12 Ways Meditation Can Boost Your Creativity
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will. — George Bernard Shaw
What is creativity?
Creativity is the ability to bring something to life through manifesting an idea, a dream, a vision in the world. A creative act need not involve a completely new idea or conception, but it must bring something new, a new spirit, a new interpretation, a new energy.
There are as many ways of expressing yourself as there are beings in existence.
We live in a world that continually finds new ways of rewarding innovation and creativity, but aside from the outer world, creating something brings inner rewards. Each one of us is driven to create, to express ourselves in some way, for creating not only expresses, it brings out our true nature, making us more fully alive, more fully ourselves, as we go through the creative process.
Somewhere along the line you might have lost that creative spark. As Picasso put it, “every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
Over time you can lose touch with your inner self, your child-like nature that can create effortlessly. You become serious, weighed down by life’s many stresses.
Everyone is creative, but you may have lost touch with it. Creativity is a fundamental drive, a part of being human. As Cecil B. DeMille said, “creativity is a drug I cannot live without.”
Jelalludin Rumi, the great 12th-century poet and meditation master, put it like this:
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
Meditation can help you unleash your creativity. Here are 12 ways your creativity will get a boost from learning and practicing meditation.
1. Meditation connects you to your heart, your true nature, where the creative urge comes from. No matter how buried, your heart is there, waiting for that connection.
2. Meditation increases your ability to concentrate, and concentration is the foundation of the creative process. All fully-formed creative works come from deep concentration.
3. Meditation brings you in touch with your feelings, which are the fuel of creativity. Inspiration flows when your blood is up. When you are in a mental state, a state of logical, linear thinking, it’s hard to see new connections.
4. Meditation teaches you to enter the state of flow, where concentration matures into effortless performance. Musicians know the flow state, it’s where you stop thinking about the notes, and just play, losing yourself completely in the music. Athletes know about flow, too — it’s where you feel like one body with your teammates, where the phrase “be the ball,” comes from.
5. Meditation brings you in touch with your dark side, your unresolved issues, the dramatic tension of the human condition that all great creative works both draw upon and express. One amazing feature of the creative process is the working out of your pain and drama, which, at its best, turns garbage into gold.
6. Meditation brings new inspiration, helping you enter the quiet space within where ideas spark and intuition flourishes.
7. Meditation brings clarity where there is confusion, helping you to refine your ideas during the creative process.
8. Meditation can lift you up when you feel low, giving you new hope, and the ability to go on, turning what seems like a crushing defeat into a minor setback. No great work is produced without such moments of defeat. The skill is to keep going.
9. Meditation can give you the energy to overcome creative obstacles. Everyone has times when it feels like the flow of inspiration has been turned off. Writers call it writer’s block. Meditation gives you new tools to move through periods of creative drought.
10. Meditation can make you more patient, so that you can work steadily and rhythmically.
11. Meditation gives you an unshakeable inner confidence that comes from knowing yourself truly and deeply, giving you the ability to take risks, which is crucial for creating something new.
12. If you go far with meditation, you learn to open yourself to the Infinite, becoming one with all beings, giving you access to the limitless life force of the Universe. This may not happen in the beginning (in fact, I can almost guarantee it won’t) but if you stick with meditation, it will happen eventually, and the experience will absolutely blow you away. You will see that your true source of creativity is unlimited.
I wrote an ebook called Meditation for Creativity to help you take action on all this, to learn how to actually use meditation to unleash your creative expression. The Meditation for Creativity eBook comes with a video and 10 audio recordings with meditation exercises that teach you how to do what I’ve described in this article. Click here to learn more.
Is your creativity challenged right now? Do you have a story of how you were able to overcome your challenge? I would love to hear about it. Please share a comment below.
1. Tim Hamilton, 2. Aikawa Ke, 3. Mark Chadwick, 4. Louise Leclerc, 5. Jorge Maissa, 6. SETshots, 7. Anant Rohankar, 8. Stavros Markopoulos, 9. Lino Petito, 10. Jason Jenkins, 11. Javier Morales, 12. David Gabriel Fischer, 13. Chris Blakeley, 14. Stefon Perneborg, 15. Ernest Duffoo, 16. Joseph Dsilva. A big thank you to all these fine artists for sharing your work under the Creative Commons license!