When I try to go to sleep at night, especially lately, ideas about what I want to do or write pops up in my brain. When I shut my eyes for three minutes I start to think and it sounds like this; Oh, I could write about that! or I want to try to make something like this, and… A whole series of articles will be composed in a matter of minutes, and in my head I have a summery of the content for each piece! This never happens when I sit down by the computer to work. This almost never happens during the day, because in the daytime there are so much other thoughts that constantly are rolling around in there.
Other ways for me to get my brain working is to take a long walk in nature and let my thoughts wander. I once took a long walk along the river, and when I came back I had a finished short story in my head ready to write down. It was a crazy story, but I had to write it down fast because the whole beginning was finished word for word and I knew exactly how I wanted to put down each characters and the plot.
If you have ever tried meditation you know that when you try really hard to let your thoughts go (not to focus on them you have the hardest time doing so. A lot of great ideas pop into your brain when you stop thinking, or at least when you try to stop thinking. It is not easy at all to stop thinking; our brains don’t have a pause or shut down button. Even in our sleep the brain is working.
I think it is possible to entirely stop thinking, but only if you concentrate with great effort and practice for many years. I learned the technique of meditation in a Buddhist monastery retreat, but never got more than maybe one minute of good concentration. I think that you can develop your creative thinking a lot buy meditating on a regular basis. And no, I’m not doing it at all right now, unfortunately. I think it is difficult to find time for everything I want to do each day. The difference between what I call Meditation (there are lots of ways to do this, my way is using anāpānasati ? mindfulness through breathing) and just relaxing when you are walking is just that; very different! Relaxing the brain when you walk makes the thoughts wonder freely, as it also does when you are very tired. When I meditate I concentrate really hard not to think At All! Every thought I see I ignore, until the brain is quiet.
Maybe it is a similar phenomenon that happens when I try to sleep as when I go for a walk; I stop doing stuff every minute and my brain relaxes. As the brain empties of daily chores, planning ahead and getting on with the day, it starts to work on its own. I stop using my body for tasks I want to do or have to do. I just lie down and relax. Or take a walk where the legs go into auto pilot and move me forward.
It is then that all the web pictures I have seen during the week intermingles with recently read books, TV-shows I have seen, things I?m making and dreams about the future. It then starts to bubble of hot fire like the melting pot that my brain is. The input of the week or month becomes the output of my brain. Really it is the result of all the years I have lived that now pops out as a new idea.
I write it down and close my eyes. I try to sleep again, listening to my own breathing. I relax all the mussels in my body and try to think about nothing special. Then another idea that I would like to try pops up.
The more I think about it the more interesting it sounds. I could really do it ? I could! My heart is beating faster, I feel restless. I want to try to find out more information and work on this right now. I will – in the morning. I shut my eyes again and try to sleep.