Why I Write Reason 17: I t’s a Form of Meditation

In my normal meditation practice, I sit zazen for a period of time each day. The length that I set varied, depending upon a number of factor that include what how I’m feeling physically and how much time I have to devote to the practice. I get myself comfortably into position, clear my mind, and focus on my breathing. It’s very similar to the rituals I employ when I sit down to write, because writing for me is also a form of meditation.

The fundamentals are the same. Get into a quiet space free from distractions. Settle in and get comfortable. I’m using a really nice desk chair gifted to me from a close friend instead of a zafu, but the idea is the same. My posture has to be right, or it will either become an immediate distraction or I’ll feel it later. Position my hands properly on the keyboard, rather than in my lap. Suspend all judgmental thinking, which while writing is about the work that I’m producing in the moment. Allow thoughts to flow through me, into the keyboard and onto the screen without becoming involved with them (that’s what editing is for). Instead of contemplating a koan, I concentrate on what needs to be communicated to others.

Approaching writing as a form of meditation is both productive and relaxing. It allows me to quickly get into the zone. As with meditation, I have to set a time limit for each session. Neither activity is one that I can sustain indefinitely, but I can do either for up to an hour at a time. I even use the same timer, with a very gentle chime for the alarm, for both writing and sitting zazen, to let me know when it’s time to come back to the world, stretch, and move around.

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