Welcome to Writing as a Spiritual Practice

A warm welcome to this exploration of writing as a spiritual practice. We hope you have your pencil and paper ready!

Throughout this course, you'll find the text of the video beneath each talk. You don't need to read these, but they may pull out key information and exercises for reference. These materials will be collected for download in each unit's workbook.

Sallie Tisdale

Welcome to Writing as a Spiritual Practice

This class is about writing as a spiritual practice, and that means two things. Firstly, we learn to write from the place in which spiritual work happens. That means cultivating an attitude of open-heartedness, curiosity, wonder, and fearlessness. This class includes exercises to help you cultivate those qualities. We also create work expressing those qualities. Human beings have always found ways to express the path of seeking awe and wonder. This class includes a number of examples of spiritual expression and prompts for creating your own. 

What you will gain from this course

I have three particular goals for you for this course. 

  1. I want you to gain a sense of your internal censors and biases and how these limit your expression. I want you to do this both in writing and in your spiritual practice. 
  2. I want you to become familiar with the variety of spiritually inspired work in our body of literature.
  3. And I want you to practice writing in traditional as well as freestyle forms on a variety of topics.

About Sallie

I am a writer and I am also a Zen teacher. I have been a Sōtō Zen teacher for many years in the Dharma Cloud lineage. My teacher was Kyogen Carlson and I currently teach at Dharma Rain Center in Portland, Oregon. I am the author of ten books and many essays, and I'm an experienced writing teacher at many different levels. 

The writing exercises

Some of the units will include writing exercises during the unit. 

I strongly encourage you to write by hand if you are able.

So come prepared with writing material. Try using a pencil on plain paper or colored crayons on butcher paper. Use charcoal or acrylics or a favorite pen. Get away from the screen. Be willing to disconnect your brain from these images and machine-generated letters for a while and enjoy the feeling of writing

The exercises can lead you in many directions, so let yourself follow wherever they lead you. Follow, explore, and investigate: this is the core both of creative expression and spiritual work.

Complete and Continue