Meditation: Why Just Sitting There Isnt Just Sitting There

by : Abigail Beal

Meditation: Why Just Sitting There Isn’t Just Sitting There

At first you might not think this is a tool for creativity. Meditation does typically involve sitting quietly by yourself for a period of time. No computers or pens or pads of paper included to record your inspiration. So how can this help you as a writer or an artist?

Meditation is an excellent tool to increase your focus, to stimulate creativity, to reduce stress. Meditation has been shown in a number of health studies to have numerous health benefits, including lowering blood pressure. Even doing something to help reduce the stress in your life might help you focus more on your writing, hence lead you to more creative writing. People that meditate also often have mentioned they get flashes of inspiration, either when they mediate or sometime after they have done so. So how do you get started?

Meditating is very easy to begin. You do not need to sit in meditation for a long period of time for it to have positive effects in your life. Just meditating for fifteen minutes a day will give you all the benefits of meditation. If you are new to meditation then consider starting with fifteen minutes of meditation. Before long you may find yourself sitting in meditation for longer periods of time.

To meditate you must have a place that you will not be disturbed. Let your family and friends know that you need to not be disturbed for a short period of time. Put the ringer off on your telephone and let the answering machine pick it up. You can meditate at any time of day, but it is best to get into the habit of meditating at about the same time of day every day. You will begin to expect to meditate and you will soon look forward to it.

Lower the lights of the room you are meditating in. Sit on a pillow on the floor or on a blanket. If you are in your bedroom you could also meditate lying on your bed. Don’t worry if you do not remain alert enough to stay awake. Many meditators fall asleep sometimes, this is a signal from your body that you need rest, not that you have done meditation “wrong". Also be sure to wear comfortable and loose clothing. When you meditate, do so in a warm room. Your body temperature will cool slightly while you are still during meditation.

Sit in silence and focus on your breath. If thoughts come into your mind, thank them for coming but release them. You could imagine them rising up through the ceiling as if they had balloons attached to them. Some people that meditate focus on counting on their breathing. Not counting each breath, simply counting one as they inhale and two as they exhale. Or you can focus on a word when you inhale and another word when you exhale. Inhale “peace" and exhale “love". Select words that have meaning to you. Don’t say the words outloud, simply think of them. It takes twenty one days for a new habit to become routine for most people, so before long meditation will be a part of your life. Don’t be surprised if during meditation you see images or get inspiration for your writing. You may get some wonderful ideas. Or meditation may simply offer you great peace and restoration which will refresh and renew you to look at your creative projects with a fresh pair of excited eyes. Most community centers, temples, churches and hospitals now have meditation groups. Meditating with a group can be a wonderful experience. Some groups meditate to guided meditate, with a speaking voice guiding through the entire meditation. If you are interested to learn more about meditation, please consider reading Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn. This is an excellent book about meditation, with short essays about meditation and paying attention to even the smallest thing. Kabat-Zinn teaches his meditation program at the Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.