A meditation journal is a powerful tool to cultivate mindfulness, get in touch with your inner self, and track your meditations. Discover how to start your own meditation journal today, plus get links and recommendations to some of my favorite meditation and mindfulness journals. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for your free meditation journal printable template!
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What is a Meditation Journal?
The answer, unfortunately, isn’t as straightforward as you’d think.
You see, a meditation journal is essentially anything you want it to be.
Least helpful answer ever.
But hear me out.
Depending on your personal goals and needs, a meditation journal can be any of the following:
- If you have an established meditation practice, or are looking to start one, then a meditation journal can be a way for you to reflect upon your daily practice. After each meditation, you can use your journal to write about what thoughts and sensations came up for you during your meditation. I’ll go into more detail on this below!
- You might view a meditation journal kind of like a mindfulness journal. This kind of journal can be a complement to a meditation practice, providing prompts that allow you to better understand your own mind and cultivate more mindfulness throughout your day.
- And you might also view a meditation journal simply as a way to record your meditations. You can write when you meditated, how long, and what kind of meditation you did.
In this post, I’m going to cover how to start a meditation journal from scratch. For the purpose of this blog post, I’m mostly going to cover the first bulletpoint above: creating a meditation journal that allows you to reflect upon your daily practice. This type of journal will require you to have some kind of notebook, whether it be a plain notebook, a hardcover journal, a notebook with inspirational quotes at the top of the pages, or something else that strikes your fancy. I’ve linked to some of my favorite lined journals and notebooks below!
However, if you don’t want to start from scratch, there are some awesome guided meditation journals out there. These journals give you everything you need to create a meditation journal today. Some allow you to reflect on your daily meditation practice while others help you to embrace mindfulness in your life, so choose what best fits your needs! I’ve also linked to some of these below, so you have plenty to choose from!
Now let’s get started on how you can create your own meditation journal today! P.S. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the post to download your free printable meditation journal templates!
How to Create a Meditation Journal
Before you begin creating your journal, it’s important to step back and gain clarity on your intentions. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What do I want to get out of this meditation journal?
- How can this meditation journal support my growth?
- Do I want to track progress through time, or do I simply want a space to record my reflections? (Or both?)
- What do I need to ensure I continue to keep up with both my meditation and meditation journaling practice? How can I ensure I get what I need?
Now, let’s break down these questions a little deeper:
What do I want to get out of this meditation journal?
This question is meant to clarify your purpose or intention for creating a meditation journal. Do you want to have a space to record and reflect upon the images and emotions that arise during your meditations? Why? Will this allow you to become more aligned with your true self? Keep asking yourself “why” until you get to the root of your reason. If you’re having trouble, you might rephrase the question like this: “After six months of meditation journaling, where do I want to be? How do I see myself? How am I different?” If you see yourself being more peaceful, self-assured, confident, compassionate, and/or loving, that may be your why.
How can this meditation journal support my growth?
This question spins off the above question. Do you feel like you allow stress and anxiety to take up too much space in your life? Then maybe this meditation journal will support your growth by helping you to cultivate more inner peace and tranquility. Do you feel like your brain all too often replays events of the past or worries about the future? Then this meditation journal could be a way for you to cultivate more mindfulness. There’s no right or wrong answer here. The ways in which this journal can support your growth will be personal to your own journey.
Do I want to track progress through time, or do I simply want a space to record my reflections? (Or both?)
If you love data, then you might enjoy keeping track of different elements of your meditation. Here’s a few things you can track:
- Length of meditation
- Time of day
- Type of meditation
- Emotions before/emotions after
Again, this one’s entirely up to you. If you want to track it, go for it! If not, skip it. Do what you feel best supports your needs.
What do I need to ensure I continue to keep up with both my meditation and meditation journaling practice? How can I ensure I get what I need?
Keeping a meditation practice and adding an element of journaling to it requires dedicated time and space. So how can you make sure you get the time and space you need? This question is meant to set you up for success. Let’s remove any barriers and obstacles in the way now so you can continue to have a successful meditation and journaling practice moving forward.
Unstructured vs. Structured Meditation Journal
In this section, I’m going to first outline how to create a free-flowing, stream-of-consciousness meditation journal. This is for those of you who thrive on finding your creative flow and don’t want anything too structured. Afterwards, I discuss how to set up your own structured meditation journal, for those who crave a little organized structure in their routine. There’s no right or wrong way to approach your meditation journal; it’s all just personal preference!
Unstructured Meditation Journal
This is quite possibly the simplest and most straightforward way to start a meditation journal as it doesn’t require a lot of pre-planning from you. In fact, if you have a notebook and a writing utensil, you can start writing today!
The goal here is to reflect upon your meditation, and if you choose, you can go a little deeper and explore the emotions, thoughts, and images that arose for you.
So what do you need to do? Keep your meditation journal and a writing utensil next to you during your meditation. Once you’re finished meditating, turn to the next blank page and begin writing. (If it isn’t convenient to keep your journal next to you, it’s okay to move to a more comfortable writing spot.)
Here are a few things you might write about in your journal:
- What emotions arose during your meditation?
- What images did you see?
- What thought patterns did you notice?
- What challenges did you encounter?
- Did anything unexpected arise for you?
- What benefits did this meditation offer?
- How did you feel immediately after? Five minutes after? Ten minutes after?
If you want to track specific details about your meditation, you can also write down time, place, and length of the meditation. You might also want to track details like whether it was guided or unguided and what particular type of meditation it was.
Another option is to make your journaling a type of continuation of your meditation. For instance, let’s say you did a meditation with affirmations for self-love. When you pull out your journal, you could write down the affirmations that resonated with you and continue to write more positive self-love affirmations.
Or maybe you did a visualization meditation and you want to keep the visualization going. You can write about all the images that came up and are continuing to arise for you. I like to do this in first-person, like everything in my visualization is happening right now. So if I’m walking in a beautiful meadow in my visualization, I’d write something like, “I’m walking in a gorgeous meadow with a sprawling sea of pinks and oranges and yellows spread out as far as my eyes can see.“
What I like about this method is that the possibilities are endless. I also like the flexibility. One day, you might want to reflect upon a particular image that came up for you during your meditation, and the next day, you might want to solely write about the thought patterns you noticed as you were meditating. This practice gives you the freedom and versatility to spend your time writing about anything you want.
Structured Meditation Journal
While the above method of keeping a meditation journal gives you the freedom and flexibility to write about anything, there’s actually something kind of calming about having an organized, structured element to your journaling practice.
And luckily, it’s super easy to create a structured meditation journal from a blank notebook!
To start, let’s look back at the questions you answered in the “Getting Started” section above. Did you note anything you wanted to track? How can this journal support your growth? What’s your why? You want to make sure all of these elements are incorporated into your journal in some capacity.
Now let’s set up the first page of your journal. I like to keep this pretty simple so that I can simply write in my headings the day of instead of creating a bunch of pages in advance. But if you want to get creative, go for it! I encourage you to do what makes your soul happy. If you want to add in some stickers, washi tape, or pretty illustrations, you can do absolutely anything. At the bottom of this post, I’ve linked to some fun items you can incorporate into your practice.
Here are some of the different elements you might want to incoporate into your journal:
- Length of Meditation
- Mood/Emotions Prior to Meditation
- Mood/Emotions After Meditation
- Type of Meditation
- What was your intention for this meditation?
- Reflection: How did your meditation go?
- What thought patterns did you notice come up during your meditation?
- What emotions did you feel during the meditation?
- What images arose for you during the meditation?
- What benefits did the meditation offer?
- Final Thoughts
Make sure you leave the bulk of your notebook space for the questions that will require longer answers. If you like to create your pages in advance, I’d encourage you to only make a few to start. You might find that you want to change some of the questions or leave more or less space for some of your answers.
For help getting started, be to scroll to the bottom of the post to download your free printable meditation journal templates!
This is optional, but I also like to include some space for a monthly reflection as I find it helps me to get re-centered when I check in with myself every once in a while. You can do this after meditating or choose a different time of day when you have some quiet time to reflect.
Here are some questions to ask yourself during a monthly reflection:
- Is my meditation practice supporting my highest good? Why or why not?
- Have any unexpected problems or issues arose in the past month?
- Is my meditation practice supporting my growth in the way I hoped? Why or why not?
- What internal changes have I experienced in the past month?
- Is there anything I want to change about my meditation practice?
- What profound lesson have I learned in the past month due to my meditation and journaling practice?
- Have there been any unexpected positive benefits?
- Is this practice worthwhile?
It’s important to check in with yourself to make sure that this practice is always supporting your highest good. If not, why? Do you feel like meditation has become something you “have” to do rather than “want” to do? Then maybe it’d be helpful to stop tracking your meditations and release the pressure to have a perfect meditation streak. Or maybe you’ve only been doing one type of meditation, and it’d be helpful for you to incorporate other types into your practice.
Whatever your answers are, hold love and compassion for yourself. None of us are perfect. Remember that each day is a beautiful opportunity to start anew.
Guided Meditation & Mindfulness Journals
Below, I’ve linked to some of the best meditation journals available today. Note that these are all a little different, so choose what works best for you. Some are designed to reflect upon your daily meditation practice, while others are geared toward helping you to cultivate more mindfulness in your life. And if you’re looking for blank journals, I’ve linked to some of my favorites in the next section!
Meditation: A Day and Night Reflection Journal
This beautiful Meditation: A Day and Night Reflection Journal is a unique meditation journal that allows you to both record and reflect. Record your mantra, intentions, and any aids (cushions, candles, music, etc.) you use in your meditation, and reflect on the benefits, inner dialogue, emotions, and thought patterns that came up for you during your meditation. Perfect for beginners and experienced meditators alike! Click here for current Amazon price.
Inner Peace: A Guided Meditation Journal for Beginners
Inner Peace: A Guided Meditation Journal for Beginners is a gorgeous meditation journal filled with easy-to-follow meditation prompts, powerful reflection questions, and inspiring quotes and mantras that will resonate at the very center of who you are. This is the perfect meditation journal for beginners to help you find your inner serenity and spread your inner peace into your outer world. Click here for current Amazon price.
A Year of Zen: A 52-Week Guided Journal
This one’s an absolute game-changer. The first time I discovered A Year of Zen: A 52-Week Guided Journal, I was blown away. This journal contains 52 weeks of journal prompts, designed to bring your attention to seven areas: meditation, liturgy, work, body, study, art, and the world. The powerful reflection questions in this journal are unlike any I’ve found in any other, encouraging you to explore the metaphors of your life, embrace your creativity (some of the prompts include drawing), and bringing more mindfulness into your daily life. Click here for current Amazon price.
The 5-Minute Mindfulness Journal
The 5-Minute Mindfulness Journal is a perfect complement to your meditation practice as it’s filled with thought-provoking journal prompts designed to help you embrace mindfulness while cultivating deep inner peace. It’s filled with quick yet profound prompts that will help you better understand your thoughts, and as a bonus, there are inspiring mindfulness quotes throughout the journal. Click here for current Amazon price.
Mindfulness & Meditation Guided Journal
This Mindfulness & Meditation Guided Journal is specifically designed for beginners and is the perfect companion to anyone just starting their meditation practice. It lovingly guides you through 30 days of lessons, teaching you both the basics of meditation as well as how to use meditation to build a deeper relationship with yourself. Each lesson comes with a journal prompt that will solidify the lesson and help you to apply what you’ve learned to your daily life. Click here for current Amazon price.
Present, Not Perfect
Present, Not Perfect is another mindfulness journal that acts as a complement to your meditation practice. The subtitle says all you need to know about this one: A Journal for Slowing Down, Letting Go, and Loving Who You Are. This gorgeous journal is filled with inspirational quotes, beautiful designs, and incredible prompts that encourage you to pay attention to your inner and outer worlds, embrace mindfulness, and love yourself fully. Click here for current Amazon price.
A Mindfulness for Beginners Journal
A Mindfulness for Beginners Journal is another perfect complement to your meditation practice and the ultimate guide for beginners. It’s filled with simple exercises (like focusing on your breathing), powerful prompts, and inspirational quotes and affirmations. If you want to learn more about how mindfulness can benefit your life, and how you can cultivate more mindfulness during your day, this is the perfect journal for you. Click here for current Amazon price.
Blank Meditation Journals
If you want to DIY your own meditation journal, you can use any notebook or journal that catches your eye. Below are just a few of my favorites!
Meditation Journal Accessories
The only things you truly need to create a meditation journal are a notebook/journal and a writing utensil. But if you want to add some more components to support your practice, do whatever makes your soul happy! Below, I’ve linked to some beautiful magnetic bookmarks to mark your page, inspirational pens, adorable stickers, and gorgeous washi tape.
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