Writing meditation is meditation made easy.
Very basically, writing meditation is mindful meditation while writing and that meditation is a state of heightened mental awareness and inner peace that brings mental, physical, and spiritual benefits. Writing meditation can be practised without adherence to any religion or philosophy.
Meditation usually conjures up an image of a hermit sitting on a mountaintop, for hours, in the lotus position, eyes closed and in silence. In reality, meditation can be practised while walking, chanting, working in the garden or writing at a desk. It can be done on one’s own, or with a group of other people. A session can last a few minutes a day to several hours per week.
Focused Meditation and Insight Meditation
There are many different types of meditation but the two we use most often during our mindfulness meditation workshops here at our retreat centre Les Sources Sacrées (the sacred springs) in the south of France, is Focused Meditation and Insight Meditation. During focused meditation one concentrates on a something specific, like your breathing, a candle or a mantra. During insight meditation, one attends without attachment or aversion to whatever thoughts, feelings or sensations one experiences.
Copying a script, for example, a loving-kindness script can reprogram our subconscious much more effective than if you were simply reading, hearing or reciting the words – and with very little conscious effort on our part. Free writing is different. It involves writing down whatever comes into your head for a set period of time or for a specific number of words.
If you find traditional sitting meditation difficult, one of the most useful types of meditation to try is writing meditation. Writing gives your busy mind something to do as you cultivate awareness of the overall experience. Focused writing meditation is not the same as therapeutic writing or writing therapy. The latter would qualify as insight writing meditation. Therapeutic writing differs from focused writing meditation in that it involves writing about a specific emotionally charged episode with the aim of arriving at a therapeutic outcome, whereas the aim of focused writing meditation is purely to meditate, or to familiarise oneself with the practice of meditation or to try a different type of meditation.
Writing meditation is really very easy. All you have to do is find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed, take a few deep breaths and write. If you want to do copywriting as meditation, one of the easiest ways to do this is by copying a Loving Kindness script. You will find a full Loving-Kindness Meditation Script as a pdf here: Loving-Kindness Writing Meditation.
Free Writing – with or without prompts
If you prefer free writing, just write whatever comes into your head for a set amount of time. And if nothing comes into your head, use a prompt like “What was the saddest moment of your life?”or “My favourite way to spend the day is…”
Keeping a Meditation Journal
While we are on the subject of writing, if this sort of meditation works for you, you may consider keeping a meditation journal – journalling your meditation practice. One day you may write something like: Free writing meditation. 10 minutes. Couldn’t concentrate. Struggled. Needed to use several different prompts. Felt a bit disappointed. On another day, you may write something completely different : No time for writing meditation last night. Will have to try morning meditation. And yet on another day : Started with breathing exercise. Copied loving kindness meditation script. Felt completely refreshed after. Breathing thing useful. A meditation journal can motivate us to practice meditation because we are keeping a record and record keeping can lead to insights that we may otherwise have missed. We can also see if we are making progress or not.
During our Equine-Guided Mindfulness Meditation Retreats, we devote one afternoon meditation session to writing meditation. We discuss the various possibilities with our workshop participants and the encourage them to find a quiet spot and to sit down and write a few lines. Wherever they write, remains between them and the page, although should they get stuck, help will only be a prompt away.
“Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else’s. So the path has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else’s journey and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honour your uniqueness in this way?” Jon Kabat-Zinn
If you would like to find out more about working meditation, please consider buying my book, Mindfulness and Meditation in the south of France. (available in mid-Dec 2016 from Amazon). The book covers mindfulness and meditation in detail. Each chapter starts with a letter from a potential workshop participant, explaining her personal problems. Each chapter offers a potential solution based on mindfulness and meditation. You may even recognise yourself in one of the letters!
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