Meditation on Thought Layering Visualization

Audio Aug. 25, 2023
“I’m not interested in the past being my present, I don’t want to know who I am. I paint to try and access that.”
Raymond Jennings Saunders

Make time for your mental health, and enjoy our new meditation on thoughts inspired by Raymond Jennings Saunders’ Layers of Being.

Step-by-Step Meditation

  1. Take some time to study this work. Allow your attention to move around the painting as quickly or as slowly as feels natural.
  2. Notice the different layers of materials in this mixed media work. Where does your attention linger?
  3. Slowly move your awareness around the painting, starting at the top left corner. Move your attention across the top, and then slowly down the rest of the work. As you see different images and colors notice any thoughts or feelings that start to arise.
  4. Now, close your eyes and settle into your own mind. Notice what thoughts appear. As thoughts arise, visualize what they would look like. Do you see a color, a shape, a form, or a place? There is no right or wrong.
  5. As a new thought enters the mind, visualize the thought and layer it upon the last thought.
  6. Notice if there are any patterns in the thoughts that are entering your mind. Try not to push any away or cling to any – just notice.
  7. Continue this exercise to build awareness of your thought patterns.

This work is on view in Scaife Gallery 16.

Image: Raymond Jennings Saunders, American, b. 1934, Layers of Being, c. 1985; mixed media on canvas, Work 81 × 59 15/16 × 1 in 205.74 × 152.24 × 2.54 cm, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Block, 2001.37.9 © Raymond Jennings Saunders. By permission.