Writing Class Uses Meditation to Expand Skills

October 29, 2018
  • Writing Lab students during Meditation class
“What do meditation and writing have in common” you might ask? Professor Judith Benchimol’s class visited MNDFL meditation center to answer that question, find the connection, and - perhaps surprisingly - improve their writing skills.

One of the most important - yet overlooked - foundations of developing your voice as a writer is not only to have the proper writing “mechanics,” but also to gain the confidence to express your ideas. In Judith Benchimol’s Writing Lab course, one way her students practice building this skill is by directly attacking negative self-messaging around writing. The class began by “observing the counter-productive messages we feed ourselves daily” as writers: “My ideas are not interesting enough,” “I’m not a good writer,” “I have to do this assignment.”

In MMC’s Writing Lab courses, the assignments build on writing and reading skills while exploring different ways to fight the barriers that prevent us from reaching our greatest potential as writers. Judith brought her class to a meditation center, where they worked on breathing, mindfulness, and nonjudgmental behaviors with an experienced meditation instructor. Ultimately, the idea is to help erase the boundary of the classroom wall as the only space for “academic learning” and critical thinking. By doing so, students continue to practice building positive, healthy, and empowering foundations as writers and independent critical thinkers, both within and outside of the classroom. Professor Benchimol says her class will continue to draw on the lessons meditation has taught and will continue to teach them as they work towards “turning the volume up on our voices.”