Film directors Martin Scorsese and David Lynch say that meditation makes them more creative. Lynch calls it ‘catching the big fish,’ in terms of the thoughts and ideas that bubble up:
Scorsese has realised that his brilliant and dark films are the product of a darker imagination, for which meditation brings balance.
I find this really interesting because I’d always pictured meditation as something that might switch off ideas, dampen things down and minimise the certain level of madness that leads to great art. Isn’t meditation just something really boring…lots of sitting…very tedious?
Then I thought about the friends I have for whom music is their meditation, or even their therapy.
They think about music all the time and when they dance, they feel free. How amazing is that feeling, to be lost in music? I wonder if adding a simple meditation technique to the day would bring about even better music production for friends, or help them to feel calmer when the music stops and they want to sleep.
Astanga yoga is my moving meditation and as friends know, I am committed to getting on my mat. I’m someone who is constantly on the go…very busy brain…and one that is more prone to negative thoughts first thing in the morning. For me, Astanga yoga burns the negative thoughts away and helps me start my day in the way that I want. I feel more centred and generally, just a calmer person.
But I was interested about how I could access the same feeling when I need to, on the move, on trains, in whichever way I need to centre myself but can’t roll out a mat. So I attended a weekend course with the Meditation Trust in Brighton, and I recommend it.
The premise is simple: They want to make meditation accessible to people who don’t have the money to go on expensive retreats, and simple enough that anyone can pick it up and practise. They are always pleased to meet yogis because they are strong advocates for it, and they are fans of the Brighton Natural Health Centre.
You attend a 1:1 session for 90 minutes on a Saturday, two sessions on Sunday with a lunch break and a Monday evening, and then you practise on your own. They also offer you free group sessions for life afterwards. The course is highly practical – lots of business people and, well, normal people there. Not a robe in sight. It’s the process that you go through that is important, so it can’t just be passed on as a technique between friends.
It’s early days for me but I practise on the bus…just close my eyes and use the technique. 20 minutes. With life being as challenging and maddening and chaotic as it can be, it feels good to have another technique to help to navigate it. And one that is aligned with Astanga yoga rather than contradictory– read about the 8 Limbs of Yoga to appreciate this.
It’s good to know that something so simple can be so effective. Worth checking out.