Creativity has something to
do with relaxation. Somehow we get our best ideas when we are in a situation
where there are no inhibitions, no worries, no limitations to the flight of our
mind. That’s when the mind is fluid and free flowing and in this state good
ideas seem to become more accessible. And we all know that a good idea is its
For many of us this may
happen when we’re out in nature taking a walk, in the privacy of our bathrooms,
in a library or study, hanging out with our friends etc. There seems to be no
fixed rules about this yet the fact remains that in some situations we feel more
creative more able to use our mental capacity than in others. What is also a
fact is the more we chase or struggle after good ideas the less likely that they
will come. Somehow trying too hard makes the mind tense and superficial. The
very effort we make to be creative becomes the obstacle.
Whereas if we can just let
our minds be, the mind opens up and lends itself to deeper exploration. The
more we can let our mind be the more it lends itself to us. The more we
struggle with it the more it rebels. Letting the mind ‘BE’ however is easier
said than done.
Because letting the mind ‘BE’
would mean that we do less and less with it until the mind is so restful, so
self-sufficient that it does not even entertain a thought. This state of just ‘BEING’
has been known throughout the ages as
the state of Yoga, the meditative state, Samadhi etc. and has been coveted by
wise men all along as the fountainhead of creativity and intelligence within
us. The source of our thoughts.
In this state the mind is effortlessly
awake in its full potential beyond any limitation of thought, feeling or
identification. Ironically the source of thought is a place where no thought is
happening, where the mind is brimming with potential but not doing anything.
How then do we access it and make it useful in our day to day lives. How do we
maintain that abstract, relaxed, profound state of ‘BEING’ while we are in the
midst of mundane activities of day to day life.
This will require us to
incorporate a practice which allows us to expose ourselves to the experience of
‘BEING’ repeatedly on a day to day basis until it becomes familiar to us,
becomes a habit, becomes second nature. It will require us to integrate two
seemingly irreconcilable states, one is the abstract silent non active state of
BEING the other is the ordinary, mundane everyday state of thought and action.
This abstract state of ‘BEING’, a state of pure potentiality will find its
purpose and fulfillment in the concrete arena of our day to day lives when its
potential is utilised and realised.
To illustrate, lets take the
example of a soccer match. It involves players and spectators. The player is
the one who actually effects changes on the ground through his actions but can
only see whats in front of him. His options are limited by his narrow vision. Whereas
the spectator who is far removed from the game has a much broader vision of the
game even though he is incapable of doing anything. He has many more ideas
about what can be done as he is free from the pressures of being on the field. If somehow the two can be brought together the
player will gain the advantage of the broad vision of the spectator and the
spectator will see his vision being translated into successful action bringing fulfillment
The active mind is like the
player and the abstract state of pure BEING is like the spectator. When the two
are integrated and lived in one awareness then it has the potential to bring
greater fulfilment on both levels. As individuals wanting to live more
enriching fulfilling lives one is constantly nourished by the contact with the
state of BEING within. And the BEING within enjoys when its true potential is
realised through the actions of the individual.
The key to this phenomenon is
in the ability of the individual mind to contact the state of ‘BEING’. This is
where the easy, natural technique of Transcendental Meditation shines! Its a process
whereby the mind is allowed to naturally settle into the state of BEING by
systematically entertaining lesser and lesser mental activity. By Mental
activity we mean thought. A thought begins deep within the mind as a faint idea
and as it travels to the surface of the mind it assumes a more concrete form.
We then appreciate the thought as a concrete thought on the surface of the mind
and then make it further concrete in terms of speech and actions.
So speech and action is a
concrete form of thought, thought in turn is a concrete form of an idea, an
idea is a concrete form of a faint impulse deep within the mind and that faint
impulse is an expression of a possibility among infinite other possibilities that
exist in the state of BEING deep within the mind at the source of thought.
Therefore the un-manifest BEING expresses itself as thought which eventually leads
to concrete action.
Meditation we experience a thought on the gross level and then systematically
experience it in its earlier and earlier stages of development until eventually
we arrive at the source of thought, the state of BEING which is the living
source of all of our mental activity. This journey from the outer gross level
of thinking all the way to abstract un-manifest BEING happens most
spontaneously and effortlessly as the mind enjoys every step of the way. The
normally outward going mind is turned within during meditation and just like
the mind wanders here and there ordinarily, during meditation it wanders inward
without any effort on our part.
Thus our goal of reaching the
creative essence of the mind is reached in a most natural manner. And as the
mind settles down it experiences greater and greater relaxation and is
therefore exposed to more fluid and unbounded aspects of the thought process.
Then outside of meditation the mind spontaneously maintains some of that
relaxed, expanded awareness in the midst of ordinary thought and activity. This
phenomenon is reinforced with regular practice of experiencing the state of
BEING and coming out and living that state of BEING in day to day life until we
start maintaining that state spontaneously throughout the day.
Its therefore not surprising
that research on Transcendental Meditation shows practitioners displaying
greater creativity, spontaneity, better learning ability, better memory among a
host of other benefits. It improves the overall use of our mental potential leading
to more successful, fulfilled lives. This technique is a simple tool at our
disposal for bringing greater fulfillment to our individual lives. The origins
of this technique go back to the hoary past of India and belongs to the Vedic
Tradition. It was made popular in the modern age by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who
taught it as a systematic science of experience and development of
consciousness. Millions of very successful people throughout the world practice
this simple technique and many attribute their success to the long term
practice of this meditation.