Feb 22, 2017

The humdrum of everyday life can be mind-numbing, leading to creative blocks that are, at their least, frustrating and, at their worst, risky to any career that is based on the generation of ideas. People encounter different creative blocks that require varying solutions. The most common would be when a person finds trouble solving a problem, as they are locked within a limited perspective. Thus, they fail to see other possible options and are generally unable to think straight.

Studies over the years have found meditation as a dynamic tool for remedying the condition. Practicing the Buddhist mindset impacts the brain in myriad ways, with the cultivation of a more compassionate and content nature in a person is the best evidence of its effectiveness.

Dzogchen, the highest teaching of Buddhism, teaches people to “rest in the nature of the mind” and to let go of all unnecessary emotions. In the context of science, University of Wisconsin professor Richard Davidson said the human mind can be trained, much like how the body develops through physical exercise.

One of the teachings of Buddhism is how to conquer oneself. Learning how to not be overwhelmed by thoughts can help break off a mental block. As the saying goes, “You may not be able to stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can certainly stop him from building a nest in your hair.”

In this case, mindfulness is the key. Meditation can activate happy links in the brain and positively affect a person’s attention and decision-making while bolstering their resiliency.

Emotional barriers are also considered as a type of creative block. The unknown can induce certain feelings, such as confusion and fear. For Buddhism, training the mind to think positively can affect the outcome of an undertaking. A popular quote from Buddha goes, “All wrongdoing arises because of mind. If the mind is transformed, can wrongdoing remain?” Thoughts can become good things when the thinking determines the actions.

The ears also play a crucial role, as they can cause a creative block in terms of communication. Not everyone relates to each other on the same level of understanding, thus raising the potential for misunderstanding in every interaction.

Seeking to understand is one of Buddhism’s lessons: It teaches people to cease anger first before taking action in any situation. Listening will give you a better understanding of a situation and can make you work more towards attaining peace than appeasing the superficial need to prove that you are right.

It is common to feel stuck or perplexed with one’s thoughts; everyone does once in a while. But the brain is also touted as the most powerful tool, and we have the capacity to control it. Adopting the fundamental principles of Buddhism has been proven to make daily life more zen, whether or not one is a follower of its teachings.


This story was originally published in Northern Living, February 2017.

TAGS: buddha buddhism creativity dzogchen meditation mind nolisoliph zen