The Art of Seeing –

Meditation with a Masterpiece: finding stillness & sanctity through vision

with Mary Attwood, MA

Thursday 29th February 2024 7-8pm

UK time



…but the imagination is unable to exist outside of the sensus communis,

unless it passes to the memory where it terminates and dies

if the thing imagined is not of great excellence.”

Leonardo da Vinci

 This session will be recorded.

Works of art from the past were created with specific intentions of awakening different faculties and ways of seeing and knowing in the viewer. Not every work of art moves us, and neither should it, but some do, and in differing ways. Some awaken our intellectual curiosity, others move us to tears, others to pure joy, others make us speechless while we stand in the awe of their presence. We don’t often take time to just be with an image, to allow it to guide us into deeper contemplation, relaxing the analytical mind, and be guided into the places and spaces in our body, our imagination, which nourish us from within. Sacred images were created to move us into empathetic, compassionate and devotional resonance, they presented an outer vision which could be taken in and stored in the memory, imagination and heart of the viewer, to be a guide, and source of spiritual sustenance. 

In this month’s Art of Seeing session, we will move into a meditative visualisation with a very beautiful sacred image. Today, we live at an unprecedented pace of life, noise levels have reached new heights, our vision is bombarded by ‘things’ to look at in every place possible, and the images that are created to grab our attention, are often soulless and degraded.  Through meditative visualisation with a masterpiece of art, we are not only brought back to the awe of what humans are capable of producing, but our vision / imagination may be replenished by something exquisite. Through an image of quiet, sanctity and vivid articulation, similar regions may be discovered in our mind, body and imagination. Great works of art do not take us away from the world, rather, they remind us of what really matters because they show us true humanity and what we might be capable of: love, compassion, beauty, resilience, discernment…and warnings which might challenge these values. In this session, we will be gently guided by the words of Leonardo da Vinci. 

These sessions take a threefold approach of theory, practice and reflection with just one work of art.  The work of art will not be revealed until the session, but do please bring open open eyes, ears and a pen and paper! Or, if you prefer to just listen and look, you can do that too.  These sessions are open to everyone whether you are a seasoned art lover or not. 

To book, please do so through Mary’s website here.


About Mary Attwood

Mary is co-founder and director of The Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred, an art historian, author, mentor and business creative. She is co-founder and director of Channel McGilchrist, was the founding Chairman of the Victoria branch of The Arts Society, is a qualified practitioner of yoga, meditation and mindfulness, has published two books with Watkins, and has recently published an ancestral family book. She holds a BA hons degree in the History of Art from UCL and Birkbeck, and an MA with distinction in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred from CCCU.

Mary’s teaching and research seek to offer a broader understanding of art, not as an object to be analysed, but as a bridge between seemingly disparate ways of understanding the world and our place in it. While honouring the historical, broadening perceptions of art beyond rationalising analysis, categories and styles, opens doorways both in us and in the image. But beyond this, how we look at art art can reveal ways of knowing and seeing that change not only what we see in art, but change us and the world around us, and can help us meet the complexities of modern living by offering a renaissance of humane values.

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