Posted by: Matt Q. McGovern | May 30, 2018

Writing & meditation

I wrote a piece on my personal blog recently that was supposed to be about meditation, and it ended up being a meditative experience. I’ve been intrigued with meditation for some time now, and have always had the opinion that the focus and concentration needed for me to accomplish a session of meditation would elude me. I figured that however I did it, sound would have to be involved. Sound can settle me or do the exact opposite. I have successfully achieved the relaxation via sound without the specific intent to meditate, and have been content thinking that meditation was some larger project that I needed to come to know before I could ever do it.

I’ve read David Lynch’s book “Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity” and also listened to many of his interviews in which he speaks on the topic of meditation. He portrays consciousness as a great big sea and has shown this sea in his films where it can be interpreted that way. A deep meditative session is a deep dive, and I loved noticing an old fashioned diving bell being used in last year’s Twin Peaks: The Return, as a form of remote viewing and teleportation apparatus. The more you free yourself, the deeper you can go. He has said he only gets an idea from the meditation, and that it’s through work that he finds out where it goes.

My best writing has been when I didn’t know where I was headed. Most of my writing (on a novel) has been after I knew the basic outline, and the creation of the outline featured the free-form kind of creation. The writing I did in my journal a few weeks back during my unemployment period was all free-form and I found it extremely liberating.

It occurred to me that maybe a meditative experience need not always be confined to a single event, place, and time. That maybe there might be some benefit to letting a meditative process “simmer” on a back burner in your mind while you did other things. Maybe this isn’t meditation in the truest sense, or maybe it’s just not a deep dive, and that there are other types of interaction with that big sea.

I was thinking that for David Lynch, painting would be a more direct expression of the results of his meditation, as it’s more personal and doesn’t involve anyone else.

So I began to write a blog post about something which I definitely knew about. I had a definite idea of what to write about, no question. I stopped at the subject/title of the blog, which I rarely ever do, and all of a sudden I needed to settle the title. This is ridiculous behavior for me because I never do that. But this time I know that whatever my topic was, the word mantra was going to creep into the title. Or perhaps I saw the need to bring mantras/meditation into it because it was there, under the surface.

I’m fairly certain that meditation was not the original topic of the piece I wanted to write, and that the idea of making a segueway to it was a last moment idea. The idea came from the fact that it was there simmering under the surface the whole time. It was on a mental back burner from thinking about it earlier. I know I had a growing conflict with the concept of the word mantra as something that’s assigned to you from a guru or teacher. Perhaps I wanted to argue with it or something.

Before I knew it my original topic was gone and I was writing a post about meditation that I felt very strongly about. I can’t explain it other than to say that I felt I’ve been doing this a long time, that I’ve always known meditation and this is how I do it. Not to confuse; I would not call this a deep dive and I still aspire to develop the deep dive sessions for myself. But if there’s one word to describe the experience I had while writing that piece it is “streaming”.

I want to have a good look at my writing process so I can identify where there is potential to stream more. I think it can help my approach to revision which has always been a paralysis to me. Regardless of what it does for my writing, it’s writing all by itself that gets me streaming best.

The original piece is here.


  1. Hello, Matt: I have found when I sit down to write a blog (once a month or so) that once I have a core thought, I fly free from there: One was entitled The Power of a Wink. I had been winked at that morning on my walk. At eighty, this is a rare occurrence for me. Writing about the feelings I had at that eyelid’s signal led to an essay about much more complicated communications, a place I hadn’t planned. When I allow myself to follow my thoughts, not try to control them, I also meditate, in written words. I understand what you are writing about. I’m about to begin a new post. I’ll call it The Iris (I forgot until it bloomed on my terrace this morning.) I’m not sure where it will lead me, but I’ll enjoy the trip. Jo Barney


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and replying! What is your blog, I’d love to read it. My blog posts are more free than they used to be because of this newfound mental freedom.


  2. Meditation keeps me sane. In my 20s, took a self-hypnosis evening course. 3.5 decades later, I still meditate……..The course was free! Best investment of time ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] 6. Writing & Meditation […]


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