A Buddhist Journal
Guided Practices for Writers and Meditators
A guided journal that provides writing techniques and exercises that are matched with Buddhist meditation instructions and teachings.
This guided journal uniquely combines personal writing and meditation, two of the most beneficial self-help processes available. The two practices augment each other naturally, and many Buddhist teachers recommend a practice journal, but many people don’t know how to approach structuring a practice that draws from the benefits of both. In this book, Beth Jacobs–who has taught and written extensively on both Buddhist psychology and therapeutic writing–provides a variety of writing techniques and exercises that are matched with specific Buddhist meditation instructions and teachings. She describes meditation practices and Buddhist concepts along with writing exercises that bring the material to life. Writers will find exercises that deepen their experiences in general and writing in particular. Meditators will find Buddhist concepts clarified and techniques expanded. All readers will discover a laboratory of writing as experimentation, with structures that open ideas, break habits, and combine experience in novel ways.
About the Author
BETH JACOBS, PhD, is a writer, psychologist, and Buddhist. She has been a supervising and private practice psychologist for thirty years after being trained at Northwestern University Medical School. She is also a Buddhist lay teacher in the Soto Zen tradition. Her psychological perspective led to a body of writing about therapeutic journaling, including the book Writing for Emotional Balance (New Harbinger Publishers, 2005), many articles, webinars and workshops, and a seasonal column for the National Association for Poetry Therapy, for which she received an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2016. She also wrote a fictional novella entitled Paper Sky: What Happened After Anne Frank's Diary Ended (CreateSpace, 2014). She has received the following residency awards for her writing: Renaissance House Writers Residency, June 2014; Ragdale Foundation Artist Residency, September 2013; and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts Fellow, artist-in-residence, July 2012. Jacobs' more recent work has focused on original Buddhist studies with the publication of The Original Buddhist Psychology: What the Abhidharma Tells Us About How We Think, Feel, and Experience Life (North Atlantic Books, 2017).
—Kathleen Adams MA, LPC, director of the Center for Journal Therapy, author of Journal to the Self, and editor of Expressive Writing: Foundations of Practice
“I have been a journal writer for sixty years and have often claimed it as my primary form of meditation. From within her long practice of Zen, Beth Jacobs now braids how words can lead to wordlessness; wordlessness can lead to words. There is a languid dance where the veil of language can be wafted aside by attention to breath. Trust this dance, and Jacobs’s guidance in it; you will learn about Buddhism and journal writing—and, of course, about yourself.”
—Christina Baldwin, author of Life’s Companion, Journal Writing as Spiritual Practice and Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story
“Beth Jacobs provides the reader with a roadmap to our own creativity from the Zen perspective. Her work is both seriously playful and playfully serious, informative and performative, and will go straight to the heart of the reader/writer and meditator who dives into the exercises that Dr. Jacobs generously offers.”
—Seiso Paul Cooper, author of The Zen Impulse and the Psychoanalytic Encounter and Zen Insight, Psychoanalytic Action: Two Arrows Meeting