An introduction to Contemplative Writing: Writing in the container of the Dharma/Buddhism is about learning to trust perception – the basic, the ordinary, the magical connection to our world, and our minds. My teacher is Miriam Hall of www.herspiral.com. We both have studied with Natalie Goldberg, who wrote Writing Down The Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. In Writing Down the Bones, Natalie’s groundbreaking first book, she brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice — “it is backed by two thousand years of studying the mind.”
The process for contemplative writing: I bow. Then, I meditate for five minutes. Then, I set a timer, and begin to write, pen to paper. I do not stop. I do not edit. I invite what wants to arise, the texture of my mind, the passions of soul, the winds of Oneness.
Please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to bring this fantastic writing practice into your life.
First Time Writing, London
Pen to Paper, 20 Minute Writing
I don’t know when I first began writing, as in more than in school, as in with other people, as in a way to live more deeply.
In my first memory of writing to live more deeply, I was in a plane, over the Atlantic Ocean, on my way at twenty-four to live in London, England. I can see the page filling up in my journal as I sit on that plane; I can see not knowing what to write about so I scribble waves on the page. I can see the books in my backpack at my twenty-four-year-old feet: Bill Wilson’s “Big Book”, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach, and Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones”.
I think now, sitting in this patch of sunlight that first passed through space, and time, and forest, and squirrel to arrive now with me, the title, the title, Writing Down the Bones.
Two days ago, falling into a neurological fit, shivering uncontrollably, my legs falling out below me, lying in the bed with Rayna’s help, I could feel my bones. When I shut my eyes, let go of the worry, not only did I “feel” myself as bone, but as a song of sacred geometry, vibrating rigidly throughout my bones. Once I decided death wasn’t coming, or I was okay with death, the song of my bones rose and fell like the surf at the ocean’s shore.