In my last post, I gave some simple ways to enter the open state beyond thoughts and emotions where the deepest form of creativity can emerge, but sometimes (often, if you’re not used to meditation of some form) our minds are too wild for those to work straight away.
If your thoughts are speeding along, you won’t notice the gap between them and if you can’t find that gap, you can’t enter there, but that’s where we’ll find the creative space. So first, we have to slow down those thoughts. There are various ways to do this, generally they’re called meditation, but that’s a word often loaded with erroneous concepts, so I try to avoid it. Here are some key points as taught by Tibetan Meditation masters. If you’re a Christian, please don’t freak out; the mental space you’re going to is where you experience God or become one with God, however you want to look at it. It is also the space from which prayer is most powerful. Where else are you going to get the best creativity from?
- · Sit comfortably with your spine straight. (Forget fancy hands, just rest them on your knees.)
- · Keep your eyes half open and look at the floor a couple of metres (or yards) away. You can start with them closed if you want, but then open them, otherwise your mind might just get blank and dull or you could fall asleep.
- · Focus your mind lightly on an object (a sound, an image, a sensation, or your breath) Fix 25% of you attention on the object. Use another 25% to check that you’re remaining focused on it and to bring you back when you wander off, and let the other 50% be open, relaxed and spacious. Don’t try too hard to achieve any particular state. Be easy and humorous with yourself, not tense.
- · Don’t try to stop your thoughts and emotions, just let them come and let them go without following after them. Watch them pass through, like clouds passing through the sky or credits rolling across a TV screen. When you find yourself lost in thoughts, just bring your mind back to the object.
That’s it. It’s quite simple, just keep doing it and your thoughts will naturally slow. If you keep at it (sometimes it only takes a few moments), the sense of you meditating on something will fade and you’ll find yourself just resting in a calm clear space. At this point, you don’t have to focus on anything, just stay there.
Now you can go deeper. The lake is still, so the surface is clear, and we can look into the depths. You’ll notice a gap between your thoughts and that’s where we want to go. One way is to breathe out at the end of a thought and leave your mind in the gap. You’ll find yourself in a more vibrant state. Keep doing this with each new thought and the gap will get longer and longer.
The What Meditation Really is website/blog is a good place to visit if you want to go into this further.
Try it – my next post will go into steps 4 and 5 from my last post, setting your creativity flowing and expressing what you find.
Is there anything here you find helpful? Do you meditate? Does it help with your creativity?