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I see and feel so many things during meditation that I want to share. How to I get it onto canvas?

asked 08 Jan '11, 20:03

all2gethernow's gravatar image


edited 11 Jan '11, 12:35

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

I remember one image especially well, it was a figure being swept up in a stream. She was flowing into it like matter into a black hole. Shortly after I was introduced to Abe's "stream" metaphor...

(09 Jan '11, 13:32) all2gethernow

Please see Alex Grey's Painter

(09 Jan '11, 14:51) all2gethernow

How do I add image here.

(09 Jan '11, 14:51) all2gethernow

@All2gethernow: To add an image, edit your original posting. Then click the sixth button from the left on the toolbar above your message. Then add the url to the picture you wish to display

(10 Jan '11, 09:23) Barry Allen ♦♦

I meant to put 50 points for bounty, not 100

(14 Jan '11, 16:29) all2gethernow
showing 1 of 5 show 4 more comments

I'm not a painter but I don't think your question relates exclusively to painting. I'm assuming you paint already so that when you say you want to "get it onto canvas", you are not asking for a painting tutorial :)

I'm assuming that what you're ultimately talking about here is the creative process itself.

It's that process whereby great classical composers of the past could somehow transcribe the musical ideas in their heads into "physical" music that others could play and listen to, the same process whereby great authors can spend months or years focused on translating their inspiration for a story into a written masterpiece, the same process whereby talented film directors can see beyond the daily trivial technicalities and problems of film-making and remain true to the vision in their minds that subsequently manifest as movies that enthrall and inspire millions around the world...and so on.

So what's the common element here?

I would say it comes down to the essence of "manifesting" itself, which is what we talk about a lot on Inward Quest - since what you are talking about here is manifesting the feelings and visuals in your meditative state into a physical form.

The essence of manifesting anything comes down to the twin requirements of Focus and Allow.

Both are always absolutely necessary for the creation of anything.

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It's analogous to an archer attempting to hit a target with a bow and arrow.

The two essential processes that an archer must go through in order to hit that target are:

  • Aim at the target

  • Fire at the target

I'll say it again because it's must have both elements in order to create anything. If you ever get stuck, try to clarify which element of your life is playing the role of which process.

Your question is interesting because one could justifiably say that the meditation is the allowing part but, in that case, where is the focus part? Meditation is certainly allowing from the sense of bringing those feelings and visual items into your consciousness but it isn't the allowing aspect in the sense that you are physically painting those things. Actually doing the painting would be the allowing aspect there.

So my personal feeling is that in your question, it is the meditation (and your everyday life, in general) that is the focus aspect while the painting (while inspired) is the allowing aspect. I'll talk about this more later in this answer.

But coming back to the archer analogy, there is another vitally important point to make here which is highly relevant to your question...You cannot aim and fire simultaneously...aiming must be done before firing.

Or, to rephrase it, you cannot Focus and Allow at the same time...Focus comes before Allowing.

More relevantly, don't try to receive and paint simultaneously. The folks that appear to do that are actually switching rapidly between the two states. While you may be able to do that eventually, why make things unnecessarily hard at the start?

(For more information on this, see why you cannot do "Step 1" and "Step 3" simultaneously)

This, in my view, is a key point for creative artists (and I mean artists in a general sense, not just painters).

To illustrate the point, looking at my Inward Quest profile right now, the system says that I have written (i.e. painted with words) nearly 500 answers. And perhaps the surprising thing for most people to hear is that, despite the lengthy nature of some of those answers, most of them were written in, what felt like (but probably weren't) minutes and most of them surprise me again when I look back at them. I've had a number of occasions when I'll stumble across an answer on this website, get drawn into reading it because it seems interesting and then realize I wrote it myself.

This is because, as a general rule, I'll only write when I feel inspired ("allowing") to write, the rest of the time is just gathering data ("focusing") through living a (fairly busy) life or just generally pondering thoughts. When there's nothing to say, I won't say anything and I also won't worry that I'm not saying anything.

That means I can go for days (recently it has felt like weeks) without contributing anything significant but, at other times, I can write answer after answer on one day.

And when the inspiration comes, it's all's like something beyond taking over for a while and expressing that "essence of you" in the format of your choosing...I get the impression that that is the state of mind you wish to systematically recreate so that your paintings embody that true "essence of you" (your meditation data) within them.

So now let's take some of the points I've gone through here and relate them more explicitly to your wish to manifest your meditations onto the canvas.

  • You are going to go through cycles of inspiration - I think every creative person can relate to that. Sometimes you will paint alot, sometimes you will paint little or nothing.

  • When nothing comes, nothing is wrong. You can think of it as "gathering data", which a broader part of you will choose to express later when the time is right. Just go live your everyday life. Get involved in whatever interests you even if it seems unrelated to your painting - the mere fact that it is interesting means that, at some level, it is related. Find reasons everyday to feel good. Or even better, learn to feel good for no reason whatsoever.

  • When inspiration comes, go with the inspiration. Don't judge it, allow it to be whatever it wants to be. And when you can feel the inspiration waning, just stop right then, do something else and trust that it will return again when the time is right.

  • More and more, let your paintings flow through you. Try to think of yourself, not as a painter, but one who allows themselves to "be used" to paint.

  • But don't try too hard. Trying to force the flow to come will generally prevent the flow from coming.

  • Don't make the mistake of thinking that you will somehow lose the essence of what you sense during your meditations if you don't paint them there and then i.e. don't let yourself be drawn into feelings of scarcity regarding what comes in your meditations. Let it come, let it be and trust that, in consciously coming, it is now a part of you that you cannot lose again. Sure, if you want to, make, perhaps visual, notes to remind yourself of things that were especially insightful - nothing wrong with that - but try to build up some trust that a broader part of you is taking care of the details. Again, trust that when the time is right to paint those impressions, you will know it and the broader part of you will express those details in the best way possible on the canvas while flowing through you.

  • Try and become more aware everyday that the broader part of you that I keep referring to (The Higher Self) is watching your every thought and wish, and operates at a level of creative ability far beyond what you could ever hope to achieve consciously . What you (consciously) think of as the best you can do is, from the perspective of that Higher Self, the least you can do. So try and look into ways to develop a strong relationship and bond with that non-physical aspect of yourself. "Talk" to it, treat it as a close friend, a silent partner, and watch how willingly it responds to you and your desires. I have found that it's as real a person (with a unique personality, even a sense of humor) as you consciously are. Communicate directly with it in an everyday manner and it will find ways to answer back.

  • There is a limitless supply of creative expression within you. Never be afraid to discard your efforts, or leave them unfinished, if you no longer feel inspired by them or you feel that they don't represent you. Don't be concerned - there is an abundance of everything that you allow into your life and there will always be more inspiration coming down the pipeline, if you let it. As a true creative artist, it will be the process of creation that you are interested in anyway, rather than the finished work itself.

  • Paint for yourself alone (your Higher Self) and leave others' opinions out of it. That connection to your Self is the only one that counts. If others are inspired by your work fine, if they are not then they will find something or someone else to inspire them. But it's important that you are inspired by it. Always be true to who you are, and your truth will become clearer to you

To sum up, I guess what I am saying is that all you need to do to express that essence within yourself onto the canvas (i.e. what comes to you in meditation) is trust that a broader part of you will handle all the details if you let it and then, when it informs you it is ready - through the feeling of inspiration - (perhaps much, much later), just get out of the way and let it express YOUR-self

Hope you find something of value in all this :)


answered 15 Jan '11, 11:13

Stingray's gravatar image


edited 21 Dec '11, 18:04

Stingray: Thank you!! Your words are a Treasure to me. I am hanging them on my studio wall. Sounds like u might have a book on the way? Shine on ;D

(15 Jan '11, 14:10) all2gethernow

@Stingray: How do we communicate with our higher self? I remember that as a kid when we had our drawing classes I would only copy others. Also, when I meditate, I not inspired to do anything particular. Any help?

(15 Jan '11, 15:15) Pranay

@all2gethernow - You're welcome. I'm glad you've found some value in the words. Regarding the book, it looks like it's already available here on this site for free...split over about 500 answers ;)

(16 Jan '11, 10:58) Stingray

@Pranay - The Manifesting Box ( ) is really just a communication box to the Higher Self - you can use that if you want a formal process. Many people use "praying" techniques instead. Regarding inspiration, it will come when it can't really force it using any particular method. But when it comes, it will be really obvious. Until then, you can prepare for it by consistently keeping yourself in a good-feeling place on a day-by-day basis

(16 Jan '11, 11:06) Stingray

thanks again Stingray!!! love this!!

(03 Mar '11, 02:38) all2gethernow

@Stingray: One of your most beautiful explanations. Truly awesome!! Thanks so much :)

(22 Dec '11, 05:26) Sourabh

@Stingray- I think the pirate (me) just discovered the treasure. Rather, the vibrational pirate :)

(21 Feb '12, 18:51) Nikulas
showing 2 of 7 show 5 more comments

I get this too. I find all sorts of ideas come up during meditating and I have to note them down quickly afterwards before I forget. Do you paint already? I'm guessing yes from your question. I've been looking up intuitive painting this week because I was also looking for a way to express what was coming up - you can try Youtube for some ideas. The one I like best involves cling film! It may not be your cup of tea but the idea is there for bringing things out of your subconscious.

I find this way of working better because it takes thought and planning out of the equation, so you paint more what you feel.


answered 08 Jan '11, 20:28

aquamarine's gravatar image


Thanks, aquamarine! Sounds like "automatic drawing".

(08 Jan '11, 20:41) all2gethernow

Aquamarine, that was a really good link! thanks and blessings...

(09 Jan '11, 07:32) daniele

No worries, glad to have an answer instead of just questions for a change! ;)

(09 Jan '11, 16:23) aquamarine
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

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I have been able to do it only once on canvas :)

I immediately went down to the art store and (at first) tried to keep the image in my head but then it flowed out easily.


Now as I look back at that day and every other time I painted, I see that my act of painting (creating art) was in fact an act of meditation itself.


answered 09 Jan '11, 06:15

jim%2010's gravatar image

jim 10

edited 14 Jan '11, 16:33

Wow Michael! it is truly beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

(09 Jan '11, 07:25) daniele

Actually, that "place" looks familiar :)

(09 Jan '11, 13:29) all2gethernow

Wow that's really something! I've never seen that... well not yet anyway. :)

(09 Jan '11, 16:26) aquamarine

I am so happy that you were able to put on Canvas. Wonderful!

(10 Jan '11, 04:00) Inactive User ♦♦

Thanks everyone. Because it hangs on my wall I end up going "there" often.

(10 Jan '11, 04:32) jim 10

Truly beautiful. What a gift !

(14 Jan '11, 19:06) Michaela
showing 2 of 6 show 4 more comments

I can appreciate where you are coming from, and I have said some of those same words many times, if I can only get it onto Canvas! I have seen some real interesting and beautiful images and pictures in my mind eyes, and would love to turn them into physical Art!

I have heard stories that people in the Altered State, can draw anything even though they have never drawn before! I have not taken the time to explore this idea, so I do not if it works. Perhaps, you might want to check it out for your self!


answered 09 Jan '11, 05:51

Inactive%20User's gravatar image

Inactive User ♦♦

Cheers to the altered state idea

(10 Jan '11, 03:33) all2gethernow

Art can be defined as the conscious creation or disposition of sounds, colors, forms, movements and other inherent essentials that act on the emotions ... this gives the place from where art comes.

One of the secrets of that great artist Henri Matisse was ... when he painted a dove for instance, he held a real live dove in his left hand and centering his attention on the dove he transposed his feelings onto canvas ... happy painting :)


answered 13 Jan '11, 11:26

blubird%20two's gravatar image

blubird two

edited 23 Dec '11, 11:57

thank you for the tip :)

(14 Jan '11, 01:20) all2gethernow

Art takes many shapes. Your question is art. You've taken your meditation and transfered it in to the English dialect. By doing this your meditation has ranked as a "Featured" question of its time. Your canvas is InwardQuest. You are the paintbrush and your mind is the painter. As with any great artist, try to diversify your portfolio and organize your meditation. Continue to work with others to create the greatest artwork society has ever imagined!


answered 14 Jan '11, 17:56

Constantine's gravatar image


The first word that came to me when I read your question was allow.I think you have to allow those images to come forth in the moment that they arise - have a blank canvas beside you when you are meditating.

I'm not an artist but I do know that when an insightful thought pops into my head, I have to write it down in the moment because it will not always come forth later when I try to recall it. I have a feeling a lot of things work along those lines.

Channel those images the moment they arise.


answered 14 Jan '11, 19:03

Michaela's gravatar image


This might be a silly question but if you stop meditating to write something down or draw something, won't that break the meditation, or can you just go back into it? I rather thought meditation should be uninterrupted. Just wondering.

(14 Jan '11, 19:29) aquamarine

@aquamarine - Many people are under the impression that meditation is only siitting quietly with eyes closed in a lotus position. However, we can bring meditative states into our wakeful moments by being completely in the moment when we do something. A lot of insights come to me when I am in 'still meditation' and I will often open my eyes to 'allow' that inspiration to come through on paper. Sometimes I do go back into a quiet state but at other times when things seem to be flowing I continue to write - I think this may work for all2gethernow with her art.

(14 Jan '11, 20:19) Michaela

I am not a artist but I am a channeler, if you want to go over a few things, I don't know how well it will transfer over to canvas but I do know things that will help you transfer what is inside to out,. hopefully you will take it form there.

love n light



answered 22 Dec '11, 22:23

TReb%20Bor%20yit-NE's gravatar image

TReb Bor yit-NE

edited 22 Feb '12, 07:36

ursixx's gravatar image


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