Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Screenwriting as Meditation

What is meditation? From what I've gathered over several years of study and practice, meditation is the ability to sit quietly as one observes one's own mind, body and emotions.

What is my process? Start in a seated position, close the eyes, focus on inhaling and exhaling deep breaths. If using art or writing as a meditation, do the same but after the breaths,  open the eyes and begin making marks or words with the hands. 

Monoprint by Levonne Gaddy

Then listen for all that is there to be heard, inside and out. Feel whatever external conditions are there to be felt. Feel whatever internal conditions call the attention. See whatever pops into the mind as a vision, a memory, a picture. Smell whatever is there to discern. Taste what is there to be tasted.  Just be, non-judgmentally, in that space with self, with body, with mind, and emotions, surrounded by the world.

The external world tells a story in sounds and sensations. The mind tells stories sparked by those external triggers. Which is which? I have a very critical mind. A suspicious mind. My mind can conjure all kinds of stories - all of them just that. Stories.

Today's lessons from my meditation:
I often see myself as a victim in the world. I don't like being so,  but that is my story. My story distresses me.

In the observing space, I become aware that I am not alone. My God Self is there too. I have been a victim of my own neglect. Again.

Just be myself, in the world. Pay attention. Observe.

But what channel do I want to tune in to? There are thousands to choose from. Food, travel, friends, music, art, the dogs, my husband, chores, family, money?

I must feed and prime myself for what I want in my life. Focus and study, outside of meditation, in order to be able to sense my channel.

Study screenwriting, in order to grow the craft consciously. Then when I meditate, or when I write, I may recognize what my God Self has to say about this particular endeavor. I may discover the treasures that are always there, to be sensed by me.

Meditation helps me listen, to myself, and to the world around me without getting swept away.

Writing can only be a "meditation" as long as I have awareness of what is happening with me as I do the creative work. Beyond being aware, I must be able to bear what is going on inside me as I practice the art.  I'm hoping that the process of blogging further develops my awareness and acceptance.

When I'm writing down thoughts, feeling the associated feelings, I don't have to be swept away. I can just let it all be.

(This post inspired by conversations with my friend, June, who has meditated faithfully for over thirty years and who is also an artist.)

My report on last week's training to grow as a screenwriter:   

  • worked with my teacher, Anne Jordan, on my TV pilot script,
  • attended Northern California Screenwriters group and had ten pages table read, 
  • submitted a six-page short to a competition, 
  • went to de Young Museum (San Francisco) with friends to feed my artist's soul.

 My favorites from the de Young Museum trip below:

Amedeo Modigliani painting.

Edmund Tarbell, The Blue Veil

Thank you sincerely for joining me on my journey. Does any of this make sense?

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