Meditation & Creativity

In February, meditation teacher and author, Sharon Salzberg sponsors a 28-Day Meditation Challenge. Everybody is invited to commit to meditating every day for the month and join the mindfulness community. As part of the challenge, I’ll be blogging throughout the month (along with other meditator/bloggers) about the experience. You can find the posts on Sharon’s site and I’ll share mine on Focus Pocus.

28-Day Meditation Challenge ~ Day 1
Sunday, February 1, 2015

28 Day Challenge aspen leaf pub dom

First day, first thing.
Get up and go. Brush things. Then sit.

What an excellent start I’m making.

I’m breathing and spacious and focused annnnd…

What shall I write about today and I must remember to email Nancy and I’d like to go for a walk but not if it’s raining and I need to make a playlist for Monday but I can rework the one from last week for Tuesday and I really must do some laundry and take out the trash and maybe this meditation would go better if I just did all those things first and then sat.

Breathing in. Breathing out.

I did manage not to get up and do the laundry. As best I could kept coming back when my mind wanted to tackle my To Do list. This is not unfamiliar territory. My mind loves to plan and organize and figure out what needs doing when. There is comfort in doing the little things that I know how to do rather than to face the space and whatever is happening in my body, mind, and emotions.

My dance of resistance and my mind machinations remind me of a talk John Cleese gave about creativity in which he describes creativity not as a talent but as a way of operating. He describes setting aside time for creative work: closing the door and setting a timer. And then a flood of minutia descends, begging to be cleaned up and sorted out before attempting the unknown of the creative project.

An interesting connection ~ meditation and creativity ~ neither of them talents but rather ways of operating. In both we intentionally set aside time to make space for whatever is arising, feel the pull of comfortable and familiar distractions. In both meditation and creative work, we never know what will happen. The practice is to be present for whatever comes up.

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