Writing as Meditation

Source Material

Morning Pages, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron


How I Adapt / Adopt / Apply

dorymeme

When I thought of meditation, I pictured being in a seated position, my legs in some intricate configuration, low lighting, the smell of incense in the air and the gentle sounds of some Tibetan instruments playing in the background. I would have my eyes closed and I’d be chanting a mantra in a language I didn’t know.

Yeah, well, guess what? I have discovered that mediation is a peaceful state of mind that can be achieved using a variety of rituals, practices, and such. As long as what you’re doing stills the mind chatter and brings your awareness to the present moment, it can be considered “meditation”.

One of my newly found favorite ways to still my mind is with written meditation.  I discovered it through the practice of Morning Pages – a loosely structured practice of writing three pages in a journal in the morning before you officially start your day. There aren’t any rules as to what you write, how long you write, or where.  You’re just encouraged to fill three sheets of paper, first thing in the morning.

I, being a writer by nature and believing that words have much power, found this to be something I looked forward to each morning. I used a Moleskine journal, A5 size and found that three pages usually took me about a half hour to fill.

How did this equate to meditation? The best way I can describe it is for me, during that 30 minutes, I was free from distraction as my mind focused on the act of writing what ever came to mind. I was aware of the pen in my hand, the feel of the paper beneath my fist; the flow of the ink – I would be fully immersed in the act of writing and consequently my subconscious was open to just be for a bit. I found it as relaxing as any other form of meditation I’ve ever done.

After my Pages were complete, I felt as if I could think more clearly. I had a better attitude about the rest of my day. I would breeze through my morning commute without the usual tension and road rage.

My morning routine has been somewhat disrupted since my office moved and my commute is now an hour and 45 minutes. I don’t get up any earlier, so that 30 minute window to do my Pages is no longer available. I’ve tried bringing my notebook with me to work and doing my Pages at my desk, but that’s a no-go for me. I find it difficult to still the mental chatter once I’m at work.  So, as is my way, I’ve adapted the practice by moving my Morning Pages routine to the evening, just before bed. I find its a good way to clear whatever stress the day brought me so I can relax into sleep more easily. Combined with a selection of music I mentioned in last Monday’s post, I find it a wonderful way to end my day.


Your Turn

Have you ever heard of or done Morning Pages?  What did you think – did you find them meditative in any way?

If you’ve never tried anything like this, might I suggest you grab a notebook or some blank paper and do a page or three either first thing in the morning, or last thing in the evening before bed. Do this for a week then come back and let me know how it went in the comment section below.

Sending you peace,

The Next Chapter

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