Each Tool of recovery has its own joys. There is the fellowship of meetings, the comforting security of a food plan, and the reassurance of a timely phone call. But the fifth Tool, writing, connects me to my Higher Power in ways nothing else can. Somebody told me that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. I have found that a writing meditation is a way to open my mind and listen for HP’s voice.
In my OA writing, some things are important and some are not. To me, the process is more important than the final written product. As part of my process,I write with a purple gel pen, because purple is a joyous color, and the gel pen makes my writing feel like flying. However, grammar, format, and penmanship are not important; my writing is an illegible scrawl, filled with scribbles and ragged margins. When I am writing for HP and for myself, I don’t need to waste time worrying about spelling, punctuation, or legibility. The things I write for OA are private. I do not share them with anyone, except occasionally with my sponsor.
As I write this, I am sitting at my desk, enjoying the purple words flowing from my pen. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my cat curled up in front of the patio door. Her head is up—she is meditating, just like me. I hear a mockingbird proclaiming his ownership of the area, and I hear the distant voices of neighbors complaining that the trash pickup is late today. I am physically comfortable, and it is satisfying to know I have written something today. Even more important, I have heard my Higher Power tell me that writing this article may be of service to others.
I am done now. My mind is clearer. I feel refreshed and ready to go about my day, comforted by the knowledge that I have listened to my Higher Power.
How I Do a Writing Meditation
- I assemble writing tools: paper and pen or a computer.
- I read a prompt from OA literature: a reading from For Today, an article in Lifeline—anything.
- I set a timer for five minutes.
- I write. Here are the rules I follow: the pen never stops moving. If my mind goes blank, I scribble on the page until words come. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, penmanship, and format do not matter.
- I finish my thought when the timer goes off. I can choose to stop there or continue writing.