Meditation and Art as Social Performance: Introduction
I have been live streaming my mandala drawing sessions on the social media platform TikTok for several months now. I currently go by the handle @the_chaos_pixie, which is a name that I love because it contrasts so strongly with the mindful, peaceful practice of mandala making that it perfectly sums up who I am as a person: the walking paradox or, better yet, kaleidoscope.
I love a good juxtaposition. Another juxtaposition that I enjoy is that of deeply intrapersonal work (building the self through building a mandala) with the highly interpersonal, (para)social practice of livestreaming. I try to stream everyday. Some of my livestreams are up to 3 hours long (once I even streamed for 5!).
When I started out I was streaming into the void and sometimes a high school kid or two would show up and ask art questions in Italian. Now, months later, I have a steady (and steadily growing) international group of staunch supporters and friends who participate in my Lives. I am profoundly thankful to them for their contributions to the art work as experience. Sometimes we chat, philosophize and exchange trauma tales and advice while other times I draw in silence and they watch or talk amongst themselves. This has been a mostly positive and wonderful experience.
Next I will elaborate on the different themes that I have been reflecting on recently about the practice of mediation and art as social performance. Part 1 will cut to the chase and discuss how I have been dealing with the few trolls that I have encountered. Part 2 explains why I do the livestreams (the short answer is that the performer in me adores having an audience). Part 3 will illuminate the wonderful ways in which a certain side of Tik Tok strongly resembles and functions as Group Therapy. And lastly, at least for now, I would like to discuss how livestreaming while drawing has impacted me in terms of my spiritual journey wandering further down into the labyrinthian Shamanic Path.
Thank you for reading! Until next time, Peace, Love, Blessed Be and Namaste.