[NetBehaviour] A mindfulness exercise for the end of 2020

Max Herman maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 15 20:03:56 CET 2020

Hi all,

It's been a challenging year in many ways, with stresses and losses beyond what we could ever have expected.

Research into the health benefits of meditation has accelerated greatly due to the pandemic.  As part of a current project that is investigating the interconnections between meditation and art I am collecting responses to the below 5-minute exercise.  If it is of interest to you or someone you know please feel free to send me your responses.

In any case, thanks to all and best wishes for a brighter new year!



5-minute Mona Lisa meditation

  1.  Schedule a time when you can spend a few minutes quietly.
  2.  Find a copy of the Mona Lisa, such as this<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mona_Lisa#/media/File:Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouched.jpg> one from Wikipedia.
  3.  Set a timer for five minutes.
  4.  While looking at the image, take 3 or 4 slow, natural breaths.
  5.  With eyes closed, do a body scan for a few breaths, noticing how your feet are placed on the floor and any other sensations.
  6.  Open your eyes and look for a few breaths at the person in the painting, paying attention to what you see.
  7.  If thoughts arise, just note them as "thinking" and bring your attention back to your breath and what you are seeing.
  8.  Look at the background of the painting for a few breaths.  How is it related to the person?
  9.  Compare the two sides of the background for a few breaths, noticing any similarities or differences.
  10. For a few breaths, notice the dark and the light areas of the painting.
  11. For a few breaths, notice anything in the painting that is rotating or twisting.
  12. For a few breaths, try to hold eye contact with the painting.  Notice any feelings that arise.
  13. For the remaining time, just notice the sensation of breathing and whatever you are seeing in the painting.

When you are done, write down what the meditation was like.  Was there anything unexpected?  Include any details about the painting, your breathing, or other impressions you can remember from during the five minutes.  Share what you have written with one other person.


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