Guidelines for journalling
Journalling - writing about your meditation experience – can help you to recollect your meditation sits and discuss them with your teacher.
- Before writing down the sitting, write down the date and time that the sitting took place. This is helpful when referring back to the journal entry.
- There are two basic ways to begin writing it down: to make a list or to write a narrative. If you decide to make a list of the events you recall from the sitting, we suggest that you use longer descriptions than single words. You don’t need to write down the sitting in chronological order. You can start with what you remember most easily and, once you have that on paper, you can write down the other things that start to come to mind from the meditation. For those who like to have journals in chronological order, you can always rewrite the journal entry afterward, putting it in order, or mark entries in some way to give a picture of when they occurred in your sitting.
- Your descriptions do not have to be exact. They just need to be truthful. If a description doesn’t feel accurate, that is fine as long as you are being honest. We can’t hold ourselves to a strict standard of precision and accuracy in this endeavour.
- Try to keep your journal entries focused on what went on during your meditation sitting. In the course of writing things down, you might have some thoughts about an experience. You may write down these afterthoughts but, if you do, then mark them in a way that shows they did not occur during the sitting (such as putting them in parentheses).
- You will remember only a fraction of what goes on in many of your sittings. That is perfectly normal. Just write down what you can recollect. That is enough. Some journal entries may be many paragraphs long, while others may just have a couple of sentences.