How vs. What

In our so called normal daily life, perhaps the greatest emphasis we give is to the “What” – What do we do? What is our age? What is our financial situation? Our social position? Our marital status – are we married/ single? What do we do for a living? What do we own? What are our hobbies? What do we like ? What do we not like? “What” defines us.

It seems that the “How” in our life is somehow much less respected, less the focus, while that is, in fact, that which truly matters – How do I feel? How do I feel in my house? In my marriage? How do I like my job? Am I happy in my relationships? With the way I spend my free time? Am I satisfied with that which I do and with how I live? Am I inspired, motivated? How do I love?

It is as if the “what”, has blinded us, has mesmerized us and we have dismissed the core of it all, that “how do I feel?” part of it.

The “What” and the “How” are not entirely separated, since many time the “what” directly effects the “how” and vice versa. For instance, feeling very frustrated for not getting a job promotion or sad and disappointed for not being able to go on a holiday.

Yet, when we get pulled too deeply into the “What” and lose interest in the “How” and the “Who” which is behind that “How” – which is us, our attention is in the wrong direction; We have lost the goal and forgotten the purpose.


And how is this connected to Meditative Art?

The same can be said in reference to our artwork, particularly when we attempt to apply creativity with the aim of inner growth and spiritual evolution. If we see art as a tool to connect to ourselves, if our aim is to connect, to be, then “results” can never be confused with the product of our work. The “What” cannot overpower the “Who” and “How”. Rather, we must point our attention to that “Who” – which is us, and the “How” – which is our inner state. We must make sure that we direct our attention from the artwork to the way we experience ourselves in the creative process. The artwork is the means not our aim. It is not a product that we wish to create, but a correct inner state. 

How do I feel? How connected am I? How rooted and present? Who is the one that is connecting? Is it the chattering mind, longing to justify itself, and express itself, hoping to get gratification and assert it’s existence, or perhaps is it a deeper and more real aspects of ourselves?

The Goal

As long as we dedicate our lives to getting things done, to achieving social goals, owning things, reaching external missions, gaining some status or other worldly accomplishments, we are, in a way, wasting our life. For it is the “How” that is the important, and the “Who” we continuously seem to miss and misunderstand.

If we are bitter, stressed, angry, frustrated, lacking motivation, confused, depressed, sad, lonely, spiteful, unfulfilled, uncomfortable within ourselves, what is the point of all the what is we have gained and all our material achievements? We need to focus on our happiness, on the way we feel and experience ourselves. The sweetness of life, the moments we can relax and support ourselves, those are most precious. Dedicating time to our calmness, is perhaps the most valuable of all, and yet, do we honestly give it due place and appreciation?


Nothing is more important then happiness

We must differentiate between the means and our goals. We may think we mean the same thing when we aim at that “What” and “How”, yet in truth, how truly different they are.

Our only true goal is our happiness, what else really matters, and if we are not happy, and yet, have gained all the educational degrees, a job and wealth we desire, what good are they, if they do not bring us happiness?

Realizing our true goal is happiness, inner wellbeing and contentment changes our life’s focus. As artist, this also changes the way we create. We no longer aim to make a product that others will appreciate, we create in order to connect within and to be in a positive and supportive state.

When our goals are not confused with our tools we can make sure our lives support our wellbeing and not scarifying our welling for an imaginary achievement.  Once we have the right perspective and the right approach, we can use the means for the aim and not the other way around.


(c) 2010 Meditative Art School, Mochita Har-Lev      Web Development: