How meditation turbo-charges creativity

DAVID MICHIE is an internationally published author of repute, who has written numerous best sellers. David is passionate about meditation and mindfulness and runs several successful mindfulness and meditation programmes in Australia.   He combines his passions for writing  ,  meditation and  Buddhism in his books and makes them relevant, gripping, and simple yet informative  .  In recognition of these talents some of the largest International Publishing houses, like Allen & Unwin and Hay House have been lapping up his books. His latest novel is the The Dalai Lama’s Cat.

 

David was born in Zimbabwe, educated at Rhodes University, South Africa, and lived in London for ten years. He is married and currently lives in Perth, Western Australia.

 

Having meditated for the past 20 years of my life, and been a writer for much longer, I know that meditation has played a hugely significant role in the development of my creative work. I’d go so far as to say that, without it, I may never have landed my first publishing contract.

Meditation has delivered a number of important benefits which would apply to any form of creative, artistic, scientific, technical or professional innovation. Getting into the right head space is one such benefit.

By my late 20s I had been writing books for over a decade. I’m not talking about novellas or short stories. Every time I moved house I also lugged with me ten, complete 100,000+ word novels covering a wide range of different genres – all of them accompanied by a file of rejection letters.

When I began meditating, it was for stress management reasons unrelated to my writing. But I soon discovered that one effect of meditation is similar to what happens when you place a glass of scooped up storm water on a bench for ten minutes. What begins as murky, swirling vortex impossible to see through, begins to change. The sediment settles. The water becomes like crystal. Clarity is achieved.

In the relaxed but alert state supported by regular meditation practice, creative ideas arise quite effortlessly and connections which may have remained obscured become self evident.

In my own case, within a few months of meditating I was struck by the fact that everyone was suddenly talking about spin doctoring – this was back in Britain in the late 90s. And my own career had always been in public relations. What if I was to write a book about spin doctoring?

I didn’t write the book this time. Not even a few chapters. Instead I wrote the opening chapter and a proposal which I sent to a handful of editors. Within weeks I had landed my first publishing contract.

I can’t prove it was the meditation that got me over the line. But time and again I have found similar connections and insights occur. And fellow meditators tell me the same thing.

This subjective discovery also makes neuroscientific sense. If we are relaxed and playful – on holiday, in the shower – we think creatively without effort. By contrast, when was the last time you had a good idea when you were stressed or angry? Once that prefrontal cortex closes down and the amygdala is running the show, forget about innovation.

The most successful, innovative companies in the world today – Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter – understand the commercial benefits of getting in the right head space. So it’s no surprise that they are the moving forces behind the Wisdom Conferences (http://www.wisdom2summit.com/) promoting mindfulness.

This blog is only a brief skate across a very big and exciting subject. I’d be really interested to know your experience of getting into the right head space. Has meditation helped turbo-charge your creativity?

To know more about David and see his latest See David Michie’s latest books  visit:  www.davidmichie.com

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