Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


Art as Practice

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

9 Moments.jpg

I’ve recently resumed painting after about a 25 year hiatus. This is my latest piece, “9 Moments” that depicts nine moments of meditation, with each circle representing the arising of talking thoughts, images, and feelings in the mind. This piece is currently part of the Helen Day Arts Center Member Show and Sale in Stowe, Vermont. It is up through 2 January 2011. I was inspired to resume painting by Odin Cathcart. Odin (aka Erik), a longtime friend. 
I am fortunate to own many of his pieces spanning the last ten years of his art career. Pictured below, hanging in the Exquisite Mind Studio is “Insouciance,” It is a magnficient piece, part low relief sculpture, part painting. It is six feet by six feet and is made from bark recovered from dead trees in the Hudson Valley where Odin did his MFA studies at SUNY New Paltz. 

Inouciance.jpg

This work reflects the interface of humanity with the natural world and points to the degradation of nature that is pervasive in the world today. His recent work is an exploration of this theme and a conversation that holds the promise of awakening to a deeper truth in nature. 
This piece is featured on the big wall in the new Exquisite Mind Psychotherapy and Meditation Studio in downtown Burlington. It is one of the most original pieces of art that you will likely see in your lifetime and should be hanging in the MoMA instead of the Exquisite Mind, but for now, I have the great fortune of having it hang in my Studio! 
Odin’s styles have changed over the years from abstract expressionist action painting to

hiroshima.jpg

these nature conversations. One painting on loan to the Exquisite Mind, is Hiroshima, a four foot by six foot testament to humanity’s destructive and redemptive powers. This piece was featured in the New York Times. Hiroshima is comprised of Gingko leaves. 
Art invites us to see what is before us and shows us how we often cannot “see” because we are too preoccupied with generating opinions and being plain distracted from what is before us. 
We can use a work of art as the object for meditation, endeavoring to give it our full attention and to return attention to it whenever it moves into opinions, stories, and errata. Of course, creating art can be a meditation too. Look at some art in your home or go to a gallery or a museum and try to “see” with your entire being. The artist will appreciate the attention and the world will open in a colorful, beautiful, and profound way. 
To meditate on Odin’s work, visit his website Imagine Zero.


  • http://louellabryant.com Ellie

    I’ve been enchanted by “Insouciance,” and your own painting is intriguing. What is its size, and where can we see more of your work?

  • http://mindfulsearcher.blogspot.com Mindful Searcher

    Thanks for the post. All the artworks included in it were beautiful.

  • Colleen

    Arnie,
    Thank you so much for sharing another beautiful expression of your self, and it’s great that after 25 years, art is calling you back to it. I agree that looking at art with our entire being is beneficial. Whether strolling through the Louvre, the Hermitage, admiring ancient structures in Thailand, built with loving hands and 1″ square colorful tiles, works of art in Egypt, Nepal, South America, or, playing in my gardens, kayaking rivers and lakes, climbing the mountains in my own back yard, we can see art everywhere in everything, when/if we truly see with all of our being. As you insightfully remind us, “the world will open in a colorful, beautiful and profound way”:>)
    “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes…” (Marcel Proust)

  • http://exquisitemind.com Dr. Arnie Kozak

    Thanks, Ellie. This pieces is 2 feet by 2 feet. My painting is currently on display at the Helen Day Arts Center in Stowe, Vermont in the Members Art Show and Sale: http://helenday.com. It will be up until 2 January 2011. Other work will make its way into the Exquisite Mind Psychotherapy and Meditation Studio when it is complete.

  • U

    YOU are amazing.

  • Lise-Ann

    Wow! “9 Moments” is an experience unto itself…you made me want to pick up my rock guitar today (after 25 years) and play a few riffs! Art is an expression of the “moment.” Will also check out Odin’s work. Thanks for sharing this side of your practice. Maitri.

  • Michelle

    Wonderful paintings! I think they are awesome and relaxing to see.

  • Irish Marie

    I just love that painting. Thanks for sharing.
    Marie

  • Arielle Hart

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments about art and what art can and does for each of us! Shanti!

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