You’ll be amazed how meditation develops your creative thinking skills.
How useful is meditation for creative people?
That’s the news we’re hearing from our research sources.
They’ve proven that there are specific types of meditation that help artists and creatives to improve their creative skills.
We’ve put that research (and a hell of a lot more) into our guide to the 100+ benefits of meditation. Take a look.
Creativity is important to artists. Obviously.
But you don’t have to be an artist to benefit from creative brain. In fact, it is important for everyone to have creative thinking abilities, whether they’re an artistic person or not.
- If you’re an entrepreneur or businessman, creativity helps you to innovate and come up with new ideas.
- If you’re a writer or artist you need creativity to stop writers’ and artists’ block.
- If you’re a musician… eh, just read this guide to how meditation makes you a better musician.
Simply put, creative skills are important to everyone. I’ve learnt that from years of both being a creative myself (I’m an author) and teaching other people how to be creative.
Being creative changes people for the better.
Take a look at my guide to the 20 habits of highly effective people. It shows why being creative is so… liberating.
And if you want to know why creativity matter, take a look at Be More With Less’s article. It explains why creativity is so very, very important.
Why Is Creativity Important In Life?
Here’s just a snapshot of some of the reasons why creativity is important in life:
- If you want to be any kind of creative professional, you need a damn good creative skills.
- If you want to find solutions to problems, you have to use your creative thinking abilities.
- If you want to find new possibilities, whether in work or in life, you have to be able to think creatively.
- If you want to start a business, you first need to create it.
- Read about the importance of creative thinking in business on Business News Daily.
I could go on.
Point it, creativity is valuable to everyone. And if you want to know how to be more creative, start with meditation.
Meditation is the best exercise to improve creative thinking skills.
You should not do the regular form of meditation because it will not make you more creative.
It’s true. Science proves it.
Let’s take a look at how meditation can both help and hinder creativity.
Why Meditation Helps Creativity. And Why It Harms It Too.
You know what spinach does to Popeye?
Meditation does that for creatives
So why meditation is such a good exercise for the left side of the brain?
Creativity is about thinking in different ways. The more flexible our thinking the more artistic we will be.
Here’s the problem:
The mind naturally gets stuck in one way of looking at things. As we go through life we begin to look at things in one way. We have an idea of ourselves, an idea of other people, and an idea of the world around us.
As most people age they become closed-minded, and closed-mindedness is like cancer to your creative brain.
Like the Picasso quote says, “Everyone is born an artist. The trick is staying an artist when you grow up”.
CreativeSomething has a great article on why we lose creativity as we age.
But how do you stay an artist when you grow up?
The trick is to see the world with open eyes and an open mind.
Why meditation improves creative thinking. The science.
Scientists researched the effect that meditation has on creativity back in 2012.
Cognitive psychologist Loenza Colzato studied the affect that different meditation techniques have on the two primary ingredients of creativity: divergent and convergent thinking.
Divergent thinking is about coming up with new ideas. Divergent thinking is usually tested via a method called Alternate Uses Task, in which the participant creates as many different potential uses for one object as they can in a certain amount of time.
Convergent thinking is the opposite. Convergent thinking is tested through the Remote Associates Task method. In this method, participants are given three different words and asked to find the one unifying factor. For instance: Pen, Keyboard, Typewriter = writing.
- Read more about Divergent and Convergent thinking on Cleverism.
Colzato’s test proved that meditation can improve these ways of thinking.
Colzato taught his test subjects two different types of meditation: focused and open.
In open techniques the subjects focus on the overall environment. In focused meditation the subject focuses on one thing.
He then studied the affects these meditations had on divergent and convergent thinking.
The results showed that open meditation techniques produce a far better effect on creative thinking than focused meditations.
Open meditation is the best meditation technique for creativity.
Want To Be More Creative? Open Your Mind
If you want to be a more creative person, you need to open your mind.
And that is precisely why most meditation techniques are not helpful for creativity.
Most meditation techniques involve focused attention; a technique where we focus on one thing.
Note: You’re going to want to read my guide to focused-attention and open monitoring before continuing this page.
Go ahead, it’s important. Read that article.
So, most meditations are focused attention. That’s where we focus on one thing.
Focusing on one thing, however, does not open the mind. It’s not the most effective exercise for the creative side of the brain. And it’s not the best exercise to encourage creative thinking.
Time for an example:
Imagine I’m writing a novel. I’m sitting at my writing desk staring at the blank page. I’m meditating on it. But I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do next. And because I’m only focusing on the page in front of me there is nowhere for me to get inspiration from. So being too focused is not helpful in this instance.
That’s what happens when you do a focused attention meditation. Doesn’t help for creatives, does it? It’s not going to cure artists’ block / writers block.
But what about the very opposite?
The very opposite is open monitoring. This is where we are relaxed and aware of everything around us.
I’m writing my novel and I’m meditating on everything. I’m aware of my entire surroundings. That means information from the outside world is freely flowing into my brain. There, it meres with my ideas of my novel., creating new thoughts and ideas. To put an almost stupidly basic explanation on this. I see a puppy outside. I think, “Holy cow. A puppy would totally change my novel”. But in order to think that I had to be aware of both my novel and the puppy. Being focused on one of those things would not have solved the problem.
Open monitoring lets new information flow into your mind, creating myriad ideas and inspirations that are perfect for artists. And this does cure artists’ block and does encourage left-side thinking.
We need to do open monitoring.
So how do we do that?
Open Meditation Techniques For Creativity
1: Pure Awareness:
This is one of the best ways to improve the left side of the brain. It’s a relaxing exercise in which we practice open-awareness.
- Lie down on the bed or a matt on the floor, close your eyes and focus on your breathing or five to ten minutes.
- Listen to the sounds around you.
- Listen in a nonjudgmental fashion, without thinking.
- Aim for complete acceptance and awareness.
- This is the basic open monitoring meditation. Try it now. Ideas will flow into your brain, my friend.
- If you are new to this type of meditation, you will find it very helpful to read my book Journey To The Buddha Within You. It goes into depth with easy-to-follow guides to all the most important meditation techniques.
2: Pure Vision:
If you want to improve creative thinking for visual arts, this is the best technique to use.
- Find somewhere relaxing and tranquil, perhaps a seat in a quiet park or somewhere scenic (or read my guide to creating a meditation space, which will be perfect for this).
- Get comfortable and simply observe.
- Look at the colours and shapes around you.
- Look at how light plays on various surfaces.
- Explore the scene with your eyes.
- If you are a visualise artist this is going to do you huge favors. It is the best cure for artists’ block.
3: Five Senses Poetry:
This is a wonderful creative technique that improves artistic skills by making us more aware of sensory information (which can be a real source of inspiration)
- Find a scene you would like to write about.
- Now observe everything about the scene through your senses.
- Pay attention to sight, sound, scents, feelings and sounds.
- Write a poem which includes the use of all five senses.
The Chakras And Creativity
Take a look at my guide to the chakras. It fills in a lot of vital background information.
It is possible to use the chakras to boost creativity.
Specifically, this is done through Svadhisthana, the second chakra, which is the energy center for creativity and sex.
Svadhisthana can be translated to mean “Dwelling place of the self”. It’s the sacral chakra, located below the naval. And it is related to the element of water.
When prana flows freely through Svadhisthana it will significantly enhance pleasure, abundance, well-being, and creative thinking.
Have you ever wondered why we lose creativity?
One reason is because life and stress prevent the flow of prana through Svadhisthana, stopping creative energy from flowing.
Return the flow of prana to the sacral chakra and we will increase creativity and boost our artistic skills.
How to improve your creative thinking via your chakras
Because the second chakra is situated around the genitalia it can be affected by an unhealthy sex life.
By being sexually healthy you will help restore balance to the chakras. This will improve your creative thinking.
You can also try Ida Nadi breathing, which you can read about on Yoga Journal.
Ida Nadi Breathing is a simple technique. It involves closing the right nostril with the two fingers of the right hand, and then taking ten deep breaths in through the left nostril.
Another way to activate the sacral chakra and boost creativity is by using a mantra.
Read my guide to Mantras for a complete introduction to these sacred sounds.
The correct mantra for creativity is VAM.
Chanting this mantra vibrates Svadhisthana and brings it into balance, restoring creativity.
Yoga For Creativity
As well as using the above meditations for creativity, there are specific yoga poses for creativity too.
Let’s take a look.
Butterfly pose (Baddha konasana): While sitting, fold your feet in together so they are toughing. Relax the knees and let them drop to the side of the pelvis. Now bend forward at the torso and stretch outwards. This is Butterfly Pose, one of the best yoga poses for creativity.
Seated Pelvic Circles: Sit in half-lotus with the hands on the knees and circle your torso five times in each direction.
Cobra Pose: Lie on your stomach, feet flat on the floor. With your hands under your shoulders lift your torso upwards while keeping your naval on the floor.
These are the three best yoga poses for creativity.
Want to learn more?
Lacey Haynes is an inspirational yoga teacher who has written about how to use yoga for creativity. I highly recommend reading her article on DoYouYoga.
Feeling Creative Now?
Have you tried the techniques above? If not give them a shot now.
The techniques we have looked at will significantly improve your creative thinking and boost your left side brain.
- You can also use these imagination training techniques. See what ideas you can come up with.
- And if you want to try using Kunudalini meditation for creativity, use this mantra.
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Oh, and I would love to hear how you get on with this.
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