I would ask that you approach this article about meditation with an open mind. This is not a post about going out hugging trees or embarking on a journey to Tibet and joining a monastery. Approximately 18 months ago I set off on a journey to improve my musical output. The plan was to complete one track a week for a whole year. Considering I had only completed some 20 tracks in the last 5 – 6 years it was going to be a big ask.
In the beginning
During the first month of the experiment, I became aware of mindful meditation. This is a form of meditation which anyone can get involved in. All you have to do is just sit and be mindful of your body. You may be wondering at this point whether I have finally lost the plot and what this has to do with creativity. I to was very sceptical when I first started practising mindful meditation. However, within the first couple of months, I started to notice a few changes.
The first noticeable change was my mind, which was normally running at 90 miles an hour, became quieter and my thought process clearer. All it took was 10 minutes of my day to sit and be mindful of myself. With a quieter mind, I found that when composing my thought process became clearer and more measured. The creative block that had been with me for so long seemed to just melt away.
I am not saying that mindful meditation is a silver bullet or golden ticket to assured success. It does, however, help clear your mind and allows you to take stock, in other words, being present in that moment.
As the saying goes ‘there’s an app for that’. Unfortunately, there are tonnes of apps professing to help with meditation and it does take some time to find the one that suits you. One I would strongly suggest you start with is headspace which gives you 10 free days of guided meditation. It also provides you with helpful animations before the meditation to help you understand what it is all about. Once you have progressed through the 10 days you can repeat them, or if you want you can take out a subscription to unlock other guided meditations.
I would also recommend Insight Timer which has a wider community and a good selection of guided meditations. It also includes a timer where you can just sit and undergo your own mindful meditation without guidance. The quality of the guided meditations do, however, vary and without sounding disrespectful some of the trainers’ voices can get on your nerves a touch.
The final app that I would recommend, which I have started to use myself, is 1000 Guided Meditations for Mindfulness Relaxation. The guided meditations are beautifully presented and spoken. I have also yet to find one that sounds annoying. They are also categorised into emotions so it is easy to find the type of meditation practice that you want.
All of the above are available on Android and iOS. The first two in this article are also accessible through a web browser on your PC.
To feel the true benefits of mindful meditation you must be consistent. Look at it like making music, you must practice each day. It is preferable to meditate first thing in the morning but with a working life that is not always possible. I tend to do it just after my evening meal, which finishes around 6 – 7 pm. The key to forming a habit is to reward yourself at the end of the practice. The reward should be something you enjoy doing. My reward is to go and spend time in my music studio.
Final Thoughts on Meditation
If you are sceptical I fully understand, I was one of that crowd. But give it a go for a couple of months. What have you got to lose apart from 10 minutes of your day? If nothing else your body and mind will thank you for setting time aside to stop.
I have a strong belief that mindful meditation was part of what helped me to produce over 72 pieces of music in 12 months. 2017 was my most productive year and helped grow my social media network and SoundCloud channel.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this article. If you give it a try it would be great to hear what results you got. In the meantime why not subscribe to my newsletter, in which I will provide more insight on how 2017 was my most productive year yet.