But.
I think our inner world is much more sophisticated. We are made of the union of opposites.
We know we’re part artist and part scientist. They’re actually very close lovers that blend as they co-create and pro-create. Sometimes they separate, differentiate, but they’re lovers just the same.
When we’re paying attention to our inner world as we meditate, we find evidence of this marriage, courtship, partnership, harmony…(insert whatever word you prefer to call their living-arrangement).
Mindfulness itself is an arty-sciencey way of being. To be fully awake we have to be whole. To be whole we can’t be internally divided.
Meditation is the Art and Science of Being Present.
Some of our work in practice is so instinctive or esoteric that we might not even be conscious of what we’re actually doing and experiencing. In this post let’s look at the art and science in our methods, how we work internally as we practice meditation.
Meditation as an Art
It’s not art. We’re not producing anything tangible. But we can practice meditation artfully.
We practice for practice’s sake. Not to create some THING (noun). But as if we’re engaged in a creative act (verb).
- We notice how something evolves out of nothing, but more interestingly, how nothing evolves from something.
- Even more artfully than creating, we’re un-creating, letting go of our stories, constructed realities, and limiting beliefs.
- We’re never-ending creative action.
And as we practice, we’re not pretentious or contriving anything. We’re naturals at meditation. We’re artfully designed to do it.
We don’t become a meditator, we practice our meditative art. Just as a natural-born singer is a super-talent, but still has to practice, we are meditation wunderkinds.
We trust our talent, hone our craft and– deliberately or not– evolve our own artful style over time through practice. Finding our way is liberating, joyful, and meaningful. We inspire others.
Authorities, companions and teachers help us learn how to use our tools to shape our experience as it unfolds. But.
We also need permission to experiment with all the ways creation can flow through us— however wildly and widely we like.
Meditation is a unique individual’s artful dance with the Universe they are a part of.
Meditation as a Science
The science of meditation is first and foremost the practical and logistical stuff like the instructions and techniques. Certain moments of practice might be very spontaneous, but we’re not inventing the process nor the spontaneity.
We follow instructions and/or consult resources. We trust the process as a science.
Our practice is like a laboratory. We uncover reality and discover that reality is us. Patiently and methodically watching consciousness unfold, split, collide, calcify, liquify, shed its skin, evolve, expire, blossom.
Sometimes the discovery is focused, like looking into a microscope and seeing a whole new, tiny, subtle world.
Other times it’s like gazing up into the vastness of the ancient stars through a wide-angle lens.
- Practice involves inner research as well as the forming of loose theories about who we are and what we experience.
- Practice is also experimental and theory-busting.
- Reflection after practice, or maybe even during, involves analysis.
- We might even form a conclusion or two.
- Some conclusions are sure to be overturned by a new experience that reveals a seemingly opposing truth.
Meditation is a unique individual’s truthful, scientific observation of the Universe they are a part of.
Art and Science exist because we exist.
We exist as creations of the inherent art and science of the Universe.
We’re skillful with our tools such as mindfulness and concentration.
We artfully and scientifically work with chatty thoughts, buzzing sensations and sensory-perceptions as we practice.
We know that what we call “art” and “science” in our outer world are internally 2 versions of the same thing.
We aren’t split into two people and we aren’t separate from the Universe.