Culture & Lifestyle / Write On! How To Achieve Peaceful Meditation Through Your Mindful Writing

Write On! How To Achieve Peaceful Meditation Through Your Mindful Writing

Culture & Lifestyle Jun 19, 2019

Writing and meditation have a lot in common; both have scientific evidence on their positive impacts, involve little to no cost. Read on for the benefits of using writing as a form of mindful, meditative practice and tips on how to get started! How to achieve peaceful meditation through mindful writing. 

 

Yes, Writing Can Be A Form Of Meditation

There are many different writing techniques but the primary style used to turn writing to a meditative practice is free writing. To put it simply, free writing involves writing whatever comes to your mind for a pre-set length of time (e.g. 10 minutes). No editing, attention to grammar or spelling is required. The goal is to write without censoring or placing any judgement on yourself; it’s a practice to help you connect with any thoughts or feelings that arise. For example, if you can’t think of anything to write, then you would write down you’re experiencing writer’s block and how that makes you feel. The only real rule to free writing is to not take any breaks during the practice. When used in this manner, writing can serve as a form of meditation by cultivating a space for clarity, awareness and reflection on any thoughts or emotions we may have inside, making it a mindful practice.

 

How To Achieve Peaceful Meditation Through Your Mindful Writing
How To Achieve Peaceful Meditation Through Your Mindful Writing: Trouble concentrating on work or study? Take a mindful writing break. Photo Credit: huffpost.com

 

Why Use Writing As A Form Of Meditation?

Meditation and therapeutic writing have evidence based benefits so it makes sense to combine them to create a powerful self-care practice! We learned first-hand on the benefits of meditative writing by a course we took with author and Professor Ranjini George who teaches Meditation and Writing. The course and continued practice leaves us with a heightened awareness on our thoughts and emotions, clarity and a therapeutic calm. Writing can be used three ways to cultivate mindfulness; as a meditation practice in itself, as a practice prior to a seated meditation to help clear the mind and/or after a seated meditation to journal any feelings that may have arisen during practice.

 

Do You Need Any Meditation Or Writing Experience?

No! All you need is a willingness to try, a pen, a piece of paper and to approach the practice with an open mind; writing is not the same as writing an essay or publication, it’s informal, private and the goal is to connect with yourself.

 

How To Achieve Peaceful Meditation Through Your Mindful Writing
How To Achieve Peaceful Meditation Through Your Mindful Writing: Professor Ranjini George teaches how to explore meditation and writing. Photo Credit: A Mindful Society

 

Tips On How To Get Started:

Commit to a goal: Decide how long you want to write (we recommend a minimum of 10 minutes each time), set a timer (if you have a smartphone, you can put a peaceful bell to signal time’s up) and commit to how many times a week you’ll practice (we recommend daily but even 2 to 3 times per week will get a healthy habit formed). Remember the key is not to pressure yourself, starting with a few minutes a day is better than not starting at all!

Choose materials that inspire you: Get a journal that you can dedicate to your writing exercises (lots of low cost options can be found in dollar stores) and a pen that feels good in your fingertips. We recommend handwriting as it can feel more therapeutic however if you prefer using an electronic device, create a folder dedicated to your writing to make it easier to go back and read your pieces.

Create a comfortable, distraction-free environment: Writing can be done anywhere but it is helpful to create a calm, inspiring space by ensuring you’re physically comfortable (as you would for any meditation practice). Light candles, open a window for fresh air or better yet if it’s sunny sit outside to write. Cut distractions by putting your phone on silent and don’t have any television or music with lyrics on in the background (if music helps you relax, stick to instrumentals like ocean sounds).

 

How To Achieve Peaceful Meditation Through Your Mindful Writing
How To Achieve Peaceful Meditation Through Your Mindful Writing. Let your thoughts go. Photo Credit: www.allevents.in/philadelphia.com

 

Calm your mind with deep breathing: Most meditation practices start with (or revolve around) connecting with breathe. Before you begin writing, do a 1-5 minute breathing practice (it can be as simple as bringing attention to your breathe by inhaling and exhaling to a count of ten). More on deep breathing can be found here.

Choose mindful writing prompts: Mindful meditation revolves around bringing our attention to the present moment (with purpose and without judgement). Choose a writing prompt that will help you connect to the now, don’t think much, just start writing with “Right now…” or “In this moment…” Remember your free writing; don’t worry about typos or editing, just keep moving your pen on the paper and write whatever comes to mind.

Carefully reflect on your writing: Once your timer goes off, read what you’ve written with a caring, compassionate approach; do not pass judgment on the quality of your work or any emotions that came out during the exercise. Instead, just observe them and acknowledge if anything came up that you hadn’t been previously aware of (for example, any feelings of anger and/or happiness).

Connect with a writing community: Whether it’s in an in-person course by Ranjini George or Jessica Hinds, author and founder of Meditative Writing (a quick google should help you find courses in your city) or an online form, connecting with other meditative writers can help (many writers and meditators struggle with maintaining consistent practice and having a support group helps with accountability and inspiration).

 

Main Image Photo Credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

 

 

Rachna Sethi

Rachna Sethi

Author

Rachna (@mindfullyyours)is a graduate of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program from the University of Toronto, a certified Educator with two bachelor degrees and a diploma in Art Therapy. She's dedicated to living with a compassionate approach. Committed to helping people integrate Mindfulness...

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