For me, meditation takes many forms. In my long intimate relationship with this practice, I'm constantly surprised by how it's ever evolving. I have found that meditation is:
A potent tool for self discovery.
A shovel to dig up the roots of your anxiety.
A profound homecoming.
A daily baptism of surrender.
An inner GPS system.
A remedy to heal your illusion of separateness.
Meditation has become trendy now, which makes me happy. Yet, there are many myths circulating about it, which actually prevent you from sinking in.
Meditation is not just stress relief, although that is a wonderful benefit. Stress relief is just scratching the surface.
Meditation is not just a mind exercise or a “head space.” It involves the whole body.
Meditation is not about having zero thoughts- an unrealistic goal. It's about observing your thoughts like clouds passing by, shapeshifting and dissolving back into the clear sky of your mind.
Meditation is not something to be “good at" or “pushed through.”
Meditation is not just an isolated act that happens on a cushion.
For me, creativity is an act of channeling something greater than yourself. It is an act of emptying yourself of yourself. I believe the root of creative ruts is that we have gotten in our way and blocked our access to the force of inspiration.
Meditation, for me, at its essence, is a daily act of emptying myself of myself. It creates the space for me to invite inspiration in, who leads the creative dance. It cultivates presence- the most important thing to bring to a film shoot, canvas, or blank page. And also your relationships.
When I'm filming on a shoot, I literally feel like I've stepped into this flow and am being led. I'm not controlling anything. Just surrendering.
So, how do you surrender?
You must empty yourself of yourself so you can be led.
Remember that equation I shared in an earlier post?
If you look at the most accomplished and celebrated figures in our society, they all have some sort of daily mindfulness practice, which can even be playful!
Anyone can meditate. It's so simple that you actually think you're doing it wrong. If you think you're bad at meditation, you likely uphold one of the common myths, which I cover in a comprehensive meditation class here.
It's been touted as the "most down to earth" meditation class and it also comes with a free guided library of meditation tracks you can listen to and follow along. Enjoy!
The picture you see above? This is is the spot where it all began for me, nestled in a small Zen Buddhist monastery in Japan, built in 1408. A monk had carved my name on a wooden plank above my cushion. Dandan- Japanese for “little by little.”
While sitting, I remember thinking, “I can't believe I quit my job, everything I have worked for, just so I could sit in front of a wall for 15 hours!”
Yet, this act, this sitting in front of a wall, focusing on my breath, set the foundations for everything that would come in my life. It is the most important practice I do and has become a way of life.
Today I share my distillation on something very dear to me: meditation, and why it's so powerful in enriching your creative work. If you think you're not good at meditating, this is especially for you.
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