Why You Should Meditate to an Audiobook

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Most of us listen to audiobooks while doing some other task like commuting, doing chores, or crafting.

However, neuroscience research shows that the brain doesn’t actually multitask

Instead, it constantly switches between the two or three tasks that we’re working on.

So when we listen to an audiobook and also drive a car, or do the dishes, or knit a sweater, most of what is being said goes in one ear and out the other.

At the end of the scene, chapter, or even the whole book, suddenly we realize we have no idea what happened!

And for writers, listening to an audiobook is just as important as reading a book.

Our writing transforms to a whole new level when we take into account how the words sound, and not just how they read on the page.

By splitting our attention, we are not only cheating ourselves, but also the author of the book who put all that hard work into every single word.

Now, back to meditation.

When we meditate, we focus our attention on one thing such as an object, the breath, a mantra, or a sound.

When you think about it, concentrating on an audiobook should be no different than concentrating on music.

I tried it the other morning, not because I wanted to prove this point, but because I was near the end of a murder mystery and really wanted to find out whodunit!

As I navigated to my meditation app, I thought, if I was going to listen to someone’s voice, why not try using my audiobook narrator?

What I found as I meditated was that my imagination lit up with the imagery the narrator was describing.

The scene materialized in my head better than any scene I’d ever read or listened to before.

I was completely present in the character’s situation, in the beautiful prose, and each beat the narrator took.

Now, I’m not saying you’re going to reach enlightenment via audiobook meditation, but you very well may have an epiphany about your current project! 

And don’t be afraid to stray outside the genre you’re writing. 

Choose any book that catches your interest, or even a favorite one that you’ve read a hundred times. 

You never know what you’ll hear that will give you a new perspective on what you’re writing. 

You can set a timer for as long as you normally meditate, or you can let the audiobook run until the end of a scene, chapter, or any good pause in the narration. 

Whatever you choose, here are the steps to meditating to your audiobook:

1.    Find a space where you won’t be interrupted.

2.    Sit or lay in a comfortable position that allows your whole body to relax.

3.    Start your audiobook. It can be the beginning of a new one or in the middle of a chapter where you left off.

4.    Listen to narrator reading the book as you…

5.    …Begin to breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. Eventually breathe in and out through just the nose. 

6.    Visualize what the narrator is describing.

7.    Check in with the breath every so often. Try to maintain awareness of the breath and the visualization simultaneously.

Don’t hesitate to reach over and turn the audiobook off if this isn’t working for you. 

And feel free to do this in addition to your normal meditation practice rather than in lieu of it.

It’s all too easy to get so caught up in our own writing that we stop making time to study and enjoy the works of others.

Meditating to an audiobook can bring some fun back into the process.

Have you tried meditating to an audiobook? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!