You are invited to my workshop on Writing as a Spiritual Practice on March 30 at beautiful Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA.
Spiritual practices are the things we do to remind us of, and deepen, our connection with the divine and infinite. They include meditation, chanting, walking, reading, and a host of other activities that we commit to doing on a regular basis in order to enhance that connection.
Writing and spiritual practices have much in common, and work particularly well together because:
- They are both inside jobs.
- They can be hard, enervating, and frustrating—or inspired, uplifting, and fulfilling. As with many aspects of life, it’s all about our attitude.
- They are both revealing and humbling, but yield rich rewards.
- Both require commitment and persistence.
- Both ask us to pay attention, clear our emotional field, and turn our eyes inward, toward deeper levels of awareness.
- Both can put us in a place to receive grace, give us the means to express our deepest thoughts and feelings, and bring us great joy.
HOW IT WORKS
What does it mean to use writing as a spiritual practice? For me, it means practicing the presence of the divine and infinite as I write—and then returning to that state when it slips away. As with meditation, I hold the presence as long as I can, notice when I get distracted, and pick it up again.
I don’t demand that I have that connection with the infinite before I begin writing—any more than I have to be in a high state before sitting down to meditate. I start writing, turn my eyes in that direction, and take what I get. I don’t always get a high when I write, but putting my attention on the infinite and continuing to write is the “practice” in “spiritual practice.”
Why do this? I love using writing as a spiritual practice because, for me, spiritual gains are the greatest riches. The moments when I get that connection with the infinite, when I write in the Zone, are worth any discipline or focus I ask of myself.
Plus, writing in this way is healing. And very often, it makes my writing better. Always, the lessons I learn in writing help me in life, and vice versa.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I think art happens when we capture some moment of the divine and express it beautifully and uniquely, so that it evokes in others their own experience of the divine. When we do that consciously, we increase the odds of doing it well.