Friday, May 27, 2011

Shamanism and Creativity

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a workshop on Shamanism and creativity. For those who are unfamiliar, Shamanism is generally defined as using repetitive drumming to enter a trance-like or meditative state; and in that state one can recieve input from spirits and natural forces. The presenter describer her experiences, and we combined visual arts and drumming. An interesting discussion but not exactly earth-shaking right?
But I had a small epiphany today, while spinning on the front porch. The smooth hum a gentle whir of the wheel are a rhythmic patterning, and I have always found activities like knitting and crochet to be relaxing. In some ways the meditative state of calmly crafting could be spiritual.
Now, the presenter pointed out, usually drumming is done to create an altered mind state, and then the creative activity takes place. She felt that her artwork was a collaborative effort between her and guiding spirits. But perhaps many of the repetitive activities we do can have a similar effect of helping us tune into a deeper world? Can the act of making be meditative, and further enhance ones creativity? Are there spiritual practices others use to harness or drive the act of creation? I know I feel rejuvanated after an evening knitting with friends, but perhaps that is just the wine....

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I've always thought repetitive activities even outside of art mediums to be meditative- like sweeping, scrubbing, waxing a car, etc. It frees your mind to think about anything or nothing at all.