by Madisyn Taylor
The creation of any kind of art can be as much a form of meditation as a vehicle for self-expression. Energetically splashing colors of paint onto a canvas can be like casting the weight of the world off your shoulders, while raising your voice to hit the high notes of a song can inspire you to release your fears so you can reach new heights in your own life. And then there is the act of meditation that can take place when you create poetry. Sculpting your thoughts and emotions into a poem can take you on a journey into your inner universe where your conscious mind is momentarily cast adrift.
Like other forms of meditation, writing poetry requires that you stay fully present during the process, rather than focusing on any outcome. In doing so, you release any inhibitions or ideas of “what needs to happen,” so that your thoughts can flow freely through you. When you write poetry, you are able to see the reflections of your innermost self imprinted on a page.
If you’d like to experience poetry as a meditation practice, you might want to try this exercise: Set aside twenty minutes where you can be alone in a quiet space. You may want to look at poems other people have written to see if there is a style of poetry you would like to try. You can also try writing in freeform. The structure of the poem will then organically reveal itself to you. When you are ready, sit down with pen and paper and let the words flow. Don’t think about what you are going to say next, and don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or logic. Instead, be as descriptive, visually precise, rhythmic, or lyrical as you want to be. When you feel complete, put the pen down, and read over what you’ve written. Appreciate this work of art you have created. You may even find that thoughts and emotions you had repressed before are now making themselves known so you can process and release them. Writing poetry as a form of meditation lets you slow down your mind long enough! for you to get out of your own way, so that your soul can freely express its deepest yearnings.
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