Getting Rid of Conflicts in your Thinking

Getting Rid of Conflicts in your Thinking

“You cannot transcend your thoughts as long as there is a conflict in your thoughts.”

You cannot transcend your thoughts as long as there is a conflict in your thoughts. It is conflict that occupies the Self with thoughts, because thoughts try to resolve conflict. Imagine you pick up a problem to solve and you go sit in meditation. Throughout your meditation you will only be thinking about solving that problem, and your meditation will become an intellectual exercise. You will not be able to observe your breath, nor will you be able to observe your body, because there will be a conflict that needs to be resolved and you will be completely occupied with it.

With enough meditation, you can go beyond the conflict of the mind. At one point in time, after observing your mind enough, you will know the game the mind plays with you. It becomes very clear. There is no real problem to solve; there is no actual problem. The problem that you are trying to solve in your mind is an induced idea of a problem. One moment will come, after the same problem has come up again and again, when you will simply drop it. In that moment you will know that there is no need to solve the problem.

Dropping a problem simply means shifting your awareness from the problem, from thoughts, to some other domain. That shift is very significant. As of now all of our focus is on our thoughts. We give our thoughts too much importance. By watching the thoughts enough, the shift happens from watching the thoughts to watching the body.

The body is also a form of a conflict. Just like two thoughts contradict each other, the body also contradicts itself. You don’t know this because the body has a completely different language. It doesn’t use thoughts to communicate; it uses sensations, it uses pain. The pain and pleasure that you experience in ideas is the contradiction of the mind, while the physical pain and pleasure that the body experiences is its contradiction.

Think about it: What are you doing when you try to dissolve a conflict in the mind? You are trying to move from the zone of pain to the zone of happiness. You are trying to move away from the zone of confusion to the zone of clarity. It is the same with the body. The body is constantly juggling, moving around, because it is in conflict. There is one part of the body that only wants to rest, and another part of the body that says, “If you completely rest I’m going to die. Remain alert, keep your spine erect, and don’t fall asleep!” So, there is a conflict.

After you have watched enough, you will slowly realize that the body is not a conflict that needs to be solved. You only have to let go of it. And this letting go will happen naturally. It doesn’t happen as a conscious decision. You cannot just say, “Okay, I want to let go of my body now,” because the moment that you say you want to let go of your body, it is actually the body who is speaking, not you. The Self does not speak. The Self does not articulate anything. When the Self is completely fed up with this questioning, asking, learning, meditating, sitting, and watching, then it simply drops all of this. In that one moment, without your knowledge, the body will relax so deeply that you will experience a transcendental state of blissful reality.

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Don’t Throw Your Life Away

Don’t Throw Your Life Away

At any moment of your own choosing, you can stop running, then pause and reflect on the life that is already yours.

You can very much be alive and still throw your life away if you don’t know what exactly it means to be alive. Life is not just a precious experience that has to be cherished, it is a once in a lifetime experience! There is no way to live this life again. If life is this precious and unique, then it has to have tremendous meaning and purpose.

It is very easy to get lost in the mundane routine of life and miss its true meaning and essence. Today’s lifestyle exists in a shallow culture, and life is the easiest thing to lose track of. The saddest part about not knowing our true purpose is waking up one day to realize that we have wasted a perfectly beautiful life in pursuit of worthless goals.

There is an ocean of difference between surviving, making a living, and living. Most people are either trying to survive or are trying to make a living. Life itself is still a great mystery for most; they have confused different expressions of life for life itself. A flower is an expression of life; when you pause and watch a flower, it becomes an experience. Knowing the difference between the expression of life and the experience of life can make all the difference to our quality of living.

In our constant pursuit to make a living, we are chasing different expressions of life. We can have the whole world under our feet and still feel miserable and lost. Life is not an accumulation of expressions; it is an experience to be lived and enjoyed. At the end of the day, all that matters is a meaningful pause to soak in the infinite beauty of life.

Life has adorned herself to entice, intoxicate and draw us into her bosom. Nothing at all has to be done to enjoy her infinite beauty and wonder. You can be rich, poor, intelligent, dumb, happy, or sad; it just doesn’t matter. Life will cradle you, for you belong to her. You are her creation and expression. What is it that you are constantly searching for? Maybe you are confused about what you want, and in that confusion you are searching in all the wrong places. Maybe there is another way to look at the experience of life.

We are running from our own shadows. There is absolutely nothing to run from or run to. We create our desires to run toward and we create our fears to run away from. Not knowing that life is here and now, we are darting here and there without rest. We are tired of all the running around, but we cannot stop, because somewhere deep down in our mind we have concluded for ourselves that the real meaning of life is in constantly chasing something.

Life waits – She has infinite patience. At any moment of your own choosing, you can stop running, then pause and reflect on the life that is already yours. Just knowing how much life has already given you will bring a sense of calm and serenity to your life. We have absolutely no right to be miserable when we have life on our side. Let’s reflect and remember that we are not alone. This moment is life and She is always with us. Let’s not ignore Her and throw this precious life away.

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Detachment: The Practice of Self-Love

Detachment: The Practice of Self-Love

First, let’s understand what attachment is. Attachment begins with a desire of the mind; the root of all attachments is a desire. When the object of that desire begins to manifest, either in the form of a relationship or in the form of a fulfilled desire, then the mind subconsciously attaches itself to that object. The mind attaches itself to that object because it is deriving pleasure out of it and it does not want to let go, so the mind starts to create a bond between itself and the object of pleasure.

Since attachment is so fundamental to the way we live, it is impossible to exist without being attached to something. In other words, attachment is necessary to the very process of living. It is like the web the spider weaves. Although the web is sticky, it serves a certain purpose for the spider. The spider knows the nature of the web, and it knows how to navigate through it.

Our problem comes because we are not consciously aware of the process of attachment; therefore, we do not know how to navigate through its sticky nature. We just keep weaving our web and eventually get ourselves entangled in it. On the other hand, a spider knows how to navigate in her web, since her web was a conscious process. The way to navigate through the world of our attachments is to bring in the non-stickiness of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the only non-sticky nature of our mind. When we are conscious of what we are doing, when each and every action of ours is filled with this awareness, we will not become entangled in our attachments.

There is a saying that everything idiotic in our life comes as a process of getting attached to some idea. The word “idiot” comes from the root word “idea,” and just means someone who completely subscribed to one idea of life and attached themselves to it. To understand this more deeply, we must see that attachment itself is idiotic. None of our attachments will last forever. They only serve a certain purpose in our lives; they come and go.

The moment we become attached to something, it becomes a root for our pain and suffering. In fact, there is not much other pain besides detaching from something that we are attached to. All pain is just a variation of detachment. When detachment is sudden, like a breakup or a separation from a place where you have lived for a very long time, it causes deep pain and misery. However, if detachment is practiced as an art on a daily basis, as a conscious process, then detachment itself can be very illuminating. Not only will the practice of detachment separate us from unnecessary fears, worries, and disappointments, but the practice of detachment will also lead us to a sense of individuality. Detachment allows an individual to see the separateness from everything else around them and become complete within themselves, no longer dependent on their objects of attachment. Through the practice of detachment, you become the very source of your attachment, and you become a complete individual in that process.

The best way to become detached is simply to observe the process of attachment. First, acknowledge and accept that we are attached to something and that attachment is the cause of our pain and suffering. Buddha said, “Desire is the root cause of all suffering.” The reason he said that is because we are tormented by nothing else apart from our desires, and we have no control over our desires. We have absolutely no say in which direction our desires are pushing or pulling us. A mind that is continuously tormented by desires can never find peace or happiness.

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Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

“Meditation exists within us–we’ve just got to find it”

Meditation is probably the simplest of daily routines we can pick up that can tremendously increase our physical and mental wellbeing. At the most basic level, meditation is a process of consciously watching our thoughts, emotions, feelings and desires, to understand them better. This is why sitting quiet is a very important component of meditation.

Although meditation is one of the most ancient sciences, it is more relevant today than ever before. Our lifestyles have become so mechanistic and stressful that finding a way to relax our minds and bodies is very important. Meditation helps us to reduce our stress levels significantly and handle our emotions better.

Stress is a direct consequence of uncontrolled thought process. When certain thoughts take over us fully and we are not able to find our inner silence, stress is a natural consequence. Meditation works directly to overcome stress by helping us to understand our thought processes better. The more we understand our thought process, the easier it becomes to be in control of it.

Meditation has absolutely nothing to do with sitting cross-legged, chanting some mantras or holding your breath for extended periods.  Your hands don’t have to be in any particular position. Meditation is a very natural process of sitting in a comfortable posture and allowing your mind and body to relax. Relaxation is the key to meditation. We can choose any posture that is comfortable for our meditation: You can sit on a chair or go underwater, it simply doesn’t matter; although it might be a little difficult to stay relaxed under water!

Pick a comfortable posture, but not so comfortable that it puts you to sleep. A posture that can help you to relax and at the same time stay alert is the best posture. You can lighten up the mood with some pleasant instrumental music. Assigning a designated place for meditation will work wonders in setting your biological clock to remember your daily meditations. The place itself will remind you of your meditation.

Choose a quiet place and set an alarm for the duration of your choice. To begin with, at least fifteen to thirty minutes is a good meditation duration. Sit comfortable, close your eyes, begin to watch your breath. Keep your focus on the breath flowing in and out, and watch your breath throughout the practice. With every breath, try to relax your mind and body a little more. It is amazing how much we can relax if we consciously try. That’s it, that is all meditation is – sitting quiet and keeping your focus on the breath. Meditation is within us–we’ve just got to find it!

The magic of meditation is actually not in the technique, it is in what happens to your mind while you are practicing a technique. The constantly noisy and chaotic mind will begin to settle down after few days of regular practice of meditation. This will significantly improve your clarity of perception, your ability to stay relaxed, and your ability to handle difficult life situations.

Meditation has a positive impact in many dimensions of our lives:

  • Helps us to understand ourselves better
  • Increases our self confidence
  • Helps us to stay calm and relaxed during certain stressful situations
  • Increases our ability to recollect things, which drastically improves our memory
  • Helps us to function in a more conscious way, avoiding unnecessary daily repetitions and mistakes.

There is no wrong way to meditate.  As long as you are sitting quietly, not falling asleep, and watching your thoughts, you are meditating and you will see results.  Additionally, meditation has absolutely nothing to do with religion; it is purely a scientific process. Science is all about observation and understanding what is happening around us. Similarly, meditation is all about observing and understanding what is happening within us. If external science has created such wonders, just imagine what this inner science can do for your life.

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What is Mysticism

What is Mysticism

“One of the most beautiful qualities of human existence is this sense of mystery”

One of the most beautiful qualities of human existence is this sense of mystery, which says there is something out there worth striving towards, something that cannot be grasped by any of our senses. Everything we do seems to be moving in the direction of that mystery.

Somehow science does not like mystery; it wants to unravel mystery, because mystery has been mistaken as ignorance. Mystery however, is not ignorance, and neither is mysticism. Mysticism is not about not knowing something. Mysticism is a deep understanding that there is something we do not understand about life—something that is still elusive to us, beyond our reach.

Einstein never believed in any personal god, although he was a part of religion. His entire endeavor was to create an objective science that could be empirically proved through experimentation. He moved away from all dogmas, concepts, and ideologies that were in the domain of religion. He wanted to experience and explore life scientifically. In fact, he was one of the greatest scientific minds ever to have lived among us, and still he had a beautiful understanding of mystery. Here is a passage of Einstein’s:

“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the sower of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself to us as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms. This knowledge, this feeling, is the center of all true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the ranks of devoutly religious men.”

Although Einstein spent all his life in scientific endeavor, he deeply believed in the mystery of existence. In fact, all of the greatest artists, the greatest minds, have come through the process of embracing this mystery. When you accept this mystery you can start inquiring newly. Only then can you ask, “What is this mystery? What is life? Who am I?” All of these questions are a part of mysticism.

In fact, the whole journey of humanity is to understand mysticism. This existential quest of man has led to the disciplines of meditation and yoga, as well as the mystical practices of silence, solitude, and prayer. All of these practices have been created to understand the mystery of existence.

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Body and Meditation

Body and Meditation

“What you are experiencing is not a body, but a boundary”

During meditation today, use your own body as your distraction. That means the space where you will move around during meditation is your own body. So, start with the breath. Just observe the breath. Be in that tiny zone of the breath. When you feel it is becoming difficult to be with the breath or your mind is trying to drift somewhere else, then move across your body; experience the sensations of your body. For a moment reflect on your legs—just the sensations of your legs—then slowly move up your body. Come back to the breath. Sometimes just reflect on your face: Okay. This is where I am sitting. This is my face.  Move around a little; feel the tiny sensations on your skin. You will experience a lot when you observe. Come back to the breath again. Use your body sensations as your distraction and your breath as your anchor.

Don’t move out into imagination, thinking or listening; just feel the body. The body is amazing, and the more you observe it, the more you realize that what you are experiencing is not a body, but a boundary. The body is a boundary between the inner and the outer. It is the boundary of sensations, and there is nothing else to the body apart from this boundary of sensations. This is why pain is the only way we experience our bodies. If you take away pain, physical pain, then we cannot experience our bodies at all.

Every sensation is pain, although what we have recognized as pain is a certain level of intensity. When somebody touches you gently, it is perceived by you as simply a touch. When somebody hits you with force, then it is pain. It is the same thing. When a mosquito just sits on you, it is just a small sensation, but when a mosquito bites you, then you recognize the sensation as pain. Pain is nothing but an intensified sensation, and the body is one field of pain. That pain is what you are trying to transcend through meditation. There is nothing else you need to realize more than your body is just a bundle of pain, sensations, and is external to you. Your body does not belong to you.

This is a beautiful way to meditate. It gives you enough space to move around, and you will also be able to see what you are trying to go beyond. When you think, Oh I want to experience enlightenment, I want to experience transcendence, you’re not sure what it is that you want to go beyond. Still, life is exquisite. There are gardens, sunshine, and beautiful things all around; life is a rich tapestry of colors and beauty. So why do you need to transcend all of this? You will know the reason why when you start observing your body. Life is beautiful all around you, but your body is painful. Your body is a constant pain, even now. Just close your eyes and reflect on your body. You will see how much pain there is. Just observe it: back pain, joint pain, skin problems, sinus issues…

This is a beautiful meditation. Be with the body for a few moments and then come back to the breath. Repeat.

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Liberation of the Individual

Liberation of the Individual

“Until an individual comes to a fundamental questioning of who he is, he is simply lost in the collectivity.”

Spirituality is not an ideology, it is not a concept, and it is not a manmade dream. Spirituality is an existential longing to know who you are. That is why there is no other force more powerful than an individual’s longing. It is more powerful than all of the atomic bombs that man has ever created, because this force, once it takes over an individual, can remove everything out of their path and simply allow them to focus: Who am I? What am I? Why am I? Why am I eating? Why am I breathing? Why am I walking? Why am I dreaming? Until an individual comes to a fundamental questioning of who he is, he is simply lost in the collectivity.

A further example of this collectivity is religion. In religion, you cannot recognize an individual because it is just another collective ideology. If you are a Hindu, a Muslim, or a Christian, does it say anything at all about you? No. It can only say something about where you grew up. In fact, everything about you, from the way you look to the language that you use, has been acquired from the outside. And all the accumulation has submerged and hidden the real you.

Now, more than ever, the world is moving towards the liberation of the individual. There was a time for kings, there was a time for priests, and there was a time for governments, but now the force is the individual. If you look at what is happening, our innovations and developments are constantly giving the individual the power to express himself. Not too long ago, even to share this simple existential process would have required me to get permission from my religious community. They would have decided whether it made sense or not. Then I would have needed the permission from my country. They would have decided whether what I said was helpful to people or not. Under those circumstances, individuality was completely drowned.

Throughout human history, if an individual saw something that sparked his curiosity he would want to express himself, no matter the circumstances. For example, when Galileo figured out that we live on a round planet and that the Earth rotates around the sun, the church considered this to be an absolute heresy. During the time of Galileo, if you were not following the orders of the church you were a heretic, which literally means “one who goes their own way”.

Galileo was also considered to be a danger to the church because the church always believed that the earth was flat and that it was created in six days. So the church branded Galileo as a heretic and his papers were not allowed to be published. They went back and forth and finally the church forced Galileo to write at the end of his papers that his findings were only a speculation, not the truth. Only by adding that condition could Galileo publish his papers.

In a way, we have come very far. Now an individual is free, theoretically. Psychologically he is still bound by a suppression that has kept him in bondage for so many centuries. Since man comes from this collective consciousness, whether he knows it or not, there is a part of him that knows that his ideas were subjugated at one point in time. At that point in time, man had the fear of expressing himself freely. So in a subtle form, that suppression has continued to this day in the form of the family, the community, the religion, and the ideologies of the country

Therefore, an individual is still bound, but he is more bound psychologically than in any other way. He is more bound by his own mental process than by anything else. If an individual can step away from his psychological burden, if he can explore life from the pristine purity of his own consciousness, then the answers he will get will simply astound him. It will completely put him in a different realm of reality, because an individual is only one end of the spectrum. The other end of the spectrum is divinity.

What is an individual searching for? He is searching for absolute freedom, happiness, goodness, and love. He is searching for a way to go beyond his pain and suffering. He simply wants to be out of pain. As a result, the combination of all of these qualities is what we call divinity. Divinity is not a person. Rather it is the best of all of these qualities, and the search to reach that divinity can only start from the individual.

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Seeking Divinity is an individual’s journey

Seeking Divinity is an individual’s journey

“Not everyone who has a body is an individual.”

An individual is an ocean; a vast, unimaginable ocean of life. An individual is aliveness; he is not what you see. A person is simply what he is.  You are simply what you are. There is a tremendous difference between the person that you see in the mirror and the person that you see within yourself. The person that you see in the mirror is just a form, a play of light and darkness. What you see there is a texture and a shape—that is it. What is not visible in the mirror is the aliveness through which even that contemplation is happening.

The thought that enters your mind and says, I am, is an individual. In that sense, not everyone who has a body is an individual. But everybody who has asked this question, everybody who has contemplated on the thought, I am, is an individual. Hence, an individual does not take birth through the body. It is the body that takes birth through the body. An individual takes birth with this question, with this realization, and with this understanding.

Spirituality is a very human problem. It is not an existential problem. There are insects crawling around, and there are birds singing. Look at the vibrancy of aliveness all around you. There is no disturbance, there is no questioning, there is no seeking, and there is no trouble. They are all just going about their lives. You can even say that they are blissful, because bliss is a state of non-disturbance. The insects and the birds are simply being in the moment.

A bird flying in the sky has no religion, no name. It does not know where it has come from and it does not know where it is going. It does not have a philosophy, it does not have an ideology, it does not believe in heaven and hell, and it is not interested in redemption. Yet, look at the life that is gracing that bird. It is free in the vastness of the sky, utterly free, absolutely free. If a human being can experience that one single moment of freedom, then he will be changed forever. If he can be a bird in the sky for even one moment, then his troubles end. Even for a single moment if you can be absolutely free, utterly free, then you will know the tremendous value of individuality and you will know the tremendous force called an individual.

As of now, an individual is suffering. He is suffering his own knowledge, reasoning, questioning, and ideology. In a way, it is bound to happen though because an individual takes birth as an idea. You will have to understand: An individual is a beautiful quality that takes birth through a desire, which is an action. An individual is always born into a collective system, or a family. Grammatically, an individual is an adjective who takes birth through a desire, which is a verb, into a collective noun. So, an individual is nothing but an adjective trapped in a collective noun.

An individual is born into a family, but what is family to him? He does not understand family because all he knows is how to recognize another individual. He can see his father, his mother, and his brothers and sisters, but he cannot understand the idea of a family. It just seems elusive. Still, he tries to fit in; look at the trouble. An individual is trying to fit into a collective ideology, but it doesn’t make any sense to him.

An individual has to move from one collective ideology—his family, to another—the school. There, he learns certain things and abides by the rules of the school, but again his individuality is troubled. He begins to ask, What am I doing here? What is my purpose? Why am I in this school? From school, an individual moves into work, and even at work he is a part of a collective ideology, because organizations always have a common purpose that everybody is working towards.

So, an individual is automatically given all of these collective ideologies. He is given a country, he is given a religion, he is given a family, and he is given a place to work. Thus, throughout his life he remains confused about the most important thing: Who is he? That question leads an individual to spirituality. In fact, just ask yourself, Who am I? That question itself will make you spiritual.

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Forgetting the old

Forgetting the old

There is a deep connection between meditation and creativity, as meditation creates the zone of silence necessary for creativity to flourish. Meditation is the process of tilling the soil and adding the manure. Creativity is the seed that you plant in the fertile ground. Without fertile ground creativity cannot flourish; without fertile ground imagination cannot happen, because you will just be reflecting on what has happened.

Let us take an example. Imagine you are angry for some reason; there is immense anger in you and you are overcome by this emotion. If I tell you to be creative and solve a problem, will you be able to do it? Of course not, because your whole body, mind, and energy will be invested in the process of anger. Everything will be completely taken over by that anger, so how will you be able to creatively express yourself?

This is the biggest challenge people face when they want to be creative, when they want to come up with something new.  They could be a painter, a dancer, a singer, or a musician. Just ask them what their problem is with creativity. They will tell you that their problem is not to come up with something new, their problem is how to get rid of the old.  You can ask any musician and she will tell you that her problem is not composing a new song. Her problem is how to stop hearing the same old song that she already composed; her problem is that every time she tries to compose a new song, there is an existing song that interferes in her creative process.

Meditation clears the thought process and opens up a zone of emptiness. This emptiness is not negative; rather, this emptiness is filled with aliveness. It is tremendously positive, and when you touch this zone of emptiness, creativity becomes a natural consequence.

Let me give you one example. When I was in India, I used to teach meditation to music and dance schools. I have always liked interacting with individuals who express themselves creatively because they can connect with meditation very well. They have already undergone the struggle to find their zone of creativity. I met a dancer once and just asked her to describe her process of dancing to me.

She was an Indian classical dancer, which is one of the most difficult dance forms. Indian classical dance is not just a dance; it is an expression. You have to bring out your emotions, your feelings. You have to really be in the moment to be able to express yourself. Also, Indian classical dance cannot be one hundred percent choreographed, which means that the dancers learn about fifty percent of the dance and the rest is improvised during the dance. So no two Indian classical dancers will ever perform in the same way. There will always be something different either in their expressions, in the way they move, or in the ways they communicate things.

So, the dancer was very popular in her time and had been dancing for almost thirty years.  I asked her to tell me something about her dancing. She said, “Initially when I used to dance I was very self-conscious. I used to thoroughly learn the steps, but I didn’t like my dancing. I was able to perform the steps, but I was never able to bring in the rest. I was stuck with the idea of dancing, being there, and people looking at me—I was self-conscious.”

And then she said, “After a few years of dancing, after practicing, there came a moment when I realized that I was not the dancer.” From that point onward, she spoke about her experience of dancing like the way a mystic speaks about his meditative experience. She spoke like an awakened person, an enlightened person. She said, “When I enter that zone, I don’t know what is happening. I mean, the body dances by itself, it moves by itself. Initially, I can sense that there is an audience, that my body is there, I am dancing, and they are watching. Then, slowly I disappear and something in me takes over the dance. Afterward, when the dance is complete, I bow down and do the Namaste and the crowd starts shouting. That’s when I come back.” She said that all of her dance was performed by somebody else, not her.

She is telling the truth; a meditator knows this. Creativity is not something that you do, it is something that you allow to happen to you. That creative spark comes from the source of consciousness, from the source of divinity—it is not manmade. In art, music, and literature we are only vehicles. We are not the possessors of this creativity. The creativity is there. If we can just allow ourselves to be empty, then it will come flooding in.

When the dancer was not thinking about the audience, when she was not thinking about the body, when she was not thinking about the steps, she became so empty, so hollow, that this other force just came in and made her dance. It is the same with painting, music, and writing. In fact, there are so many writers who have said that the more they keep thinking about themselves as writers the more difficult it is to write. Because when they think about themselves as writers there is too much fear: the fear of rejection, not being able to express what they want to express, and the fear of not being good enough.

The moment you leave the creative process to existence and just surrender, you do not even have to do anything. This surrendering process happens through meditation. And that is why meditation connects all artists, all creative people in one stream. Meditation can take you to that zone of emptiness. From there, creativity is a natural consequence.

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The flow of life

The flow of life

“Creation is something that happens from the inside and flows to the outside.”

Creativity is the very process of life. Everything that is happening around us is happening through the process of creativity. Creativity is not just an isolated domain or department of life. Creativity is the core of life. Everything begins with this creative energy and it flows outwards.

A few things are important to understand. The first is, creation is not something that just happens on the outside while you remain a mute spectator. Creation is something that happens from the inside and flows to the outside. This is the most important thing that we need to understand about creation and creativity. Creativity is not on the outside, but rather it is inside. The human mind has the ability to imagine, create thoughts, and generate emotions. When this is projected, when this energy flows outward as an expression of the individual, it becomes creativity.

So, creativity is really not a choice. It is not as if you can say, “Oh I don’t want to be creative, I’ll just go on living my life the way I’m living it. I don’t have to worry about creativity.” Creativity is what gives meaning and purpose to living, because all of us are here to express ourselves. And only in that expression life becomes complete and meaningful. If you are not expressing what you are meant to express, then that means part of you always remains closed, and part of you never reaches its highest potential, its completion.

That is the reason why there is this tremendous joy in being creative, in expressing yourself. And also there is tremendous contentment and fulfillment in expressing yourself because creativity is the very process of life. And since you are right in the middle of life, creativity is inevitable. You have to embrace creativity as a part of your life. Otherwise, life is going to be dull, and boring, and all the time you will be searching for some meaning.

See, Einstein used to say that there is nothing that is more powerful than imagination. All of his work, everything he did, he attributed to his ability to imagine things newly, freshly. He did not just walk on the same path that the mind takes everybody. He said that all of his theories came from a zone of pure imagination. And this imaginative ability of the mind, to see things that are not yet there, is the zone of creativity.

There is a vast difference between thinking and imagination. Thinking is more or less a regurgitation of what you have already acquired. You are just reflecting on what you have already done and on information you have already received. But, imagination is totally different. Imagination is new. That is why you cannot imagine when you are in pain and you cannot imagine when you are disturbed. Imagination happens from a zone of silence and stillness. Only when your mind is calm and relaxed, when it is not tormented by the disturbances of thinking, does creativity arise.

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