Pattern/Map Meditation

Pattern/Map Meditation, K. Kauffman,
Ink & Collage, 20”x16”, 2023

In my ink drawings about meditation, I attempt to depict what I feel when I meditate. In Pattern/Map Meditation, I illustrate both my inner and outer realities. The lighter ochre and lavender ink swirls in the outermost areas depict the gentle dynamics I perceive in my larger environment, vibrant with a hint of order in their rounded directions. The sandpaper-like texture of my closely-spaced ink lines indicate the intensity of the energetic field around me.

The darker mass of ink lines surrounding the central seated figure show the vitality I perceive in the space near me. This area is sometimes described as the aura, about three feet wide in all directions around the body. With my inner eye, the gold and purple colors seem to coalesce into human forms or faces that feel protective. In this area, an abstract face appears. In meditation, I always find these colors and shapes comforting.

Within the figure, I show linear repetitive patterns: these seem to exist within my mind as habitual tendencies. Drawing the repeating lines gives these formerly unspoken and unconscious character traits visibility, helping me to see them more clearly, almost like a map. When I observe them, whether in my mind’s eye (while at rest) or in my ink drawings, I can more easily make the changes I need.  Observation leads to reflection. For example, I sometimes ponder the times that I allowed a dominant personality to persuade me to do something I’m not comfortable with. Over time, with awareness, I’ve been able to be less ingratiating and become more authentic to my true values.

When I’m in deep contemplation, I often feel a resonance with my positive efforts to be kind and thoughtful to myself and others. On a personal level, allowing my body the rest and nutrition it truly needs is an achievement I’m improving at, day by day. With the outer world, I cultivate my abilities to communicate with my family and friends. When I give tours at a local art museum, I savor discussing art with the public.

With Pattern/Map Meditation, I’ve created a visual treasure map. The linear design symbolizes my inner life. As if using a map, the abstract marks act as a message to remind me where I am. With awareness, I exercise choices to make fresh decisions and follow new directions.

Pattern/Map Meditation is featured in the Walter Wickiser Gallery’s coming exhibit, Gallery Artists Part XX, celebrating twenty years of exhibition in this New York gallery. The exhibit opens June 21st and is available to see online at the Walter Wickiser website until August 31st: