My iPad and the No Mind State

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Images/Editing/Text: Aline LaPierre     Additional Editing: Victor Osaka


At times, I like to step out of mindfulness and into mindlessness—or, as the Japanese call it, no mind state.

My favorite doorway into no mind state is my iPad touchscreen. I love to immerse myself in the immediacy of shape and color as they emerge from the movement of my fingers on the screen.

I think of it as a present-day version of Japanese calligraphy.


Faced with a blank paper, the calligrapher has but one chance to lay down a perfect stroke. The brush stoke reflects the calligrapher’s internal state at the moment it touches the paper’s surface. To execute Japanese calligraphy with mastery, one must clear one’s mind so that the feeling of the moment flows out effortlessly. It is a practice to uncover one’s original self, the hidden essence within.


On the touchscreen, the gesture of my finger is recorded as immediately as the calligrapher’s brush stroke on paper. But on the touchscreen, something more happens, a stunning new dimension is set in motion. Threads of light in a fluid electronic medium spread and grow like dendrites in a nervous system. Not only is the gesture recorded, but its impulse, now imprinted onto a responsive surface, continues to spread, overlap, and curl upon itself. The electronic medium gives the brain the experience of observing its essential self in motion.



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2 responses to “My iPad and the No Mind State

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