Improve your meditation practice with Nota Praeparatione

How to meditate better, try this?

It is one of those essential skills, that take (life)time even to come close of mastering it. While results, at first, are hard to notice, if patient enough, you will eventually see them. Recently, I decided to start meditating and see why so many successful people put it on a pedestal. For the past year and a half I’ve tested various tricks/techniques/apps that were supposed to help me meditate and feel better. Sadly most of them seemed to woo-woo or simply did not work (for me).

The trick that improved my meditation?

There is one simple “trick” that I devised for myself that had and continues to have profound effect over my meditation. It significantly limits the flow of thoughts during each session. I call it nota praeparatione (from Latin – preparation note)…Kidding, I don’t have fancy name for it… 🙂

It is nothing more than a 2-3 minutes of journaling right before sitting cross-legged on a cushion.You can start doing it right away! All you need to do is take a pen and a paper (laptop/smartphone works fine too). Imagine that the paper is a mental trash bin and throw everything that bothers you inside. Get rid of it.

Usually I add things that somehow kept showing in my mind that day. It could range from trivial things to more general notions and plans for the future.

Here are few examples of thoughts that might be crossing your mind during meditation and making it hard for your to focus:

    • unpleasant conversation with a a colleague or friend
    • awkward situations
    • failing to complete the tasks I set for the day
    • plans for the next day/week/month/year
  • ideas, questions, thougths for the future

The idea is to use any medium you enjoy writing on to throw away the thoughts jumping up and down in your mind. As Tim Ferriss refer to this – caging the monkey mind. You can use your laptop, smartphone or plain pen and paper.

What I use to journal

I personally prefer writing on paper, but also want to digitise and store my notes online. It allows me to quickly review (usually on Sundays) the notes I’ve written down that week. I usually monitor and reflect on the things that bothered me the past week.

Thus I rely on LEUCHTTURM1917 (A5), Whitelines Link  in combination with the Whitelines Link app. I write, scan and it is automatically uploaded to my dropbox account. Works like magic!

Closing words

This “trick” claims not to be scientifically proven nor tested beyond my personal experience. Yet, I believe, that if you try it, you will find it very useful.

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