Creating space for creativity to flow enhances so many areas of our lives. Whether creating unique art, coming up with innovative ideas at work, finding novel ways to re-inspire long term relationships, combining previously unrelated thoughts to create something original or stumbling upon new ideas that can take you on unexpected life adventures.
Meditation has supported my creativity in many ways:
1. It helps me recognise and diffuse the power of the inner critic that can obstruct me taking risks and trying new things for fear of failure.
2. It’s given me skills to better tolerate the unknown, which is such an inevitable part of the creative process (and life itself).
3. It supports me in moving a little more towards being, rather than striving (although this is still a work in progress).
4. It creates a space for spontaneity to arise.
John Cleese talks wonderfully about the conditions that create the openness for creativity to thrive (via Brain Pickings). There are many parallels between the attitude that supports the creative process and the attitude that supports meditation.
You can only be truly creative if you are open to whatever the moment may bring, adapting to it’s unexpected twists, rather than trying to control things.
It’s the same with meditation…it’s about being open to the experience of each moment without judgement. Allowing whatever emerges to be held in your awareness without reacting or controling it.
He states: “Creativity requires creating an oasis of quiet for ourselves by setting boundaries of space and time.”
He doesn’t speak overtly of meditation, however he does allude to the common tricks the mind plays on us when we do create that space, whether for creative pursuits or meditation.
Although meditation is not about striving to get somewhere or make something happen, I have noticed that when I put time aside for meditation and create that space, sometimes unexpected ideas bubble up that turn out to be quite valuable.
There’s always something that arises when you sit down to meditate. Sometimes it’s pleasant, sometimes it’s unpleasant. The art of meditation is to allow experience to be as it is, from moment to moment. Just noticing rather than reacting to the ripples of thought, sensation and emotion as they constantly change like a kaleidoscope in the space of the mind.