Meditation and the Dissertation

Whether you are selecting a topic or fighting through the labyrinth of final approvals, chances are you can improve your state of mind be a greater feeling of calm.  I have written before about “Dissertation Zen”, but not about the idea of how meditation can fit in to this mindset. Dissertation Meditation

I quit in the midst of my dissertation because I did not have Dissertation Zen.  However, upon my return three years later and now near completion, I learned this worldview is the only way to go.  I got there the hard way, which included a lot of blaming, whining, and tears.  Now, when something does not go according to a script in my mind, I simply notice and continue.

I have noticed that other people have achieved this attitude without hitting the emotional rock bottom, and when I read this article by Silicon Valley Meditation Teacher Kim Nicol, I wished I had meditated more often during my writing process.  I would have avoided so much dissertation drama and maybe not even have quit.

Meditation gives you practice in observing your breath and the sounds around you, but you have to sit still.  It sounds excruciating, but worth a try.  The way this connects to writing the dissertation is that a dissertation (to me) sounds excruciating, but worth a try.  It also requires sitting still. What I notice is that staying calm helps you keep going.

Queen Elizabeth advised England to “Keep calm and carry on” during World War II.  Meditation practice lets you do that for a few minutes every day until your habit is keeping calm.

We absorb so much research and information from our courses that it is difficult to synthesize or even reasonably access it when we are distracted by what is in our brains.  Meditation allows you to clear the clutter and let the ideas and logic flow from within after the brain is on “full.”  There is a science behind why it will make you a better writer.

Give it a try.  You can easily access this free 4-minute guided meditation by Silicon Valley Meditation Teacher at


Let me know if it works for you or if you are already onto this trick of the trade.

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