“Finding what we already possess may seem like a strange goal for a spiritual path. Yet the process of finding may provide us more joy than if the universe delivered all its secrets to us without any effort on our part.” — Neil Douglas Klotz, the Sufi Book of Life, p. 265
What impulses lie beneath the routines of the day? Hidden from view but there?
A desire to write a poem, make a quilt, contact a friend, start that story, or visit that sacred place arises as a poetic impulse and along with her is your intuitive muse. Follow her to where she leads.
Each morning I witness
all that was made possible by yesterday’s seed and song.
The frost does what frost should do–
hold tight to what was once green so it can be green again.
Twenty-four swans, white in their flight move my view from west to east,
four lead swans compete without a fight
I want the lead too but without the fight,
a taking of turns.
I’ll take my lead when it is time to head west again.
Now it is sunrise, green giving into white, heading east into the light . . .
My morning walks in the prairie always yield an idea for my book, a poem or prose, and sometimes a response to a challenging situation. The prairie is my intuitive muse. Where can you go to touch that place of knowing, without doubt or resistance rising up their interference? Choose any place that naturally creates and brings forth what is inherently present within you all along. I recommend that one such place be in nature but other places may bring this forth for you as well. Great teachers can also provide that spiritual nudge you might desire. My muse appreciates my visits to the Deer Park Buddhist center in Oregon Wisconsin. I receive teachings from masters in the Tibetan Buddhist lineage, can walk their stupa, and enjoy the sacred art that surrounds me while in the temple. Even here I bring a small pocket notebook, listening for the stirring inside afforded to me while listening to teachings or walking around the stupa.
Deer Park Buddhist Center
4548 Schneider Drive
Oregon, Wisconsin 53575
When writing on a poetic impulse let go of any rules of writing or the outcome, just let the words flow through you. I often write prose and trust the words to come . . .
The snow clung to everything this morning as I walked through the prairie
each day, without effort the prairie brings forth her beauty . . .
Let’s put the bulldozers away and breathe.
“Breathe and no effort” as a teacher would remind me.
Don’t go crashing through the woods if you want the chickadee to land on your shoulder.
Wait and listen long enough and what you want will reveal itself to you.
She is there all along.
There are no secrets.
It’s not what we attract but what we notice.
Whatever we give our attention to, becomes.
Every morning I pray to Padmasambhava, —
soon I may become him.
Writing without too much effort develops your intuitive muscle and strengthens your trust in this gift. Enjoy the flow unstructured writing can give you; letting it take you where it wants. Read over what you have written with a curious and compassionate mind. Just read and appreciate what the poet is saying to you. Edit only when it is time to share your poem or prose. Much of my intuitive writing ends up in my books.
Let there be time each day that you open and notice what wants to speak to you, mirroring to you something inside yourself. Have your journal (or lap top) ready. Mark it as a time that you will be listening within and without. Often that which appears on my morning walks in the prairie spiral is inspirations for my writing or actions that day. There, then on the page, I discover (or release) a poem, an idea, or a response to some query.
“Throughout my whole life, during every minute of it, the world has been gradually lightening up and blazing before my eyes until it has come to surround me, entirely lit up from within.” Pierre Teilhard De Chadrin, French author, Jesuit Priest, poet
Off and On the Page
Name a sacred place that you will continue to return to, to be nudged by the poetic impulse and listen to the intuitive muse. Do this for 10 days in a row. Once I committed to walking the spiral in our prairie three weeks before a birthday. I have only missed a day now when I am out of town. The muse knows where to find me.
Commit to fifteen minutes of morning writing, either after a meditation or a visit to a natural, wild place (like your back yard or local park).
Write about your back yard using the following words: meeting, known, golden, calling, muse, next.
“All of the great spiritual traditions want to awaken us to the fact that we cocreate the reality in which we live.” Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness