For years Christian meditation has been a core part of my life. It’s play an integral role in Bible study, prayer, and work life. As the chief creative officer having a close inner relationship with the Lord has proven to be the link to an eternal fountain that makes everything work and meditation is the way our mind quiets enough to listen. New studies are emerging which show how and why even the simplest mindful practice actually makes a person more creative and innovative.
You may know the felling. You face a challenge that requires all your mental energy, you push really hard only to get all twisted up in thought. Blasting through the challenge ends up with a few lame ideas, performance issues, and pressure to get the job done. Having a close relationship with God we are all familiar with the thrill conquering a challenge, it's exhilarating and energizing.
If this sounds familiar it could mean that it resembles a situation in the Bible. In John 4:32 it's described that after the disciples returned to Jesus with food. While urging Him to eat, Jesus replies, "I have food of which you do not know." This puzzled the disciples until Jesus explains that the "food" He receives is from the Father and is received when He does the Father's will.
The word "food" is of course a metaphor for a life power from God that sustain Jesus more so than food. A mechanism closely related to our own when we feel "alive" after accomplishing a goal or task.
We can theorize that process expressed by Jesus in the gospels, and similarly by us, is best experience in the mindful presence of God. A thought-entangled mind can hardly think straight let alone perform God's will in real-time. This is a very painful way to work.
So applying meditation to our creative process is how we can get out out the creative binds and find satisfaction accomplishing God's will. But there is a quiet secret underlying the whole process that we must meditate upon.
First we have to ask why? Why does this process exist? The obvious reason is that since God is the creator of all things, God created it. But why? Because we can see the similarity between Jesus receiving supernatural power and ourselves receiving the same power when we accomplish something we can look to Jesus for the answer.
Jesus received power that sustained His body beyond food when He accomplished the Father's will. We can safely assert that we were created with the same internal mechanism that allows to receive from God the Father when we also accomplish His will. And God's will is best known to us when we study and meditate on His word. According to John 14:23, when we "keep" His word as our own thought, God's eternal presence increases within us, making it easier for us to think and act according to His living will within.
So this begs the questions, can we observe the process? Can we scientifically document our biology as God stimulates the brain with power? The answer is yes!
Cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato and fellow researchers at Leiden University conducted several studies that investigates the influences of meditation on the two main ingredients of creativity: divergent and convergent thinking.
Divergent thinking allows a multitude of new ideas to be generated via neural pathways. Convergent thinking, on the other hand, is the process whereby after a mental exercise one possible answer for a particular problem is generated.
What Colzato discovered was that a simple mindful meditation that allows a person to relax and simply be aware of one mental, emotional, and physical state produced the greatest results for divergent thinking. While focused meditation had a better result for convergent thinking.
What does that mean to you? When you spend meditative time in prayer with the Lord, observing how you feel, and your thoughts, while letting go in God, you give God a chance to improve your divergent thinking.
When you sit down and focus on God's word in deep study, you let God work on your convergent thinking process.
The results of meditation are so impressive that major companies like Walt Disney, General Mills, and Google all have meditation rooms for staff to quiet and still the mind. Adopters of the technique report dramatic increases in creativity after meditation sessions.
And it doesn't stop there...
Studies also show reduction is cognitive rigidity. When people meditate their ability to solve problems in novel ways is boosted, while non-meditators had greater cognitive rigidity making it difficulty to problem solve.
So next time you find yourself stuck on a creative problem take some time out, even a few seconds helps. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, let go of the worries, and pressing issues for a couple minutes and quietly begin to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
If your day is very stressful try observing your breath which God placed in you for while as you let go of thought and emotion. Then quietly love God as your mind quiets. Starting a regular Christian meditation practice like this will let God help stimulate your brain in new ways.
In Isaiah 55:8 - 11, God declares that His thoughts are above and beyond our thought. Then God explains that His living word spiritually flows into the world that it may produce fruit according to His will which will prosper people.
I wonder how many lives would change if the quiet practice of Christian meditation would be adopted. Ears filled with worldly words, eyes filled with worldly images, and mind's filled with worldly images cannot hear, see, or think God.
Still the mind by the streams of His living waters and you will hear the sound of His eternal voice. (Psalm 19:1 - 4)
Train your mind, get your thought and emotions to calm down, and allow yourself to love God with everything, then let the creative genius to flow!
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We love you and we're praying for you. Share your favorite Christian meditation creative boosting techniques below. God bless you. See you in the kingdom.