Giedrius Cibulskis is a graphic designer living in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. About 10 years ago he began to feel adrift and was searching for some foundation in his life. After exploring many different philosophies and schools of thought, he was excited by the idea that being present in the moment could be a foundational element in his life, one that he could practice and get better at.
Cibulskis started meditating on his own. And then, about 6 years ago, he discovered Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now. This is when he first heard the word mindfulness.
“Tolle’s book really helped me understand what mindfulness is about because he explains it so very clearly and simply,” says Cibulskis. After reading The Power of Now, he began deepening his meditation practice.
“I don’t have a teacher here in Lithuania because there is no such tradition in our country,” he says. “There are some centers, but they’re all practicing some kind of school thought, some kind of religion, where it’s quite dogmatic.”
Lacking a mindfulness community around him, Cibulskis began to read whatever he could find online. He found practice videos on YouTube, and even attended a mindfulness retreat a few years ago.
Being a graphic designer, he naturally started to think about what mindfulness might look like, how it might be expressed visually. “I went to the Vilnius Academy of Arts to study design, and after graduation I specialized in logo design and brand identity, working with symbols.”
It became clear, as his journey unfolded, that he should connect his two passions: mindfulness and design. He started brainstorming ideas for a mindfulness symbol and landed on one that he felt conveyed everything he’d been learning.
Cibulskis wanted to create a physical representation of the present moment and he organized his ideas around the concept of a water drop to combine the elements of space and time, past, present, and future.
“I designed the symbol because I feel there is a need to promote the idea of mindfulness. And the best way to share it is to make it free. So, I am offering it as an open source symbol that can be used to help spread the message. That’s the only way that makes sense to me,” he says.
Since sharing the symbol, an online community sprouted around it. People now send him photos showing how they’re using the symbol. “Most people are sending me photos of tattoos. Others have made handcraft items.” He’s created a Tumblr page where he showcases some of the photos people send him.
“The last 10 years was a lot of searching,” says Cibulskis. “And for now there is no community here. But I talk about it, I listen, and I try to make connections. My hope for the symbol is that if you see it somewhere—in public, personal or virtual spaces—it will be a reminder for you to become aware of this present moment.”