Your local guide to what’s happening in Boston — with a flair for the avant-garde.
After Hotel Studio Allston’s recent feature on amazing artists, it seems natural to follow it up with ways to tap into your creative soul. As you may know, fellow creators have different tips and tricks in getting their juices flowing, but one that comes up quite consistently is the art of meditation. The secret to unlocking one’s vision is to find ways to bring the mind to stillness and listen to what it has to say.
Let’s get one thing straight about meditation: it’s not about sitting in a dark room and trying not to think. It’s actually about sharpening your awareness and focusing on a particular thought. You know how scientists cry Eureka! when they discover something? Artists, too, have these Aha! moments with their art. That’s why authors and painters carry notepads everywhere they go in case of a sudden burst of inspiration. But relying on these moments can be tough for creatives— what if inspiration never arrives? Can you deliberately bring on inspiration?
Aside from finding inspiration, meditation also helps artists with their concentration. The other condition talks about being aware of one’s thought process. Thinking about yourself thinking is so meta and actually harder than it sounds, but through mindful meditation, you can remove distractions in your head and focus on creating your art.
This is one of the reasons yoga and other similar techniques are practiced by a variety of professionals: to stay on top of their respective tasks. For example, companies like Google and Nike invest in mindfulness programs to increase workplace productivity. Employees can get more work done and save the company some time and money. Other industries tell a similar story. In sports, athletes turn to these ancient practices to increase their fitness but also to refine their mind.
ESPN interviewed a monk from the temple where Novak Djokovic meditates, who says that the practice is a form of training for the mind. It helps keep a steely-eyed focus no matter the goal, as Djokovic has done for the past few years. The 31-year-old Serbian is one of the most successful players on the planet and is ranked number two behind Roger Federer. If you’ve been keeping up with tennis, it comes as no surprise considering Djokovic's careful approach to his sportsmanship, down to always keeping his mind sharp through meditation.
Artists can also improve their craft in a similar way to athletes like Djokovic. Think of meditation as entering your mind palace— very Sherlock Holmes in a way— and actively finding the door that leads to the discovery that can grow your craft. And when you do find your Aha! moment, try to channel meditative techniques such as breathing mindfully in order to remain motivated and finish what you started. You never know can come out of these simple, quiet moments.
Article specially written for hotelstudioallston.com
By Jaren Stalt