Inspiration and (vs) Meditation

Inspiration comes when I least expect it.  Sometimes I fight it tooth and nail.  I’ve been struggling lately trying to find what I wanted to write about.  I’ve popped from idea to idea and none of them felt good.  Today, I decided to get out of my own way and see what happens (finally).

Image courtesy of travel.aol.co.uk.

Image courtesy of travel.aol.co.uk.

Ideas pop into my head all the time.  I write them down (yes write) and file them away for a time when I feel inspired to address them.  I have poured over that list the last few days trying to get inspired about my next topic.  So much so that I have half written about a dozen different topics, but finished none.

Why is this so hard right now?  Usually I just sit and type and edit and post (well, it does involve more, but….).  Inspiration.  That’s what I am missing.  I sat meditating this morning and usually my meditation involves a quiet, still mind, lots of breathing and a centered but energized feeling afterward.  This morning, I went rouge.

Instead of letting my thoughts float by unattached, I allow myself to jump into the tidal flood and get swept away.  I find that swirling, whirling upheaval of thoughts can shake things loose inside my head.  It has a wonderful and surprising effect.  It releases mental tension in a way that even meditation doesn’t, and it supercharges my creativity.

Image courtesy of Thomas SIrvant.

Image courtesy of Thomas SIrvant.

I’ve been exploring this mindset for meditation for a few years.  I don’t delve into it too often because it leaves me emotionally less together and I feel that a steady practice of this wouldn’t be beneficial for me.  However I find this beneficial and after this morning’s practice, I was inspired to share.

If you have a meditation practice, you have likely developed methods for getting into the right mindset, to keep you focused and also to draw your attention back should it wander or you find yourself distracted.  In my playing with this variant, I have come up with a few hints that might be helpful to those who want to experiment.

Stay with your regular routine as much as possible.  The setting, posture (sitting, lying down, props, etc.) should stay the same; you still need to be comfortable.  I like to keep a pad of paper and pen handy.  Some of my best ideas come out of this.  I keep my breathing meditative, although my breath generally doesn’t become as long and deep.  Set a timer to gently draw you out.

Allow yourself the experience of wading into the thoughts rushing by and get swept up.  It took me some time, but I learned to thought hop while doing this.  That is I could let myself go with a thought, and if I was done with it or didn’t like it, I could release it, get swept up again and grab onto another in the stream.  Initially I found that I got “stuck” on a single thread and had difficulty letting it go if I didn’t like where it was going.  This led me to have some sessions that were mildly to very disconcerting.  If that happens, I find that doing some release breathing and then a regular meditation session helps.

I experience this in a way that is very similar to dreaming, except I am conscious.  The quality and feel of the thoughts and emotions are nearly identical to those I have when I dream.  The two big differences between this and dreaming, I don’t have to be asleep, and I have more control over what plays in my head; showing up to school naked and unprepared for a test gets booted.

Image courtesy of furlined.deviantart.com.

Image courtesy of furlined.deviantart.com.

I encourage you to play with this, and to share what you think and how it landed for you.

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