Meditations and Mantras for Creativity
Lacking inspiration? Too many projects on the go? Too many ideas and no idea where to start? Here are four mindfulness and mediation practices to get you grounded and get you going.
There is a growing body of evidence that meditation and mindfulness practices activate areas in the brain in the same zones where creative thinking, process and “flow states” occur. In fact, if we are unable to get beyond the stressed-out reptilian and emotive limbic brain states, it will feel quite challenging to get into the groove of creativity and enter a higher state of consciousness. Since it’s my ultimate goal to spend as much time as possible in a flow state, I thought I would create a short list of creativity-specific meditations and practices that can help with becoming more centered, more grounded, and more present.
Some days I have so many project ideas in my head I can’t settle down and get started on any of them. Or else I start them, and end up with so many UFO’s (unfinished objects!) on my hands it’s overwhelming. And then there are the dreaded periods of complete lack of inspiration – extra scary if that happens when feeling depleted or exhausted.
So, where to turn? For me, it’s meditation, chanting, and time on my mat. Sometimes it’s out in nature, in the forest or beside a body of water, and at others it’s just a comfy seat on the couch. For this post, I’ve assembled four amazing practices that can be used anytime and pretty much anyplace, to help take you to your creativity center.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Consciousness is the potential for all creation. The more expanded your consciousness, the more potential you have to createDeepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets
I love this quote from Deepak Chopra’s book “The Book of Secrets”. Experience has really shown me that if I can become quiet enough to listen, I will “see” the path to my next project. Sometimes I need a little help getting quiet, and lately I’ve been listening and meditating to the tracks from “The Best of Chopra Center – 21-Day Meditation Challenge”. One of my favourite meditations is Track 10–The Creator, led by Tiffany Murray. Tiffany uses Deepak’s quote to help ground and inspire us to open to all the creativity, connection and consciousness available to us. It’s nice and short – just 13 minutes – so for those of us with young kids, busy jobs, and busy households, it’s sweet and simple and the perfect length.
2. Metta Meditation
Sharon Salzberg is my meditation hero, really. She was the first female meditation teacher to train in Asia and return to the US. Sharon’s loving-kindness Buddhist practice is so gentle, so open, and so welcoming. If you haven’t tried this style, I highly recommend Sharon’s books, and would start with her first: Loving Kindness.
I’ve fallen in love with a little piece of metta written by Jennifer Louden for writers and other creatives, and decided to take a chance at writing my own:
May I be one with the source of all creation.Kate Schendel, CreatingMindfully.com
May my heart be open to all possibilities.
May I realize my vision.
May I be a source of inspiration for all beings
The traditional loving-kindness practice is to repeat this meditation in four stages. Start by repeating the lines while visualizing yourself happily working away in your creative space. Next, move to visualizing a dear friend, mentor or loved one creating something wonderful. The third repetition is aimed at someone you feel neutral about, maybe even a stranger. Finally, repeat the lines while envisioning your harshest critic (even if that is yourself!) or someone whose creations you don’t agree with. Return to imaging yourself, loving being in the flow and loving what you are creating. With each repetition, feel the pulse of love and divine inspiration.
3. Walking Meditation
When I was taking my yoga instructor training at the incredible Yoga Arts in Byron Bay, Australia, my teacher Kaz Toupin taught our class a walking meditation that helps dissolve the boundaries between self and the beauty that is all creation. It’s intended to be done outdoors in nature or perhaps your favourite landscape – the beach, a forest, or perhaps amidst art or architecture – really it can be done anywhere you find yourself breathing easier and opening. I’ve reworked Kaz’s wording to focus more on creativity.
Here is how you do it: Take a slow step, inhale and silently repeat, “I breathe creativity into me.” On the next step, exhale and silently repeat, “I breathe me into all creation.” Keep walking, mindfully repeating the two phrases. Let your soft gaze take in all the thriving, pulsing creation and creativity that surrounds you. Let yourself dissolve into that, and know you are one with creation.
4. Mantra Meditation
The last practice, and probably the one I turn to most often, is mantra practice. Anyone who knows me knows that I love, love, love to sing kirtan. I’ve made a kirtan-for-creativity playlist on apple music which you can search for under “Kirtan for Creativity” in the apple music search function, it will be under Shared Playlists. I love to sing from all the different spiritual traditions, so have included songs from Kundalini, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist traditions.
For a more traditional mantra meditation practice, the following four mantras are particularly sweet for anyone on the path seeking inspiration, the removal of obstacles, and divine support in the search for creativity.
“Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru.” All aspects of the Creator are Bliss. Dr. Ramdesh, author and meditation guide, says that it’s like saying, “Idea. Flow. Here it is. Wow!”
“Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha.” Om and salutations to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. A request to clear the way for creative energy to flow.
“Om Eim Saraswatiyei Namaha.” Om and salutations to the feminine divine Saraswati. This mantra governs spiritual pursuits and invokes the energy needed for creative, intellectual and musical pursuits.
“Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru devo Maheshwara
Guru sakshat, param Brahma, tasmai shri guravay namah.” Gratitude to Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer, and Shiva the destroyer. Gratitude to all spiritual teachers and the guidance they give in overcoming ignorance to find enlightenment and awakening.
Well, I truly hope that some of these practices resonate with you and help you release even more of your creativity into the world. I’d love to hear what practices inspire you!