Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Meditation and Creativity

So most people that know me personally will attest to my strong belief in the power of meditation as a tool to enhancing creativity (among other great things) in one's life. By creativity I'm not really referring to an 'artistic' creativity (though it certainly applies) but rather towards one's everyday choices.

Lets look at it this way. Its estimated that we have 80,000 or so thoughts a day, 79,990 of those thoughts are the same thoughts you had yesterday. Our thoughts, in quantum physics terms, are collapsing possibility wave-functions that travel along probability amplitudes, these amplitudes are the well worn grooves in our minds, formed through patterning, memory and experience. 

The Buddha taught that suffering arises through ignorance. Specifically the ignorance surrounding the true nature of our localized reality...that everything is impermanent and in constant flux. He also taught that as a result we suffer for two major reasons:

1. Our strong desire for that which gives us pleasure 
2. Our avoidance of that which causes pain

The problem is with the above is that that which gives us pleasure will eventually leave us eg: nice cars get stolen, houses burn down, loved ones die etc...Through the constant repetition of actions that enforce the above two experiences we create our karma, the definition of our experience.

So meditation, the act of conscious stillness, is a way of interrupting these constantly collapsing wave function possibilities (thoughts) and beginning the process of re-patterning. This is where creativity comes in.

Anything that is certain in your life is inherently uncreative, simply because it is known. Creativity is born of uncertainty and a meditative practice can help us gain familiarity with the innate discomfort of uncertainty. 

Human beings naturally dislike that which is uncertain because uncertainty threatens the fragile 'ego-mind' state. The soul, or "atman' as the Vedic scriptures (or "holy spirit' if yer Christian) refer to it it, is eternal and therefore does not suffer the fate of the ego. Meditation can help us move beyond the limits of the ego and into the constant creative realm of the soul. As an artist, this is where you want to be.  

Becoming comfortable with uncertainty has helped me immeasurably as a photographer. It means that I don't have to control everything, I can let the unknown unfold gracefully and when that happens, its magic...that perfect moment that you'd never dreamed could or would be possible.

I certainly give my meditation practice immeasurable credit when it comes to the success I've had as a photographer and I believe that silent inner exploration will heal the world. 

Give it a try....


Anonymous said...

I have to a agree with you Martin. Although I can not really meditate like a pro, I to try to sit and think about things in world around me. Sometimes I would like to think that this helps me capture a subject in ways you would not come up with by accident.

Unknown said...

Yes! I am so happy you started this blog martin! i love your work
so much!

Terry said...

I agree fully. I started meditating near the beginning of my martial arts career and have found that it has helped in many different areas of my life. Great post.

Andrea said...

wow Martin, seriously wow!
im speechless with ur work and this very post... maybe its just perfect for me (in words an images).

I'm from Chile and just found out u exist in this world (tks to facebook). Now ur blog is in my fav list.

Congrats for your work. Outstanding!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting! As an aspiring photographer, wrecking his mind when to quit the comfortable day job, your thought's actually come as a source of "comfort" to me.

keep up the good work and keep posting!

Will said...

Hi Martin,

Just wanted to say hello. Absolutely LOVE your blog! I am a photographer based in Seattle and I am reading your stuff from a motel room just off of 1-5, getting ready for a shoot tomorrow. All your entries are wonderful, you have a great writing voice. And I love the "monkey" vid too, great stuff. I've always enjoyed delving into the "spiritual" aspects of creativity/photography so I love reading your insights.

Cheers to you and your crew!


Marshal Chupa said...

Hey Matrin,

It seems a though we are on the same creative path and endeavors as photographers and after reading this post I realized our studies in life are quite similar. Just this morning I passed on a quote from my readings of the Dalai Lama directly in line with your comment "The problem is with the above is that that which gives us pleasure will eventually leave us" I re-quote "Eating, working,and making money are meaningless in themselves. However, even a small act of compassion grants meaning and purpose to our lives." - Dalai Lama

Thanks for writing Martin and I hope to further speak with you one day

-Marshal Chupa