Poetry writing as a spiritual practice

For those in California, I’ll be offering an immersion in poetry writing as a spiritual practice from 9:30am to 2:30pm on September 17 in Fairfax. You don’t have to identify as “a poet,” but only yearn to access the layer of consciousness that dreams, intuits and sees beauty in unexpected places. We’ll use meditations and free writing practice to draw from a deeper place in us, and I’ll share with you some of the methods I use to create poems from these explorations. more info/register

WRITING PROMPT: Permission to age…

WRITING PROMPT: Permission to age...

WRITING PROMPT: Don’t mind…

WRITING PROMPT: Don't mind...

WRITING PROMPT: Strange machines…

Writing prompt: Strange machines...

WRITING TIP: Don’t keep your stories to yourself.

WRITING TIP: Don't keep your stories to yourself.

Judgments about people based on superficial characteristics seem to be everywhere. But what’s missing? Personal stories. “The gulf that exists between us as people is that when we look at each other we might see faces, skin color, gender, race, or attitudes, but we don’t see, we can’t see, the stories,” writes Neil Gaiman in his introduction to All these Wonders. ”And once we hear each other’s stories we realize that the things we see as dividing us are, all too often, illusions, falsehoods: that the walls between us are in truth no thicker than scenery.” So help us break the illusions by writing your stories, sharing them, and asking others to share theirs — especially those who seem different than you. Do it well and sincerely, and you won’t need to worry that it is self-indulgent, as so many fear, but rather a needed contribution to help us all remember our shared humanity.

WRITING PROMPT: Everything will slowly, slowly happen…

Everything will slowly, slowly happen...

WRITING PROMPT: In the mirror…

WRITING PROMPT: In the mirror...

WRITING TIP: Arms from 1000 years ago…

WRITING PROMPT: Arms from 1000 years ago...

WRITING TIP: Create a life-affirming past.

writing tip

It’s easy to mistake “what happened” for the truth, and write about it as though it were mere fact. But the string of events that make up our past — whether personal or collective — is just an ingredient until we’ve assigned meaning to it. Facts don’t speak for themselves — our assumptions, beliefs, blind spots and undigested feelings all color them, no matter how objective we think we are being. For this reason, there is no such thing as a definitive history, for we are dynamic beings, always in the process of opening or closing, expanding or constricting our ability to see clearly and compassionately. Seeing the past in this way, we are never the victims of something solid that happened, and which we can only report on. Rather, we can claim the power to create a new, life-affirming story of the past, for ourselves and for the world, and in doing so, create the basis for a life-affirming present and future.

WRITING PROMPT: I am not those stories…

WRITING PROMPT: i am not those stories...