Art and Soul Guided Gallery Meditation

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We’ve heard of walking meditation and even guided meditation but an upcoming program at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., focuses on something similar in an art gallery setting.

Created by yoga therapist Elizabeth Kanter, the experience is described by The Phillips Collection as ...

...a series of contemplative in-gallery experiences to encourage slow looking, mindful art viewing, and personal connections to Phillips artworks.”

The program, which debuted as a one-time live event led by Kanter on October 23rd, will be available to the general public beginning in November as a cell-phone-guided tour. It will include such pieces as Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Charles Angrand’s The Seine at Dawn.

Gallery goers use mindful meditation techniques to help them focus on their breath, while the tour relaxes the body and mind, allowing participants to experience the artwork on a deeper level.

Viewers are asked to imagine stepping inside the paintings. They are told to breathe in the space. What would the summer air feel like in “Luncheon of the Boating Party?” What would the food taste like? How would it smell, sound and feel to be there in that moment?

The tour ends with the ringing of a bell. This is used to bring the viewer out of the experience and into the present again with the hope that visitors will leave more relaxed and mindful of their surroundings in general. 

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