7 Ways to Meditate and Why Writers Should

I know.  Lisbon-lisboa-214799-h


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.

8 Responses to 7 Ways to Meditate and Why Writers Should

  1. J.D. 05/16/2012 at 04:42 #

    Living a full life is difficult if you ignore the spiritual. I swear bad things happen to me when I try to go it alone, with the here and now, with only what I can see and touch. The gift or curse of creativity–however you see it today–is certainly closer to the spiritual side of life than the utilitarian. Thanks for reminding me not to ignore that part of my being. And I’ll try the meditation.

  2. Charlotte Dixon 05/16/2012 at 07:30 #

    Wow, you said it all in this comment, J.D.  You bring up such a good point–that the spiritual and the creative are intricately linked.  I'd love to hear how the meditation goes for you.

  3. Carole Jane Treggett 05/16/2012 at 08:48 #

    Thanks for this motivating reminder, Charlotte. I struggle riding the ‘worry train’ too much, and I’m bound and determined to give meditation a serious try (practicing on a regular basis rather than the sporadic, brief attempt).

  4. Charlotte Dixon 05/16/2012 at 09:19 #

    I think it really does make a difference to do it regularly, Carole Jane.  And I find that I don't have to do it for an hour or even half an hour to get results.  15 minutes is great.  So is 10!  Start small.  And thanks for commenting.

  5. Belinda 05/16/2012 at 16:31 #

    I consider myself lucky as I got started on meditation somewhat early. For me, I see it as an emptying (say, like a cup) in order to fill up again. I’m the first to admit that I can’t handle all the intensity of life at all times so this approach is very practical for me.

  6. Charlotte Dixon 05/16/2012 at 16:51 #

    Belinda, I love the idea that meditation empties you so that you can be filled back up.  Both are so necessary for writing.  It is so good to have the voice of experience chime in.

  7. Anne Wayman 05/18/2012 at 09:04 #

    Charlotte, I meditate regularly now… about 7 years, mostly breath watching. The thing that made the difference for me was realizing my mind will wander… and that’s okay. All I have to do is come back to my breath.


  8. Charlotte Dixon 05/18/2012 at 10:20 #

    That's such a good point, Anne.  You're right in that I always thought meditators had it mastered–that their minds never wandered.  Ha! I just returned to my computer from meditating and my mind wandered all over the place–I just guided it back.  Thanks for commenting.

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