Most of us find it challenging to calm our minds. We may sit for a few moments to try to get still and be present, but then thoughts come pouring in and we lose concentration. It can be frustrating, especially when others make it look so easy (yet we don't know what they went through to get to that state of calm).

Mindful writing gives us a way for our minds to become still without feeling like we’re forcing to make something happen. Mindful writing connects the practice of writing to the practice of meditation. It unites our egoic selves with our meditative selves, and, because of this it can be easier to attain a state of calm.

Try one of the meditations now for the first lesson. You can do it for just two minutes and see how you feel.

**The time noted for each mindful writing exercise is the time actually spent writing and doesn't include the introduction to the exercise.

The idea is to keep your hand moving for, say, ten minutes, and don’t cross anything out, because that makes space for your inner editor to come in.

–Natalie Goldberg

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