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Thread: Do you journal?

  1. #1

    Do you journal?

    I was reading through the thread that Dirk started regarding his struggle with posting his thoughts and it brought up something that I've been working on.

    I used to be an AVID journaler...I've kept journals since I was 9 years old. I kept a journal all through my time in the monastery.

    I got out of the monastery and then, *bamf*, just like that, I haven't journaled a word after 36 years of doing so. (I do jot down interesting dreams, sans commentary, but not day to day stuff anymore.) It's been three years now.

    Now, this has worried me a bit. Sometimes I think it's just because I might understand a little bit more about the fleeting nature of thought. What I wrote in any moment immediately changed with the writing of it. So, what was/is the point of trying to capture something so impermanent? To see the changes in the thinking? To see growth? For me, the change in my thinking isn't as important as seeing the change in my interactions with others...if my actions are changing for the positive then I have more proof of a change of "mind" than any thousands of words on paper.

    And still, I worry a bit that I'm in avoidance or in delusion or something. Can't quite put my finger on it at all. you keep a journal? If so, why?

    In Gassho~


  2. #2

  3. #3
    Thirty years ago, I taught a form of the Ira Progoff journaling technique at Emory, which was great for Jungian obesseive-compulisives. Actually, it is a very complex Jungian style of journaling. I have been doing this for years and find it helpful in the feedback it gives me. being a write, it forces some discipline in my life to just sit and write, much like just sitting. I find it creative and prompting in my reflection....just me, but I value it highly. my sitting and my sitting and writing seem to come together nicely.
    Play with it and see if it works for you.
    David aka PapaDoc

  4. #4
    My work requires a journal-like shift summary. I find that if I am completing it truthfully, it helps to focus my perception on the events of the day in a helpful manner. (It also helps me to recall what i will need to look into tomorrow.)

    To maintain this as a helpful excercise, the trick (for me) is to focus on the actual events, rather than engaging in suppositions or "what if" scenarios.

    I may never look at the summaries again, unless i encounter a problem that i feel may be solved by referencing some of these old notes.

    I don't journal outside of work though.

    As I write this, I am thinking (and finding it odd) how i mentally compartmentalize my work and non-work life.


  5. #5

    I donít write a journal but I do draw or paint regularly. These can be anything from a doodle to large painting. I find if I look back at a picture, some years old, I can still remember what I was, doing, where I was and why. Almost like bumping into an old friend who reminds me of an anecdote Iíd forgotten about. So in a way I do keep a sort of record but Iím just more of a visual person rather than written. I do try and have breaks from this though just so it doesnít become too important.

    ( P.S. If you donít mind me asking, what type of monastery were you in and for how long? Feel free in not answering if itís personal).

  6. #6

    Re: Do you journal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn you keep a journal? If so, why?
    I used to tell my older brother about all my adventures and experiences around the world. I never got around to doing it...I finally sobered up enough to start. I don't do every moment or even every day, sometimes weeks go by without an entry, but I try to capture a picture of my going ons mostly to keep family and friends informed, but it evolved into allot of other things, mostly thought doodles, sometimes other stuff.


  7. #7
    I journal, and I find it very useful and very complementary to zazen practice. Getting my thoughts out on paper actually makes them less powerful. If I'm obsessing about something and take the time to write a journal entry about it, I stop obsessing. It functions similarly to zazen in putting some distance and perspective between "me" (what?) and my thoughts. I find it to be an effective "letting go" and "processing" tool and it's definitely one of the things that buoys my sanity.

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