The Five-Minute Buddhist Books

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Mindfulness and Creativity

Question:

I’ve got a question about mindfulness. I try hard to be fully present in the moment and DO whatever I’m doing, whether listening to a coworker or walking the dog, etc. Here’s my small problem: as a side-job, I write and perform music, and the pressure to produce new material is pretty high. To meet the demand, I spend alot of time off in ‘la la land’ for lack of a better term, working on new song ideas or lyrics and this strikes me as contrary to being present. Or is it that fully involving myself in creative thought is itself being mindful? I guess I’m confused.

Answer:

I don’t see a problem with it. As you said, it’s part of “doing the job,” so as long as you are aware that you are being “in la-la land” and doing it on purpose, then you ARE acting mindfully. Remember, with Zen, and zazen meditation in particular, one of the goals is to clear your mind and be essentially “thoughtless.” If anything, your “zoning out” might even be considered a form of meditation.

Something to think about (meditate on?) might by WHY does your creative process work like this? Knowing yourself is important; you know how to be creative, see if you can figure out why it works that way.

But don’t worry about the process. You’re aware that you are doing it, so embrace it an BE creative when it’s time to do so.

2 comments to Mindfulness and Creativity

  • steve

    creativity allways come from the space seperate from thinking and is in the now.The EGO survives in a space of time,the future or the past but when you dwell in NOW you are getting free from the EGO which is what ZEN is all about.Here are a few ZEN saying”s “WHAT IS LACKING NOW”,and “IF NOT NOW WHEN”

  • Abe Simpson

    I am always reminded of:

    Be.Here.Now! & No matter where you go, there you are!

    For me, not being mindful is not about going to la la land, it is about not seeing things as they truely are. Allowing my conditioned (little) mind to guide me when it shouldn’t. This is why I meditate, to learn to focus my big (buddha) mind to be more present than my little mind.