meditation discussion

Meditation Matters: Q&A with Chairman Kato

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If you are able to tolerate the noise in your head for 10 minutes twice a day, you’ll realise “wow, so this is what it is to be a human being”. – Chairman Kato


Welcome to the first of our Meditation Matters video, exploring common and rare questions we all have about meditation. In this video, Inhere founder Adiba chats with artist and meditation teacher Chairman Kato about meditation and creativity, and what he has to say to people who profess they are “bad” at meditation. We’ve summarised some of the highlights here.

How does meditation help creativity?

When we are in a creative flow, when we are not blocked, when we are joyful, peaceful, productive, we access the same place that meditation also helps us access. Creativity comes from somewhere very deep, and strong, and quiet. You just have to access that space, and everyone can do this. You have to just get yourself out of your own way. Meditation helps you access this space, which helps us tap into the same potential that we all have.

When you want to create something – stop trying to decide what you’re going to make and how it’s going to turn out, because then you won’t know your true range. Follow the guidance that arises from that quiet place of inspiration. Meditation helps us listen to the space from which creative ideas come…so you have to listen.

Enhanced creativity comes from really listening to yourself, really expressing yourself, and not being afraid to really go there – true creativity comes from listening to the quiet space within us.

Did you feel an acceleration in your creativity after starting meditation?

I did, but I also had to sort out other aspects of my life at the same time. I first laid the groundwork in the way I was living. I became more balanced in the way I live, and meditation built on that. When I coach people I ask them to balance their lives first, examine the way they live, and meditation will then feed into that and develop our ability to listen.

You work with specific groups and individuals in East London, where you live – how have you found their receptivity to meditation?

I’ve worked specifically with some homeless people and young people who used to be in gangs. I’ve found that when people have nothing to lose, they are actually very receptive. If you’ve been brought up in a certain way with preconceptions, that’s more difficult, take for instance as a businessman who might think meditation is fluffy. But those who are looking for guidance, they don’t have those barriers and preconceptions, so they are very open to trying it.

What would you say to people who say they tried meditation but they gave up because they are “bad at it”?

Meditation is becoming more commonly adopted because we are not well. This is obvious. Our society is not well. Just look at the statistics for mental health and many related conditions. Now an Eastern technique comes along and we say “oh this can make us better”. And right there is a clash of ideology – the thought that I will do this and so I will get that. This doesn’t work with meditation.

Many times I hear from people how frustrated they feel with trying to meditate. They think “I’m inadequate, I’ve failed, I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t quieten my mind.”

What I say to them is that’s not a personal problem – in fact that is the point of meditation, to develop a tolerance for the human condition.

If you are able to tolerate the noise in your head for 10 minutes twice a day, you’ll realise “wow, so this is what it is to be a human being” 

You’ll also give other people a bit more of a break, because you know the are dealing with this noise too, every day of our lives.


You can find out more about Chairman Kato’s work on meditation here: