A teacher was conducting a test with the children in her class. The children were shown a picture of a toy car rolling down a slope. The children were asked: “How would you slow the car down?’ The anticipated response was to attach a parachute to the back of the car. This would slow it down through air resistance. When presented with the problem, one boy drew a set of red traffic lights at the bottom of the slope. ‘Look Miss,’ he said. ‘It’s got to slow down now!’ Children have a wonderful capacity for imaginative thought and creativity. They also see the magic in life that adults can often overlook. To tell someone not to be childish is considered a sensible suggestion. In truth, it is completely the wrong advice.
Brad Pitt does it. Sophia Loren and Heidi Klum do it. Even ice cool Serena Williams does it. What exactly is it they do? They all have their own magical practice to petition the Universe for the outcomes they desire. Brad Pitt wears a shark tooth necklace with the ability to keep its wearer safe from harm. Serena Williams bounces every ball exactly five times when she serves. Heidi Klum keeps a bag of baby teeth to bring good fortune and Sophia Loren refuses to wear purple believing it to be a magnet for evil.
I had approached Thursday 23rd June with trepidation. The United Kingdom was voting in a referendum on whether to remain part of, or to leave, the European Union (EU). The two opposing campaigns had been neck and neck in the run up to polling day. As a europhile I always intended to vote for the UK to remain part of the EU. I believed that the benefits of free movement, trade and cultural exchange were undeniable. Plus I had many close friends from other European Union countries.
One day I stumbled across a curious little shop in Covent Garden called Buddha On A Bicycle. It displayed information about a weekly meditation group in the shop’s basement. Pleased with my discovery, I decided to attend the following week.
Ancient peoples would find wisdom and inspiration in the mythical stories of their heroes. Great champions and rulers served as role models for righteousness and fortitude. People sought the prudence of King Arthur, the cunning of Odysseus or the courage of Beowulf in times of challenge. Today our stories of heroes and their exploits are no longer told around a blazing fire. Instead we find our heroes at the cinema, on television, at the theatre, in a book, comic strip or fanzine. A modern day mythic hero might be Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Sherlock Holmes, Spiderman or Star Trek’s Jean-Luc Picard. We can seek our inspiration from a variety of genres. We can choose to adopt the best qualities of any modern hero from any pantheon.
When naming great creative talents, we might choose Michelangelo, Tennessee Williams, Maya Angelou or Ingmar Bergman. All of them were highly gifted. All of them produced exceptional works yet none had a monopoly on creativity. We all have the ability to draw from our own well of inspiration. Whether writing an essay for school, painting a watercolour or redesigning your home, it is possible to create something outstanding. You can do this by getting into a masterpiece mindset. This creative plane can be accessed through the practice of meditation. When we meditate we are both alert and relaxed. During meditation our brain waves slow down into the alpha state (7 – 13 cycles per second). This allows us to become more contemplative and focused. We open up our capacity for creativity and inspiration. The following meditation will allow you to connect with your own creative brilliance.