artist solomon enos redefines meditation

Fernando Pacheco
March 26, 2019

Before Solomon Enos picks up a pencil or paint brush, he takes a walk. He’s not necessarily thinking about one thing or another, but focusing on everything in front of him and observing little changes as he enters a space. It’s this practice that prompts the 42-year-old Native Hawaiian artist to challenge the notion that meditation is sitting still in silence.

One of Enos' murals featured in the 2019 POW! WOW! street art festival. Photograph courtesy of Matthew Nelms.

While moving meditation is largely associated with martial arts and yoga, Enos experiences benefits that he feels redefine the practice. “I think meditation can be mindful action or mindful engagement,” says Enos. “Folks should explore ways of expanding or redefining meditative states.”

Once he’s painting or drawing, he enters what he calls a meditative flow state. “You become the audience in your own reality and if it’s a really engaging reality, you’re not going to make noise; you’re sitting there passively engaged in it. You can be passively active,” says Enos.

Want to use art as meditation? Enos has a few tips:

Create a space. Convert a space in your home that brings out your creativity. It should make you feel special and safe.

Let go of all judgement. Mentally let go of any comments anyone has ever made of your art—this includes yourself.

Doodle. Grab your favorite pen or pencil and draw without any objectives. Is it too quiet? Listen to music, an audiobook, or a podcast while doodling.

Start with you. Draw your hand. When you feel confident, get a mirror out and do a self-portrait. Don’t forget to smile.

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