Meditation and Art

A reader asked:
“Question for you. This has been on my mind for a while, and you’re a person who meditates and you’re a writer, so you’ve probably worked through this. My understanding of the purpose of meditation is to try to be in the present moment, to experience what IS, not what was, or what will be. So part of meditation is recognizing monkey mind and bringing yourself back to the breath. But meditation is also the way I put myself in the right mental space to write or do anything creative. And when I meditate, much of the time my my mind is dwelling on my fiction, not only random stuff or my past or whatever. So… how to reconcile this? Is meditation different when you are an artist, or are a person who delves into what Jung called the collective unconscious in order to bring back that essential stuff as art? or am I thinking about it incorrectly?”

My answer:

I would say you’re thinking about it incorrectly. Meditation (IMO) is the practice of creating a still, focused mind, unattached to emotions, sensations, results, or anything else. It is cleaning the black board. Then, once you have it cleaned, THEN you can focus on your writing or anything else. “Wipe clean” first, THEN bring “life” in. Everyone is an artist, a healer, a warrior, whatever. We tap into all archetypes. But then we also specialize. My personal favorite form of meditation is simply listening to my heartbeat for 15-20 minutes, BTW. Hope that helps!

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