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8 habits that will help you combine writing and meditation

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If you are reading this post it is because you are interested in the disciplines of writing and meditation , although they are two practices that we do not usually consider together. That is precisely why I decided more than five years ago to launch the Write and Meditate proposal , with which I offer you my method of “conscious writing”, configured over more than thirty years of experience as a writer, teacher of literary creation and meditator. , so you can savor the benefits of combining these two healthy and profound self-exploration techniques . If you want to know more about these benefits, I recommend that you read the post “Why combine writing with meditation?” .

But how to unite them in an effective way? , you will ask yourself. Writing about your meditation practice? Meditating on your texts? Well, not exactly, because that would only entangle you in more thoughts, which is exactly what we want to avoid.

Below, I offer you some tips that can help you combine them in a way that supports each other , gives you greater awareness of your mental patterns and begins to see real changes in your life.

If you still do not have practice meditating, I recommend that, before continuing reading, go through the post “What is meditation and what is it for?” , where you can find the keys to start practicing.

So let’s go with the 8 habits that will help you unite these two disciplines:

1. After meditating, do five minutes of “unthoughtful writing”

After your daily meditation practice, set aside five or ten minutes to exercise in “unthought writing” or “automatic writing”, which basically consists of placing the pen on the paper and writing straight away without passing through the mental filter what comes out. . In the post “The Tiny Tech” you have more information about this practice.

This type of practice will help you distinguish when you’re thinking and when you’re not thinking , which is critically important for both creative writing and meditation. Normally, we confuse thoughts with reality, and that gets us into a lot of trouble, which we can begin to untangle by combining writing and meditation. In addition, unplanned writing will help you loosen your desire for control, which will open the doors of your creativity.

2. Get in the habit of keeping your meditation and writing practices as close together in time as possible.

The practice of meditation promotes an open and lucid state of consciousness, which is also what we seek with creative writing. So if you get into the habit of making time to write after meditating, you will see that you are more awake, relaxed and creative.

If this is not possible for you, I recommend, in any case, that before you start writing, you dedicate even five minutes to meditate or, at least, connect with your body and your breathing.

3. Stay connected to your sensations and emotions while you write

One of the most important guidelines of meditation is that your attention must rest on a sensory support (which can be breathing, touching, listening…). This support helps us, by contrast, see what happens in our mind, what our habits are, how we get hooked on thoughts, etc. The sensory always keeps us connected to the present and the experiential; This is what is called “direct valid cognition.”

This training can also be useful when we are writing . Although we immerse ourselves in the story we are telling, we do not have to do it from the intellect, but from the sensory and emotional, that is, from experience. When we are learning to write, sometimes our desire to use the technique well causes us to disconnect from our experiences, which is counterproductive. You can apply the technique in the revision stage, and you will use it intuitively as you assimilate it, but it should not interfere with writing the first draft.

4. When you write, connect with your readers

Writing is an act of “transmission”, which implies that you have to be connected with your interlocutor. Just as in meditation it is crucial to practice openness of heart, extending love and compassion to all beings, you can also apply this generous motivation to writing.

To write you also have to be connected to yourself , but that doesn’t mean you have to be navel-gazing. When you write, you strip and expose yourself to make the human experience accessible to other people for an altruistic purpose. Not to be loved or to be told how well you do, but to help others on their path. If you are not able to open yourself with generosity, you will never write anything worthwhile. And if you unite your motivation in meditation with your motivation in writing, it will be much easier for you to start from an appropriate angle for the act of transmission to occur.

5. When meditating, don’t freeze your creativity

Writing shows you a space of play and freedom in which you are not tied to conventions and fears , as you are in your real life. Literally anything can happen in your texts. That immense creative space is, in reality, the space of your mind, to which you normally do not have access due to your patterns of ignorance, attachment and rejection. It is a fertile, fluid, magical and incredibly powerful space, and literary creation teaches you to lose your fear of it.

So, when you meditate, you can lean on the experience of memoir writer so as not to close yourself off to that pulsating space of your consciousness. Sometimes it is very dizzying, because we are accustomed, due to our patterns, to narrow spaces. We often confine our meditation to a small frozen quadrilateral where there is no power, and on top of that we boast of having “no thoughts.” But we are not on the right path there. The mind is powerful by nature , and you have to get in touch with that power, even if sometimes you wallow, like a child playing in the waves. But there is nothing to fear; On the contrary, by surrendering to that space, you will also access freedom and joy.

6. Transcend the positive/negative polarity

The patterns of attachment and rejection are so strong that, even on neutral ground (sitting peacefully with your eyes closed) and with guidelines as simple as those of meditation, you will find yourself fighting with your thoughts, getting angry with the tension, clinging to drowsiness, etc. However, by practicing the absence of struggle over and over again, these patterns will loosen, and with them your tendency to divide everything into positive and negative and to react automatically to this division.

Try to apply this learning to your creations, where conflict (something supposedly negative) is a value, where the recreation of complicated situations is not incompatible with artistic beauty and where true joy is extracted precisely from transcending the polarity between positive and negative. negative.

And vice versa, you can also apply the learning gleaned from the practice of writing around conflict to your meditation.

7. Dedicate the merit

The final part of each meditation session has to do with dedicating the merit generated by the practice to all beings. You can do this with a simple phrase that comes from your heart, together with sincere motivation, such as: “May all beings benefit from the positive energy generated by this practice session.”

Do the same when you conclude your writing sessions. Dedicate the merit generated by that effort so that all beings benefit from it. This will help you get out of the self-absorption in which we usually find ourselves and will imbue your consciousness with patterns more connected to openness of heart.

8. Connect with the breadth of the space of your consciousness

Both writing and meditation put you in contact with a large and fertile inner space to which you may not have had access before. You may find it easier to connect with that space through meditation, or you may find it easier to connect with it through writing. In any case, experiential samples in one field or another can serve as a guide in the other discipline, so that learning feeds off each other.

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