Hmm.. I didn't start a journal until I attained Self-Realization aka Thusness Stage 1. After that realization, on the advice of Thusness (my mentor John Tan), I started writing my insights and experiences. It later exploded into a too-long-to-read journal which you can find in my blog, along with another exploding too-long-to-read guide that needs a lot of editing and trimming which I have no time for.
But when self enquiring, just inquire and contemplate the very nature of your mind/consciousness/experience honestly and sincerely and earnestly. Don't think of writing down for that moment because that can lead to more conceptualization, not that it is very bad but for the purpose of practice that's not the right time to do so. Just inquire into the source, or whatever is your subject of contemplation. For self enquiry ala Advaita or Hua Tou, just inquire into the Source -- before birth, who am I?
The same for whatever practices you are doing, be it vipassana, shamatha, etc. When practicing just do the practice, nothing else, then write later if you feel there is something worthy to write/take note/etc, be it lessons, insights, experiences, whatever.
In future when you have certain breakthroughs and insights, it might be
good to write something down to clarify your thoughts, expression, and
for other purposes like future reference and sharing. My advise is try
not to be constrained by the technicalities of scriptures but express
creatively from your moment to moment actualization of lived insights.
(Although I do recommend reading scriptures, just not to be constrained
by learnt knowledge and words you read)
"But you're expected to live as this vibrant brilliance, non-arising clarity. Or awareness. Uncontrieved. You're expected to feel the entire energy, entire aliveness, brilliance. It's not something that is dead. So you should look back the things that you write, what is called the mind level, what is called *snaps* you understood. They're different. So that next time when you try to say, you are not trying to explain something. You can explain certain things, but certain things you cannot explain and teach. Certain things you can teach, certain things the more you teach the worse it becomes.
Certain things, like Not relying on words or letters.
An independent transmission outside the teaching of the scriptures.
Directly pointing to man's Mind.
Awakening of one's (Original-) Nature, thereby actualizing one's own Buddhahood.
Cannot... the less words, the better. It is just a face to face communication. In that communication, you have to observe the entire conditions, then ! You understood. This is then important. Everything is very raw, first hand, then when you feel it, your entire body-mind burst, and that's it. You understood. Then it becomes very alive. You feel and do everything... it's all these aliveness. Marvellous. Your understanding is all direct. And when you understand that moment, it is a heart to heart... you feel deep inside your heart. But you must learn how to release. Because also when you feel direct, there is also a problem. Because it touch deeper. So you must know how to release." - John Tan, 2012, https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/p/a-conversation-with-john-tan-some-time.html
[3:03 PM, 4/22/2019] John Tan: Dogen Expressions is full of life and creativity.
[11:36 PM, 7/11/2020] John Tan: I find u r restricted to the teachings, u must be able to walk out the constrains and restrictions. Once u r directly Intouch with connected, open up ur potential.
[11:40 PM, 7/11/2020] John Tan: And don't kept discussing and engaging in idle conversations. Also don't keep talking abt me, I do not need ppl to know abt me...I m quite popular already in my own business and financial space... Dun need any more fame🤣🤣🤣. Spiritual development is own personal development. Funny keep talking.
[9:04 AM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: Although tibetan buddhism mostly talk abt seeing DO and emptiness of all phenomena, u must also see how by being empty of essence, dynamism and creativity r made possible.
Look at zen, enlightenment is full of vibrancy, intuitiveness and creativity. So see the creative sparks, playfulness and spontaneous blosoming of life in each and every expression from anatta.
The ancient chinese sages continuously gain precious insights from exploring the nature of yin yang 5 elements and understand the patterns of the universe to understand more about oneself. This is also true in Confucianism, 格物致知 is an important concept for them.
So post anatta, one must not only see the freedom from attachments from emptiness, but must also taste directly the spontaneous creativity and potentialities by being lack of essence. This part I still see lacking in ur expression.
[3:31 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: I m referring to actual creativity . When u see, think, taste...the sparks of insights, ur creative expression, joy in exploring and new skills, learning new things..etc
[3:34 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: Post anatta, u must feel this potential dancing vibrantly as energetic display and expression.
[3:36 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: Even when I sit quietly now, radiance r piercing through everywhere dancing now...that is y I do yoga and breathing exercises to regulate.
[3:38 PM, 7/12/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah i also feel bright radiance all the time..
[3:38 PM, 7/12/2020] Soh Wei Yu: And joy
[3:39 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: Like in ur piotr conversations, I wanted to tell u the importance of y leg over head is important for opening channels if u r mindful but because I know u will post here and there I refrain from writing.
[3:40 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: I just don't want u to keep sparking new arguments on productive stuff, focus and channel ur energy on the right track.
[3:40 PM, 7/12/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[3:41 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: U feel bright and joyful, can u feel bright and joyful when u r my age is a different story...lol
[3:43 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: Anatta is not a no self into nihilism otherwise u won't talk so much about it. U feel non-dual, transparent, vibrant, energetic and full of joy without boundaries.
[3:43 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: That is y u know u r in the right direction.
[3:44 PM, 7/12/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. yeah
[3:45 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: So open up and release this potential...like experiencing the 易 in 易经...
[3:46 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: 生生之为易 did I tell u before?
[3:46 PM, 7/12/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Mentioned before i think over decade ago but didnt understand previously.. its more like life potential towards creative expressions?
[3:47 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: Yes
[3:50 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: Therefore u hear 不孝有三，无后为大 or 天地之大得曰生。u see pictures and drawings of horses galloping, fishes swimming 🤣🤣🤣
[3:58 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: Means they r emphasizing creative vibrancy of life
[3:59 PM, 7/12/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[3:59 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: It can be any activity
[3:59 PM, 7/12/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Ic..
[6:15 PM, 7/12/2020] John Tan: Some times I like watching animation...some of the anime can describe anatta and total exertion experience quite well 🤣🤣🤣