Contemplative Journaling combines meditating in silence and journaling immediately thereafter for one to ten minutes.
It is non-judgmental and non-striving. There is no inquiry or intention set beyond combining them in time and space in this sequence. This is a journey between your deep inherent wisdom and living consciously.
I began a meditation practice in 2008 and began journaling many decades before that. For most of that time, I turned to journaling when I had a purpose in mind. My thinking, rational, linear left brain predominated. In meditation I let my creative, abstract, non-language, whole-picture right brain reign. I did this by focusing awareness on my physical sensations as I breathed instead of on my thoughts and words.
Over the course of a few years, I discovered that when I journaled for one to ten minutes post-meditation, the spaciousness in my mind brought unexpected insights, connections, and perspectives, both personal and beyond the known aspects of my life. I named this combination Contemplative Journaling.
Silent meditation invokes visceral imagery and heightened senses that also engage with journaling, more so than analytic and memory dominant journaling does.
The writing has an ethereal, abstract, or metaphoric quality, and sometimes takes a poetic or rhythmic form. Journaling inside this momentary mindset is a space that lets another level of awareness move onto the page. It slows the mind’s rush to conclusive interpretations. Once written, it can be absorbed over time, allowing more awareness to enter your consciousness.
There is no judgment in the writings; they meet you where you are to call you to go deeper. The content or context can be broader than your personal concerns. It might reflect books or movies known to you, current events, geo-political issues, pop culture and spiritual perspectives. The theme arising is spontaneous – serving only to awaken your consciousness, to sidestep the limits of your thinking and your life experiences.