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Keeping A Meditation Journal: 7 Observations From A College Course
By Health Coach ⋅ September 29, 2012 ⋅ Post a comment
In today’s fast-paced multi-tasking social media society, inner peace is hard to come by. A lot of the students I teach at Gettysburg College complain of extreme stress compounded by the constant noise of being wired in at all times. With smart phones encouraging us to pay continual attention to streaming status updates and notifications, finding a moment of quiet can be impossible.
I teach a sociology class called, “Science, Knowledge and the New Age,” in which students are asked to do intuitive exercises like meditation. I ask them to keep a journal about their experiences, and here’s what I’ve learned:
Students are commonly stressed by the second week of the semester. Meditation helps them cope. Some have even said they would have dropped out of school if they hadn’t learned to meditate.
Virtually anybody can do it.You don’t need a Super Bowl ring in meditation to breathe deeply or to notice how your body feels (mindfulness). This is not to say you couldn’t benefit from expert guidance or practice.
Students are often self-critical about whether they’re doing it right. My wife, Penelope, a spiritual counselor who assists with the instruction, says, “Your way is good enough,” and “You can’t do it wrong.” Minds tend to chatter, but you let it pass and refocus.
There are lots of styles. Once students have learned several types of meditation (including a walking meditation), they can pick one that suits them.
Journaling is valuable. Self-reflection magnifies the benefits. This is true for journaling in general. For example, people who journal about food intake daily find it easier to lose weight.
Meditation is a gateway. It prepares our students for trying other intuitive exercises, like healing, psychic games, and spirit mediumship, all of which are done in a playful style, without belief or expectation.
The goal is lifelong learning. One student emailed us four years later to say she had been healed of a chronic infection in our class during a healing demonstration, decided she didn’t have to be sick anymore, and she later ended up the part owner of a highly successful holistic health clinic.
Meditation can be a great way to balance the demands of modern life, and can bring relief from the constant noise of smart phones and social media. Keeping a journal can help you develop meditation as a tool that will not only help you cope, but will provide you with a path to spiritual growth.
Charles F. Emmons, Sociologist at Gettysburg College and author of Science and Spirit.
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