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Meditation Journals

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by derekjthomas, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. derekjthomas

    derekjthomas Member

    I was wondering if any of us here in the forum keep or have kept a meditation journal?

    For those who have kept a journal and stopped: was there a particular reason you discontinued it?

    For those who are still keeping a journal: How often do you make enteries in your journal and generally what kinds of things do you write about? Also, how helpful have you found journaling?

    Without giving prejudice to people's responses, I have both kept and not kept a journal myself. There have been times when I have stopped because of time constraints (I write slowly ^&^). There have also been times when I found keeping a journal a disturbance. On the other hand, I have also found it useful at times.

    I'm just curious what others' experiences are.
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    I've heard of people keeping meditation journals before, but always wondered what one would write in them or the point of them (without meaning to sound offensive).

    I guess, my journal is what I write about meditation on forums such as these, where I share my knowledge, insights and experience with others (and I can type faster than I can write hehe!).


  3. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Most people who have read my posts can testify that I can type faster than I can think :D

    I too don't quite see the point in writing a journal, and that is not meant offensive.

    To me, a journal is there for the purpose of documenting a journey.
    Going from point A to point B, and making a journal of whatever you encounter during that trip.

    Even tho most people start meditation with a hidden agenda, meditation itself is not a tool for reaching a goal.
    Meditation is the goal instead.

    In meditation, the mind slows down, or even stops, and no documenting can be done when you are in a state that is without words and thoughts.
    All that you can do is try to describe that state afterwords, even if words seem to be failing miserably to describe that wordless state.
    What is there to document ?

    So actually, I should be asking: What is the goal you have chosen for your meditation session that you would like to document ?
  4. Uplift

    Uplift Banned

    How do you know exactly what the Source, God, Oneness, Spirit, whatever, is, and is and isnt capable of?

    Jesus and Buddha both used words and thoughts.
  5. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    Not quite sure what you're getting at? :confused:

    Jesus and Buddha used words sure enough, but I doubt they did during stillness of the mind otherwise their mind would not be still.

    Would be interested to understand what you mean though.


  6. derekjthomas

    derekjthomas Member

    First off, as this was a question about other people's practices, I of course take no offense if the reason for not writing a journal is not seein a point. That is legitimate. ^^

    As you say, the purpose of keeping a journal is to document a journey, an a meditation journal could do just that. Especially when we consider meditation as a journey without destination. I also think that journaling does not necessarily imply a goal. Journaling could be a way to clarify experiences and feelings. Journaling could be a way to confim progress. Journaling, if done before meditation, could also be a preparation. There are many reasons and ways to keep a journal. Especially if we can think of it as a way to focus on the now. Not necessarily, "I just did this..." but rather, "right now I am this".

    As you also mentioned, if there is a (future oriented) goal in meditation, then, we are making a mind object which would be a hinderance to meditation. Existing in stillness and quietness is a great place to get to, however, even very experienced monks will tell you that the mind does not always stay put. It will always play games to distract. For some people, one way to enjoy the game might be to jot those baubles and toys down if they resurface after meditation is finished.

    I guess that what I'm getting at is there could be many reasons for journaling. I was just wondering if anyone here did it, and what their experience with journaling is.
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    This makes sense to me.

    Thinking it over, if one documents without a certain goal, clarifying it to themselves by writing it down can be useful.

    So, in answer to your question, no, I haven't made a journal.:)
  8. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    For some reason there seems to be a weird miscommunication between you and me.

    I don't understand what you mean, could you clarify your question ?
  9. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

    Sometimes people throw hooks expecting to catch something.............;)
  10. Uplift

    Uplift Banned

    God knows

    Gidday, Its a question I was asked, 'How do you know what God is, what God can do?

    'Are you certain?'

    It was an instant of choice, God or not, my truth or not. The truth is from my experiences, my glimpses, like those talked about in the video you posted Karmoh, God really is Truth, Oneness, Omni whatever, that really, certainly became clear to me.

    So, answering truthfully, other than that, still mind or not, 'I dont know'. It would be untrue to say otherwise.

    Well meaning people once told the Wright brothers that flight was impossible, Roger Bannister that the human body couldn't do a four minute mile, and that entrainment tapes listened to on headphones was madness, fairy dreams.

    As far as journals goes, I am certain that God would say that its entirely possible that journals could lead to whatever it is that you need, or choose. If you feel the persistant urge to use them, if your intentions are good and clear, listen to yourself, you'll learn much about yourself and God will be totally present. God only knows, you may even find a path to 'enlightenment', beneficial to all.
  11. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    Thanks for clarifying, that makes a little more sense now.


  12. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    I see what you mean.

    I guess my viewpoint differs a bit from yours, and that is where the communication error seems to originate from.
    To me, God or by whatever name you want to call it, is always totally present, and doesn't need any stimulation in the form of words, thoughts, feelings or actions to become more (or less) totally present.
    In my experience, thoughts and emotions can only obscure that presence, not deminish it. It only seems to be that way, but that is an illusion.

    Words in my opinion are never adequate in expressing the divine. That was what I was trying to say in the post you reacted to. In order to find out why Derekjthomas would think journals could be useful, I had to express what I thought a journal was, to see if that was different from what he thought.
    As it turned out, his view on a journal was different, and that made a lot more sense to me, so that seems to illustrate just how inadequate words really are.

    Reading back your initial reaction, it seems that you interpreted my words as if I attributed certain capabilities, or even a lack of capabilities to God:
    That is not at all what I meant...

    Just like you, I can't tell you what God is, or isn't. There is this "knowing" somehow, but, at least for me, this is ineffable.

    If certain capabilities were to be attributed to something ( assuming that you were referring specifically to journalling as that is the subject of this thread ) I would assign those to human capabilities.
    Now it wouldn't be accurate to leave it at that because human capabilities are just as much also part of God, part of the divine.
    So looping back like this, in the end, you are correct, God speaks through words and bodies like Jesus and Buddha.

    Reading back all this over and over again, I can't help but feel that again I haven't succeeded in making clear what I mean.
    I am hoping that you will cut me some slack, Uplift, and know what I am pointing to, as a lot can be interpreted in another way if you would really want to, and I assume that isn't the case.
  13. Uplift

    Uplift Banned

    Gidday Edwin, I actually believe that God is equally present everywhere, at all times, unlimited. I believe that we are God.

    But the question I raised is a very direct, simple one, and despite my belief, so is the direct, simple, truthfull answer. I don't really know that much for certain about God. But, I know for certain that humanity loves teaching about God, and loves to place limits, that if they are totally ignored, don't exsist, as proven by an endless sea of 'impossible' breakthroughs throughout history.

    By many accounts, 'stilling the mind' leaves one thing, God. Yet many people report being able to regularly 'still' their mind, which should then instantly result in, to quote you,

    'God or by whatever name you want to call it, doesn't need any stimulation in the form of words, thoughts, feelings or actions to become more (or less) totally present.
    In my experience, thoughts and emotions can only obscure that presence, not deminish it. It only seems to be that way, but that is an illusion.'

    Despite a still, illusion free mind we don't automatically, instantly express or experience the characteristics of limitless, unshakeable bliss, limitless omniscience.

    A still mind can still, easily be a stagnant blocked mind. Does God have a mind? Or many? Or a supreme mind, One that is far more open and reaching than the narrow, western, English language bound, human viewpoint or idea of mind. Many other cultures have words far more open and expressive than English words.

    It appears that stillness alone doesn't mean much. God also encourages faith, surrender, love and loyalty. And many special beings in many cultures highlight love. Love is God. What is love? Can a journal guide, cultivate, express and reveal love? Can it move and enlighten us, free us, touch us like all great forms of creative expression?

    Easily I think, like anything in the right Spirit.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  14. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Wonderfully said, and very true.

    Now we seem to have struck a common ground, as not one word you said puzzled me this time.

    Sometimes different routes seem to give different results, as there are many forms of faith and convictions, but ultimately they arrive at the same endpoint, and only terminology can appear different. Just like the terminology of teksts of for instance Meister Eckhart can appear completely different from that of Zen Buddhism, ultimately, when reading them, the single truth unveils from the texts.

    I am happy to see that in the end, it was just, as Giles put in in one of the previous threads "Terminology, schmirminology" after all.:D
  15. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

    [FONT=&quot]The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order. Jean Cocteau[/FONT]
  16. Uplift

    Uplift Banned

    Yeh, words are such simple things, but, like the seemingly miniscule atom (and if we are to remain consistant with our theme of Oneness and Omniscience), have limitless potential and power. The potential power to start wars, end wars, heal, kill, transform, prompt enlightenment, Nama Japa, the list is unlimited.

    Repeat the name of god with love and faith.

    I believe that great works, inspired works, manage to give the experience of purity of Spirit, of God, including great works using words. The above site highlights the essence of this for me.

    Its easy for me to see that humanity expressing from that narrow framework and viewpoint can have limits and trouble with words. Can the Omni Everything, Almighty Being and Unlimited Oneness, God, really get stuck for words, tongue tied? Unable to get a handle on them? Well whatdya know! Maybe God is human after all!

    Then there is this scenario. Indigenous Australians, like many Cultures, have some awesome words. They know what they mean, yet the meanings are very far reaching. It is a common, Colonially based assumption that all words are used the same as in the English dictionary.
  17. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    I see what you mean.

    The English language is not my native language, and I have translated some texts for those Dutch people who haven't had the chance to study English like I have. One of the first problems I encountered was that both the word "consciousness" and the word "awareness" seemed to translate into one word, the Dutch word for "consciousness".
    Even tho the words can be explained to be related, they do point to different meanings, and ultimately I came to the conclusion that the Dutch language seemed to lack an appropriate word for "awareness" alltogether.

    I am currently reading the texts of Huang Po, a Ch'an ( ZEN ) master from China who lived around the nineth century ( Western timeline, not Chinese ;)).
    These texts have been translated into Dutch by mr. Ad van Dun, but I think I read somewhere that a certain mr. John Blofeld translated the texts from Chinese to English.
    For those who are interested, it's called "The Zen teaching of Huang Po" and it's quite an enjoyable read !
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

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