Meditation is a practice that I have been doing for many years. Some months I am more committed to a daily practice than others, but in general, I count meditation as something that is a part of my life. People use meditation for many different personal reasons, though the most common goal is to be more relaxed, peaceful and calm amid the craziness of life. Much of the craziness is in the form of our own thoughts. Thoughts are a wonderful part of being human; our intelligence allows us to be creative and thoughtful and imaginative. And yet, thoughts are often the hardest part of being a human when they are fast and furious and jump all over the place from regrets and reliving past events to worry over future events. Much of human suffering is due to being stuck in our head and thoughts.
The so-called “monkey mind” is our natural tendency and managing the massive number of thoughts in everyday life can be exhausting. Meditation is so helpful for practicing letting go of the thoughts and instead taking your focus to something calming like your breath, or a mantra or a body sensation or even a sound. Sitting down to meditate even if you find you have to bring yourself back to some simple focus over and over again because you keep engaging with your thoughts, will give you some tranquility. And the process helps you to be present to the moment here and now.
Interestingly, I have found that one of the best uses of meditation for me is to spark my creativity. After I meditate, I usually find writing comes with great ease. Words and ideas pour from me and I have greater clarity about some idea, even when I didn’t think about it during the meditation. In fact, given that my goal when meditating is to let thoughts go when they come up and allow my mind to not dwell on thoughts, it is amazing that afterwards I gain clarity on specific topics I had not concentrated on. It is as if clearing the mind gives room for the more creative thoughts to enter.
There are so many different ways to meditate so if you are interested in trying it out, you can explore what methods work best for you. I love the Insight Timer Meditation Timer App that you can get for free for your iPhone or Android. It has simple timers with different sounds that you can set to any length as well as numerous guided meditations so you can play to your heart’s content. Meditate for as little as five or ten minutes a day and you will be surprised how much calmer and more centered you feel. And who knows what creative juices you will uncover.
I bid you peace and clarity and creativity!