Expanding Imagination and Deepening Connections through Transcendental Meditation
“I choose to create because it’s the purest means for me to relate to the world. I hope my work allows people to see life in a new way by beginning a conversation about poverty— ending inequality, empathizing with the environment, and being inspired for action. Art is a reflection of our collective consciousness. To me, the role of the artist is to eclipse the ordinary, to provide glimpses into a heightened nature of life, which are like slivers of light consumed by the senses. My art strives to take viewers on a journey that transcends place and time, illustrating our connectedness. We are like the ocean that is made up by droplets of water coming together. The ultimate message of my art is that ‘We are one.’”
Kito Mbiango is a creator of visual tapestries that seek to unlock the memories that remind us of the underlying connection within ourselves and with nature. He says he weaves vintage photos, scientific and cartographic illustrations and literature onto fabric, canvas, or wood to transport viewers to a different époque and spiritual state.
Click here to read more about his process.
Kito has been creating since he was a child. Born of a Belgian mother and a Congolese father, and currently a resident of New York City, Kito’s art has been featured in such publications as Town & Country, Architectural Digest, Taschen Miami and Luxe magazines. UNICEF, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Voices United, Haitian Art Relief Fund, FOTORELIEF and Heal Africa are among the charitable organizations, which have featured his work—and Kito has donated pieces to aid their missions.
Two years ago, Kito learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique through the David Lynch Foundation. His decision came after months of watching his partner Jill Van den Brule meditate silently each morning.
“I was introduced to TM by Jill. She told me how important TM was to her, especially for handling the stress and trauma she experienced firsthand while working for the United Nations in post-earthquake Haiti in 2010. Jill credits TM with keeping her centered on her higher purpose and not letting ego, insecurity, and the fear of failure impede her growth and performance. TM also helped strengthen her relationships with her peers at the United Nations by fostering a cooperative work environment. In my mind, TM is a way of healing the healers,” Kito said.
For Kito, personally?
“My practice of TM has taught me that we are all artists of our own lives. It has reinforced my understanding that the mind needs to rest in order to focus and fulfill its maximum potential. Because I meditate I’m able to manage my stress levels and focus on the important things, including my beloved children.”
And for Kito and Jill’s relationship?
“Jill and I are extremely sensitive people and TM has allowed us to manage our emotions so they flow through us in a very healthy way. When you live in such an intense city such as New York, TM is a particularly effective and simple tool that allows the mind to breathe, rejuvenating all the senses and enlivening your imagination.”
For Kito, as an artist?
“TM gives me the freedom and courage to expand my artistic philosophy and explore my creative processes. As an artist, I can now see more clearly the symbiosis between man and nature—a connection which I felt was reflected in my work, but never fully understood until I started meditating. TM has enabled me to be more grounded, to have perspective and be patient about my artistic process. I’ve begun to understand that art, like life, needs time to be conceived, to grow, multiply and unfold, like a delicate flower which cannot be forced to bud and burst before its time.”
“I’m exploring new mediums in an attempt to show depth and layers in new ways. I am experimenting with colors and textures to portray the inextricable connection between dreams and reality. TM has enabled me to enter my flow state more freely – a place that all artists strive for when they feel ready to effortlessly channel divine creative energy,” Kito says.
Kito is working on an exhibit in New York City, which is scheduled to open in early 2015, as well as working on a humanitarian aid project. And through it all he meditates twice a day.
“I would recommend TM to all creatives. It’s an essential tool for their trade. TM is as important to me as my brushes and canvases are for my art because it facilitates a deeper connection to the self. At the same time, it reminds me that each and everyone of us are creators in a cosmic dance.”