Meditation Part 2 – Writing Meditations

In the previous post, I highlighted some issues surrounding the practice of meditation: issues of immanence and trancendence, reality and story. I concluded by saying that it is important what kind of stories we tell.Of course this is not only true of meditation, but of all our communications. So what is it about meditation that influences the kind of stories we might use? 

We are envisioning a scenario where a group of people will relax and imagine a story that is fed to them. The fact that the audience will be passively receiving the story puts a great responsibility on those writing such meditations. There is a temptation to write something acceptable to all: a fake, fluffy puppy faith of the sort that we are all familiar with.

The writing of meditations is thus an art form. Here are some of the factors that I think are involved:

  • Beauty of language. The use of poetic devices, rhythm and alliteration
  • Poetic and metaphoric language also allows each individual to take something different from it within the bounds of the overall message. This gives space for profound effects while lowering the risk of condemnatory effects.
  • It is a good idea to have an ‘edge’: some sort of shock element or surprise perspective that holds interest and sheds new light
  • Performance: The fact that meditations are word-based, does not mean the method of transmitting those words is irrelevent. A good vocal performance is important.
  • Environment: the setting for the meditation, including lighting and ambient sound/music will also enhance the experience.

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