Meditation and creativity to some seem like divergent concepts, while for others, creativity is a natural outcome of meditation. In fact, the more I live and function in a meditative state, the more I realize that meditation and creativity are one and the same.

To understand why, it is helpful to recognize the difference between thinking and knowing and how these concepts relate to creativity. Thinking is a brain process. It is a head-centric, logic-driven procedure often used in an attempt to solve a problem. Knowing on the other hand, is derived not from thought, but from our feeling nature. It is inspired. It arises out of the depths of our being and enters our conscious awareness. It is not derived from thought, but after we become aware of it, it can be thought about. This is why knowing is often considered an outcome of thinking, but in truth it is not. Knowing is a heart and gut-centered, felt sense, that literally erupts into mindfulness.

How does one become creative? The thinker tries to conjure creative thoughts from one’s brain or egoic mind. This is akin to opening a file cabinet, pulling out a folder and reading its contents to remember and thus recreate a prior solution. Is this truly creativity or is it simply living in and recreating the past?

The creative person is willing to receive something new and different, not in search of a past remembrance. Creativity requires receptivity. This is how the meditative state comes into play. Meditation is a surrendering of one’s egoic mind. It is an invitation, a solicitation of one’s deeper self, an asking for inspiration. The creative person allows the inspired idea to emerge into their egoic awareness from their deeper self. It is a subtle process, as amorphous feelings coalesce and transition into a more concrete thoughtform, that can then be mindfully considered and manipulated.

In order for this creative process to emerge one must suspend egoic activity. This is the essence of meditation. Once the ego is suspended our true nature emerges, unfiltered. Creativity naturally flows in this state of being, which is why meditation and creativity are indistinguishable. Meditation is the state of being that cultivates creativity. Live in a meditative state and you will exist in present-centered creative endeavors. This is how life is intended and why life will always find its way through those that know how to live.