To be a sound designer, it is not just technical skill.  Sucess as a designer often means getting out of your own way.  I have found designing with mindfulness has helped me to stay focused, stay relaxed and have consistent access to my creativity.    Recently I was listening to a short video of Thich Nhat Hanh on “What is Mindfulness.”  As I was listening, I felt that much he was saying could relate to the way I can choose to design.   As a designer, I know the importance of paying attention.  In simple terms, mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment.  The following were some of his thoughts;

The object of your mindfulness can be anything.

You can look at the sky.  You breathe in, and you say, ” I am aware of the ‘blue’ sky”. So you are mindful of the blue sky. The blue sky becomes the object of your mindfulness. “Breathe in, and I smile at the blue sky.”

Recognise the sky

First, you recognise that the blue sky is existing.  If you continue the practice, you see that the blue sky is lovely.  It may be that you have lived thirty, forty, fifty years and you have seen or touched the blue sky – deeply.

To touch the blue sky is to come into contact with one of the wonders of life.  Touching the blue sky can make you very happy.

You can touch the beautiful sunrise, you can touch the sounds of the bird, the cherry blossom.  There are plenty of things that are wonderful around you and even in your self.

Be grateful

You have eyes in good condition.  You only need to open your eyes to see all sorts of form and colours.  You know that your eyes in good condition are one of the conditions that can make you happy, here right now. You have a heart that still functions normally.  Having a heart that still functions normally is a wonderful thing.  When you touch these positive things, you can be very happy right now.

You cherish these wonderful things that are available, and you come to the realisation that the conditions of your happiness are more than enough to be happy, right here and right now.  You do not have to run anymore for other conditions of happiness.

The Buddha advised us to be mindful of what is going on.  Firstly there is a chance to realise that there are many conditions for you to be happy here, right now. If you can recognise these conditions you can stop runningStop running is very important.  Because many of us are still running and we have been running for our whole lives.  The practice of mindfulness helps us to stop running to realise that happiness is possible in the here and the now.  So that you can nourish yourself and heal yourself.

teamSimon is a Sydney based digital designer. He is the Director of a boutique digital design studio, Bailey Street Design located in the vibrant inner west suburb of Newtown. Simon studied graphic design at Shillington College and specialises in web design for small and medium-size businesses. Simon and his team (Toby the studio dog) are passionate about visual communication in the digital environment


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