Does Meditation Affect Creativity?

By Tergar Meditation Community • 5 min read


Meditation charges the mind like a battery. If you want to embark on an artistic endeavor, or a scientific, environmental, or academic line of inquiry, a culinary creation, or a musical composition  – wherever your creative impulses take you! — meditation enhances that creativity. It gives you the necessary energy to engage creatively.

It’s Not About Nothing

The stereotypical image conjured by the word “meditation” looks something like this: a person  sitting peacefully with their eyes closed and their mind blank. Actually, it’s a major misunderstanding to think that meditation means to sit still and think of nothing, or to be blissed out. If it were really like that, a meditator would be totally unable to create anything. They’d be more or less a zombie! In reality, meditation and creativity go hand in hand.

Mind and Matter

The main point of meditation is to develop awareness, mindfulness, so that you can be present. The mind becomes aware of, and works in concert with, the body, the actions, and the senses. That enables you to see the objects that make up the world clearly, without projecting your own stories onto it. What effect does that meditation have on creativity, specifically, though?

A Flag in the Wind

Picture a flag tethered to a flagpole. If the wind blows one way, so does the flag; when the breeze comes from the opposite direction, the flag has to follow. Generally speaking, our minds are like that too: completely dependent on, and subject to, feelings and thoughts. There’s no real freedom in it, and no control. But by practicing meditation, our mind becomes pliable and workable. This grants you more freedom and control. Instead of thoughts and emotions pushing you around, you can direct your mind toward a different purpose.

“Everything you perceive, you perceive through the power of your awareness. There are truly no limits to the creative ability of your mind.”

– Mingyur Rinpoche –

Freeing Space on the Hard Drive

Ordinarily, our minds are narrow, capable of seeing the world only as we expect to see it. And then, there are so many thoughts in there! Preoccupied with our countless misconceptions and projections, there’s little space left over for new concepts, knowledge, or wisdom. The storage on our mental hard drives are already full…and what’s in there is, let’s face it, largely junk. Meditation frees up that space. Your mind becomes open and spacious. Your creative goals, and your creative process, become more clear, refreshed by new ideas.

Powering Up Your Mind With Meditation on Body Sensations

  1. Keep your spine loosely straight (there’s no need to be uncomfortably upright). Sit comfortably. You can put your hands on your knees or in your lap. Relax and close your eyes.
  2. Feel any sensation in your forehead—pleasant, unpleasant, neutral, or no sensation—it doesn’t matter.
  3. Move from the forehead to the top of the head. Just be aware of it. It doesn’t matter what kinds of sensation there are, or if there are none at all.
  4. Move from the top of the head to the back of the head. Relax the muscles in the back of the head.
  5. Be aware of your face and its sensations. Relax the muscles.. Just let it be.
  6. Bring your awareness to the neck and shoulders. Relax your shoulders. Shift your awareness to your back, from the upper back to the lower back. Relax.
  7. Be aware of any sensations in your chest, then your stomach. Don’t tighten the muscles of your stomach; just relax.
  8. Be aware of your arms and legs.
  9. Feel your entire body, from head to feet. Just relax and allow whatever sensations that are present. Don’t try to control them. Just be free, be yourself, and allow sensations to arise, pass, and let them be in awareness. The sensations come into awareness, stay in awareness, and dissolve back into awareness.

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Here are a few guided meditation sessions to help you get started:

Listen to a 15-minute guided meditation on body sensations by Tergar Instructor Dr.Cortland Dahl

Joy of Living Online Training

Theory and practice of meditation, step-by-step.

Learn meditation under the skillful guidance of world-renowned teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche at your own pace.

About the Author

By Tergar Meditation Community Team

Tergar Meditation Community supports individuals, practice groups, and meditation communities around the world in learning to live with awareness, compassion, and wisdom. Grounded in the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of our guiding teacher, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, our online and in-person programs are accessible to people of all cultures and faiths, and support a lifelong path toward the application of these principles in everyday life.

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