How To Use Writing As A Meditation

Meditating is more than sitting quietly and focusing on your breath — (although that is also an option).

There are myriad ways to develop a meditation practice, including guided imagery, body scans, and walking.

But have you ever heard of writing as meditation?  

It may sound contradictory.

After all, meditation is usually associated with sitting still, not scribing. 

However, mindful writing exercises are also effective concentration-building tools — plus, there’s a creativity boost cherry on top.

What Is Meditative Writing? 

Meditative writing involves short sessions of free-form or mindful writing to improve your ability to focus and refocus.

According to countless studies, meditation garners numerous physical and mental health benefits, including:  

  • Improved analytical and problem-solving skills
  • More peace of mind
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better cardiovascular health
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Enhanced self-awareness

Meditative writing also boosts your creativity and can help you overcome writer’s block.

How Do You Practice Writing as Meditation

The first step is figuring out where you’re going to write. Pick a comfortable spot, whether in bed, at a desk, outside, or on the couch. We suggest choosing a quiet place, but if background noise is your thing, have at it. 

Some people also opt to put on meditative music and light scented candles to complete the atmosphere.

Next, set a timer. Start slowly. Five minutes should suffice. When you become more comfortable with the process, do as many as 20 minutes. Anything longer may be overkill for a meditative session.

Lastly, commit to four rules:

  • Forget about grammar. The goal isn’t to be perfect — or even good. Instead, focus on getting into a flow state where your thoughts freely seep through your fingers without a second thought or delay.
  • Be authentic. Nobody else will read what you write, so say what you want!
  • Write longhand, preferably in cursive. Typing triggers the urge to edit, and that’s not what these exercises are about.
  • Write as much as possible. Don’t stop to think. Just write.

Like any skill, practice makes near-perfect. Incorporating a session into your daily routine is the most fruitful path.

11 Meditation Writing Examples 

You understand the potential benefits of reflective writing and how to do it.

1. What is the most peaceful place you’ve ever been?

Relaxation is an indispensable part of the human experience. Not only does the body need at least 7 hours of sleep a night, but we also thrive when we’re able to steal away to peaceful places for short getaways or long vacations.

If you’re a homebody, perhaps your beloved backyard is the most peaceful place you’ve ever been. 

Whatever the case, write about it. What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? Try to be as detailed as possible.

2. What do I need to know today? 

How strongly do you trust your intuition? Can you accurately interpret what it’s saying?

Exercise your internal guru by starting each day with a stream-of-consciousness writing meditation. Keep a journal and pen at your bedside, and grab them both the moment you open your eyes and stretch in the day. 

Why immediately? 

Barring sleep issues, the first 20 minutes after a deep sleep, the brain is at its creative best, having just taken the equivalent of a hormone and chemical “shower.”

The mind is also malleable and subconsciously connected in the immediate post-wake period. As such, writing with “flow” is easier and more fruitful at this point in the day.  

3. What can I do to make myself happy today?

Have things been a bit slow lately? Is your energy low? Is your cynical side currently in control? Is it time to prioritize yourself?

Think about ways you can make yourself happy today. Ordering rather than cooking, curling up in bed after work, indulging in a solo binge-watch of your favorite guilty pleasure programming, and running are all acceptable answers. 

Remember to scribble whatever comes through your brain and out through your fingers. Who knows, after the timer goes off, you may find several things on the list that you would never have thought of if you didn’t open yourself to the flow state. 

4. How will I get one micro-step closer to my main life goal today?

One of the keys to reaching your goals is developing a plan of action, and many people find that breaking up their aims into micro-stepping stones helps tremendously.

Today, think about dissecting your current dreams and aspirations. Look closely at five nano-goals you can achieve today toward the greater objective.

Breaking plans into smaller pieces is a great way to stay mindful. Doing so helps you stay focused on the task at hand.

5. Try to connect with your higher self, then write about the experience.

Do you believe there’s something greater than these corporeal beings on Earth?

Can you entertain the possibility that we each have a “higher self” — or omnipotent, soulful entity representing the best version of ourselves — that impacts our lives proportional to how much we let it?

If you’re spiritual enough to give it a shot, use a writing meditation session to connect with your higher self. Set an intention to bond with your cosmic side, then pick up a pen and see what happens.

Faith is an essential aspect of this writing exercise — not necessarily religious faith but a belief that you have a higher self.

Otherwise, skepticism and cynicism take the steering wheel, and you won’t enjoy any rejuvenating benefits associated with meditation.  

6. What’s your astral sign? Do you think it matters? Why or why not?

Since homo sapiens first learned how to carve stone into tools, we’ve been looking to the stars for answers about the world and our place in it — and the tradition continues today.

Where do you stand on astrology? Are you a believer, a non-believer, or somewhere in the middle? Does your personality match your western astrological sign? What about your Chinese zodiac sign?

Don’t forget that the goal of meditative writing is to enter a flow state. So try not to spend too much time thinking. Just write what comes to mind.

7. Do you have a pet? Try to explain the joy they bring to your life.

Instead of being mindful about yourself, turn your attention to the favorite non-human in your life — whether a cat, dog, bird, or rodent. How can you make their lives better today and demonstrate your love?

Alternatively, write about the abject joy they bring to your life. Be detailed. Think about their facial expressions, habits, and mannerisms. Consider what they may be thinking. What do you want them to know about you and your feelings for them?

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8. In what movie would you want to star and why?

Do you have a favorite “ideal life” movie? A flick you love because it represents the exact life you want to lead?

Take 10 to 20 minutes to write about what makes it top your list. What things in real life don’t align with your movie benchmark?

Who would be your co-stars? Make two lists: a famous cast and a real-life one. Have fun with it!

This type of meditative writing is meant to be fun and creative. Keep things light and save it for a day when all you want to deal with is cotton candy and soft pajamas.

9. Have you checked in with your chakras lately? Do you believe in the concept? Why or why not?

Where do you fall when it comes to chakras? Do you believe in them or not?

If not, focus on writing down all your reasons for not being convinced. Write down as many as possible in the allotted time. If you believe in chakras, write a quick affirmation to each of the seven main meridian centers.

Even if words that sound like gobbledegook come to mind, you may discover it was a Sanskrit word your higher self was passing down.

10. How can I support my emotional health today?

Self-care comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s a matter of taking a 20-minute bubble bath. Other times, it’s about getting to a doctor ASAP because your body is breaking down. 

Nurturing emotional health is also part of the process. Staying sane — staying present — requires emotional balance. So, journal about ways in which you can support and celebrate your moods today.

To be clear, we’re not advocating for toxic positivity and suggesting that you tamp down all bad feelings and focus on the good. Studies prove that emotional dodging is hugely detrimental to mental health.   

11. Name as many things as possible for which you’re thankful right at this very moment.

Gratitude supports a healthy perspective. You don’t need to be thankful and positive every moment of your life. Contrary to popular belief, good mental health doesn’t work that way.

However, focusing on the “full half” is a proven way to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in a given moment.

With that in mind, use your meditation writing session to write down as many things for which you’re grateful. They can be big things — like the love you share with your spouse — or small things like the smell of your favorite body soap.

A Short Meditation for Writing

Many people like to begin meditative writing sessions with a short, intention-setting moment of focus. Feel free to use this meditation script if you’re interested in giving it a shot. 

You can read it beforehand and think about it while meditating. Or, record yourself reciting the script — (or ask a friend to do it) — and listen during your pre-writing meditation.

This is a good time to mention the Muses — the goddesses of Greek mythology responsible for inspiring and supporting artists, writers, and other creatives.

For many writers, they’re as real as a heart attack, and it’s tradition to honor and flatter them before sitting down to write. As such, we’ve included them in this short meditation for writing. 

  • Find a comfortable spot — inside or out. Make sure you have a proper writing surface, that the temperature is pleasant, and your senses are engaged.
  • Take a deep breath. Follow your breath as it enters your nose, travels down to the lungs, and then through the rest of your body. Then release it. When breathing in, absorb positive vibes; concentrate on releasing negative energy when exhaling. Take at least three deep breaths to calm your mind.
  • Acknowledge the Muses. The ladies can be temperamental but appreciate people who respect their positions. So thank them, give them their much-deserved due, and ask for support during your writing meditation.
  • In a calm internal or external voice, say the following: “Thank you, Muses; I bow to your powers; Please help me access the most creative and genuine parts of my creativity.” Concentrate on the bond between you and them. Say this phrase several times. 
  • Continue to breathe. Inhale the good and release the bad. Feel self-acceptance rush in.
  • Open your eyes and start to write.

Final Thought

If you enjoy self-development work, give writing meditation a try. People who are skeptical at first often grow into the loudest evangelists for the practice.

Create parameters that let you be as free as possible on the page, and then let yourself go! 

How do you use writing as meditation? Find out how in this post and start your meditation practice as writing now.