Free Form Writing as an Active Meditation

August 4, 2013

Meditation is a way to access those places in our consciousness that allow us to make intuitive leaps, and find creative, out-of-the box solutions. Sitting quietly and focusing on the breath is a familiar and popular form of meditation. So, too, are gazing quietly at an object or listening to a guided mediation. Active meditative exercises are less often thought of as meditation. But, they, too, serve the same purpose, that of quieting the chatter of the mind and allowing us access to the wealth of creativity in our subconscious.

One active meditation is free form writing. Here’s how it works. Free form writing meditations are usually done writing long hand so you’ll need both paper and pen. You can write on a lined pad, on plain paper or in a journal. The idea is to write continuously, not stopping, not taking your pen from paper, just writing whatever comes into your mind.

If complaints come to mind, write those. If judgment about what you are writing comes to mind write them down. If you hear sounds around you include them in your writing. Write about what you are feeling as you write. Are you bored with this exercise? Put that on the paper. Are you outside or inside? Include that. What are you physically feeling? If you are outside, can you feel the heat of the sun, or a soft breeze? Whatever you are feeling, include it in your writing.

How long should you write? Opinions vary. One well-recognized creativity specialist says that 3 pages of free-form writing when you first arise in the morning will serve as the spark for continued creativity throughout the day. Feeling scattered and unfocused? Then a page of this kind of writing may be just enough to bring you present and current with what’s you next step.

Remember, the purpose of this writing is not for creative publication. It is not even intended to make sense or to serve any purpose other than the action of writing itself. It is a form of active meditation. The content is not important. It’s the action of doing it that produces the meditative result. A side result may be important “ah hahs”, or creative leaps you didn’t expect. However, don’t expect these on a daily basis. The purpose of free form writing is achieved in just doing it.