I am grateful to the legendary Rama Jyoti Vernon for inviting me to talk about "The Yoga of Creative Inspiration" as part of her Dialogue with Visionaries webinar series. Here is the video of my lively online conversation with Rama, which covered a number of topics very close to my heart. You will find several references to the practice of AUM Tantra, which is the focal point of an upcoming book that I am working on with my beloved wife, yogini extraordinaire and divine playmate, Maria Shamas. In November, Maria and I will be unveiling our new website, which will include practical tips and fun activities that you will definitely want to try at home. Stay tuned!
Over the past several years, I have been exploring the power of touch in relation to creativity and inspiration. The role of touch in the creative process is pretty uncharted territory. I am not familiar with very much research that has addressed this topic. So, I have had to take matters literally into my own hands.
What I have found is that certain kinds of touch can really trigger the feelings and sensation that I associate with creative inspiration. When that happens, fresh ideas and insights seem to follow naturally. The forms of touch I prefer, for this purpose, involves steady rubbing or caressing of my skin. I find that skin vibration, through the use of water jets or electrical massagers, can also be effective.
Often, inspiration happens when I am moving slowly—perhaps while dancing to very soft music—and at the same time running my fingers along the surface of my skin. When I do this, I don’t tend to linger on any particular body part for very long. I like to keep the sensation moving along the entire surface of my skin.
As Maria likes to point out, your skin is the largest organ in your body, which means that there is a great deal of exploration to be done. Lately, I have been using a percussive massage wand and mapping its effects on different body regions. Everywhere is a little different. My hands and face, for example, are so sensitive that they require very gentle touch, whereas my arms, legs, and back call for something firmer. For me, one of the most intense experiences happens when I touch my face lightly with my fingertips. This simple act brings into contact two skin surfaces that are among the most densely-packed with nerve endings.
Touch can be so profoundly inspiring because it combines a number of elements that we know are conducive to creative inspiration: openness to experience, self-expression, passion, absorption, attraction to beauty, and mindfulness. All of these elements can be engaged through mere touch.
As with any tool, touch is not going to have the same effect on everyone. What I consider to be an inspiring level of skin stimulation might be annoying or irritating to you. The impact of touch can vary from person to person, from day to day, and from one part of the body to another. If you are going to explore the use of touch as a creative trigger, here are a few suggestions:
Fabric, feathers, oils, lotions, a warm cloth, or ice might be worth trying. When it comes to your body and the kinds of touch that are most likely to evoke inspiring sensations, you are the world’s greatest authority. At the same time, it never hurts to get a little guidance and coaching. In upcoming blogs, Maria and I will be offering a number of ideas for integrating sensation with inspiration.
There is always more to discover about your body and about the things that inspire you. Happy Exploring!
On October 16, I will be taking part in the "Dialogues with Visionaries" webinar hosted by legendary yoga educator and innovator Rama Jyoti Vernon.
If you are not familiar with Rama and her work, I encourage you to find out as much as you can about this extraordinary woman and the profound wisdom she has offered the world over the past half-century. For me, the chance to dialogue with her is a tremendous honor and joy.
At a time when my beloved Maria and I are working on a book about the power of OM, I am drawn to the unique vibrational qualities of OM as Rama chants it. Attempts to capture her version of OM have overwhelmed even the most sophisticated recording equipment. Here is one of the few decent recordings of Rama chanting OM that I have come across. To feel its potency, turn up the volume on your speakers, close your eyes, and just take it in:
I am thrilled to be talking about "The Yoga of Creative Inspiration" with Rama on the October 16 webinar (4 pm MST) because it will be my first time discussing some new ideas about inspiration and because I know it will make for a stimulating conversation with one of the nation's leading yoga scholars. To register for this FREE webinar, just click on the image below, taken during my recent TEDxTucson talk on creative inspiration. Incidentally, the video of that talk should be posted online in the next few weeks. I am excited to have you view it and share the video with others who share your interest in this very important topic
I want to hear from you! Please share your questions and comments. And sign up for my newsletter, where I will pass along the insights, ideas, and inspiration that come my way.