If we liken meditation to the constant pouring of oil from a jar, there is no interruption to the flow. A steady stream falls. In order to reach that state, one must develop concentration. Beginning to summon that concentration is like pouring the oil—but with interruptions. Focus on the breath, drop, drop, drop—oh, I need to walk my dog—drop, drop—should I answer his email?—drop, drop, drop, drop, drop—I really like my new sweater—drop, drop, drop—and so on and so forth until at long last the mind is concentrated enough that the drops coalesce into a single uninterrupted stream. THAT is when we enter a meditative state. This state is sometimes referred to as the Void. The Void, at best, can be explained as “nothingness” or “emptiness,” generalized words used to describe a state that has no language. It is here that “no thing” is experienced.
These drawings are not an attempt to portray the expanse and relief of “the Void,” but to record the necessary and tedious training of a mind to concentrate. The mind generates thousands of thoughts. When sitting to meditate, distraction is the rule. One must continuously focus the mind. The act of making each circle is a physical mantra. These thousands of tiny circles build up into a form that records the effort of concentration. The repetitious mark making, the haptic translation of an intangible experience leaves a residue of the contemplative practice. The drawing emerges and the form reveals itself.