Kindfully note: This article is aimed at those just starting their meditation practise. It is usually recommended that anyone learning to meditate has an experienced teacher to discuss their experiences with. You can learn more about classes here.
Mindfulness Meditation is a tried-and-tested technique with many benefits. You might notice when you meditate that you start to have experiences you’d like to explore in more detail. Here are some tips on how to record them in a meditation journal:
* Any sized notebook will do, I tend to use A5. It’s helpful to have a dedicated notebook so you can reflect back on your progress.
* Write the date in your journal before you start to meditate and keep the journal by your side so you can write down what comes to mind when you’re ready.
* Start your practise as normal, try not to get distracted by thinking ‘I need to remember that’; just allow thoughts, sensations and experiences to come and go. If you find yourself getting distracted just return your attention to your breath.
* When you’ve finished your meditation, use your notebook to jot down anything that came up or comes to mind. Nothing is irrelevant so record sounds, sensations, images, colours, phrases, or experiences that give you the opportunity to discuss with someone if you feel appropriate or necessary, when convenient. It can also be useful to record how long you were able to meditate for, if you noticed any distractions (like if you wanted to fall asleep), how ‘easy’ or ‘difficult’ it was, so that you can see how your practise improves over time. Remember many experiences are part of a busy mind trying to settle. If you’re worried about anything in particular that comes up, ask a professional for help. You don’t have to keep a journal every day, especially if you’re incorporating Mindfulness into a daily routine, but having a journal on hand if needed may be useful.
* If you find experiences reoccur, check back in your journal from time to time to see if there are any patterns developing. You may also find it useful to talk these through with a meditation teacher. If you are worried about your experiences or your mental health, please speak to your doctor.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis