I totally feel like drawing and writing are forms of meditation!
I love the thought bubbles coming straight from the brain! I agree. Different people connect with the world in different ways. Meditation is great, but not for everyone. I could go for an enlightening sandwich right now.
Wow, this was really good. I’m super impressed by the way you use the thought balloons. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done that way. Nice going!
I feel the same way about making comics. It’s the only time I really feel like I’m ‘transcending’ passed what is right in front of me.
This is so timely for me, as I’ve just started a meditation course – and instead of a mindful zen-like state, I get exactly the same as panel two!
“How quietly can I fart” made me laugh out loud. I spend at least 15% of everyday wrestling with that thought.
I completely understand. I am lucky if I can get a minute of ‘blank slate’ time in a meditation session. I try, but it seems to make my brain spin faster >< So glad to hear I am not the only one! My most 'zen' moments are on horseback, with dear friends, or while painting something incredibly complex.
Oooh, I’m quiv’ring with understanding! Favourite page so far (in recent memory anyway).
I just want you to know how much I look forward to your comics. They’re not like much anybody else’s that I know of. And it feels like they are the voice of sanity and honesty when I’m surrounded by people who just don’t make any sense. People who lack texture.
So thanks, this made my night.
I think there’s obvious benefits to meditation, but I’ve never been comfortable with enlightenment paths that advocate ascension beyond the physical. I believe our purpose is to spiritualize matter through our bodies, not disdain the physical world as some sort of prison from which we’re supposed to break free.
I think Earthly Nirvana is not only possible, but the most beneficial perspective for everyone/thing that’s physically manifest.
It’s easy to cloister yourself away and maintain a spiritual mind. The true test is to be of the world and in the world and maintain an elevated perspective “in the marketplace”.
I recently had a conversation with a very dear friend about this. He meditates daily, and I’ve always admired his willingness to craft a type of spirituality that is distinctly his own. In the course of the discussion, he said he thought artists were just as spiritual because of their constant search for answers to the same big questions he tends to think about in his practice. And I realized that I totally agreed. When I’m turning some new project over in my head or marveling at the fact that I can think something up and then manifest it on the page, I feel connected to something electric and huge and fulfilling. If that’s not worthy and spiritual and so on then I don’t know what is
I also love the idea of Earthly Nirvana. I got so cheesed off reading some religious leaflets that were dropped off at my house last week. Lots of waiting around for God to come and take us somewhere where everything will be fine. No mention of how incredible things can be right here, right now, with a little effort and awareness on our part. I thought it was such a shame to waste all the opportunities for clean sheets, good books, and nice kisses while holding out for something better. If there’s something better after this, then we’ll get double the awesome if we’ve spent our time on earth living fully and pleasurably!
Thanks as always for your thoughtful and beautifully executed work. This one definitely hits all the right thought buttons for me.
I like the MprAobYabBlyE. At least you’re honest. I don’t think it’s bad to think of terrestrial things while meditating, just let them go when they come up. You can’t avoid life but you can control how you react.
Cooking. Sitting in the kitchen on Sunday, preparing food for the coming week, listening to music. Not a thought in my head but chopping, stirring, baking… I think that’s both.
I was just writing about innovative techniques in comics, and took an internet break and saw this. So very #1.
I feel like everyone who meditates, even those who are quite experienced in meditation, have this jumble of thoughts and a runaway mind. It’s human nature. I know there are many different approaches toward meditation, though for me, it’s not about denying or putting down the physical, but more about trying to encourage my mind to be present, mindful and engaged. So that after meditation practice, that intention to be present stays with me, through food, sex, itchy feet, and I’m less caught up in thinking about past experiences or what I might do tomorrow. So I agree – drawing, making art, for some people it’s playing sports or exercising. Whatever activity encourages you to be fully present in your body, meditation can take many forms, as each person is so different.
I missed your posts so much! This is wonderful.
I second what Candace says. I always have this thought jumble. I think there is a misconception that comes from the idea of “clearing the mind,” or “emptying” the mind, where you think you aren’t meditating because you haven’t stopped thinking. For me, meditating is something I do to remind myself to slow down and be nicer to myself. It’s something I do not to stop thinking, but to remind myself that I don’t have to get hung up on every thought that comes through my head. Some people who do this a lot can access that velvet darkness where there is everything and nothing. I’ve only been there once through meditation and it lasted about 5 minutes before I went “oh, hey look at me I’m in this awesome— oh, never mind. Hello, self.” There are a lot of ways to do that though, and meditation is only one. It’s also very possible for meditation not to be asetic in the sense of giving up, but quite sensual. Sitting in a dark room watching a candle flame, smelling incense, wrapped in a warm blanket, taking twenty minutes to be quiet with yourself can be pretty wonderful. I need that sometimes, because I get so full of thoughts that I start to have to yell at myself in order to hear what I’m really needing over the din. Like you, Lucy, I find that occupying my hands with something creative tends to be an “easier” way to freedom of mind than sitting cross-legged on the floor in silence.
Brilliant. Thank you for sharing.
I think you’ve found your own path already.
(Except for the part about worrying that you might not be doing it right.)
Forget about that. Art is already cosmic and you’re used to it- but so many others need a stairway to get there.
You can levitate.
Just wanted to second (third?) what some of the others have said already. There are many types of meditation, but the one I’m most familiar with is Zen. One of the big reasons I was attracted to Zen was its emphasis on everyday life. Enlightenment is right now always, not just some fleeting moment on a mountaintop. So it’s not really a matter of celestial vs. terrestrial. Zen practice is being intimately entwined with our day to day experience. There’s no need to divide it up.
Mediation is not an elimination of thoughts. The mind generates thought and meditation will not eliminate that activity. When we meditate, we don’t have to get involved with the thoughts. The thoughts will generate, on their own. Just let them, and observe them. Don’t get involved, just observe. “There’s a thought, and there’s another.” Just allow the thoughts to be. They won’t go away in meditation. They’re not supposed to. You just don’t have to get involved with them. A thought will arise, stay awhile, and then fall away, and then another thought will arise… Just observe the thoughts as they arise, and continue to sit.
Man, without sounding creepy or anything, I am rather pleased that there are more ladies out there who think about sex as much as I do. My high-school epiphany was more or less the same.
Just wanted to point out the same thing as David did up there. Meditating is not (necessarily) about emptying your mind, but rather about trying to be conscious of what happens there. So you’re not supposed to not-think, you’re only supposed to try and watch your thoughts. This might eventually create some distance from your thoughts and feelings that allows you more inner peace, or it might not. It’s not ultimately the point, the point is to become more aware. And that is work, as well, but not nearly as hard as trying to be empty.
That said, I hardly ever comment but I always read all your comics. And adore them.
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