Guide to Philosophical Meditation by Journaling

Philosopher in Meditation, Rembrandt van Rijn, Paris
Philosopher in Meditation, Rembrandt van Rijn, Paris – Source

Philosophical Meditation is a practice that assumes that a good chunk of the troubles in our minds comes from thoughts and feelings that have not been untangled, examined, and confronted with sufficient attention.

Journaling about these unexamined thoughts and feelings allow us to better grasp our minds by becoming aware. The goal is not to fix the mind but to experience the relief that comes from being aware and feeling in control of your mind. We attempt to move from vagueness to clarity.

The three questions or journaling prompts for philosophical meditation are;
– What am I presently anxious about?
– What am I presently upset about?
– What am I presently excited about?

A few principles when answering the above questions;
– Write as if you are talking a kind considerate friend
– Constraint yourself to a time-limit and think fast instead of deeply. This enables us to not get lost or fearful of introspection.

What am I presently anxious about?

First question of the philosophical mediation is to understand anxiety.

Limit yourself to 15-minutes and;
– Write down what you are anxious about until you cannot think of anything else. Aim for 8 things – and consider all areas of your life.
– Each entry is a single word or few words
– Don’t judge yourself on it even if they are small or large

For each one of those entries, unpack them further by writing about;
– Why is this a source of anxiety? Describe it to a friend.
– What steps do you need to take?
– What do others need to do?
– What needs to happen?

What am I presently upset about?

The second question of the philosophical meditation is to unpack being upset.

Limit yourself to 15-minutes and;
– Write a list of current upsets. How have others hurt you? What are you sad, distressed, nostalgic, wounded about?
– Answer if these had happened to a friend, how would you advise them?

What am I presently excited about?

The third and last question we attempt to get clarity on focuses on excitement. It helps us understand what we aspire to be.

Limit yourself to 15-minutes and;
– Write a list of things that have caught your attention and excited your interests
– Think through time when you were envious, your day dreams, or how nice something felt.


Thinking on paper allows us to articulate the scattered thoughts in our minds. We all have the capacities for growth, change, and adaption but lack the opportunity for expression – journaling does that for us.

1 comments On Guide to Philosophical Meditation by Journaling

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Site Footer