Sometimes even the greatest things in life can use a little spicing up.
Meditation on it’s own is pretty darn great.
Sitting alone, being with ourselves, training our minds, noticing our breath—these are transformative solitary activities that bring us closer to ourselves.
But even this practice can be deepened.
One way we can do that is to keep a meditation journal.
A meditation journal can be a way to motivate ourselves to practice meditation by bringing in the dimension of record keeping and reflection which can enhance the insights we are having during our meditation practice.
Step one: Meditate.
I know this sounds obvious, but as anyone who has ever tried to commit to meditating on a regular basis knows, it is not as easy to get to the pillow as we think.
This is where the journal comes in.
Sometimes all it takes is a baby carrot at the end of the stick to motivate. Just knowing we are recording our experiences for review at a later date can help us feel there is a “reason” to follow through with our practice.
Step two: Keep it organized.
Little scraps of paper or scribbles on the back of your hand will scatter your thoughts, so pick one place to put all your thoughts about your meditation practice.
Step three: Choose a format for your notes.
What information is the most important to you? Some things to consider taking note of are date, location, length of practice, type of practice (sitting, walking, body scan, Tonglen etc.) and what you noticed or observed during the practice that seems relevant.
Step four: Keep it short and to the point.
The journal entry itself does not need to be a dissertation on every little detail that occurred during a ten minute meditation. And really, I would advise staying away from writing down the details of any distracting thoughts that occurred. A few notes about what you observed about your practice is fine.
What did you notice in your body? Did it feel easy or hard? Did it make you feel mad, sad, bad, joyful, happy?
Three or four lines is often enough. And sometimes we have experiences that feel beyond words during meditation and we can just note that down, too.
Step five: Review!
Wait until you’ve kept the meditation journal for six months or a year and then make yourself a nice hot, cup of tea and sit down somewhere quiet and slowly read about your experiences.
I bet you will notice that your practice changed and evolved in a way that reflects your own transformation.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Emma Ruffin
Photo: Markus Spiske/Flickr