Hi everyone I’m back! I apologize for neglecting WordPress for the past few weeks… I have been writing, but I have been focusing on journaling and creative writing. I have also been abroad where the wifi connection wasn’t brilliant (to say the least) and I have been meditating. Leading me to this post! Recently I became really inspired to do this post and draw my attention back to my blog. I have been practicing meditation for about three years and I personally believe it to be an essential tool for my creative process, and I would love to share why!
I don’t know if other writers feel the same way, or have had the same experience but sometimes I feel like my access to my creative insight can become easily and frequently blocked. It is blocked predominantly by small anxieties that expand to what feel like giant fears. Meditation is like a key. It is a way in which the mind can calmly converse with itself and coerce itself out from behind the anxiety it is trying to defend itself from.
Meditation steadies doubt and awakens the mind leading it to a calm acceptance of the self. What Buddhists may call ‘solidity’. When we concentrate on nothing but the present moment and remind ourselves that the future is fiction and the past too, is fiction. The realization occurs that in fact, the only control we genuinely have is over the present moment. We should enjoy the creative journey of our writing rather than fretting its potential destination.
Another reason why I feel meditation to be invaluable to a writer is the fact that writers are dependent upon their mind. Meditating is the equivalent to the wellness of the mind as exercise is to the body. That is not to say that meditation doesn’t also have its physical benefits. In meditation the focus on the breath results in improved oxygen flow to the brain, posture is greatly improved, moods regulated, and energy uplifted.
The mind of a writer is chaotic. Meditation dissolves barriers of chaos such as fear, doubt, fatigue, distraction, procrastination, and blocked insight. Another tool in our boxes is reading and it is one we use a lot! and we do not remember everything we read or research every text is fighting for room in our minds. Well I can’t speak for others… but this is my experience. When I meditate and my mind is allowed to become still it is as though it says to me “hey Sarah, look what I found! remember when you read this!” and I have access to information gained but temporarily ‘lost’ from research.
A Few Meditation Tips!
1. Find a space: for example, my space is on the lawn in the garden or sat on the top of the stairs. I would say anywhere that permits you to concentrate is good, but I would discourage the meditating in the same space you work in.
2. If you are new to meditation, to assist with concentration choose either a mantra or affirmation. You could even create your own, perhaps a question to be repeated. I use the Buddhist six syllable mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” thinking of the culmination of the virtues of the six syllables (generosity, compassion, patience, diligence, renunciation, and wisdom). Or you can practice mindfulness…
3. Mindfulness: let the breath guide you as oppose to attempting to guide the breath oneself. I approach mindfulness as though my mind is a harbor and I watch thoughts and distractions come and go accepting them without judgment.
4. Posture for meditation: sit upright without depending upon a wall or chair. You can either sit crossed legged or with your feet placed on the floor in front of you (you do not have to sit in a perfect lotus, I can’t!). For the hands, rest the right hand in the left palm upright with the thumbs gently touching. This will also help concentration because if you deviate your thumbs with separate. Your chin should be gently tucked in and your face relaxed with the tongue just touching the back of the teeth to minimize salivating.
5. Find a length of time that works for you: even 10 minutes a day is okay and enough. I started doing 15 minute sessions, however, I have gradually increased to 30 and 45 minutes because that is the time I’m most comfortable with. As long as it is frequent, meditation doesn’t have to be long and drawn.
Meditation and writing have the mind in common. Both are appreciative and aware of the mind and it’s creative insight, it’s power, and it’s willingness to be exercised and nurtured. To me they aid each other. Together they consistently recognize and accept blockades, they nurse my artistic anxiety, and they keep the mind focused and healthy.
I have put together a list of links to videos about meditation, guided meditations etc. that I feel will be really useful to anyone wanting to introduce themselves to meditating. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful!