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If you have you ever woken from a dream, confident you will NEVER forget it, only to realize 10 minutes later you can’t remember a single detail – then journaling is exactly for you. Meditation works the same way as dreams. There are lessons to be learned, memories to be kept, and a meditation journal can help you remember all of that.
What the heck is a meditation journal?
A meditation journal is simply a place to record thoughts, lessons, and experiences from your meditation session. It can be a couple of sentences or a couple of pages long. You could use prompts (keep reading for my favorite prompts below), or write intuitively (IE: whatever comes to mind). How you use your journal is entirely up to you, that’s the exciting part!
What are the benefits of a meditation journal?
You’re probably wondering at this point, what’s the point? What’s in it for me to record my meditation session? After all, the point of meditation is to not think, right?
But what thoughts or images popped into your head as you were trying not to think? What did you do before to prepare? What did you feel inspired to do after you finished?
There are lots of nuances in between the act of meditating to record, and these are what your journal entries are going to focus on. But why? Simple, to learn from them.
Maybe when you started your meditation journey you wanted to calm down your anxiety. Perhaps you wanted to find some internal peace, answers to questions, or to heal a part of you. Whatever your intent was, sometimes you need a reminder of it so you continue to focus on it.
The point is to reflect on the experience, take notes on things you’ve learned, how the experience was – what went wrong, what went right!
Without this information recorded, you may find yourself repeating bad patterns, reinforcing negative habits in your process. With the journal, you will be reminded of them, and be able to try new things, establishing positive habits, and evolving your process. You will be shocked in a month from now how far you’ve come, even if it doesn’t feel like it!
Recording details, even small details such as fidgeting or thoughts that pop into your head momentarily, will allow you to see patterns outside of meditation that is affecting your life. Perhaps you didn’t realize you think about a particular topic so much – what is this trying to tell you about your life?
Lessons are everywhere. But it’s hard to notice them throughout the daily. That’s why journals, in general, are so important, they show you the small details that you otherwise forget, and it makes it so easy to begin to notice the patterns and most importantly, be able to change or evolve them.
How to Start a Journal
A meditation journal doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Truthfully you can grab the nearest napkin and jot some notes down. As long as you keep (and date) said napkin, it has served its purpose.
But if you want something a little more organized and less prone to falling apart (or getting mistaken as a pastry plate), there are other options.
Personally, I have used a simple basic composition notebook in the past. You can buy them in bulk for cheap (especially during ‘back-to-school’ time) and be set for a while!
But if you want something a little prettier (and sturdier), a blank journal works just as well! I upgraded last year to my own pretty ones I now sell on my other personal development website ArianaDagan.com. I’m kind of obsessed with them (and proud – it is MY artwork on the cover)!
If writing a journal by hand isn’t your style, you could always do virtual – a simple google doc does the job and allows you to easily update from any device – even on the go!
If you aren’t sure where to start, read to the end of this post to grab a FREE printable journal page with prompts you can print, and fill out!
Point is, there are many options out there for what type of journal you use. Options are endless really. So grab your favorite and let’s get going!
What do you write in a meditation journal?
I think this is where most people get stuck. What the heck do you write?
There’s a lot more to write than you think! Below I have a list of prompts to help you. Use as many as you want in your meditation journal. Because it is your journal, you could switch the prompts up every time you write. However, I do recommend being somewhat consistent with your prompts so that when you reflect later, you can see the changes and lessons more clearly. Now, let’s look at those prompts:
- Time started and ended and/or length of meditation
- Where you currently are
- What is your attitude/emotions/mental state prior to meditation
- What is your attitude/emotions/mental state after meditation
- How did you prepare for the meditation (do you have a ritual – what is it, did you jump in, etc.)
- What did you do immediately following the meditation (do you have a ritual – what is it, did you jump to the next task on your to-do list, etc.)
- What type of meditation did you do/plan to do
- How did you represent the five senses during your meditation?
- Did you get distracted during the session? What happened?
- Did you feel uncomfortable? Fidgety? Annoyed? How did you feel during the meditation? What senses were triggered?
- Describe how the meditation went
- What went well? What went wrong? What could be improved?
Ready to get started with your own meditation journal? Sign up below to grab your own journal sheet with prompts (and get access to the full resource library)!