Where Science Meets Muse

Meditating/Praying Your Way to Creativity

Posted by Plish on February 24, 2009

Patricia Spurio meditates while having her EEG measured. Credit: © Maharishi University of Management

Patricia Spurio meditates while having her EEG measured. Credit: © Maharishi University of Management


Learning, living, partying, studying, depression, socializing….


Researchers have shown that college students who meditated on a regular basis for 10 weeks had more integrated brains, were less jumpy,  and less sleepy. 

“The pressures of college can be overwhelming-44% of college students binge drink, 37% report use of illegal drugs, 19% report clinical depression, and 13% report high levels of anxiety,” said Fred Travis, lead author and director of the MUM brain research center.

Travis said the data from the non-meditating control group showed the detrimental effects of college life on the students. “The control group had lower Brain Integration Scale scores, indicating their brain functioning was more fragmented-which can lead to more scattered and disorganized thinking and planning. The controls also showed an increase in sympathetic reactivity and sleepiness, which can correspond to greater anxiety, worry and irritability” he said.

The lesson?

When in high stress situations humans need to find their centers, get in touch with peace and quiet, become a monk for 20 minutes or so.

The ability to think clearly is key to the success of athletes, businessmen; all people who have to make good decisions and/or perform certain tasks flawlessly.

To be creative/innovative means being able to see relationships where seemingly none exist, to ponder new realities. 

Try watching two bubbles of foam on the waves of a churning sea. 


Drop a pebble in a still pond and observe…

What do you do to find your center?

How does clarity of mind impact your creative endeavors?

How can industry improve creativity in light of this research?


3 Responses to “Meditating/Praying Your Way to Creativity”

  1. Cris Melo said

    Do you know what kills creativity, proper thinking and productivity? Multitasking. Does NOT work, it has been scientifically proven, but people insist on doing it.

    It seems contradictory, and most of us don’t yet realize this (I finally did, but still fail) – if we want to accomplish things and do it well enough, it has to be *one thing at a time*. It’s called “awareness” and being in the present moment, centered. Which explains why meditation helps – it teaches us those exact skills.

    Praying and meditating is really re-training the brain, whether or not you believe in a god or not. It’s all about taking a hold of the brain, instead of letting the brain run amok. Eckhart Tolle has taught me this w/o speaking of meditation or prayer, just through being aware of the present moment.

    There are many ways to retrain the brain.

  2. Plish said

    Brilliant insights, Cris! It is totally about disciplining the mind; it’s that focus that can do wonders! Thanks again!

  3. “How can industry improve creativity in light of this research?”

    A suggestion for individual and corporate use is to allow brief moments for quiet contemplation to foster relaxation and creativity. The beauty of this idea, especially in the current economic climate, is that it costs nothing to try it. A zero-cost potential solution and turnaround.

    I have created a Mind Map called “Time to Think” (T3 for short) and Blog Post which explains how this could work in practice. There is also a PDF download available:


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