Thursday, February 24, 2022

Loving-Kindness Meditations for Writers: Guest Post from Salem State University Mindful Writing Undergraduates


Loving-Kindness Meditations for Writers

[Written by students in ENL 221: Mindful Writing, Spring 2022]

May you feel important in your writing. May you fully believe in your writing. May you receive everything you deserve from your writing. May you not second guess yourself. May you feel confident in your writing. May your mind stay present. May your writer's demon go away. 

-Iliana De Pena


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For Sahara:

May your writing bring you the closure that often evades you in your waking life. May your writing bring you joy and peace. May your writing forever be a space where you find justice, security, and serenity. May your notebook and Notes app forever be bursting with new ideas and fresh lines. May you find inventive rhymes and may you always stumble upon the perfect words to describe your feelings.

-Meghan Miraglia


May my writing be a relief to me. May I sit down at my computer and relax with each breath. May I feel lightened by my own kind words, and free from pressures and expectations. May I be happy and peaceful. May I feel mentally and physically healthy. May my writing bring me happiness and feed my inner child. May I be free to be myself.

-Gabrielle Vitiello


May every time you find internal peace within yourself, be another moment of blissful writing. May the thought of negativity become a thing of the past and be forgotten. May you be happy and content with yourself as you speak within your thoughts and writing. May you find happiness in the word that come from your fingers. May you be free of stress and worries, instead be grateful.

- V.P. 


May you find that your strokes of pen be so full of feeling and realization. May your worlds be unobstructed by the judgment of society. May your fields of flowers and honey revitalize you and your work in ways that you never could have imagined. May you continue to grow and keep growing, despite all that you may face. May you find that your writing reaches for the stars and grasps them with the might of the universe. May your writing stretch to every nook and cranny of the multiverses in your mind and beyond.

-J. G. Bova


May your writing be powerful. May your writing be authentic. May your writing flow from your brain to the paper. May your writing be imperfect.  May your writing give you a sense of happiness and purpose.

-Casey Saraceno


May every breath be filled with peace and exhaled with kindness. May you grant the space to be yourself. May you free yourself from the weights of judgement and comparison. May your words flow lightly. May you hold no attachment to the outcome. May you appreciate that your words are yours, may they serve you, and help ease your soul.

-Riley LeBlanc


May your writing be passionate. May your writing be free of sufferings. May your writing instruction manifest wherever you want it to go. May your writing instruction build different levels of creativity. May your writing blossom. May your writing choose to inspire. May your writing be you. 



May your writing always have loving-kindness. May your writing always be as free as a bird. May there be no judgment upon your writing. May your writing be a source of your happiness. May your writing be an escape for you. 



May your ideas inspire my writing and let it continue to do so. May your suggestions and critiques help better my writing. May your support motivate me to write. May your guidance give me clarity in my writing. May your thoughts on my writing be an inspiration to me. 



May your writing and creative thoughts always be free and inspired. May your writing journey be strong and may you always find enjoyment in it. May you always know how powerful your words are.

-Bailey Hughes


To someone, I once used to call professor, 

May you believe in your students' work, and not compromise their comfort. May you find peace within your own work, and then you will be able to find it in others. May you tell your students that you are proud of them, within their work. May you help when it is sought. May you allow them to feel comfortable, vulnerable, and accepted. 



May your writing flow peacefully. May your writing be filled with confidence. May your mind stay calmly in the present. May you feel inspired and special. May you get the recognition you deserve. 



May you write passionately and with a sense of self. May your edits align with this original passion and sense of self. May you find freedom in your writing path, passing less judgment onto yourself. May you write the detailed thoughts you think rather than locking them up for fear that they are lacking something. May you write simply for the process, and worry not about the finality of your pieces. May you find enjoyment in writing, even when it is for something other than your enjoyment.

--Camryn Rose


May your writing be everything you hope for it to be. May your mind be free of any darkness or demon, holding you back from your full potential. May writing no longer be a chore for you. May your writing become expressive and creative. May you learn to fall in love with writing once again. May you learn to love yourself once again. 

-Savannah Hathaway

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Why Writing in College Goes Better If You’re Mindful

Why Writing in College Goes Better If You're Mindful

I'll be presenting in-person for the Academic Speaker Series at Landmark College on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 4-5 PM. Location: Brooks M. O'Brien Auditorium/Lewis Academic Building

More info here.

DESCRIPTION: In this interactive session, Peary will cover the basics of mindful writing and provide hands-on opportunity to work with the technique. You'll learn about mindful writing tools, including impermanence, self-talk, and awareness of the writing body, to reduce stress around writing assignments. You’ll practice ways to manage monkey mind, that pesky inner voice that hands us preconceptions about our writing abilities, and reader ghosts, those inner critics who make us doubt ourselves. With increased attention on the present moment, every writing moment can be a calmer, more prolific moment.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Mindful Writing Mantra and Essay Excerpt: Guest Post by Salem State Graduate Student


Ground Yourself with Groundlessness

Chantelle Escobar Leswell

Chantelle Escobar-Leswell is a master's in English Literature candidate from Scotland at Salem State University. She enjoys writing projects of all kinds and leans most dedicatedly towards creative non-fiction and research writing. When not hunched over her schoolwork or her personal projects, she enjoys reading too much and dance.

 Grounding oneself in groundlessness comes from the idea that there is never-ending chaos surrounding us and we have to find our place in it. To ground, essentially, is to make peace with and to settle into the space that you are in at any given time. It is necessarily a form of radical acceptance of the moment you are in and the ground, earth, and circumstances you have been given. Meanwhile, it allows us to be free-acting agents in our current situation by altering the element of bodily or mental discomfort that comes with feelings of dissociation or issues with similar features.

I love to actively engage in my own grounding: in my writing and in my everyday life. Every single time I write is an opportunity to embrace groundlessness and work with it to enjoy the process. My favorite practice of this theory involves a fuzzy rug, a cup of tea, and a notepad. The premise is that sensation-based awareness brings a keener ability to write through embodiment in our practice. 

What I do is use the fuzzy rug to help me ‘feel my feet on the ground’ and really immerse myself in the sensation. At the same time, I take a sip of tea when I feel my mind wandering, and note down anything relevant to the experience that came up for me on the notepad. Through using embodied practice to be attentive to the writing moment, I most always feel an astoundingly strong awareness and focus on my project.

My model for approaching virtually every aspect of my life is with attentiveness to self-compassion. This is especially pertinent with embodied experiences such as writing. Despite those who contest this; writing is embodied. Not only can I state the obvious – that the brain is, in fact, located in the body – but the brain is also interconnected with embodied experience through the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which interacts with one’s environment to ameliorate the apparent disconnect between brain and body. This means that we have visceral reactions to our writing, and so, self-compassion – it seems to me – is the only key that fits the lock to our ability to write. We simply have to unlock it.

Unlocking the door to our writing through self-compassion helps us divorce ourselves from audience, from product. When we put audience and product before our own experience of writing, we prioritize perfection over self-compassion. Perfection is a myth predicated on the capitalist and oppressive idea that one must finish a work, and be productive at all times, and do their best, and always be working on something new, etc., as well as balancing all other aspects of life, rather than simply working towards something greater than themselves in their writing. 

With self-compassion comes grounding as a tool for investigating one’s embodied experience and relationship to self, mental experience of the world, and writing experience. Connection to the environment, between the body and the brain, to the collective or community, allows us to not only practice self-compassion, but to embody it. 

With the ‘feet on the ground’ approach, we can begin to paint a picture of how connection –- even to the earth itself, as embodied through our feet pressing into it and grounding us there – creates greater affinity for self and others, making embodiment a motivating factor, and thus, allowing one to enact self-compassion in embodied practices.


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Master Class in Mindful Writing


I'm offering a master class on mindful writing in-person at White Mountains Community College (Berlin, NH campus) on Friday, May 6, 2022. This event is free to the community.  Space is limited. 
 Register here.


Writing can become much more fulfilling and joyful if we think of it as happening right Now. Whenever we overlook the present moment, we give up rewarding writing experiences in exchange for stress, procrastination, boredom, and shortchanged creativity. It’s a poor bargain. This interactive session focuses on how to use mindful writing techniques to write with more peace and productivity. We cover the basics of mindful writing, including impermanence, audience ghosts, monkey mind, and preconceptions about our writing ability. Participants gain hands-on practice with several mindful writing techniques. Geared for participants ages 13 and older, this master class is designed for people who occasionally or often struggle with writing, who teach writing, as well as for participants who don’t struggle with a writing block but are interested in picking up skills. The strategies apply to creative, academic, professional, and personal kinds of writing.

If you're attending this master class, you're also cordially invited to two other events happening that day on campus as part of the 2022 North Country Writers' Day: my book signing and reading of Battle of Silicon Valley at Daybreak and the Release Party for Under the Madness Magazine. More info about these events available here.