Freestyle Noting

In freestyle noting we use a simple 1-2 word note (ex: "hearing" or "breathing in") to identify our real-time sensory experience.

Basic Instructions: Use a word or two to describe your current sensory experience. Example: "Seeing," "Anxiety," "Relaxing," "Thinking," "Tightness-Unpleasant," "Planning Thought"

Created by Kenneth Folk

In its simplest form, social noting is Mahasi Sayadaw-style choiceless vipassana done aloud while taking turns. Each meditator calls out a one-word description of the phenomenon that spontaneously arises in experience. (See: Freestyle Noting)

Here is an example:

Jane: Itching

John: Thinking

Jane: Tightness

John: Hearing

(Continuing to alternate)

Seeing

Curiosity

Alertness

Dullness

Happiness

Aversion

Fear

Coolness

Itching

There is no right or wrong answer; whatever arises in experience is called out (noted). This exercise, in which two meditators take turns noting their experience aloud is called ping-pong noting, pop-noting, or social noting. Social noting can also be done round robin style, in a circle, (or virtually online.)

Remixing your Freestyle

by Vince Fakhoury Horn

You can combine, or remix, Freestyle noting with any other basic noting techniques, where you're varying how you note. Ex: "There is Freestyle Noting" or "Noting is Like This".

Freestyle refers to a freedom around selecting WHAT we note. But there's not just a WHAT, but also The How, What, & When of Noting. So when we consider these other dimensions of what makes up the structure of a social noting practice, we see that we have a practice with an open configuration that can undergo recombination. When we recombine one variation of How to note with another variation of What to note–where again, Freestyle is the option to note WHATever you like–