“In order to write we must have an awareness of who we are—and who we aren’t. If you don’t know either, writing can help teach it.”
–Natalie Goldberg, An Old Friend From Far Away


Similarities of Writing and Meditation

Many have found that people in therapy get well quicker if they also do mindfulness meditation. Writing also improves with meditation, no matter if you are journaling, writing poetry or prose.  The similarities are stronger during the writing process than the editing and publishing phase.  Initially, however, there are many similarities.

1. Both provide ways of making friends with yourself – of connecting with yourself emotionally in a positive way.

2. Both provide ways of understanding and transforming the self through insight.

3. Both strive to make the unconscious conscious by requiring that you develop introspection on a deep level. Both evoke an inner dialogue that has to be authentic.

4. Both allow you to become a witness to your life  – past and present – not just to react to it.

5. Both can lead toward a new level of personal integration.

6. Both involve being embodied – the physical, mental and emotional are all involved.

7. Both are committed to finding out what is true.

8. Both are full of surprises & revelations.

9. Both may include flat, dull phases where nothing seems to be happening.

10.  Both tap into a deeper source of intelligence or intuition if you don’t give up.

11.  Both can generate insight into the way the mind works, the nature of the self, the truth of your relationships with others & your place in the world.

12.  Both are free and non-caloric.

13.  Both involve going into a unique mind-space.

14.  Both require courage. To go finding out what lies beneath is not for sissies.

15.  Both include a learning curve.

16.  Both go in phases as you continue, each phase has different challenges and rewards.

17.  Both improve if you do them long enough.

18.  Both can induce performance anxiety and/or guilt & feelings of inadequacy 

19.  Both can often cause resistance to scheduling. If you think you are supposed to meditate for 24 minutes every day or write for 15 minutes, you often might have trouble getting started. Once you get started you often get a lot out of it, but at times the resistance can be very strong.

20.  Both are ways to ultimately connect with the world although we usually meditate & write alone.

21.  Both have had many books written about them with lots of advice on how to proceed, but in the end you have to learn how to do them yourself, have to rely on your own inner wisdom and intuition. 

22.  Both can bring genuine happiness.

23. For both you have to pay attention, to show up, be present, embodied.