Meditation and The Art of Writing

Meditation and The Art of Writing

Reader Comments (181)

    • Gregory, I know. It’s more of a necessity with so much information flow than anything. Like right now for me, off to meditate :)! Thanks for your comment.

  1. Thanks for sharing the steps for newbies to meditation. As a writer, I feel that my mind is cluttered with all the to-do’s, to-writes, and social media clamoring for attention. Because of this post, I am going to try some meditation as a pre-writing exercise. Thanks!

    • M.E., you are not alone – all our minds seem to be cluttered these days with so much noise and distraction out there, and I am excited to hear how your meditation practice goes. Please keep me posted. Happy meditating and writing!

  2. Great post! Over the past few years I have incorporated meditation into my writing routine and find myself more prolific than ever before.

    My favorite line:
    “Protect the post-meditation state of mind for as long as you can.”

    Indeed! These valuable minutes/hours are the reward – don’t let them slip away!

    • Hi Andrew, thank you for sharing. I love hearing that you have been doing this and that it works for you. It’s so tempting to just rush back into the to-do list but best to resist that temptation.

    • Farnoosh! Fantastic! I whole-heartedly agree, more meditative writers = more powerful words 😀 What a fresh topic, that deserves the spotlight here on CB.

      Normally I’d skip mentioning it – but since CopyBloggers are so word focused – I highly recommend phrasing more like this:

      “Allowing the post-meditative state for as long as you can.” or “Secure the post-meditative state for as long as you can.”

      Thoughts of protection, at least for me, generally ruin my state 🙂

      • Hi Jason, thank you so much. I am SO happy that CB accepted this topic, I wasn’t sure but I really believe in the power of meditation (and exercise… and yoga) for writing and creativity. And thank you so much for articulating the ideas in your words for us.

    • Josh, my dear friend, good to see you here – do try it, and I tell you exactly how to go about it in this post. Read again and tell me how it goes, ok? 🙂 Thank you for your nice words.

  3. I really appreciate this post, I have never really associated meditating with writing like this before, you make it so clear, writing after meditation does sound like a genius idea, will definitely try it out.

    Loving your writing style and choice of words!

    • Hi Veehcirra, (pretty name!), thank you so much and I am so happy this was useful to you – I can’t wait to hear how you feel and how your writing flows after meditating. Let me know and remember to give it at least two or three tries… first time may not work but the method works, I promise you!

  4. Farnoosh,
    The moment I saw the post title, I started reading it. Reason being – I know all too well the connection between meditation and writing. Never did I know that this is written by you until I reached the end! 🙂
    Every word rang true for me. Totally related especially with – “you’ll find yourself in a different space than you’re used to.” When you come back to your desk after meditation, to write, you feel like you’re going to unlock the most original, true-to-yourself ideas and thoughts.
    The spiritual garden that I created recently for my quiet time for meditation has given this practice of mine a great boost. My hubby, when he comes home to an environment filled with incense and clay lamp and fresh flowers, feels recharged, he says. 🙂

    • Rashmie, my darling friend, how I would love to walk into your spiritual garden someday. So sweet of you to read and comment here. We have shared such a connection on these topics over the last year or two, even though we have never met. I think meditation originated with yoga, which calls India its home. I hope to visit someday.
      And I am very proud of you and not at all surprised that you are deep into your meditation practice. Thank you for inspiring me even more than before and for your kind words here.

    • Jane, thank you so much and please do try it and if it doesn’t work the very first time, give it at least a second try. You might just be surprised. Best of luck and thanks for your comment.

  5. Beautiful post, Farnoosh! I am a firm believer in meditation before writing – when writing professionally as well as for personal writing. But I am in no way a master at the practice!! So thank you for your honest portrayal of the meditation process (and that inner voice that tells us we’re doing it wrong!). Your practical tips are helpful — and I’m going to have to try making this a more regular practice. The idea of being “free of noise and clutter” in a “haven of clarity” is positively divine – and worth the effort! Thanks for the inspiration:-)

    • Dear Theresa, so good to hear that you take meditation seriously. And I bet you see results and are now used to that quality of writing that is born of a quiet mind. I like to say that I can hear myself THINK! 🙂 It takes practice and discipline though and it takes a long time to realize that meditation gives us time back, it doesn’t “take time from us” …. You are so welcome and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Happy meditating and writing!

  6. Hi Farnoosh

    I’m so glad to see a post about meditation on my favorite blog! Thanks.

    I’m a big fan of meditating and working with Presence. I’ve been doing it for many years, and the benefits are amazing.

    Recently, I read about the importance of Attentional Training (AT) in Jonathan Fields’ book Uncertainty. It’s so great that awareness about these life-changing practices is growing, and having an impact on the way we live and do business.

    Keep up the good work.


    • Dries, hello and thank you so much for leaving your thoughts.
      Would you believe that I still have Jonathan’s book in my Kindle queue. I read one or two chapters but had to finish an obsessive novel (The Help) so now I can return to it. I’ll look for that concept. I am SO happy that Copyblogger accepted this post, so grateful that they value the connection between meditation and writing too. Thank you again, Dries, for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Great article Farnoosh. I have used meditation in other areas but not writing. In his book, The Master Key System, Charles Haanel, talks about getting control of your body and your thoughts. Never thought about applying it to writing… I will now. Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

    • Dear Anthony, I’ll check out that book.. and I hope that you will check out meditation followed with writing. You might just be pleasantly surprised, but give it at least two tries, as I’ve begged other readers here to do. Sometimes, we are so quick to judge that something doesn’t work (or is it just me? ;)) – and I wish you the best and most amazing writing in a post-meditative state. Thanks for sharing YOUR ideas!

  8. Meditation is a much gentler way of rendering our words than the brute force which we sometimes use to extract them from our cluttered heads! When I remove myself from my work, I experience a separation calmness; confident, from past experience, that I will return with inspiration.

    • Hi Judi, no kidding, right? The forced act of thinking and coming up with ideas hasn’t worked too well for me but it took me forever to give meditation a REAL try and late as it was, (I wish I had started as a teenager really), it is not too late. If you experience that calmness, then you are meditating to achieve it, even if you are not seated on the floor in a lotus position. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Hi Raymond, I know, I saw that too but believe me when I tell you that I submitted this well over a month ago. 🙂 I think it’s just a nice serendipity and it’s on such a great message too. And yes, a message for you to … ummm…. give mediation a try? :)!

  9. Interesting timing for your article. I’ve been giving this subject a lot of thought.
    I recently watched an HBO documentary about George Harrison. Harrison was highly influenced by meditation. It helped him write better music and cope with the pressures of being a Beatle. I began to think how beneficial mediation would be to me as a writer. Perfect timing. Let me know if you have any additional recommendations for music, etc to accompany the process of reaching proper levels of mediation.

    Rod Harter

    • Rod, hi! Thanks for sharing this. Wow, cope with the pressure of being a celebrity – now that is a new way to apply meditation for sure. I did not know that about George Harrison. As for music, to be honest, I don’t use music while I write but for meditation music, my favorite recent podcast is Meditation Podcast from Sahaja yoga. There are lessons combined with just pure meditation and I love those – the latter – where the girl talks through the music …. divine music. That is all Kundalini yoga based. It’s a free podcast on iTunes. Also love music by Krishna Das and Ty Burhoe. Hope this helps!

  10. Great idea. I have meditated before, but never thought of trying to write right afterwards. I also think your point about making it a consistent habit is a good one. I always feel like there’s something I should be doing, some piece of news I need to be reading, that I have a hard time just stopping everything and sitting still. So days go by and I haven’t taken the time. Then it becomes weeks. Things move so fast. One visualization technique I have used in the past when (trying) to meditate is to think of myself as a pebble sinking down to rest on the bottom of a lake… Gee, I think I’ll go meditate for a minute or five…

    • Gydle, I know about the need to just stay busy busy busy but trust me, you are doing a lot with meditation – a lot is happening under the surface, so do give it a try. And I love the visualization technique – oh I might just steal that one from you. Thank you for reading!!! And sharing your thoughts!

  11. Love way excellent drive

    Meditation is sorce to grow your power.
    Power is your will, as you will as you draw means creative.
    Meditation is your real earning energy, where you want to use some thing beyond thoughts, it means differ.
    It need regular exercise to move big with smarter way.

  12. Hi Farnoosh, I’m just trying out an even better system! First I do some yoga (actually your own excellent 10 minute daily invigorator programme is perfect and this was why I purchased it) which really gets my energy flowing; THEN I meditate for about 20 mins…and then I get straight to writing! I have meditated for years but have only started to combine it with exercise and am finding that the adrenaline and endorphins from yoga combined with the clarity and calmness from meditation leave me in the optimum ‘mind space’ for writing. I knew you did lots of yoga but hadn’t realised that you were a meditator too. Makes sense…no wonder you’re productivity is so huge. 😉

    • Wow. This does sound like a powerful combo. Maybe I should give it a try.

      I do resistance training, then meditate, but I find it so draining that writing comes a lot later in the day.

      I do still feel the rhythm is beneficial to my writing though 🙂

      • Ok, Dries, if you want to know more: During the week, I do a 5:45am workout routine at my studio – it’s either indoor cycling for one solid hour or plyometrics or sports conditioning or strength training, etc., then I come home, shower, THEN stretch and then meditate…. in the morning sun…. sometimes, it doesn’t exactly work out that way because life gets in the way but when it does, the body cannot be happier and the mind cannot be readier for such a bliss….. ! DO TRY IT :)!

    • Rosemary, I am so sorry for my oversight. Dries replied right below and I totally skipped over you!!! Oh I am so glad you are getting into such a great cycle with your new 10 Minute invigoration routine – so glad you love those videos so much -and now meditation and then off to write. You are on fire! Keep it up, Rosemary, and I am here to cheer you on indefinitely! 🙂 Yes, I have fallen in love and now committed to meditation again and this time it is here to stay! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • Rosemary, it sounds like you and I are doing the same routine. Most every morning I begin with yoga, which not only wakes up my body but it soothes my mind as I breathe deeply at the same time. Then I meditate. Then I write or think.

      My meditation in the morning is my sacred time. To be able to make time for it, I wake up an hour earlier than my husband and son so that it’s quiet and I’m not disturbed.

      Now I have them both trained not to bother me if they wake up before I’m finished. Just yesterday morning, I was sitting on my meditation pillow in the zone when my 10 year old bounced out of his room early and started to walk through the living room, saw me meditating and turned quickly to go back to his room. It made me smile, because I know he respects my practice.

      As far as writing and meditating: Most of the great writers that I have learned from, meditate. I don’t believe it to be a coincidence!

      • Dear Maria, fancy seeing you here!! How nice that routine must be for you. And how sweet to have your son trained to respect your practice. I can’t add anything that will top what you said except a huge thank you for sharing this here.

  13. I do meditate. I find that simply focusing on your breathing and using the words in and out as you consciously inhale and exhale helps to clear the mind. And yes, as little as five minutes a day makes a huge difference not only with respect to writing but with life in general. It helps me to go about my day in a more mindful way.
    Thanks for a great post!! 🙂 🙂

    • Paul, you absolutely meditate. That’s a beautiful expression of perfect meditation. I should have mentioned that it doesn’t mean you have to sit in a lotus position or any such thing … it’s all about what you said, clearing the mind and focusing on the breathing. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  14. I can’t say that I’ve ever sat down and intentionally meditated in order to clear writer’s block, but I do often find that doing something like taking a walk, reading a book or taking a bath – all things that let my mind wander – help me to figure out what it is I want to say.

    Like you, I’m not always big on the mind-body-connection thing, but I might have to give this a try in the future!

    • Hi dear Sarah, you know, the first time this happened to me was completely intentional and I thought also accidental, so then I paid attention and it was truly a pattern. Everything you do is a wonderful way to refocus the mind too, and in a way, it is a moving meditation if you do it in a really relaxed way and let yourself zone out … like walking, it can be walking meditation if you are not actively listening to music or thinking or planning or say on the phone etc. And I am SO happy to hear about your value for mind-body-connection. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and here’s to many more inspiring ideas for your writing!

  15. I always thought if I didn’t have at least half an hour to spare, meditation simply couldn’t work. So the idea that five minutes a day can be enough is VERY empowering — thanks!

    • Hi dear Laurie, NO!! Absolutely, positively, no! In fact, it is VERY hard to meditate 30 minutes for a beginner, and I still consider myself a beginner, even though I’ve done it a long time. By the way, the same idea is true for exercise. Remember, small drops add … just like writing, a paragraph a day and before you know it, you’ve written your first book! So please, give meditation a try. A lot can happen in 5 minutes and thanks for your comment.

  16. I like to think that I coined the term “Me” time long before it became a popular commerical back in the 80s when telling my children not to disturb me because I’m reading, or resting, or simply being quiet! I took a meditation class around that time as well and have incorporated quiet/meditative time ever since.
    I will use it during my creative writing spells as well:)

    Thanks for the insights.

    • Clara, I love the “me” term! So glad you have been in the habit of making time for “ME” …. good for you! I bet you are a happier person and as a result, those around you are happier and enjoy you at your best. Seriously, self-care really deserves more attention. You are way ahead of the curve and I hope meditation brings you into many a creative writing zone! Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  17. Farnoosh, great post and a great reminder of the power of meditation in the creative process. As a recent participant to the practice of mindfulness meditation I can say that it has already helped me immensely in my writing and music production in the few months I have been practicing. While meditation should not be thought of as a cure to ones ills when we sit on the mat, when used properly it serves to bring us to a place where we can quiet the noise of the outside world and listen in the silence for inspiration, our own true inner voice. It’s always surprising what little gems emerge when we are tuned to that station. Thanks for that.

    • Mark, thank you for the proof and validation. I am so happy to hear you have been taking your meditation so seriously. To hear “our own true inner voice” – that is definitely the main benefit of meditation and it can come in so many forms … and I think one of those expressions comes out through writing. Thank you so much for articulating this so beautifully – I bet your meditation has inspired your writing to this special level. Thank you!

  18. Great post Farnoosh – the best ideas can come after meditation. But why is it the brilliant ones come during:)?

    Does a bad meditation session (where your minds is all over the place) lead to a great writing session? lol

    • Vishnu, my dear friend, I knew you would enjoy this. Oh you are right, sometimes the best ones come during and then ESCAPE! I don’t know … that’s why I am in a frenzy to sometimes capture them but then it defeats the whole purpose of trying to get to that state ….
      There is no such thing as a “bad” meditation session …. but it may not lead to a really great writing session either. Very clever, and I am glad you are having fun with it. Thanks for sharing your fun thoughts!

  19. I’ve been doing some yoga for about a month now and have noticed I feel calmer and more focused at times.

    And just yesterday evening I was sitting at home, wondering if those results could be multiplied by a little meditation (I’ve never tried it before)… now I have my answer. Thanks.

    • Krista, my other love in life is YOGA …. I am so happy every time I hear of someone else’s journey into yoga. I really urge you to meditate, ideally immediately after your yoga practice. I think you will be in a very happy and creative place. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  20. I do use meditation when I write but I am not one that can just sit in silence to meditate. I feel that anything we do when we are totally present is a form of meditation. This comes easiest for me out in Nature, just being totally present; sensual, aware of the sun on my skin, breeze through my hair, bird songs, colors, etc. Then the words just start flowing.
    Peace & Blessings,

    • Tania, absolutely that is a beautiful and perfect form of meditation. I am totally with you. It is hard to sit still and sometimes, that is the only luxury we can afford in the course of a day but if you can go out and greet Mother Nature, well, then, you are in a beautiful place. Enjoy it and the writing that follows. Thanks for sharing.

  21. High five to meditation.Best way to clear mind and tap into infinite power of source flowing through. Thoughtful piece.Thanks for sharing your insights

    • Hi nthathu, thank you so much for sharing my excitement – and everyone else’s here – about meditation. Indeed, beautifully said: “infinite power of source flowing through….”. Nice!

  22. This is magnificently said.

    I actually started to meditate on my own as well. It has worked wonders. I started a few minutes a day, because it really isn’t all that easy to begin.
    After a while I was meditating for 15-30 mins a day. My head was clear, my thoughts simple, and my day was overall better. I meditate and almost plan out my day, so to say. I focus on what can be done, and what needs to be worked on.

    Also, you should look up Focus 27. A very good meditation guide and articles. Relates to this topic and then some.

    I swear, besides working out, or taking a break, meditation works wonders.

    This is a fantastic article, filled with great information and tips that should be put into effect immediately.

    • Hi Paul, thank you SO MUCH for sharing everything here, including the resource. I will check it out – always looking for new resources. So yes, it is SO difficult to sit still even for 5 minutes and to get used to that takes time, especially for those of us that are very active and ambitious about what we can get done in a day’s work :)! But you seem to have mastered this… bravo! Exercise and yoga and breaking the work cycle all work miracles but the best one for me is meditation at the right time and especially those times when I can go deep inward. So glad you found this useful, it makes me very happy. Thank you again for your thoughts.

  23. Farnoosh, so happy that your beautiful post is featured here! As you know, my daily Ashtanga yoga practice is my ‘moving meditation’, and it has transformed my life (and my writing) in so many ways. So, needless to say, I completely agree with the connections you’ve drawn. Meditation prepares us for all aspects of life – personally, professionally, creatively, emotionally. If you can establish a sense of grounding, you can take on the world! Bravo Farnoosh!

    • Ruth, I am so so happy that CB decided to give this a go :)! And of course I know all about your beautiful and daily practice – you are my new role model when I think about Ashtanga yoga. “Moving meditation” is what every Ashtanga teacher has called this practice and I don’t think it’s as true for other types of yoga as it is for Ashtanga, and I can’t explain it …. but all yoga is an amazing movement of grace and opening. So happy we share in these passions, and can reap their benefits together. Thanks for being here, Ruth, means a lot to me.

  24. Quieting the mind unlocks those creative juices and puts everything into perspective. This is an essential practice that many don’t take advantage of, including myself which needs to change. Thanks for this!!

    • HI Sean, so you are familiar with the routine too then. Wonderful. It’s essential, it’s simple but it’s not easy and that may be why we shy away from it but it has huge benefits. I hope you give it a try. Or if you already do, that you continue. Thanks for your thoughts.

  25. Hats off to you Girl! This post rocks! Writing can be one of those all consuming things that one gets into and the stays in the groove (or the writers block) or between the two – taking time out for meditation – and using meditation within the writers life is perfect.

    • Hi Aileen, you know the powers of meditation and affirmation only too well, and I am so glad this resonated so well with you. Thank you for sharing the love of meditation with me and others here.

  26. Farnoosh, this article was just what I needed today!
    I had a splitting headache and was dragging myself through the day, I just could not concentrate on the tasks I had to get through.
    After reading your post I did a session of meditation using your guide, I have to admit that I do feel so much better! My headache did subside and I was able to tackle a particularly difficult piece of work!
    I will try to incorporate this into my days from now onwards. It needs to be a habit, just like brushing ones teeth, doesnt it? THAT is what I hope to achieve!

    thanks again! 🙂

    • Hi dear Steve, I am SO happy to hear it. I get headaches after jet lag and long drives and I can never write anything worth reading as long as they hang around so i do feel for you!
      If this is not a testimonial to my simple idea here, I don’t know what is. Brilliant and sweet of you to share, thank you so much!!! I am so so glad you are better and just imagine, what it can do for you as a powerful daily habit, Steve. Best of luck.

  27. Thanks for a most enligtening post! I am definitely going to give meditation another try. I have a hyperactive mind and have tried for many years (sometimes with guidance and at other times on my own) to master (if that’s the correct term) meditation – all with no success at all.
    I have no doubt it can be hugely beneficial in the writing process so I am going to give it another shot.
    Thank you for all the very valuable posts.

    • Lynn, hyperactive is my middle name…. I think you and I are the ones that actually need meditation the most, because we are so much further removed from being grounded with that super active mind. So, it took me years, and I mean years, with lots and lots of giving up, to get it going …. if you can find that space and that quiet, you will start to crave it, and it is SO worth the effort. I am glad you will be giving it yet another try and this might just be it. Did you know we usually tend to give up just as we are on the brink of success and breakthroughs in life? 🙂 Don’t let that happen! And best of luck!

  28. I have been meditating for some time now and realized that its the opening to any creative spark. Within silence comes clarity. This helps me with all my writing and also gives me the motivation to push through when I am frustrated and stuck. Thank you for the awesome post!

    • Hi dear Rachel, I am so glad you think so too. “Within silence comes clarity” < beautiful and poetic and VERY true. I am so happy to read your words, and needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), you are most most welcome!!!

  29. In the vast majority of cases, getting “unstuck” means disengagement is necessary. Too many of us just press on, never backing up for inspiration, clarity or purpose. Our brains run rampant, never turn off, and never shut up.

    I’ve found that most creative projects (writing, design, music, video and others) often benefit from just being put away for a day or two, receiving no attention whatsoever. A bit of meditation–preferably not related to the work–provides a certain sharpness when those projects are revisited.

    Thanks for an excellent post!

    • Andrew, I have heard of that technique too – maybe a day is long but at least a few hours. It is a way for the mind to refocus and think anew about a challenge or a problem…. I like how you articulate the craziness of our brains, and it is ever so true even for those of us who meditate, but it can get better and quieter over time with more of this practice, both meditation and what you suggest here, so thank you for bringing it up.

  30. I think this speaks to the simple concept of not allowing stress dictate your life. I don’t meditate per se but having a clear head is certainly a key to success in whatever you are doing.

    Thanks for a great post!!

    • Ryan, definitely! Stress is the opposite of meditation and if you are living a stress-free and calm life, as is my lucky husband – he can manage to let the whole world roll over his shoulders! – then perhaps you are in less need of mediation but just imagine what tranquility state you can accomplish if you were to actually meditate? There is the solving of problems and then there is the reaching for the skies. You know? ;)! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  31. I have just come back to meditation after a Long absence it definitely quietness the inner critic and my anxiety that I wont get it right. As a latent yoga teacher I learnt it long ago but struggled tO Use it. Now as I set up my freelance writing business properly it is feeling like the right time in my life to invite it back.

    • Hi Nicky…as they say no such thing as a coincidence. I teach yoga and am also in process of taking my writing/blogging more seriously and using blogging to share my love of yoga and to grwo my business. Exciting times uh! I hope you get back into your meditation practice. Stay connected

      • Hi ntathu, how awesome that you teach yoga. I could never teach but i want so much to deepen my practice. You are definitely positioned brilliantly and without any excuses to use meditation for writing and then write to tell about it, no? 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story with us!

        • lol.Yes, there is a massive difference in the quality and tone of my writing when I write first thing in the morning as part of daily practice compared to “sitting at my desk and writing from scratch”. Early morning flows and is more free-flowing creative -inspirational you can do it type of blog as opposed to the more solid here are three practical tips to xyz. So sometimes I will combine the two and create an inspirational piece and offer the practical how tos as well.

          • ntathu, exactly! And yet, I still find myself doing the latter because I am still fighting the lizard brain some days! 😉 What a shame! I like your structure and you know, you need both of those for really good writing and it’s great to have the skill to do both, you know? The practical and the inspirational writing. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nicky, I am so glad you are going to give meditation a new try, even if it is for better writing. I have had a lot of bouts with it myself and it has taken a long time to settle into a routine. You will definitely find your routine, just don’t give up and don’t take it too hard on yourself when you go without one day or two … best of luck – how exciting for you! – and thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

  32. GREAT post! And I’m glad to see there are other writers who agree with me. I have long known that meditation is a really amazing way to tap into your creativity and, in turn, improve your writing. I actually wrote about this a few months ago in the article: 2 Morning Meditations That Will Unleash Your Creativity:

    Thanks for expanding the creative realm with this post.

    • Hi Jennifer, I agree with you too – it is amazing for creativity too. I have definitely experienced it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your kind words, and your resource.

  33. Great piece, and you’re preaching to the converted here. I definitely think meditation makes me a better writer. I often find an article ‘writing itself’ while I’m sitting in the morning. (Of course, I try not to get too caught up in that, but it’s fun watching my mind get on with it… ;-))

    • Hi Mark, I am so so glad you think so – somewhere along the way, I feel like I was assigned as the cheerleader for meditation, maybe because I was too stubborn to see its benefits when I was younger! I BET it makes you a better writer, even if there is no way to prove it. Watching your meditation and your creativity flow into your writing, I bet it’s a beautiful sight! Enjoy it and thanks for sharing this with us!

  34. What a lovely piece – thanks Farnoosh. I’m luck enough to live somewhere near the sea and found, completely by accident, that most of my best ideas come after simply letting my mind drift and become almost hypnotised by the ebb and flow of the sea (but for some reason, it has to flow over rocks – the beach doesn’t cut it…). I look forward to taking my amateur meditation to the next level!

    • Hi dear Brett, thank you so much, and you are indeed very lucky. Which beautiful sea do you visit? I love Hawaii and how raw and wild the Pacific ocean can be particularly over those rocks …. so i know exactly what you mean. I cannot think of a higher place for meditation than near those rocks in the ocean. Make use of it. And thank you for taking my mind back to Hawaii. So glad you enjoyed this. All the best on your meditation adventure, keep me posted.

  35. While I don’t meditate using the exact method you described, I do find that I get my best ideas while lounging in bed, taking a shower or doing yard work. The act of having nothing specific to think about gets my creative ideas flowing in ways that focusing on them never can. 🙂 Good post!!

    • Hi MaLinda, how nice to hear this. There is no one way to meditate. If you read some of the comments above, you can see readers talked about moving meditation and other types of activities where the mind can just zone out and have nothing specific to think about – as you say – and then and sometimes for me, only then, do the creative ideas flow forth. Glad you enjoyed this, MaLinda, and stick to the methods that work so well for you. I’d say it’s a type of meditation if your mind is peaceful and at rest… while ideas flow :)!

  36. I’ve been practicing for 30 years. Bringing thought into manifestation through the art of inner listening or meditation lies truly at the heart of meditation.

    The root of the word inspiration is spirit. Whatever inspires you is where spirit is. All reality has a cause – the root of it was inspired. We are merely individualized units of that inspiration – or spirit. We all have the capacity to be inspired.

    Words are just words – they are poor clothing for experience. To truly experience the oneness and subjective nature of truth one must become a master of surrender – meditation can help you get there.

    Meditation re-defines your reality so that you see truth. You become an unidentified observer of existence – a witness, where you see that you are not your mind.

    Meditation allows you to stand on the threshold of the door jamb and look out on either side. After all, wisdom is merely perspective or how you see yourself observing your life into reality.

    • Ken, 30 years of meditation? Are you serious? I was about to ask you how it feels but you have explained it so well below …. Master of surrender – I love that description for meditation, and I can hardly say anything that can match your eloquence here, so just a sincere thank you for sharing your thoughts …. Thank you for giving me heaps of inspiration here, Ken.

      • Thank you dear Farnoosh!

        Every moment is a gift to cherish and a chance to let go again. It’s easy to get stuck however. Stuck in your in-joyment. There are ever new peaks to ascend and aspire to. I like the word equanimity. It means a mental or emotional state of poise or stability – like the calm at the center of the storm. You can look – and laugh. LOL Lots-O-Love, Ken

        • Ken, I LOVE that word, I absolutely love it – there is something to the way it rolls off the tongue and the sounds it makes to the ear …. I just love it. Now I have your description for it. Beautiful and perfect, thank you and a big smile in return.

          • I love inspirational quotations. I especially like this one by Hafiz. “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” Keep on shining… Ken

  37. As a former meditation instructor for 15 years I’d like to add some clarity to mantras and how they work.

    A mantra is not a phrase or question but a mental sound that serves to open a space between thoughts – thereby helping to release them. By repeating a phrase you remain in thought. By repeating a mantra you release conditioned thoughts and discover new ones.

    You can find mantras in texts – but the best method is to work with a trained instructor to find one that is most appropriate for you and your physiology – to obtain best results.

    In lieu of a mantra breath awareness is a universal method that works for everyone. Here’s more on how that works:

    • Hi Jeff, thank you for the information. I really appreciate you clarifying that. I had come to learn and become familiar with mantras in the way that I described them, and I will definitely look up the references you shared and keep your description in mind in the future.

      • Farnoosh
        There really is no right or wrong as long as there is positive intent.
        But hey, why not make the journey easier and more productive! 🙂

  38. I believe meditation is good but over the years I’ve found that smoking a bowl of weed is much faster and well, lasts longer than meditation. It’s not for everyone but it’s another way to reach creative nirvana.

    • Dirk, I think we can all agree that your method has consequences to your health that meditation does not :)! Plus, I seriously doubt the results are the same …. I am sure creativity or something emerges from doing drugs – I mean, I adore Elton John and I know he wouldn’t be who he is without serious drugs – but I do not believe your method reaches the same state that meditation reaches… they certainly both take us somewhere, just not the same place. Thanks for sharing.

    • Dirk,

      So glad you commented here – very interesting. Cannabis serves to block access to deeper levels of awareness. If you can learn to discipline your mind to the point of stillness – joy arises far beyond any drug-induced high. With that said, pot can open the mind to new ways of seeing.

      Since many of us aren’t happy – we seek to change our states through alcohol, drugs etc. Even meditation can be used to drop out or escape an unwanted reality.

      Meditation provides deep un-stressing for your conscious and subconscious mind, while cannabis may actually increase your stress and anxiety. Try meditating for 30 days (without missing one day) and see what it does for you. Experiment with both and notice how you feel. Try writing under the influence and then while you’re sober. You will soon discover that your creativity is not enhanced at all – you just think it is. Can your mind really be trusted?

      While under the influence, you might notice a dullness or glossy patina that only limits self realization, while really seeing yourself requires courage, commitment and brutal honesty. Canabis actually prevents you from seeing the divinity aspect of who you are. Consider if depending on externals for your happiness and creativity is a worthy goal.

      Peace Out, Ken

      • THANK YOU so much for saying this so well and so much better than I could, Ken. I can’t help but agree and I am so glad that you educated me more on what I knew to be good for the body and what is not so good….!

  39. Ken LaDeroute, this one is in reply to your last message so I hope you subscribe to all comments … Hafiz is one of my favorite poets – and it’s not because we are both Persians ;)! – and that is a favorite quote. Indeed, we have a lot in common. So glad to have had this conversation with you!

    • Farnoosh, sometimes you can get a sense of heart by few words written. That is the case with you. Not sure how you say Hafiz. I think it sounds like Hafez. Very powerful and realized poet. He’s one of my favs – a treasure. Many Blessings your way. Ken

      • Yes, you are correct, Ken. In Farsi, it is more read as Ha-F-ez. He was brilliant, as was Sa’adi and the rest of the ancient Persian poets. I wish I had the time now to go through those amazing lines of literature … but I am saving it for when things slow down or when I get older and wiser.
        PS: Very kind words, thank you, Ken!

  40. This is so true! I have been meditating since March and always take a few minutes to clear my mind before writing. I also light a candle when I write to keep me “mindful” in case I get distracted…

    • Rachel, so happy to hear your experience …. And a candle! How perfect. I use incense a lot but both have a calming and centering effect. Thank you for sharing!

  41. Loved the post Farnoosh!

    I think if you are at peace with yourself, everything around you changes for the better! And to seek this inner peace, nothing can be better than meditating, the first thing before you commence working.

    I too have experienced the same kind of feeling once I end my meditation. I practice Transcendental Meditation and it helps me a great deal to get my mind cleared up so that my writing is enhanced further.

    Thanks for sharing and the great tips 🙂

    • Hi dear Harleena, so glad to hear it. I can’t agree with you more if I wrote it! And I am so glad you too experience this calmness from meditation. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely thoughts – and happy meditating and writing to you.

  42. I meditate 5 to 10 minutes most hours Farnoosh, and I never get writer’s block…..1200 posts into my blogging efforts on 3 separate blogs. Meditation is the activity everyone should engage in daily, for at least 1 hour. Most suffering, agitation, and poor performance is rooted in the fact that people ignore sitting quietly for extended periods.



    • Ryan, brilliant!! So good to hear all this validation about the powerful effects of meditation and it is all so simple and so within our reach. One hour: A lot! I could probably break it up to two 30 minute sessions though. I believe Deepak Chopra meditates for 2 hours in the morning. Imagine the calmness! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful thoughts and insights here, Ryan.

  43. Thanks Farnoosh! I’ve been planning to start meditating for a while for various reasons. I’d been trying to find the right place, the right course…now I have no excuse as all I need to do is get up, walk across the room, then sit down again…(oh, and breathe). Here I go…

    • Funny and yet I know *exactly* what you mean, Steve …. the need to have it all ready to go and yet, there is nothing to get ready except a body and a will to act. I am so glad you decided to go for it. Happy meditating and hope it went well!

  44. “Outside versus inside influence” THIS!

    Thanks for bringing that distinction out, Farnoosh. When you turn to inner awareness, you give your body and your mind a chance to reset and let natural restorative processes take over. Most people only ever experience this with sleep or vacations…..but if you can find a daily rhythm of restoration, that’s gold.


    • Hi Dan, so glad to hear you enjoyed the post and that statement too. “Daily rhythm of restoration” – I love the phrase. What a quality writer you must be :)! Thank you for sharing and indeed, we can have it when we want it, and it’s much better than sleep and (most) vacations ;)!

  45. Meditation,
    The greatest and most rewarding journey there is.
    Great to hear somebody talk about about the rewards
    to be gained from watching your mind as opposed to getting
    tangled in it.

    • Yep, exactly, Ron, I am so glad to hear you read and agree …. yes, the goal is not to get tangled in those crazy webs of the mind. Thanks so much.

  46. I think the simple art of being quiet for a while and not being afraid of our thoughts is so beneficial to so much of our life – including the benefits of not being stressed! Great post. Thanks for the work that went in to creating it!

    • What a thoughtful comment, Darlene, and thank you for recognizing that a lot of work goes into every single piece of writing…. The benefits are enormous, well beyond the realm of writing and creativity, no doubt about it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  47. Farnoosh, I did meditate before I wrote today as you so clearly outlined and I really understand what you meant by being protective of the post-meditation state of mind…this is really going to take a while, *note to self* take baby steps 🙂

  48. Awesome post! This is one of the best articles I’ve read on Copyblogger in a long time.

    I’m happy to see they are including this topic of meditation in their repertoire. I felt the Copyblogger newsletter posts were becoming way too heavy on marketing, marketing, marketing, and selling, selling, selling!

    I’ve been doing yoga for several years now. I find the practice helps the physical body find the other parts a little easier. I now do Yin, Hatha, and Ashtanga.

    But you’re right. People don’t have to do yoga to meditate. But everyone seems to think that yoga is meditation.

    I think meditation is a hard thing to understand and comprehend.

    For me, it is not a mantra. It is not thinking at all. It’s when I can be still, focus, and breathe, I mean really breathe, and nothing is there, but everything is still around me. I can breathe better and deeper, my posture improves, my mind is perfectly clear, and my body feels good, even if I have sore muscles. Sometimes it’s just a moment I grab anywhere I am. Other times it is something I take the time to do, but definitely, it’s yoga practice that has helped me find it.

    I was very shy about chanting in yoga class. It is meditative. But I’m getting used to it. An outward chant or a mantra can help your inner vibration.

    No, I don’t use meditation to write. It is part of life. You have to live first, then you can write. I just sit at a keyboard. I have to carry a notebook, pen, and a camera with me everywhere I go now to record ideas and stories that I come across or that come into my head at will and remember not to write things down while I’m driving. I should get a recorder.

    I agree with you. It’s good to find time to separate yourself from all the noise out there to refresh yourself and find yourself time and time again.

    Meditation is an awesome topic. Thanks for proposing it and sharing it here. It’s a great reset and refresh button, no matter how you do it or how you find it. I hope to see more of your articles on Copyblogger!

    • Wow, Peggy, what amazing praise, THANK YOU – and I am equally thrilled that Copyblogger accepted my post. Very happy to see that they value all aspects of rich living, including the mental richness that we get through meditation. I agree with everything you say here – the breathing and the awareness of it all comes to us through a good yoga practice. Yoga has done amazing things for me, and I continue to be amazed by its impact in my life.
      The biggest misconception I have seen around meditation is what you touch on: that it can be as simple as just finding a place to breathe, to collect, to ground and to go inward before going about our days. Anyone can do that anywhere ….. that was a message I was hoping to convey. Perhaps I did.
      Thanks again for your very encouraging comment. So kind!

  49. Thank you for raising this Farnoosh, and thanks to Copyblogger for giving you the space. I only recently discovered the connection between meditating and the unfolding of my creativity and WOW. What a difference it has made for me. When we quiet all the bullshit of our everyday lives, the real juice can’t help but flow 😉

    • Hi dear Anika, you are so welcome and a big thanks again to Copyblogger from me too. Oh I am SO excited for you to have discovered the connection.. it’s one thing to read about it and another altogether to experience it first hand! Thanks for sharing your thoughts…. !

  50. Farnoosh, amazing post! Being a college student can be really draining throughout the week and I’ve let my writing and creativity suffer because of it. I’m pretty excited to try this out and see if I can open up my mind a little.

    • Alex, oh college! So young, so new to the world :)! Do try this out and tell me how it feels and enjoy all the time you have ahead to meditate, to write and to create! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  51. wonderful, wonderful post, Farnoosh! thanks to everyone for sharing their lovely thoughts and inspirations.

    like some others, i’ve found quiet meditation in simple actions that really surprise me.

    this past year, we’ve managed to rent a funky, cool house except without a dishwasher and landlords won’t allow us to get one.

    after nearly a year, i’ve noticed a quiet joy that comes from the simple act of hand washing and especially drying the dishes. somehow, i experience a meditation when ever i dry those spoons and glassware till they shine.

    weird, but definitely nice. (and i never pull out dishes or silverware with water spots or streaks to set the table, which is oddly satisfying.)

    many years ago, Natalie Goldberg mentioned in Writing Down the Bones that her zen master asked her why she sat so many hours in silent meditation when her journaling/writing practice WAS her meditation.

    that freed her immediately, she said.

    so i use that approach, too, promising myself not to stop writing until i gain at least one new insight per session. so easy… it works beautifully!

    and thanks to Rachel for the candle idea… i will definitely add that.

    — S 😀

    • Oh this is so beautiful and so inspiring. Suz, it is entirely possible to be in a meditative state when doing tasks that require movement from the body but no effort on the mind – and especially if it is a cleaning, cleansing, and a process of moving something to a better state, such as washing those dishes or drying those spoons. I have experienced that more than once. And I am so glad you enjoyed this post and shared your story from that book. I would love to check it out. Thanks much!!! And happy meditating AND writing :)!

  52. Farnoosh, this was a class post. I practice Vipassana meditation. But I agree, my best writing has been when I have been free of useless and unnecessary thinking.

    • Dear Hilten, thank you so much. I have to look into Vipassana. Is it a special meditation? What is unique about it? And I am so glad you agree about the benefits of meditation for writing :)! Thank you so much for your comment.

  53. Hi Farnoosh!
    This is very good post. I’m totally love your quote : “Meditation fills the gaps and connects the dots.”
    For me,reading your post is a kind of meditation too! 🙂

  54. Great article. Typically, I go for walks and remove myself from “outside” influences before starting any projects. Unfortunately, it is not nearly as consistent as I would like it to be. I will definitely be giving meditation a shot – hopefully, I can build a great habit.

    • Hi Nick, thank you – walks can be a beautiful form of meditation and I hear you on the consistency. It may be because you think that it takes time whereas really, I think those types of activities give us time *back*! 🙂 Good luck with the meditation and keep me posted. Thanks for your message!

  55. Just had a chance to read this post, it’s been in my email inbox, waiting patiently for a couple of days now.
    I agree whole-heartedly that meditation is wonderful for the writing process; when meditating, you have the totally free opportunity to purge your mind of useless energy and draw positive energy in from the world around you. You shut off those voices in your head that cause you to doubt yourself, or be overly critical of your writing, and you open your mind so that you can later purge your mind of your writing ideas without the fear that everything you write is bad.
    Unfortunately, though, I don’t meditate daily, or even on a regular routine. Which is sad, considering the fact that I KNOW how beneficial it can be.
    I’m going to challenge myself to meditate for at least 5 minutes everyday for the rest of 2011.

    • Hi Sarah, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and do you know, that is the exact irony sometimes for me too, as much as I am devoted to it, I still sometimes skip it, KNOWING full well how good it is for me. Seriously, I think my logic needs a check sometimes, but overtime, the habit sets so that there are more days you do it than those you don’t…. I am with you on your challenge. Let’s do it.

  56. Really useful article for bloggers and writers. I agree that meditation is quite helpful and the best thing is that a person starts to become more disciplined and creative practicing meditation. I’ll try to make it my strong habit. Thanks for sharing an inspirational article.

    • Hi Alok, so happy you enjoyed this and thanks for bringing up the one aspect that is really useful in other areas of life: building self-discipline! You are very welcome and happy meditating!

  57. I’ve been meditating fairly consistently once a day for over 30 years (got swept up in the Transcendental Meditation craze of the ’70s). If I don’t meditate in the morning, I’m a wreck for the rest of the day. With respect to writing, however, I find myself, more often than not, using my reasoning mind to come up with topics to write about when inspiration isn’t providing any. This kind of writing is never as exciting and rewarding as when the topic bubbles up from within. A brief meditation before I’m ready to write is a practice I’m going to start incorporating into my writing routine. Thanks!

    • Hi dear Patrice, that’s an incredible record!!! My goodness. I am so impressed. And I totally hear you because I feel that way at times but haven’t always been sure if it was because I skipped those divine minutes by myself! And you are so kind to take my advice here to heart. Do keep me posted and all the very, very best. Happy meditating and writing to you! Thanks for your comment.

  58. Hi Farnoosh,

    I really enjoyed your post. Meditation is just so needed in today’s world as everyone seems to be out of focus so easily… The mantra helps us focus on just one sound or one thought, sharpening our ability to focus. Besides meditation, it’s always good to practise doing one thing at any one time =)

    I’ve learned that to be successful in anything, focus is one of the main key elements. Distractions will only lead us away from our target… that is, if we have set one =)


    • Patrick, you are so right – out of focus, distracted and in a mad rush :)! That’s us alright!
      Glad you enjoyed this post and I trust you already meditate from how you put it all!
      Cheers to you too.

      • Well Farnoosh, the mad rush and impatience is expected of such an era whereby the world in general has easy access to all kinds of information via the internet… most people have grown accustomed to getting instant answers and having instant gratification… losing the ability to persevere when times are bad or when solutions to their “pressing” problems would need time to surface…

        Without focusing ourselves and understanding deeply that it is okay for ourselves and for time to stand still, the distractions and mad rush will definitely spiral off the orbit further =)

        Have a good weekend!

        • Patrick, few people have put it as well as you have – of course, believe it or not, the epidemic does not affect some countries – Southern Italy, beaches of Hawaii, life is slow and good ;)! I do love the mad rush to make things happen, and it’s a unique opportunity but when it comes to things that require patience, it’s good to keep in mind that some things STILL take time!!
          Nice chatting with you here, Patrick, and thank you for the insights. Here’s to balance :)!

    • Hey Ferrell,

      You’re right to say that the inspiration can apply to a whole new activity. We can play with the verb all day long =) It goes to show that in any industry, be it writing, photography, marketing… we all need to meditate. Well, I have a sense that the word “meditation” may sound like a boring activity to most people who actually need to do just that… However, for those who actually practise it, the benefits are truly immeasurable!


    • It definitely does work for photography. I am not a great photographer or anything but there have been times where I wait for 10 – 15 minutes just a get a great shot. I was doing this just yesterday at the buddhist temple I visited.

    • I am an aspiring, newbie, beginning photographer, Ferrell, and I never thought of meditation applying to photos. I certainly can go into a trance looking at photos but not when taking them. … but then as Hassan says with what happened in the temple to him, I have felt a calmness in certain places and have captured more beauty than if I went about it mechanically. Patrick, can we recommend all industries incorporate this into their practice? I’d have loved to call everyone to a meditation session before those corporate meetings and just watch their reaction ;)! Here’s to meditation for it gives us so much in return! Thank you guys for all of your insights here.

  59. It is a great idea to use meditation before writing. Heck, do meditation before anything. I meditate as soon as I wake up and prior to my gym session. It helps me get right into the zone and block out any mental chatter that stops me from accomplishing what I need to.

    • Hi again Hassan, “do meditation before anything.” INDEED!!! Thank you for saying that. You have wrapped it up beautifully for us, Hassan!

  60. I’ve done TM (Transcendental Meditation), Zen meditation (with eyes open), and yoga meditation and exercises of different types. They all help quiet the “monkey mind” that turns from one thing to the next with a noisy lack of focus and clarity. I’ve never thought of going directly from meditation to writing, though. Doh!
    Thanks for the idea. It will surely help me with my blogging.

    • Hi John, I am curious to know how well this affects your brilliant mind as you are already so used to the meditation practice. I bet you will get a lot more out of it than a beginner to meditation. And I am delighted to give you a new idea to put together the two great things that you already do….writing and meditating. Thanks for your thoughts here.

  61. I love this post and have it bookmarked for future reference and I have shared it with others. I was one of those really good finds while clicking through writing sites. Thank you!

  62. I happen to be a HUGE Howard Stern fan…not so much for the adult *entertainment* but for his amazing ability to be himself when others would slap on a persona to protect against ridicule. The way he uses this in his interviews is something few achieve.

    Anyway…he has been practicing TM since the age of 18 and has been nothing but forthright about how it has helped him. I figured that I would give it a try and was instantly amazed by how such a simple act could be so…rewarding.

    You have a feeling of caring for yourself in a way that you have neglected for most of your life. This simple 15 minute time you have set aside for yourself to do not much more than sit quietly and fend off the stresses that inevitably intrude all day long.

    Great article in a place that I (quite frankly) would not have guessed to find it!

    • Mike,
      Now that is something to be very envious of. Not easy to stay calm when under attack. It takes years if not more to master such a feat. You are right. And what is TM? (Not Toast Masters, right? :)) It’s the only TM I Know).
      And indeed, I am happy that Copyblogger agreed to publish this. It seems to have been a hit with many, so very grateful for your comment. Thank you!

  63. Great post. Meditation is an essential part of my writing practice. I like to say that sometimes my writing practice IS my meditation practice.

    I agree that it’s important to go inside once in a while with meditation, but my meditation practice is often about being present in the world, not shutting it out. This may be related to the type of meditation that I do. I practice a form of Buddhist meditation that involves keeping my eyes open, compared to types of yoga meditation where you shut your eyes (and shut out the world).

    I also use mindfulness in my writing. This involves gathering ideas by being present in the world. As I walk through my neighborhood, I let go of the thoughts that usually fill my mind and let the sensations come to me, without judgement or filtering. When I return to my desk to write, I bring my attention to the memories of those sensations, trying to write from the source without too much of my rambling thoughts corrupting my writing.

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