Sometimes when we meditate, we have outstanding experiences that we wouldn’t trade for anything. Other times, we end up feeling overly frustrated by the overall experience. This is a natural pendulum effect that we can’t avoid. However, some meditators are usually so discouraged by what they consider awful meditation experiences that they decide to take a break from the practice or quit it altogether. If negativity is coming up in your practice, this is a sign that something needs your attention. Meditation is perfected progressively and therefore requires a lot of patience. Keeping a meditation journal helps you to document your daily meditations so you can notice where the issue lies and improve on your practice.
Benefits of meditation journals
One apparent benefit of keeping a meditation journal is getting feedback. It allows you to get some hindsight concerning your meditation. Over time, after you’ve recorded your meditation experience for some time, you will realize how effective your meditation has been so far. Whether or not you’re getting the results you desired isn’t exactly the point – but you will see a change over time. These positive results will inspire you to continue meditating. If you notice that your meditation sessions haven’t been as productive as you anticipated, then it’s time you check in with a meditation instructor, who can help you implement any necessary changes to your technique. But you probably just need more patience.
Just like in any other practice, people have varying strengths and weaknesses when it comes to meditation. Some individuals might be good in meditating for long periods yet they struggle with wandering thoughts. Others might find sitting meditation too uncomfortable. Keeping a meditation journal helps you to unearth what your strengths and weaknesses are, which you can share with your meditation instructor. This way, you can maintain your strong attributes and work on your weaknesses. A meditation journal therefore allows you to get a deeper understanding of your body so you can identify the areas to work on. This allows us to progress rather than retrogress.
As we meditate, we constantly adjust our practice according to what we need to work on. Keeping a meditation journal helps us to review how our practice has changed over the past months. We look back at our overall meditation experience and find out whether it has improved or deteriorated. This enlightens us on the patterns that we’ve been following either consciously or sub-consciously. For instance, you could realize that you try extremely hard to meditate or that you’re efforts keep on fluctuating. And in those days that you’re feeling sad, you realize that meditation had become an integral part of your happiness.
But what is most important is to not judge your meditation practice. Like life in general, sometimes you feel better or worse – we all have hard days. The important thing is to keep meditating daily, and learn to simply try to be where you are for those few minutes a day.
Rachel Parrish, an advanced meditation instructor, says that meditation helps us to change our habitual patterns and hence gives us a new lease of life. Few things are as boring as following a preset way of life. We all need a pinch of adventure, a touch of mystery and a slice of laughter every now and then. This is actually one of the most exciting benefits of meditation journals – noticing the trends in your meditation and making some changes to make your experience more aware, and more fun.
Keeping a journal could also help you set more realistic goals. We all desire to get somewhere better using our meditation. However, some meditators could get overly disappointed when most of the benefits they anticipated don’t occur immediately. Writing it down and giving yourself a reasonable timeline will definitely help. Maybe you need to develop your patience or forgive more. Whatever you desire to change will take some time. Write it in your journal and work on it progressively till you achieve it.
The benefits of meditation journals highlighted above are reason enough why you should start journaling your sessions. You’ll grow more focused and improve your technique once you start keeping a journal. If you’re having trouble meditating, don’t panic. The Mindworks Guided meditation App has enough resources to help you get through your daily meditations. Get it from your phone’s app store and download it for free. Most importantly, keep doing it. Over time you’ll enjoy that quality time with yourself.