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11818Meditation journals

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  • tosime
    Dec 2, 2003
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      Question: What is the influence on meditation of keeping and
      sharing a meditation journal?

      What a good question! A long time ago, I kept journals and they did
      do something and it was a good thing they did but I can't place
      exactly what it was. Maybe, it is somehow related to the way the
      athlete is said to improve what he does just by going over it in his
      mind.

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      Thank you for your comment.

      When I meditate and I know I am going to write a journal entry
      afterwards my approach to the meditation appears different. I feel like
      I am a reporter observing myself and taking notes as the session
      progresses. I sometimes wonder if this division of attention helps or
      hinders the session.

      It could help in that by observing I stand apart from the session and
      observe my reactions and by observing I reduce the fear of unusual
      events. Since I am observing, I have a sense that the real "me" is not
      hurt by anything that might happen during the session.

      By observing I bring my learning to a conscious level that allows me
      assess what is happening and relate it things I have read about the
      experience of others.

      By observing I am able to keep good records of past events. When I do
      not want to keep records, my memory of the session vanishes quite
      quickly. When a number of things have happened in a session, I sometimes
      forget the last few items in the time it takes to write down the first
      few items.

      However, I sometimes feel that observing my meditation changes the
      meditation in a negative way. The division of attention tends to limit
      the depth of meditation - It is like an anchor that stops you sailing
      away.

      Also, I find that the attention sometimes steers the session towards
      what might be interesting to "report", rather than what might be more
      useful to me at that time.

      Overall my sense is that, in the long run, it probably does not matter
      since you will still get to where you are going eventually. What I might
      do is pay less attention to the observing role and let the ship sail
      more freely.