“When you are present, the world is truly alive.” ~ Natalie Goldberg
When I was younger, I read Natalie Goldberg's classic, Writing Down the Bones. In it she says many sensible things about being a writer. She also talks about her practice as a Buddhist.
I was a proud atheist at the time. But the things she talked about (mindfulness, faith) seeped into me somewhere. Seeds were planted.
Fast-forward to the present day, and I'm married to a Buddhist priest - and I'm following a similar path myself. My practice as a Buddhist is important to me on many levels. But are there links between spirituality (however you define it) and writing small stones?
I think that spirituality is good at putting us in touch with something that is larger than our 'small selves'. Something that knows better than we do. You could see this as mother nature, with her seasons and her endless recycling, or you could see it as something more mystical. Either way, connecting with what's around us can help us to find a new kind of wisdom.
I also think that spirituality and a writing practice can both help to steady us. Life is a roller-coaster. Sometimes knowing that we have a daily meditation practice or writing practice gives us a place to return to, a structure, a reassuring constancy in the middle of impermanence.
Finally, spirituality and writing are both good at opening us up - softening us - so we can connect more mindfully with those around us (including the planet). It helps us learn about ourselves, and others. It helps us see more clearly (including the bits we'd rather not see). Ultimately, it helps us to love.
I'd love to hear what you think about the links between spirituality and writing - do share in the comments below.
I'll leave you with another quote from Natalie -
“Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.”