The earliest written record of meditation dates back to 1500 BCE India in the Hindu Vedas. Meditation has been practiced in many places in the east for health, religious, and spiritual purposes.
Mindfulness meditation is growing in popularity in America for its demonstrated health benefits, such as reducing high blood pressure, chronic pain, and anxiety. From walking meditation to spiritual meditation, there are many different types of meditation.
- Deep breathing
- Focused attention
- Quiet setting
- Open attitude
- Body awareness
Specific forms of meditation can involve:
- A comfortable position
- Mantras (Chanting)
- Reading reflection
- Internally focused gratitude
For a more in-depth understanding, read about the different forms of meditation here.
The ultimate goal of meditation is Mindfulness: to have awareness of your mind and body. When thoughts try to disturb you, let them pass while keeping your focus turned to your physical presence. This moment to regain focus and improve concentration makes it easier to focus your attention after the session ends.
3 main problems writers face can be helped by meditation:
You sit down in front of your desk, uncap your pen, then realize you didn’t pour a cup of coffee (you can’t write without coffee). You write the date on the top page only to stop again, this time, because there’s no background music.
Feeling overwhelmed can take the form of procrastination. Meditation prompts you to shift your mental focus to your physical presence. As your body relaxes, your mind in turn relaxes, making concentration easier after the session.
- Being Uninspired
Sometimes you are stuck with the project you’re working on. Sometimes you can’t decide on an idea, or stare at the page and have no idea what to write.
Reading someone else’s writing before meditation is a great inspirational tool. In your session, you can reflect on style, meaning– whatever draws you to the piece. A free writing exercise after the session can help you draw from work you admire.
It’s easy to be preoccupied by external distractions: the traffic outside your window, your phone buzzing.
Each time you meditate, you practice your ability to concentrate. Like anything practiced, concentration becomes easier with time. Making mediation a routine leads to a better sense of concentration extending into your daily life.
Mindful’s “How to Meditate” article includes a 1, 10, and 15-minute meditation session for beginners.
The app Headspace offers 10 free beginner sessions (customizable to 5, 10, or 20- minutes). To combat anxiety amid the pandemic, their “Navigating Change” course provides another 10 free sessions.
If writing is a daily practice for you, try incorporating 10 minutes of meditation beforehand.
So often our minds are preoccupied with the sensations defining our external worlds. When was the last time you took a ten-minute time-out for your mind?