Tuesday, January 27, 2009

College Topic: Writing and Meditation

10-second review: Although the purpose of meditation in a spiritual sense is to enhance consciousness, meditation could play an important role in preparing for writing, especially for students with writing block.

Title: “Writing to Heal: Using Meditation in the Writing Process.” JoAnn Campbell. College Composition and Communication (May 1994), 246-251. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “In Riding the Ox Home: A History from Shamanism to Science, Willard Johnson argues that ‘meditation has no intrinsic goal or meaning: it is rather a technique, a way of developing consciousness.’ ” p. 246.

Summary/Quote: “…it’s difficult to avoid arguing for the practical benefits of offering meditation—at the very least, to students with writing block.” p. 251.

Comment: Spending five minutes meditating on finding topics or on an assigned topic is a kind of pre-brainstorming activity, a double-warm up for writing. First, meditate. Then brainstorm. Students are doubly prepared for writing. RayS.

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