Anyone with any doubts about the connection between meditation and the creative process need look no further than director David Lynch.
Creator of the off-beat classics Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, Lynch is an unstoppable reservoir of images and stories that have delighted and perplexed audiences for decades – and he attributes much of his surreal vision to daily meditation.
How exactly does the simple act of clearing your mind and breathing with intent free up your right brain? Here it is in a nutshell:
It Clears The Mind
First of all, meditation clears the mind of the detritus of daily living; the residual chatter of the sounds, images, and thoughts we’re regularly bombarded with. And the clearing that happens during mediation sessions spills over into the rest of your time, which allows you to focus on the things that matter, waving away inessential distractions like a cloud of flies.
This mindfulness; this unmitigated attentiveness, is essential for following through on creative vision of any kind, from writing a sonata to concocting a marketing plan.
It Reduces Stress
As many know, one of the key benefits of meditation on all levels is the reduction of stress. Lowering stress levels is a boon unto itself, but it also sets in motion conditions that prime the pump for creative thinking. The calm, mindful state brought on by consistent meditation reduces the fear and doubt that can cloud our vision.
The creative process demands that we move forward into unknown territory, a continued action that’s all but impossible for a mind overloaded with the fear-based messages that meditation dispels.
It Boosts Your Intuition
On a more neurological level, the de-stressing of meditation boosts our sense of intuition. Often, we can reach a stalemate of safe ideas and dead-ends of logic, and intuition lets us vault over such obstacles. Even in supposedly left-brain enterprises such as science, this quantum leap is indispensable. Einstein, for example, asserted that his boldest breakthroughs simply came to him, and only afterwards did he arrive with hard figures to the place his intuition had jumped to. Meditation increases these flashes.
Although meditation is by no means a religious practice, many see this opening the gates of intuition as a spiritual process. Julia Cameron, a creativity workshop guru whose techniques have been embraced by artists and CEOs alike, holds that by letting go of negative belief patterns, we open the door to a greater creative energy that runs through the cosmos, and practices such as meditation simply allow that “juice” to flow through us.
It Helps You Find Connections
Not only will fresh ideas seem to come to us from elsewhere, but we’ll also begin to notice connections and synchronicities in the world around us. Of course, we can explain the latter in purely material terms – meditation preps our minds to notice latent connections between things – but not matter how we decide to label the process, it’s hard to argue against.
Although there are many schools and institutes out there to guide you in your meditative practice, one of the great things about meditation is that it’s absolutely free, so there’s no excuse not to put off making it a part of your life.
However, while you don’t need to invest in equipment, you can set up a serenity zone to allow yourself to reach absolute stillness more easily. Set up a yoga mat or husband pillow in a place with as little visual and auditory stimulation as possible. If you can’t prevent minimal wild noise from creeping in, block it out with a constant soothing sound such as a fan or, better yet, a water wall.
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