Crap. Must we?
For many of us, meditation is an item on the to-do list that never gets done, akin to cleaning the basement and scrubbing baseboards. (And if you actually accomplish those things, please, please, please come to my house and help with mine.)
Meditation is boring. Meditation takes time away from writing. Meditation is hard to do correctly. Did I mention that it is boring?
And yet, many of those pesky spiritual traditions, mine included, emphasize meditation.
Again, crap. Do we really have to? We're writers, not swamis or priests, right? Right?
Right. But what if I told you that meditation:
- Helps with clarity
- Aids focus
- Assists with ideas
- Gives you peace of mind (helps you not angst over agents, etc.)
- Helps you concentrate
Now it starts to sound interesting, right? Because what writer doesn't want increased focus and ability to concentrate, peace of mind, more clarity, and perhaps best of all, lots and lots of ideas?
Me, pick me!
So, here are some ways for writers to meditate. If you're a slacker, like me, start with #7.
Ways to Meditate
1. Breathe. Because, really, that's all you have to do. That's all there is to it. Breathe in, breathe out, focusing on the breath while you do so.
2. Guided Meditation. The world is full of recorded meditations that will take you to a deeply relaxed place and guide you to visualizations if you so desire. Google accordingly or create your own by talking into a tape recorder.
3. Use a Mantra. Some meditation traditions rely on the use of a mantra, which is just a word or phrase repeated over and over. If you study certain kinds of meditation, you'll be given a mantra, but there's no reason you can't come up with your own.
4. Count Breaths. I like this style of meditation because it gives my ego something to do. Count your breaths from one to ten and then start over again. If you lose count and your mind wanders, start with one again.
5. Walk Mindfully. Take slow, purposeful steps while staying mindful of every movement your body makes. Not my cup of tea, because I get impatient, but hey, it could well be yours.
6. Combine with Prayer. It can be incredibly soothing to talk to a higher power, however you envision that higher power to be, even if it is simply your higher self. Use one of these meditation techniques and then have a chat with whomever you choose. End by focusing again on your breath.
7. Short Bursts. Sitting down to write? Close your eyes and center yourself by taking a few deep breaths and centering yourself. Getting tired? Close your eyes and count breaths to ten. And so on.
And there you have it, some ideas about how you, as a writer, might want to try meditating.
Create a successful, inspired writing life: Commit to one of these meditations and try it for a week. See if it doesn't help you with your writing.
Please, please comment! I love to hear how other writers find inspiration in meditation, or not. And if you liked this post, feel free to share it anywhere you like.
Image by Joi.