As the dedication of the Temple of Light is celebrated, the Ottawa Yasodhara Yoga Teachers offer reflections on creativity – the nature of creativity, how does one access it, understanding this connection to ‘receiving from the great beyond from above the mind…’
With gratitude to Marcia Bamber, Lorraine Burke, Joan Gamble, Erna Herwig, Robin Mcdonald and Paula Richardson.
1) Creative Energy
Let this Cosmic Energy be creative through you. Let it be creative in yourself. Let it have the aspects of beauty, form, sound, colour. Joy. Create. Find joy in sharing what you create. Draw from the abundant supply of energy, the Cosmic Life Force. Let this body, mind and soul be charged with Cosmic Energy. Be a co-creator. Let this Force express itself in all that you are going to create. Now you are Joy. Know you are Joy. You are Peace. You are Harmony. You are Strength. You are the Cosmic atom filled with Cosmic Energy, ready to create. From now on this is your key. It will benefit you and decide that it will benefit others. Share. Shared joys double. Double your joys. Creative Life is wonderful.
(Excerpt from Relaxation CD, Swami Radha)
- Lie down. Relax through your whole body. Take time to listen to Swami Radha’s Relaxation CD and allow yourself to benefit from the full-body relaxation practice. Reread the quote above.
- Ask yourself: What is my key? What do I discover when I unlock this door and walk through it? How will this Cosmic Energy create through me?
- What role does relaxation play in the creative process?
- When you come to sitting, write your experience.
2) Making Room for Creativity
The creative force is constantly at work, so we have to keep clearing things out and being aware of what we are creating. The force behind creation comes through from the unmanifest – you can think of it as thought, which may seem abstract, but it has energy and becomes very real in some way.
(Living the Practice, Swami Radhananda, p 193-194)
- Repeat the Divine Mother Prayer three times.
- Ask yourself: What do I want to create? What needs to be cleared out?
- How do I create a connection with the ‘unmanifest’ in order to ‘receive from the great beyond from above the mind’?
3) Creativity at its ‘Highest’
If you can create Divine Mother in your mind, this is creativity of the mind at its highest. But it must also be kept alive and allowed to take its own course. You create Divine Mother in everything that is most beautiful, most perfect, most forgiving – everything that you desire to become yourself.
(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 271)
- Light a candle. Close your eyes and repeat the Divine Mother prayer a number of times (with mudras if you know them).
- Visualize Divine Mother sitting across from you. Hold the image and feeling for a few minutes. Record your reflections.
4) Creativity and Hidden Language Hatha Yoga
Halasana – The Plough
What attitude do I want to bring to my creative process? What seeds do I want to plant in my mind? What harvest do I want to produce through my creative projects?
Consider how you can make your creative life sustainable. When you practice the plough is there a movement that helps release the pressure? Can you find that adjustment in your creative process? How can pressure be a positive, healthy force?
Garudasana – The Eagle
Eagles are symbolic for sharp sight, for penetrating vision. If you can see through yourself – how you lay your own traps – you can avoid them.
Ask yourself: What are the traps in my creative process? Can I avoid getting caught in them? What are my distractions? What choices can I make to concentrate attention?
Shavasana – The Corpse
Death is a gift that is born with life. In yoga, we don’t ignore the fact, but invite it in to help us live life with awareness. You know how working with a deadline can result in productivity and creativity? Life comes with one of those deadlines. Dare we forget?
(The Inner Life of Asanas, Swami Lalitananda, p 33)
How are life and death connected? What needs to die in you now so you can live more fully? Do the pose and record your reflections.
Bhujangasana – The Cobra
In Christianity, the serpent represents evil and temptation, while in yoga, the serpent is Sakti Kundalini, the power of our creative potential. Within this paradox, I’ve discovered a unity.
….Practising the pose puts me in touch with the waves within myself. I move up, I move down. Sometimes in my life I spiral up with inspiration and joy, and sometimes I spiral down with fear or resentment. These two selves aren’t necessarily separate.
(The Inner Life of Asanas, Swami Lalitananda, p 57)
As you practice the Cobra, be aware of the symbolism in the Kundalini system and your power of choice – how will you use sexual power, the power of the imagination, the power of emotions, the power of the heart, the power of the will, the power of the mind? The power and energy you manifest is neutral – how will you direct it? Which way and where do you want the energy to go? Write.
5) Creativity and The Mantra
The chanting and recitation of mantras activates and accelerates the creative spiritual force, promoting harmony in all parts of our being. With practice we are gradually converted into a living centre of spiritual vibration that is attuned to other centres of vibration vastly more powerful.
(Light and Vibration: Consciousness, Mysticism & the Culmination of Yoga, Swami Radha, p 70)
Make a commitment to yourself to chant for a specific period of time daily for a month and notice the ways that your creative potential reveals itself. What is revealed? What do you become aware of? Reflect daily.
6) The Mind in its Creative Aspect of the Most High
If you think of the Absolute, Cosmic intelligence, Cosmic Energy, as being just what is says—energy—how would you understand this energy taking any personal interest in you? How would you address yourself to this energy or avail yourself of it? The solution is to create a suitable image that has meaning to you…that perfect divine love without human frailty…your mind is capable of creating something higher than the millions of little ideas and desires which only gratify selfishness and show off the ego. That is not the mind in its creative aspect of the Most High.
(A Time to Be Holy, Swami Radha p 273-274)
- Prepare to create an image of the Most High. Gather your journal, and art supplies, for drawing, painting…
- Take time for a relaxation practice.
- Chant Om Krishna Guru for a few minutes and then sit quietly let an image of the Most High come to your mind.
- Draw, write….express this image through whatever mode calls to you.
- Offer a Divine Light Invocation putting your image in the Light.
- Write about your experience.
7) Creativity and the Power of the Mind
The statement that – everything is created by the mind – must also be carefully pondered…There is the single mind of an individual which creates its own world…But there is also the collective creation of minds, since minds in contact with each other influence each other. In a collective sense the world as it is today is the creation of the combined efforts of many minds.…the creativity of minds is a continuing force, there is constant change in the manifestation of the creative powers of the minds. We are much more master of our destiny than we may recognize.
(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 281)
- First relax by practicing the 4/4 breath.
- Light Meditation – See a pinpoint of Light in space between the eyebrows. See the Light expand to completely fill and envelope the body, your surroundings, the city, the province, the country, the world, our solar system, our galaxy, and beyond. Then bring the Light back to the space between the eyebrows.
- Ask yourself: What changes can I bring to my own mind that would influence my individual world and in turn the collective world for the better?
- What is my mind’s contribution to the manifestation of the world as it is today? How is the world reflected in my own mind?
- Become aware of the condition of your mind through reflection, watching the mind, becoming aware of concepts, behaviours and patterns of the mind…creates an expansion of awareness and discrimination to create freedom of the mind