What is a meditation journal? What are the benefits of keeping one? And how can a meditation journal help you live a happier, more mindfulness?
Here’s our ultimate guide to keeping a meditation journal…
What Is A Meditation Journal?
Being in a relaxed mental state or mindfulness, like during meditation, we’re bound to experience illuminations, great ideas, new understandings, or epiphanies.
However, the longer we go without capturing and/or acting upon these thoughts, the more they may start to slip away from our memory. After all, you will agree that when we’re hit with a sudden insight or thought, it doesn’t last very long in our recollection.
According to research, even though our thoughts are still present, our difficulty retrieving those stored thoughts may make it seem otherwise. To top it off, they say if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Never think about something again, and it may eventually fade from your memory.
So, it’s no surprise that the illuminations that enter during meditation sessions can be very much an “easy come, easy go” type of scenario. A subscription to keeping a meditation book is helping to solve the latter problem.
This type of journal provides a place for us to enter the points, memories, and a-ha moments that surface during meditation or period of mindfulness. When we’re long out of our meditative state or mindfulness and reinmmerse ourselves into our busy lives, a subscription to keeping a journal ensures we have a written record of those thoughts.
It’s all about helping to keep those points and, ultimately, ensuring those short-term thoughts become long-term memories.
The Benefits Of Keeping A Meditation Journal?
The benefits of keeping a meditation diary are as follows:
- The thoughts and illuminations you receive from meditation or states of mindfulness won’t flee from your memory.
- You’ll be more happy and motivated to continue meditating.
- A subscription to keeping a meditation diary acts as an extra way to practice mindfulness.
- You’ll have a better understanding of meditating.
- It can open your eyes to the types of meditation that work best for you.
- Journaling your meditation experience can help you spot your bad meditation habits and mistakes.
- You can clearly see where your mindfulness needs to improve and how it’s improved over each meditation session.
Easy Ways To Keep A Meditation Journal?
From the above session, it is clear that keeping a meditating with your books by your side has benefits. Fortunately, keeping a log for real sessions of mindfulness doesn’t have to be a grueling, difficult task. It’s all about learning, the technique adopted, and what you make of it.
Consider the following tips:
- Log your insights on a digital document on your laptop or desktop computer. Learning this is good.
- Be mindful of using the notes app on your phone to enter your thoughts.
- Write on a simple notepad or in a spiral-bound notebook.
- Record brief thoughts and ideas on a calendar or in a planner each day you meditate.
- Enter down your discoveries on sticky notes. Display your sticky notes on a bulletin board or on the wall afterward.
- Download an audio app or program, so you can aurally record what you gained from each session of meditation using the program you download.
- Film yourself talking about the ideas that surfaced after daily meditation.
- Create a real mood board or collage representing your meditation points in a visual manner.
How To Start A Meditation Journal
Starting a meditation journal is a very versatile and personal experience, notwithstanding the technique. No two meditation journals have to be exactly alike! That’s the beauty of it.
In general, you have a lot of say in the technique you will use to start and keep your meditation book. However, there’s still some planning that are helpful when starting a meditation log.
Think about the type of journal medium you want
Chances are, you’ve a feeling to want a journal that’s physical: something you can actually feel. This can be a notebook, diary, notepad, sticky notes, the list goes on.
A physical journal is a good idea because it’s proven that when you physically write things down, you’re more likely to remember it. However, a feeling of wanting to take and post your log digitally is possible too.
You might record your entries daily on a digital device in a text, visual, or even aural manner. The type of medium and browser you choose to post with depends on the amount of privacy you want, how you prefer to organize things, and what options and resources you have.
Decide what you’ll record.
What do you plan on recording in your diary? Little tidbits of your meditation session? What did you think about during simple meditations?
You may agree to recall a quote or past event, come up with an idea for a project, or learn something about yourself or your meditation style while meditating. It’s up to you to decide what you’ll actually record in your log.
It can be a deep and highly-detailed content, or it can be simple and straight-to-the-point. Nevertheless, the information you plan on recording in your meditation diary should be personal to you and make sense to you in particular, irrespective of how detailed it is.
Contemplate exactly how your entries will be presented.
So, you already know what medium (e.g., notebook, audio, video, etc.) your journal will be. You also have a feeling of and know what you’ll record in your diary. However, it’s important to consider exactly how your entries will be presented and organized. For instance, you may write down full sentences, long paragraphs, or simple bullet points or phrases (may depend on resources).
You have the option to write in pencil, pen, or colorful markers in the font(s) of your choice. For extra pizzazz, might also include doodles, cut-outs from magazines, stickers, or quotes in your physical meditation journal.
Additionally, you can write multiple entries per page, one entry per page, or even write on every other page to leave you room for note-taking. If you record information aurally or via video, however, you may later edit out certain parts of the recordings and place them together in one big clip. Generally, the presentation and organization are all up to you. There’s no right or wrong.
Figure out how you’ll store your journal.
The more personal breath your meditation diary has, the more likely you’ll want to keep it safe during the period of storage. It’s not just about keeping your journal safe; it’s also helpful to keep it safe from the eyes of others if you want to keep your diary private.
This is especially true if you are part of the people that plan on keeping a digital meditation log. Whether digital or physical, find an appropriate place to keep your log, whether it be underneath your bed, on a flash drive, or on your nightstand.
The place select to store it should be somewhere the process of finding it will be easy. It should also be a place where you’ll be confident your dog won’t chew it up, or if your computer crashes, it won’t get lost forever. That will cause you pain and not make you happy for days.
Example Of What To Write In Your Journal:
Although you may write anything you wish in your meditation log spanning days, sometimes it’s the little things that can be quite useful. Even if you don’t get anything exciting like recalling an important life event or a creative idea, you can still gain insight pertaining to meditation several times.
As an example, you might record something like:
Progressive relaxation meditation for 30 minutes.
Was more concentrated and had better luck than last time because I took my time instead of rushing through it. Didn’t use an alarm clock this time.
While entries like the latter might seem mundane and take extra minutes, they can help enhance your meditation practice during the review process and period. In the case of the latter example, an entry like this can help you check and see where you’ve gone wrong during your daily life meditation and what you’ve done that helped.
Reviewing Your Meditation Diary
To a body of people, to write in a meditation journal is one thing. However, writing it down and never bothering to check back on it isn’t very productive. The purpose of writing your findings and experiences after meditation is to reflect and make sense of your meditative practice as you progress.
Notice that when you just write things down in your meditation diary and never check them again, you won’t receive the long-term benefits of journaling. That said, reviewing your life meditation log is always a good plan, that is, if you want to acquire the most benefits from keeping your journal.
But how does one review their meditation log? Here’s how:
Take notes as you flip back through your journal.
You might think that after every log entry, the initial note-taking you engage in will be enough. However, another good strategy to enhance your meditation journaling is to go back later and take more notes on each of your entries. You can take additional notes on the same page or on a separate page. You may even want to do them digitally. It’s up to you; the one makes you happy!
These additional notes should include comparisons and references to past journal entries. The goal should be to connect your entries to each other not beauty. You might decide not to take additional notes, particularly if your entries are already long and beefy. In the latter scenario, you can still feel free to check and underline or highlight the parts of your entries that you find the most notable.
Keep track of similarities and differences you notice across your entries.
In the latter section, we discussed that it helps to compare and contrast each entry with another in similar categories, to provide a connection. But why?
By noticing the similarities and differences in what you jot down after meditation, you can figure out where your meditations are leading you. After every week of meditation, learn to check your entries for that week and pull out resemblances and variances in what you write. Write these similarities and differences in two separate columns on a separate piece of paper or sticky note.
For example, if you create two different entries where you complained of lack of concentration, write this down in the similarity column. Then, place two tallies next to it. Next, look for unique findings you’ve found through your weekly entries. Perhaps one time during the week, you’ve mentioned in an entry that shorter, more frequent meditation sessions work best for you.
Record this insight in the differences column. After you’re done logging the similarities and differences between your entries over the week, circle the negative similarities and differences. Continue this habit, don’t mind the beauty. The more tallies you have next to a negative insight, the more important it will be to fix as it’s been repeated more often. However, even the points in the differences column without tallies will need to be eventually addressed as they too can become bad habits.
Come up with a game plan to improve your meditation based on what you review.
Now that you’ve circled the negative similarities and differences, you’ve discovered from your weekly entry categories, it’s time to continue self-improvement.
It’s not enough to just notice these negatives but to actually fix them. By fixing them, you can help make your meditation practice run smoother. For instance, if you said in your an entry that deep breathing exercises are too hard for you, you might try a different type of meditation instead. Or, if you complained about having trouble concentrating, maybe you’ll try a yoga session again with music next time to see if it helps. It’s all about trial and error.
While it’s also a good preposition to celebrate the beauty of the progress and triumphs of your life meditations journey; You can do so via a blog. The negatives will always be important to address. To admit when you’re wrong and to recognize when you need help is ultimately what helps your practice of meditation truly thrive.
Tips For Keeping A Meditation Journal
- Record entries in your meditation diary in chronological order, including dates for organizational purposes.
- Consider recording your thoughts before and after meditation as a comparison.
- Plan on writing a lot? Use different-colored markers, or highlight key components of each entry.
- Take note of your mood and body sensations (e.g., relaxed muscles) after you’re done meditating.
- For each entry, mention the type of meditation you started and engaged in and how long you engaged in it.
- Develop an habit of writing something down after each time you meditate. Try not to skip a journal session to see how you progress.
- Try to refrain from journaling during meditation. However, if you have to, take just a few very quick, brief bullet notes.
- Want an aesthetic journal? Quickly write down your insights on scratch paper first. Then take your time adding it to your diary later.
- When reviewing your meditation log entries, be guided, don’t rehearse or memorize; look for patterns, problems, and progress.
- If you want, be open to sharing your insights with others, particularly those who also engage in meditation.
The Short Answers – Meditation Journal FAQs:
What is a meditation journal?
A meditation journal is simply a journal, notepad, diary, or another medium that people use to record insights they gain from meditation.
How to keep a meditation journal?
Develop a plan on whether or not your meditation log will be physical or digital and what the medium will be.
You can put a digital or physical lock on your meditation log to keep it private. Or, you can even share it with loved ones. Place your diary in a safe place you can find it for the next time you meditate.
How to use a meditation journal?
After a session of meditation, simply write down what you learned or gained in your meditation diary. Periodically, review what you’ve started to record in your journal. As you review the content daily in your meditation journal, consider taking notes or highlighting comments and details in your journal as a reflection.
What do you write in your journal after meditation?
Anything you’ve found insightful can be written in your journal after daily meditation, positive or negative. What you log can pertain directly to the practice of meditation itself, or it may be something completely unrelated.
Anything you personally find important can and should be logged in your journal.