Will deep meditation kill my creative abilities?

Goh C, modified 1 Year ago.

Will deep meditation kill my creative abilities?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 2/27/20 Recent Posts
I'm a creative / artsy kind of person and sometimes I use intense emotional states etc. as a way to get into a creative flow. I find that a certain hyperactive mindstate makes me much better at creative activity. I work myself up with music or just extreme fantasizing and I find that my mind can generate all kinds of ideas very rapidly in that state. It's basically the opposite of equanimity and no-mind.

I've been doing daily 30-60min meditation and the longest I ever did was a 10 day Goenka retreat.
I'm looking to do something like a 60 - 120 day retreat but I'm worried about any potential 'dulling' effects it might have, since I will abstaining from sensory pleasures and all that. 

Just wondering if anyone here is a creative / musical type of person and whether deep meditation practice has had any effects on you.
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Mikhail Zybin, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Will deep meditation kill my creative abilities?

Posts: 57 Join Date: 2/16/20 Recent Posts
IMHO during meditation and spiritual life in general we learn to open our hearts and be mindful of all feelings we experience, without craving or aversion, we learn to inhabit present moment more fully and more freely experience everything that is there, therefore, I think, such mind training might be conducive to creativity. However, I am a novice meditator and mathematician.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Will deep meditation kill my creative abilities?

Posts: 2111 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I'm not a mathematician emoticon far from it. Actually on the very opposite side. More intuitive I guess. 

Im a painter (oil on canvas), photographer, musician, beekeeper. 

I painted mostly expressive and immediate, not knowing what the outcome will be. I used to stare at the canvas for hours even days before I would feel some energy surge and the lounch onto the canvas and paint like mad. I would be very exhausted afterwards. This was before my meditative journey which started in 2009. 

Then art was of no interest. 

In 2014 (well into my Dark Night) I started going more into making music. Dark Night is a fertile ground for art as to me art is Dark and full of sorrow and loss. I don't do cheerio songs. 

Today I'm out of the dark night and I still play my guitar but don't have the same drive as is the dark night. 

However I did start a new oil on canvas, the first one since 2008. But I'm not going crazy all over it. It's developing slowly. I might never finish it. Or I might. Who knows the future emoticon 
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Will deep meditation kill my creative abilities?

Posts: 1001 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Meditation will probably enhance your creative abilities.

If I am wonrking on a project it can be very difficult to meditate, as soon as I get started meditating I get new ideas and want to implement them right away.

What a lot of meditation is likely to kill is your materialistic and egocentric ambitions.
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/meditation-1#meditation_danger

When I used to go to the Zen center I would hear talks by residents who said they gave up well paid careers to devote themselves to meditation. I thought they were crazy until it happened to me.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Will deep meditation kill my creative abilities?

Posts: 1742 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Goh C:
I'm a creative / artsy kind of person and sometimes I use intense emotional states etc. as a way to get into a creative flow. I find that a certain hyperactive mindstate makes me much better at creative activity. I work myself up with music or just extreme fantasizing and I find that my mind can generate all kinds of ideas very rapidly in that state. It's basically the opposite of equanimity and no-mind.

I've been doing daily 30-60min meditation and the longest I ever did was a 10 day Goenka retreat.
I'm looking to do something like a 60 - 120 day retreat but I'm worried about any potential 'dulling' effects it might have, since I will abstaining from sensory pleasures and all that. 

Just wondering if anyone here is a creative / musical type of person and whether deep meditation practice has had any effects on you.


"The smoker you drink, the player you get."
~joe walsh
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Milo, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Will deep meditation kill my creative abilities?

Posts: 365 Join Date: 11/13/18 Recent Posts
This thread came to mind recently. I'm not in a creative line of work in the normal sense, but I go through so much data and interact with so many people during the day, it's easy to forget certain details and names of people I rarely see, remember a complex physics explanation I read a long time ago, or to get stuck in one way of seeing a problem. I've learned to use quick meditative beats of ~30s - 1 minute of samatha to very reliably dredge up these details that are otherwise not possible to recall.

From the neuroscience perspective, I've heard it said that the brain imposes some normal degree of inhibition in neuronal firing. Creative geniuses allegedly have less baseline neural inhibition, which allows them to do the sort of lateral thinking needed for creative feats (But possibly also leaves them more vulnerable to mental illness and paranoia). My totally speculative working hypothesis is that those 'forgotten' details can be recalled by temporarily lowering that inhibition through those focused beats of samatha. If that's correct, you could probably in theory adapt something similar to give yourself a little extra creative juice.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Will deep meditation kill my creative abilities?

Posts: 2111 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I don't know how deep is deep but I like to think that I'm into it rather seriously. 

This is my latest painting. First since 2008. I started meditating 2009. So yes I stopped painting but not because of meditation. 

I can sense in this new painting (not finished just yet) me not using much of those old feelings I once needed. I also don't feel utterly exhausted after expressing my self through painting. I just paint and there is motion and there are colors and shapes. Interplay. Once painting is done there is no satisfaction and obsession with it. It's like being done with drinking a glass of water. Done. 

Does meditation kill creativity. No. 

new upload photos
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Will deep meditation kill my creative abilities?

Posts: 2111 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
And here is some music I've done in collaboration with a friend during my Dark Night stage. You be the judge if all this is any creative of course emoticon 
https://soundcloud.com/papa-dusko/sets/the-harley-benton-band

Dark Night is very rich in feelings of all sorts, mostly unpleasant so having a creative output might be handy but of course nothing can replace the practice in such a stage.

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