Wednesday, July 30, 2014

meditations on meditating : creativity

This morning as I started waking, I contemplated not doing my daily meditation practice. I'll be honest, I've let it slide lately as Mr Faye started holidays and my days shifted focus as I prepared to head back to work. So this morning, when I woke before everyone in the house, I clung to the luxury of lounging in bed for just a little longer before Baby Faye woke.

But then the most interesting thing happened.

As I contemplated the options and my priorities, this REALLY loud crow started cawing outside my bedroom window and it felt like a sign. Personally directed to me to get my ass out of bed and to the mat as it were (getting to the mat means for me: getting my butt to the place where I'm doing the work that makes me happy and whole). And sure enough, wouldn't you believe it, the moment I sat down and started my grounding meditation, that crow stop making his racket.

Image Source: Crow Symbolism
 Could the universe make the message much clearer?

As always, when I've been away from the work for a while, my mind wanders that much more than it does normally. Getting myself back to the breath and letting go of my thoughts is a huge challenge at the best of times, but particularly so when I haven't been working on it regularly.

I found myself contemplating Leo Babuta's recent article on the habit of living in fantasies. In it, he expands on the idea that we spend too much time thinking about another time (fantasy) instead of living in the present. We don't take time to be here now, noticing the spaces we are currently in, listening in the conversations we are participating in, etc, etc.

I'll be honest, I have mixed feelings about this article.

On the one hand I totally agree. And feel that in many ways, my morning meditation is about training my mind to be here now, to focus my thoughts, to observe how my mind works and then to let go. (Which is more complex obviously than it seems and more than just being present in the now because the motives for it stem from both the idea of understanding the fantasies my mind creates AND learning how to use them magically because of this understanding).

On the other hand, and precisely because of the latter part of the equation, I feel that fantasies are very important because they are part of the creative process, be it in the artistic sense or the magical sense of the word. Giving my mind the space to fantasize (imagine) is part of what allows me to explore the full potential of my creativity.

Some days this means that even though I didn't still my mind during meditation, that's ok because I was able to settle long enough to allow inspiration through or to give my mind the space it needed to purge the obsessive day to day thoughts in order to get to the good stuff, the creative stuff that feeds my soul.

Some of the best stuff comes during the moments of trying to watch my thoughts and let go. Some of the best creativity comes during those moments of fantasy.

So I think that yes, we definitely need to live more in the present, paying attention to being here now in the space we inhabit and with the people around us without getting caught up in the delusions of what if, what then, etc, but we also need to give ourselves time to wander and daydream because I think we need both in our lives.


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