The Seven Elements of Practice Group

Dear Writing Friends,

Potential students are always asking for more information about my classes. But how to describe the stripped down elements of practice, the shifts that occur mainly in the mind?  I usually refer people to Natalie Goldberg's books, especially her latest, The True Secret of Writing, because my classes are based on the retreats described therein. I've thought of writing an FAQ sheet, something to explain what we do in class and why my students have come to value it. Perhaps I'll get to that in 2014. In the meantime, I came up with this list, a kind of "what to expect" when you walk through the doors of my classroom.

1) Sitting meditation -- Connect to your breath. Let your mind rest in your breath.

2) Slow Walking -- Connect to your feet and the ground beneath you. Slow down the body to slow down the mind.

3) Writing Practice -- Connect to first thoughts. Learn to say what you see, think, and feel.

 4) Reading Aloud Without Comment -- Connect to your words. Learn to accept the whole of your mind, without judgement. 

5) Silence -- Connect with your mind. Go beyond the chattering mind to what lies below.

 6) Sanctuary -- Disconnect from your to-do list. Find rest in practice.

7) Structure -- Let the structure of sitting, walking, writing, and reading together hold you up  so you can drop down in your writing and let go.

The January mini-retreat is a great opportunity to renew your practice. Please join me and spread the word.

Looking forward to connecting with you in the New Year.

My best to each of you


(C) 2011 Saundra Goldman