What Lies Beyond Stillness? – Meditation and heightened creativity

 Dear Integral Meditators,

What happens when you have learned to still the mind in meditation? That is the question I explore below in this weeks article.

Yours in the spirit of deeper creativity,

Toby
 


What Lies Beyond Stillness? – Meditation and heightened creativity

For many of the people who do coaching with me or attend a workshop, the #1 goal often seems to be to be able to access a place of calm and stillness within themselves through meditation practice.
The achievement of resting in inner stillness consistently and at will, in the face of the varied circumstances of daily life takes persistent training in mindfulness and meditation, and is a notable achievement. But what lies beyond the achievement of stillness in meditation once you have attained it?
The inner silence (or space or stillness) with nothing in it that we find in meditation is a living space with nothing in it (no-thing). The flip side of this living space is that it is also a space of all-possibilities. This means to say that because there is nothing there, in that space anything could appear or be created; it is unlimited.
So a space of stillness within our mind is a place where we have temporarily dropped all the constraints of our conventional everyday mind, for whom some things are possible, and others are definitely not. It is not altogether surprising then that, after we have entered a space of stillness in meditation, quite often we start to get flashes of creative inspiration, great ideas about a project at work, new insights into our personal life, great ideas for a work of art, a previously undreamed of solution to a personal problem.
These types of highly creative flashes of inspiration come from a level of our consciousness beyond the everyday mind, and are different from the ‘distractions’ that we have when we are trying to still out mind in the first place. It is the beginnings of experiencing of the higher or trans-rational levels of our consciousness, within which there is an infinite source of creative ideas and creative power.
However, the challenge in our actual meditation can be that we find ourselves departing from the stillness that we have been focusing upon, and find our mind getting distracted by all the inspiration.

As a solution to this it can be useful to set aside a little time at the end of your meditation session to focus upon this deeper level of creative experience. So, for example if you have a 20minute session:

  • The first five minutes might be spent on stilling the mind
  • The next ten minutes could be spent moving more deeply into that stillness and staying with it
  • The final five minutes might be then spent observing creative inspirations that arise from the stillness, noting them and perhaps contemplating how you might practically apply them to your daily life.

In the long term what happens is that you start to be able to access this level of higher creativity even when out of meditation, which in turn enables you to make your whole life a an expression of your deeper creativity. The only chaser I would add to this is that sometimes these creative ideas are deeply challenging to our sense of what are limits are as a personality, so with the experience of deeper creativity comes the need for greater courage to act upon that which is arising within you.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com 

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