This blog will discuss the current issues in creativity by the graduate students at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State. www.buffalostate.edu/creativity
The views expressed herein are those of the graduate students and do not necessarily represent the views of the International Center for Studies in Creativity or of any other Buffalo State College body.
Monday, April 14, 2014
ZENventures: Unwind Your Imagination
By Darlene Kent Graduate Student International Center for Studies in Creativity Want to go on a Zenventure? Have I
captured your attention?Are you
curious? Join me as I share my Master’s project with you.
What are Zenventures?
Zenventures are guided imageries,
meditations that are designed to be mini adventures.
Adventures of peace, adventures of
the heart, and adventures of the mind.Zenventures
are about taking a journey, about taking a moment to pause, to unplug and just
be.Be you, be relaxed, and be in the
now.Everybody needs a coffee break,
even your brain.Zenventures is all
about the art of the pause.
Zenventures take you to a place
you may never have been before, it allows you to try out new options.They help you get comfortable with new skills
and new ideas.Zenventures are about
opening your creativity and your mind to possibilities.Zenventures give you a way to release and
connect to your imagination, and to experience some peace.
Relax and discover your creative
potential to embrace imagination, insight and your artistic self - whatever
your art may be.
Discover SIM: Story,
We live in a busy world, a world
that seems to have forgotten how to breathe, how to pause, and how to unplug
from an everyday, all day, internet access.Discover SIM:unplug by plugging
in. You may be wondering what is SIM?And why should I care?SIM is an
acronym that taps into three powers to help you discover imagination,
creativity and insight:
•Power of Story
•Power of Incubation
•Power of Music
Humans have an affinity for story,
we respond to them, remember them, and share them.Zenventures tap into your desire for stories
and uses it as a vehicle to help you connect to your inner potential.
I believe in our busy and
increasingly interconnected world we are forgetting how to incubate. Guided
meditations help people find time to pause, and give ourselves permission and
time to let the answer find us. Zenventures help you tap into this deep well of
potential, one that is often overlooked.
Humans experience music on a
different level, beyond words, beyond logic, beyond the everyday.Hear some music and some part of your body
wants to move with it.In Zenventures we
use music to move the mind, the heart and the soul.
The book, Wired for Story, discussed how story can help rewire a person’s
brain, to help us to see the possibilities of the future, and to teach us the
way of the world (Cron, 2012).Human
beings connect to story in a strong way, and I used the power of story to take
the person on a journey.One very clear
way I did that was by using a theme in the meditations, and I connected that to
something that happens in music lyrics - a chorus.Theme is the universal message that you want
to share, it tells people the point of the story, and conveys information about
the human experience (Cron,
2012), in this case
the creative aspect of being human.
The best way to make people
believe in something is with repetition, and another way is to use simple
2011).I employed both of these strategies while
writing and creating the guided meditations.So the chorus, repeated a few times during the meditation; is the key
attitude, skill or trait about creativity I want the person to take on.The power of SIM (Story, Incubation, Music)
lies with the repeated chorus, and the breeding of familiarity that comes with
listening to it, especially with doing the same meditation over and over
again.The chorus is my secret weapon,
it is how I plant the seeds of creativity that will hopefully blossom into
helping a person become more creative.
Research has clearly proven that
there is a mind body connection and that mediation has several benefits:quicker recovery from stress, increased alpha
rhythms, enhanced synchronization, muscle relaxation, less emotional
reactivity, increased empathy, more happiness,increased creativity, and heightened perceptual clarity and sensitivity (Bodian,
When I was doing the initial
research for the project, I checked Amazon.com and SoundsTrue.com, and I found
that most guided meditations refer to creativity in general.Current guided meditation do not focus on the
skills, attitudes and traits associated with creativity.
A journal article written by
Sawyer (2011) on the neuroscience of creativity suggested that creative people
experience higher levels of alpha wave activity, and that creative people use
both hemispheres of the brain.You can
connect that information to the benefits of meditation [increased alpha rhythms
and increased brain synchronization, (Bodian,
2006)] to see how
meditating increases creativity in general.
What appears to be lacking in the
current guided meditation landscape are the skills, traits and attitudes that
support creativity.I decided to use
meditation, guided imagery and visualization as a way to help people practice
and master the skills, traits and attitudes associated with creativity.
The best journal article I read on
creativity and meditation was called, The
Neuropsychological Connection Between Creativity and Meditation (Horan,
2009). The section labeled, Insight, provided a good overview on
creativity and meditation.What research
indicated is that meditation helps with incubation and insight through the
processes of transcendence and integration.
Transcendence bypasses limits in
information, in essence you could say it creates a whole that is greater than
the sum of the knowledge.And
integration is about transforming information, you can think of it as an
enlightened state.Transcendence is
about diverging, and integration is about converging.After reading this article I came to the
conclusion that transcendence and integration are part of the yin/yang of
Be Rock Star Zen
It is too early to tell if the
guided meditations can increase the prevalence of the specific traits, skills
and attitudes associated with creativity.Even if they do not, meditation will still help enhance creativity in
So, let’s jump in and go on a Zenventure.Enjoy the streaming audio below and discover a
peace and creativity adventure today!