Nothing to Change
When I visited my sister in Denver, I read the teeny-tiny book that sat on her night table -- Pema Chodron's Pocket Classic, Awakening Loving-Kindness.
As I began reading this book on sitting meditation, a familiar thought arose -- and it arises more than I'd like to admit. It goes like this: I wish I were the kind of person who could sit on her cushion and drop into stillness.
Hello, inner critic! There you are again judging me harshly for this spiritual "flaw."
Yes, I know free-flow writing is a form of meditation, but my critic still likes to tell me from time to time that real meditation is to sit in stillness and send every thought, feeling, and sensation away on a cloud.
It's not to write wildly in my notebook, capturing every thought, feeling, and sensation on the page.
But as I read, I began to spontaneously replace the word meditation with free-flow writing, and my whole body lit up with recognition.
And I laughed at my inner critic for making me think I was "less than" because I'm not a traditional meditator.
One of the beautiful things about loving-kindness meditation and free-flow writing practice is the emphasis on radical acceptance for "all of it!" -- the mantra I try to write and live by.
And yet I still encounter my spiritual ego. I still find myself judging, comparing, critiquing and overall, feeling like I'm not doing enough.
And then I remember that this is just as it should be.
I remember that I'm supposed to forget that there's nothing to fix or change.
I remember that I'm human.
Pema Chodron describes a peaceful way for us to show up in our lives, fully human. And she describes the heart of free-flow writing practice -- the heart of Write to Glow.
Meditation (free-flow writing practice) is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives.
It's about seeing how we react to all these things.
It's seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat.
It's about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness.
Writing meditation is about connecting to ourselves, just as we are, and to the moment, just as it is.
Writing meditation also gives us the experience of a buzzy aliveness. A touching of the details of our life in the moment.
And this taste of vitality and presence, I believe, is a kind of stillness.
Want to write?
Take a pen & prompt journey:
Nothing to change
Set a timer for 10 minutes. Or 5. Or 2!
Write whatever arises in your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Don’t stop to think or edit - keep your pen moving.
Accept ALL that you write - the pretty & ugly; absurd & boring.
Discover what wants to be felt, known, expressed, released...