The Spiritual Writer: Spirit into Word and Action

Spirituality I take to be concerned with those qualities of the human spirit—such as love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness,contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony—which brings happiness to both self and others. While ritual and prayer, along with the questions of nirvana and salvation, are directly connected to religious faith, these inner qualities need not be, however. There is no reason why the individual should not develop them, even to a highest degree, without recourse to any religious or metaphysical belief system. This is why I sometimes say that religion is something we can perhaps do without. What we cannot do without are these basic spiritual qualities.   –The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, “Ethics for the New Millennium”

 

First a few upcoming opportunities for spiritual writers and spiritual explorers (click on title for more information):  (And I have a special writing prompt for you at the end of this blog).

I appreciate what the Dalai Lama says above.

In many ways the spiritual life is the philosophical life – where we explore mysticism, meaning, philosophy, states of consciousness, our relationship to each other and to all of life, our idea of god, our beliefs and how they impact our life– and, fundamentally, how we belong. Then, in our explorations we have direct spiritual and creative experience.

The spiritual life is living the active, engaged and creative life where our exploring never ends and it is always the journey that matters (the moment, the path, the writing) and not the destination (heaven/nirvana, results, the book).

The spiritual philosopher and spiritual writer is one of curiosity, allowing for personal discovery. These discoveries lead to spiritual experiences that include encounters with the unexplainable and mystical. (All these discoveries which we can write about!).

We make meaning for our selves on and off the page.

The spiritual writer allows everything to be the path – all the beauty and difficulty can be expressed and explored on the page. Then through our writing we often transform our thoughts and experiences. Off the page too, everything becomes workable and part of the journey of discovery, the journey of belonging. Everything is an opportunity to be engaged in some meaningful conversation with “the other.” The other can be a person, an idea, a story, a tree, a project or a difficulty. The conversation can take place in many ways on and off the page. So when difficulty arises in life we can use both our spiritual writing and our spiritual practices as a way to engage and transform them.

I like being able to explore ideas and beliefs freely on the page first, letting my spiritual experiences and explorations take me where they want to. Too often others have plans for us and want to frame our experiences into their belief system. Explore your spiritual and creative side on the page first and you will find ways to express yourself in the outer world. New ideas emerge when we give ourselves this place to explore. This permission to explore is the basis of my writing prompts in my classes and consultations. I know you have it within you all you need to understand and navigate any situation that arises in your life.

Nothing is exempt from this spiritual approach to our life –– everything becomes part of our practice and exploration.

Here is a writing prompt for you: Write about a time you took too long to leave or exit a relationship or situation. Write and remember as much as possible. Then go for a walk (with you field notebook), jotting down sights and sounds you encounter. Sometime later, bring the two together. Rewrite (reframe) the experience using the words and images you collected on your walk. In your rewrite you leave the situation in a timely and successful way. (This practice creates a reframe, gives you a new memory, opens up new possibilities for you even now, and allows for transformation on the page). As I routinely recommend, let the writing prompt take you where it does (no rules, no one path).

Happy writing!

Yours in the spirit of writing,  Julie

Writing, above all, is seeing clearly. –Peter Mathiessen, Letters from the Wild

 

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

 

Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it. –Marguerite De Angeli,  The Door in the Wall

308 thoughts on “The Spiritual Writer: Spirit into Word and Action

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