Meditation is defined as a practice in which an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
Can reading be a form of meditation? Yes, reading is an activity and it takes being fully engaged in the text you are reading to get through the pages of what you are reading. Have you ever been engrossed in reading a book so much that you forgot what time it was? That takes focus in the activity, which is a form of meditation.
So, is all reading meditative? According to The Conscious Professional, “Fiction is best. Something not too traumatic is probably preferable, but as long as it is something that interests and engages you, it doesn’t really matter too much.” If reading a book sounds too daunting, perhaps reading an article to start off the practice of mindful reading is the way to go.
Here is a quick guide to getting the practice of mindful reading started:
- Consider the device you are reading from. How big is the screen? Is it clean? How cluttered is your browser; have you got an abundance of tabs open? Notice the brightness of the light coming from the screen.
- When you begin to read, pay attention to the movement of your eyes as they scan the text. Experience the sensation of the action.
- Throughout the activity, notice your breathing and heart-rate. Do they change in reaction to the content of your chosen text? If they do change, try to relax and keep your breath steady.
- Read with intent. With each sentence consider, “Have I read all of the word properly? Have I understood everything?”
- How did this article make you feel? Notice this and ask yourself why this is so.
Happy reading and meditating!
For more information on reading as a form of meditation:
- Reading as a Form of Meditation by Chris Thomson, The Conscious Professional
- Reading as Meditation: A Creative Practice by Jessica Manuel, Book Oblivion
- Reading Fiction as Meditation by Josh Guilar, Medium
Written by Freddy Ramirez, Office Supervisor
Academy for Professional Excellence