Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Be Wholehearted

Be wholehearted is about overcoming your defences and making a commitment to practice mind training wholeheartedly.

The original lojong slogan is: Train wholeheartedly, which means you don’t hold back or avoid feelings or experiences that make you uncomfortable.

When you commit to training your mind, you can’t make excuses or look for ways to avoid practising. It’s not just another chore on your to do list, something to get through and then move onto the next thing. This slogan tells you to not be half-hearted. Meditation isn’t a chore. It’s something to put your whole being into.

To do that you must open your heart and that means being willing to feel whatever is there and soften towards yourself and life. Being wholehearted means dissolving the ego and allowing yourself to be changed, moved, and transformed by what you encounter.

When you catch yourself making excuses or trying to avoid practising, it may be a sign that your defences have been breached. But this is a good thing. Anything and everything that happens in your life can be used in your meditation practice. No matter what you’re feeling, you can open your heart to it and allow it to slowly transform you.

Apply this slogan to your writing practice by remembering to approach your writing wholeheartedly.

When your enthusiasm wanes or you’re struggling to motivate yourself, it’s a sign that you need to dig a little deeper to find out what’s going on. Don’t make excuses or look for ways to avoid writing. And don’t just write anyway, forcing the words out because you think you have to get it done.

If you want to write wholeheartedly you need to be honest with yourself about how you feel. Writing shouldn’t be another chore on your to do list, so don’t treat it like one.

You either want to do it or not, so if you don’t want to write today, ask yourself why.

There are many reasons why you might lose energy and focus in your writing, and the remedy for each will depend upon the problem. Whatever is going on, don’t beat yourself up for having difficulties, but see it as an opportunity to reconnect with your purpose.

Your writing prompt this weekend: In your slogan journal, explore the ways you have lost enthusiasm for your writing in the past, or now. Is there a pattern? Why do you stop caring?

More in the book: Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers

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