This has been the Week In Search of a Theme here at the Writing as a Sacred Path blog. I’ve had things to say, but I just haven’t been sure how they tie together. I serious considered labeling it “blathering about this and that week,” but decided to merely leave it themeless. In the meantime, I’ve been continuing my ongoing search for resources that can spark creativity, deepen spirituality, and offer new insights into the writing life. What I’ve uncovered this week are three beautiful little books with similar themes—all of which will be wonderful additions to anyone’s writing library. The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life by Dinty W. Moore (Wisdom), Mindful Writing: Embracing Transience (CreativeSpace) by Kani M Ilangovan M.D., and Being True to Life: Poetic Paths to Personal Growth by David Richo, Ph.D. (Shambhala).
Both Kani Ilangovan and David Richo are mental health professionals—a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist respectively—so it isn’t surprising that their books are largely about healing and connection. With section titles like “Discovering Your Truth,” “Healing the Past,” “Learning to Let go,” and “Facing Life’s Emotional Challenges,” Richo’s book might sound like a run-of-the-mill self-help book. But both of these authors approach their topics through the twin lenses of writing and mindfulness, giving them a unique and valuable twist. “I invite you to experience your life more fully, moment by moment,” writes Ilangovan. “I invite you to cultivate a relationship with yourself.”
Filled with poetry and small prose pieces as well as with exercises and visualizations designed to help the reader cultivate mindfulness, Mindful Writing and Being True to Life are as simple as they are profound. They are easy reads, but they are books you will want to linger over. If you’ve never written poetry before or are uncertain about your skill, these books can open a door to that marvelous world. If you’re already a poet, they can deepen your intuition and insight. And if you are merely a person who wishes to grow spiritually, they are valuable guides.
Dinty W. Moore takes a different approach in The Mindful Writer. A long-time Buddhist, Moore writes about the ways writing can bring us to the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. (If you’re unfamiliar with the Four Noble Truths, you’re missing one of the great wisdom paths. Here’s a brief discussion. ) “What I’ve come to understand,” Moore writes, “is that my lifelong pursuit of writing and creativity has helped to open me to the path of Buddhism. The innumerable lessons learned in struggling with my writing over the years has made me already aware . . . of the simple wisdom of mindfulness and nonattachment presented in the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths.” This book in not for Buddhists only. It is for every writer who has ever struggled—which is to say, every writer.
Causes Jill Jepson Supports
Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, Interational Society for the Protection of Burros and Mustangs, National Wildlife Federation,...