Untangling the relationship between creativity and mindfulness: one teacher’s experience of the meditation inherent in her creative process
University of New Brunswick
Creativity is emerging as a desired outcome of education in Canada as it becomes clear that it is one of the essential skills needed to survive in our economic future. Mindfulness is emerging as a new way to help students cope with the pressures of school specifically as student mental health issues are on the rise. Mindfulness has also been shown to help students of all abilities engage in more meaningful and effective learning in a time when our schools are fully inclusive. In this arts-based auto-ethnographic study, I inquire into the links between creativity and mindfulness as I have experienced them throughout my personal/ professional life and through my own art making. The findings reveal that my creative practice is embedded with two types of mindful meditation: open monitoring meditation and focused meditation. The results of this study have implications for my personal creative practice as an artist, my practice as an arts educator (both in how I approach the curriculum and my pedagogy), which ultimately affects my students. I believe that further enquiry into this relationship is important. It not only adds to the growing body of research on both of these emerging topics, but also, and perhaps more importantly, benefits our children as this research will contribute to our knowledge of valuable curriculum in our public schools as they seek to meet the changes and challenges of our developing society.