Writing Meditation Practice and Mindful Writers Group
I have spent more than twenty years practicing meditation and writing. Many times, I experienced that the pleasure and peace I derived from meditation was similar to the enjoyment I felt while writing. I experimented with combining the two disciplines and discovered that when I was in a meditative mood, my body felt unclogged, my mind clear and heart softened. Grounding the three components (body, mind and heart) in meditation enabled me to get absorbed into my work more deeply. My writing flow increased, voice became more confident and style distinct. The feeling is amazing. I call this way of working, Writing Meditation.
About four years ago, I mentioned this to a friend. She suggested that I share this “best kept secret” with others. On her advice, starting from March 2007, I began to offer lectures at the Northland Library in Wexford. The topics included, “Writing as a Spiritual Journey” and “What has Writing to do with Meditation?” These were received well and the feedback from the participants suggested that I was onto something worthwhile. Most of them indicated that with the practice of Writing Meditation good things happened to them- their foggy minds cleared, they wrote better than they had before attending the lectures, and they felt better about themselves.
In 2010, the consistent feedback encouraged me to lead a writers’ group in which I could share the discipline I had practiced for years. I named it the “Mindful Writers Group.” I planned a nine-month Writing Meditation schedule and we began meeting from March 2011.
Each Mindful Writer has a goal: to complete a rough draft of one book length project, of his or her choice, by mid-December of this year. We meet every Wednesday’s from 10:00-2:00. Our session starts with “Word of Wisdom for the Week” and 15-20 minutes body, mind or heart meditation. A two-hour writing follows. Since March the writing time has been extended in increments of fifteen minutes. By December we will be writing for three-hour sessions.
After a couple of months of Writing Meditation, I asked the Mindful Writers if the writing sessions were worth their time. Their response was overwhelming. Following are some of the comments they wrote.
“Mindful Writers Group sessions have been deeply inspiring. We are all working on writing projects that we hope to complete (or further significantly) by the end of the Writing Meditation Workshop in December 2011. After 15-20 minutes of meditation, when our agitated minds quiet down, we are lead into a calm creativity and then we write for two or more hours. The sessions are motivating and productive.”
“Writing Meditation is teaching me how to tune out the noise in my head and focus for long periods on my work-in-progress. I look forward to the practice, and find I am bringing these principles of focus into the other areas of my life.”
“Writing Meditation really gets my creative juices flowing. I am amazed at how much I get accomplished in those two hours. I don’t like spending 2 hours and 20 minutes driving back and forth, but the results are incredible!”
“Having taken Writing Meditation Course has opened up the flood gates of my creativity and allowed me to finish a book I had worked on briefly, but then came front and center as a direct result of her workshops. I have had a flow of the story that has been trapped inside me. For the first time I feel I am making good progress…. I am going to use Writing Meditation technique for everything I need to accomplish and continue to take this workshop as long as it is available.”
The positive response of the “Mindful Writers Group” encouraged me to offer a Writing Meditation Workshop at the Pennwriters Annual Conference in May 2011. There I lead Writing & Body Meditation session. The response from the participants was outstanding. Jeff wrote, “I was fortunate to attend your workshop. It was a welcome antidote and was in many ways as valuable to me, if not more so, as the other offerings.” Laura posted about it on her website. “My favorite workshop at the Pennwriters Conference was Madhu Wangu’s Writing Meditation Workshop…. I truly enjoyed it!” She went on to explain how and what I had taught to the group that day.
Many writers and industry professionals recommended my workshop in person and via email. Below are some additional responses.
“Madhu is a highly professional leader and facilitator. By offering her “Mindful Writers Workshop,” she is willing to share her expertise with others. The workshop drew rave reviews from participants who indicated they have become better writers and individuals after following her guidelines. I highly recommend her work.” (Carol Silvis, Pennwriters President, Job Hunting After 50 & 101 Ways to Make yourself Indispensable at Work)
“Madhu has demonstrated a wonderful ability to motivate writers through her “Writing Meditation Workshop” and she is a proven leader as Area 3 Representative of Pennwriters & past Author Advocate.” (Fred Connors. Award Winning Investigative Reporter & True Crime Author)
“In her “Writing Meditation Workshop,” Madhu gently and effectively guides writers from the hectic outside world into the depths of the inner creative self through meditation. The result is focused concentration and increased productivity. I highly recommend her workshops, courses, CDs and teaching materials.” (Judy Schneider, The Frantic Woman’s Guide to Life)
“Madhu is a knowledgeable presenter and very professional. She is able to relate her presentations to audiences at several levels and achieves outstanding results.” (David Wilson, Unholy Grail & Sirocco, www.dlwilsonbooks.com.
“With the need to engage more in the business end of writing and publishing, along with the ongoing distractions of our lives, writers find it increasingly difficult to find the quiet mental space necessary for writing. Madhu’s meditation exercises help writers clear the noise–that of the external world and that in our own heads–so that we may connect to our creative selves and reclaim our sources of inspiration. Her own sense of calm, self-awareness, and connectedness eases participants into the frame of mind necessary for her to guide us into the meditative state. The result is not only more focused and enlightened writing, but also greater joy in the process!” (Elayne Masters, Writer, Editor & Publisher)
If you would like to join Writing Meditation Workshop, Writing Meditation Retreat (Last weekend in September 2011), Mindful Writers Group (Next Session starts Mid-March 2012), and/or Writing Meditation Intensive Seminar (May 2012) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to meeting many, if not all, of you at one or more of the above events.
Madhu B. Wangu