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In this article I discuss the heuristic power of combining contemplative and creative practices using different stages of my research into learning through contemplation. This began with a realisation I had, in my first meditation retreat, about the similarities between creative and contemplative consciousness. It initiated twenty-three years of applied and theoretical research that started with contemplative art workshops I ran in rehabilitation centres. In PhD research that followed I tested a hypothesis of learning through contemplation founded on the concept of an elemental ground of learning that contained an integrating force I termed the feeling nexus. In later research examining the egress of meaning where practitioners return from contemplation, I discovered that art-making can act as a bridge between pre-conceptual knowing and cognitive assimilation of that knowledge. Recently I created the Meditative Process Art (MPA) method that engages the heuristic power of combining creative and contemplative practices.

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