The beauty of meditation is that the practice of sitting with your thoughts in an attempt to tap into that free flowing stream of raw creativity can be taken anywhere. Meaning that the purpose of meditation isn’t just to cultivate that special relationship with self while in the privacy of your own home. Rather, meditation is meant to be taken outside, into your daily life, and into your day-to-day activities.
Rolf Hind, in this latest Guardian post, shares how meditation has helped him to become a better musician. According to Hind, meditation provides a sense of mindfulness, and in that, connection to the “free flow” state that all musicians aspire to tap into when creating their music.
It dawned on me that meditation naturally appeals to musicians, as clearly evidenced by my mini vox pop. Musicians spend a lot of time – even as children – in a state of solitary absorption, called practice. And when we perform, we seek and occasionally know (generally by not seeking) those elusive “flow states” where, in the coming together of all our preparation and the right circumstances, playing feels wonderfully natural and unselfconscious. The latter is something that people sometimes get mystical about, but there is increasing research to suggest that it has a physiological and neurological basis.
For me, the practise of meditating – in its more secular usage, the cultivation of mindfulness – has brought an enormous amount to my life and music-making. A sense of clarity and control, less neurosis about ambitions and “career”, greater efficiency, awareness and body sense as a pianist. As a composer, I’m more in touch with the sources of my own creativity. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, it occurred to me, if more musicians (and more people generally, come to that) could benefit from this straightforward practice?
Read more from Hind on how meditation benefits musicians here.