img_1991I have never been able to meditate in the sitting-crosslegged-on-a-cushion sort of way; I am way too fidgety and my muscles cramp up. I can, however, achieve that same quietness of mind through repetitive movement. Running, hiking, paddling can get me there. So can doodling, moving a pen or brush across paper without a specific purpose in mind.

Cartoonist Lynda Barry recommends keeping a spare piece of paper nearby when writing or drawing; when you get stuck, draw slow spirals or other repetitive shapes until inspiration returns – keep your hand moving!

I love this idea from my friend and fellow artist Hannah Sanford, who engages in lettering meditation: choosing a word and writing it over and over, in an open and noticing state of mind.

Coloring books for adults are an “in” thing right now, but they don’t do it for me personally – I get too caught up in staying in the lines, choosing harmonious colors, etc. to get into that meditative state. Then there’s Zentangle, a structured doodling system with Certified Leaders and Official Products and such (which seems like a bit of overkill to me, but whatever works for you, go for it!)

Grab a pen or pencil you like, any old paper you have around, move your hands and let your mind wander!