Contemplative Writing Workshop
“Writing,” observes Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, “is a practice of looking deeply.”
Although Zen teachings caution us that conceptual language can come between our minds and the things of this world, writing can also assist us in the act of seeing. Through the practice of writing, as through the practice of meditation, we can stop and look deeply into our lives, and, as the poet Eavan Boland once put it, we can fully “experience our experience.” In this workshop participants will be invited to write three impromptu contemplations, using personal memory as their primary source. Readings will include verse and prose by Thomas Traherne, Elizabeth Bishop, Patrick Kavanagh, Thomas Merton, Seamus Heaney, Adrienne Rich, Mary Oliver, Paula Meehan, Andre Dubus III, Jane Hirshfield, and Scott Russell Sanders.
The workshop will be conducted by Shiju Ben Howard, Emeritus Professor of English at Alfred University. A longtime practitioner of Zen and Vipassana meditation, he is the author of eight books, most recently Entering Zen (2011) and Leaf, Sunlight, Asphalt (2009). For the past three decades he has contributed essays, poems, and reviews to national and international journals, including Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, the Sewanee Review, and Buddhadharma. His work has appeared in many anthologies, among them The POETRY Anthology: 1912-2002 and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. Now retired from full-time teaching, Dr. Howard writes the blog “One Time, One Meeting” and leads the Falling Leaf Sangha, a Zen practice group for students and the community.
To register, call the Zen Center at 492-9773. Deadline is Oct 6. Program fee is $60.