It's no secret that meditation has been used for thousands of years to enhance creativity. In fact, the original word for meditation in the Buddhist Pali texts is called Bhavana, meaning to “cultivate.”
Recent research has also verified that meditation has a profound effect on enhancing our creativity. One major goal of meditation is to put you into a very alert and relaxed state. According to a recent article in Fast Company, the Walt Disney Company hired a meditation teacher to teach the 'Imagineers' how to meditate. The Imagineers are the creative department at Walt Disney who are in-charge of coming up with new ideas. Apparently it worked great. After two years of incorporating a meditative practice into the company they went on to build Tokyo Disney, Disney Paris, and Hong Kong Disney Land.
In Taoist monastery traditions, meditation was used for art, gardening, cooking, and martial arts. In fact, in Taoist temples the monks would judge a student's meditation skills based off of their calligraphy skills. This was a test to see how much the student could focus while in meditation. In Tibet, Buddhist monks make beautiful pieces of artwork known as Sand mandalas while in a meditative state.
Meditation gives you the ability to pay attention to what is known as “Meta-attention.” Very simply, this means the ability to bring your awareness to your attention, so that you can guide your attention to whatever you choose. By doing meditation, you're better able to channel your attention into creative endeavors.
In Taoist monasteries, they use a calligraphy brush, to draw circles before meditation. The reason they did this was to train their attention, so it would be used for other skills in life. If you're a writer and you encounter writer's block, I suggest you take up some form of meditative practice. This will help you free up your mind; so that you can focus on writing with more clarity.
The Benefits of Mediation for Creativity
1. Clarity - Meditation helps you to clear up your mind so that you can have fresher ideas.
2. Happiness - Meditation makes you happier, and when you are happier you will be more creative.
3. Focus - Mediation helps you strengthen your focus and this will help you to become more in the zone.
4. Resilience - Meditation will help you to become more resilient and be better prepared for future set backs.
Starting a meditation practice for creativity
A very simple way to start meditation is just to bring your attention to your breathing. You can follow your breathing and recognize each and every inhale and exhale. Find a spot inside your body that feels calm and peaceful, from there try to let that feeling spread throughout your entire body. Try to heighten the various positive feelings in your body, to become more focused, peaceful, and creative.