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Jack Kornfield

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Write to Meditate

Write to Meditate

Although writing (often in the form of typing) factors into a lot of jobs and work assignments, it can also be a meditative and therapeutic activity. Susan Smalley of The Huffington Post says, “…in the process of writing the thoughts or emotions are somewhat ‘distanced’ from the ‘I’ experiencing them.” In other words, you can explore your mind by purging what’s inside, “getting it down on paper,” gaining perspective while you do so.
Writing is a way of being honest with yourself by articulating what you may not be able to say aloud to anyone, even alone in a room! You may find that answers you were looking for were just below the surface and whipping out a pen and paper was all you needed to get at them.
Have you considered keeping a journal or diary for personal reflection’s sake? If you already do this, how often do you write and do you find it to be meditative or therapeutic?

Posted: 9/11/08

Thanks to hurricane Ike I lost power for over a week. I wrote each evening by lamplight. I wrote more by hand than I have in 20 years. While I was writing thoughts about nerdy technical things as opposed to the introspective musings, the act of writing (and trying to write legibly) was relaxing and entertaining. The pace was slower than normal so I tended to write more complete thoughts. I transcribed them to the computer once the power was restored. I couldn't help but notice that they were written with a slower pace that seemed quaint.

While I am no Thomas Jefferson, perhaps he would also have written like a hurried, harried chimp had he a been using a computer?


I find that meditating and writing each morning to empty my mind have a peaceful result for the present moment. I rarely read what I've written. But, it's all there for when I may have the time.

  • By cobber
  • on 9/23/08 1:10 PM EST

Yep! I find myself feeling surprised sometimes at what I write...in a good way, like, "Oh, so that's what I'm thinking." And yeah, I agree LauraLee311, I love looking back at my journals.

  • By aliciak
  • on 9/16/08 12:23 PM EST

Yeah, I’ve been writing in journals off and on for almost 20 years now. Not only is it therapeutic, but it’s so much fun to go back and read about what I was going through at different points in my life. It’s one of the best presents I’ve ever given myself.


Writing for me is more about therapy. Sometimes getting something down on paper really helps me fully process what's going on. I type it out and feel much better afterwards.