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Unlocking Creativity: Rick Rubin’s Meditation Insights

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In the world of music, some names resonate instantaneously, commanding our attention. Enter Rick Rubin, an iconic figure in the North American music industry. His illustrious career has woven him into the tapestry of music history, collaborating with legends like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Shakira, Adele, Tom Petty, and Johnny Cash.

Rick Rubin’s approach to his professional and personal life is grounded in spirituality and meditation. He accredits none of his professional accomplishments to his competency in music knowledge. Instead, he encourages you to embrace your individuality and lean into what separates you from the crowd. In other words, think different. Be different. 

The Influence of Spirituality on Rick Rubin’s Music Production

Meditation and spirituality have played a part in Rick’s life since his early teenage years. In his recently released book, “The Creative Act: A Way Of Being”, he says;

“There’s a reason we are drawn

to gazing at the ocean.

It is said the ocean provides

a closer reflection of who

we are than any


Rick Rubin is someone who appreciates the world around him. He sees perfection in a rainstorm or the way waves hit the beach. He knows there is a pureness in the natural world that can be reached by our human minds in our waking state.

By listening to the artists that Rick is producing music for, and asking deep meaningful questions, he’s able to create an environment where the artist feels safe to express their true self. In a sense, this is a form of meditation. He cuts through the noise, the doubts and the expectations and draws out the heart and the soul.

Rick Rubin’s Meditation Practices and Techniques

Rick Rubin identifies specific practices that he follows like awareness meditation and transcendental meditation but he also offers a unique take on “meditation-like practices”.

Rick Rubin’s Awareness Meditation

Rick’s awareness meditation goes as follows and is intended to immerse you into your environment.

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Pay attention to what you feel
  3. Pay attention to what you hear
  4. Identify what you perceive
  5. Become completely aware of your environment

Rick Rubin’s Transcendental Meditation

Starting when he was 14 years old, Rick has stated in numerous interviews that this has had more impact on his life than anything else he has done. Transcendental Meditation is a silent mantra practice that is rooted in concentration. When thoughts come up during the practice you don’t push them down. You let them pass and return to the practice. 

Rick’s meditation-like practices include beach walks and the “Surgical Support Series by the Monroe Institute. The act of listening can have a powerful effect on both your mind and body.

Here’s Rick’s key to meditation-like practices; “Learn and be fascinated and surprised on a continual basis”. 

How Has Meditation Influenced Rick Rubin’s Creativity?

Meditation allows Rick, and all of us, to be more in tune with ourselves. This attunement opens up depths within us all to explore. When artists work with Rick, he’s able to bring them into the depths of themselves. It is from there that great art is created. 

Rick’s Argument Is That Everyone Is A Creator

“Creatives” aren’t limited to musicians and artists. Rick argues that everyone is faced with daily choices. And if you make considered choices, that is, considering each decision on a deeper level, then you’re creating your life

Meditation and meditation-like practices involve a battle of will. It takes commitment to these practices to allow them to permeate into your everyday life.

What Does A Meditation Commitment Look Like?

For Rick, the first thing he does when he wakes up is meditate. If he’s going to meditate twice a day then the next session would be right before dinner. Because Rick travels frequently to work with artists, he will meditate on airplanes. Some of his meditations will be under an hour whereas other times he has meditated for the entire length of a flight from Los Angeles to New York.

Rick emphasizes that there is no good or bad version of meditation. If you learn a technique, show up and do it and it will work. Practicing good habits will allow you to continue to create art in your life.

Where To Find More About Rick Rubin’s Spiritual And Meditation Practices

This post has covered topics and quotes from several different sources. If anything we’ve covered here has resonated with you then we recommend getting Rick’s latest book, “The Creative Act: A Way of Being”.

You can also listen to the full podcast interviews where we pulled most of the content for this article.

  1. Rick Rubin’s conversation with Andrew Huberman on “How to Access Your Creativity”.
  2. Here’s the direct link to Rick’s guided awareness meditation.
  3. Rick’s interview with Krista Tippet on her podcast, “On Being”. This episode is titled, “Magic, Everyday Mystery, and Getting Creative”.

There are countless interviews of Rick Rubin speaking with world-famous musicians, interviewers, and authors on YouTube. Go and take a deep dive.

Bottom Line

Rick Rubin’s journey bridges music, spirituality, and meditation, highlighting the importance of authenticity. Through practices like awareness and transcendental meditation, he infuses his work with depth and soul. 

Rubin’s message transcends the creative realm; he believes everyone is a creator through mindful choices. As you pursue your path, remember his key advice: Stay fascinated, surprised, and committed, for therein lies the essence of life and art.

About the author
Picture of Gabe Fontana

Gabe Fontana

A freelance writer who strives for clarity, brevity, and humanity. He takes complex topics and make them approachable and fun to read. Find him online at www.fontanacopy.com to view the breadth of his work.

Gabe Fontana

A freelance writer who strives for clarity, brevity, and humanity. He takes complex topics and make them approachable and fun to read. Find him online at www.fontanacopy.com to view the breadth of his work.

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