Creativity and letting go

It’s amazing how creative we can be when we let go. When we stop thinking so hard and trying to control what’s happening, the answer may simply appear.

Has a brilliant idea – or a solution to a problem – ever come to you while you were running, swimming, taking a shower or doing housework? When we place our attention on some routine, physical activity, we tend to have fewer thoughts. Ideas and solutions come to us in the gap between thoughts.

Meditation is sometimes described as ‘slipping into the gap’ (between thoughts). My experience is that both mindfulness and Transcendental Meditation (TM) slow down the rate at which thoughts appear in the mind. In between the thoughts is pure consciousness, awareness or whatever you want to call it. It’s the space in which creativity occurs.

Many people who meditate say they experience more creativity. My friend Thomas Drewry is a media entrepreneur and occasional stand-up comedian. Having practised TM for five years, he says that “solutions and creative ideas often manifest themselves during or after meditation. All it takes is to be ready for the download.”

Another friend, Shamash Alidina, is the author of seven books including Mindfulness For Dummies. Shamash says “Letting go is the essence of not just mindfulness and meditation, but also of a peaceful and happy life. When you discover the art of letting go, when you value releasing rather than holding on, of course new ideas can arise. How can you possibly have a new way of seeing things if there’s no space for it?”

You can find out more about silent meditation from my post, Three ways to learn to meditate.

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