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Art and Meditation: Finding Peace and Presence in Your Work

Meditation can be an incredible companion to our intentions in improving our creativity, creative performance, or creative problem solving skills. Having a meditation practice can help tap into a deeper flow (state of mind where things are flowing and easily connecting) in our work.

Finding these entry points into creativity through a meditative flow state involves two primary components.

The first component is the pause; the pause between stimulus and response.

When we encounter a difficult moment in meditation where our thoughts are overwhelming, the breath is our tool that allows us to pause before we choose what to do with those thoughts.

The second component is deep listening.

With deep listening, we can develop the ability to listen to subtle messages of our body, our work, and the world around us.

As we pause and listen, we become receptive. We can then visualize. From that space... We can create.

We can write.

We can sing.

We can dance.

We can become so clear on our vision and aligned with the core purpose of the creative endeavor that it becomes possible to move others with what we are to bring into the world.

We transform one energy into another, and in some cases, this can also be very healing for ourselves and those we choose to share our creative expressions with.

It is about the inward connection and making it stronger. This is why meditation can be incredibly powerful to support creativity.

Types of meditation that can be used to support creativity and creative flow states:

Simple meditation

Sit comfortably and breathe naturally. That’s it. Allow your thoughts to come and go. Allow the breath to carry you through each moment.

Focused meditation

Similar to simple meditation, this meditation asks you to focus on one word, idea, object, or concept throughout the meditation. As your thoughts drift away from it, bring yourself back to what you chose to focus on.

Receptive meditation

In this meditation, it can be helpful to have palms facing upwards as you learn to receive or tune into the energy around you. Sit comfortably, breathe naturally, and receive whatever messages, thoughts, and ideas come into your awareness.

Grounding meditation

In this meditation, it can be helpful to have palms facing downwards as you ground into the present moment. Sit comfortably, breathe naturally, and feel yourself settling into your body. Feel the floor beneath you and focus solely on the feeling of being rooted and secure. This can help with fleeting thoughts, a busy mind, and anxiety.

Transcendental meditation

This can be a more advanced meditation, so please approach it carefully. As you sit in meditation, it involves repetitive chanting, mantra, or vocalization and can often be paired with activating breathwork and/or movement to bring the practitioner into higher consciousness. This kind of meditation can also be facilitated by a meditation teacher.

Guided meditation

Under the guidance of a meditation teacher, guided meditation can give you the opportunity to sit back and follow the voice of the teacher as you relax deeply.

Visualization meditation

In this meditation, you can begin in a comfortable position with a natural breath. Begin to visualize either a specific component of the work you’re doing or step back and visualize the bigger picture.

Yoga Nidra

Also called “yogic sleep,” yoga nidra can be incredibly restorative for not only the body, but also the mind. This practice allows you to go into a conscious, but restful state where you are guided through a series of visualizations that work with the subconscious mind.

Incubation period

While this is not entirely a “meditation” practice, knowledge of the incubation period can be helpful as you navigate the creative process. This allows us to take our minds off of the problem and allow ideas to ruminate beneath the surface of thought.

When we can come to an expanded state of awareness through meditation, we can then learn to extend that awareness into our work. Should we encounter difficult moments, we can move through them with more presence and alignment with our vision.

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