“When one is intelligent enough, one tries to find out the supreme cause of all causes—within and without.” – Srila Prabhupada (in Science of Self-Realization)
A friend of mine was surprised when I organized a high profile event and a lunch programme that featured some of the senior most leaders of our community, including the presence of my spiritual teacher. The event was smooth and without glitches – every minute detail was taken care of and all those who attended were happy. When I look back I realize that it was the culture of journaling that helped me achieve this transformation – I had surprised myself with my abilities.
The always emotional guys –if they write regular journals – would be able to see the logical aspect of their actions. And the practical men and women are able to appreciate the finer, subtler, and emotional nuances of life.
During my low moments, journal has been a great companion as well.
How do we write – on paper or an electronic screen?
If you love someone you could send emoji’s and love texts on WhatsApp. But when you write a hand written card or a letter, there’s a special feeling, a wonderful energy of love that you tap. In the same manner, when you write on an electronic screen, it’s not the same as when you write on paper. Yet, we live at the cross roads of history, and times and people have changed. So, maybe it works best for you to write on your smart phone. The essential ingredient of Journal writing is: connection. Are you in touch with yourself? And whatever works best for you to get in touch with the self, do it.
The dopamine induced electronic screens do have an inherent limitation; they can’t give you the same feeling as a paper and pen. Yet, logistics may demand you write on computer, and so be it.
Besides, when you begin a journal practise, it doesn’t matter – ‘just write’ is the formula. When you want to jog because you want to lose weight, initially you may just run. As you get proficient and regular in the practise, you may become particular about other details. And over time, if you get so hooked to jogging that you contemplate taking part in a marathon, you may even get into finer details – the viscosity of the shoes, the wrist and sweat bands, the shorts and t-shirts that you wear – all of them matter. Likewise, initially just write. As you progress and pray and connect to yourself, you’ll discover your unique ways of journaling.
And as we progress, we may fine tune our practises and discover details that are best conducive to help us connect with ourselves and God. And then there is the logistics: saving paper versus storing in digital format, confidentiality issues, etc.
We all have an impulsive self and also a reflective self. Journaling helps us create a space between what happens to us and our responses to those triggers. And writing on paper and pen is slower and could help some of us tap our reflective self, better.
I invite our readers to explore journaling as a sacred tool for an exciting journey to our inner world. You’ll surprise yourself as you’d soon discover a better version of yourself.
“Whether you are keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.” – Natalie Goldberg