Writing-The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice

Writing-The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice

by Rami Shapiro, Aaron Shapiro

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Push your writing through the trite and the boring to something fresh, something transformative.

"Writing as spiritual practice has nothing to do with readers per se. You aren't writing to be read; you are writing to be freed. Writing as spiritual practice is conspiratorial rather than inspirational. It conspires to strip away everything you use to maintain the illusion of certainty, security and self-identity. Where spiritual writing seeks to bind you all the more tightly to the self you imagine yourself to be, writing as spiritual practice intends to free you from it."
—from Rami’s Preface

This isn’t about how to write spiritual books. It isn’t about the romance of writing. It doesn’t cover the ins and outs of publishing and building a brand. Instead, this fresh and unapologetic guide to writing as a spiritual practice approaches writing as a way to turn the spiral of body, heart, mind, soul and spirit that leads to spiritual awakening.

Lead by renowned spirituality teacher Rami Shapiro and award-winning writer and writing coach Aaron Shapiro—and featuring over fifty unique, practical exercises—it takes you beyond assigning inspirational words to the page. It shows you how to use your writing to unlock the joy of life and the infinite perspectives and possibilities that living provides.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594734311
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 04/01/2012
Series: The Art of Spiritual Living
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 362 KB

About the Author

Rami Shapiro, a renowned teacher of spirituality across faith traditions and a noted theologian, is a popular speaker on the topics of religion, theology and spirituality. He is author of the award-winning The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice; Recovery—The Sacred Art: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice and Hasidic Tales: Annotated and Explained; among other books.

Rami Shapiro is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Writing—The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice
  • Stop Playing God: 12 Steps as Spiritual Practice
  • Biblical Wisdom for Post-biblical Times: An Exploration of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job
  • The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Cultivating Compassion in Daily Life
  • Hasidic Wisdom: An Exploration of Hasidic Storytelling, Theology and Contemplative Practice
  • Saints and Sages: Biblical Prophets, Ancient Rabbis and the Building of a Just World

Aaron Shapiro, an award-winning poet and essayist, teaches undergraduate writing and literature at Middle State Tennessee University. A frequent speaker on topics ranging from creative writing to critical theory, his work has been published in Teaching in the Pop Culture Zone. He is a recipient of the Michael Hauptman Poetry Prize, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, a Paul Muldoon Poetry Fellowship, and the Tennessee Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Award, as well as the Virginia Peck Award.

Table of Contents

Rami's Preface ix
Aaron's Preface xiii
A Note on Collaboration xvii
A Note on Structure: The Five Worlds and Writing
as a Spiritual Practice xix

Introduction 1

1. Writing to Open the Body 9
Projective Verse 12
Soundings 14
Dinggedicht 17
Haiku 18
Zang Tumb Tuuum 19
Where Are You? 21
Sing the Body Electric 22
Who's Your Deity? 23
Our Stories, Ourselves 26
Sauntering 27
Walking Around a Writer's Block 28

2. Writing to Open the Heart 31
Jekyll and Hyde, or Despicable Me 33
I’m Going to Kill You! 37
Automatic Writing 39
Dining with the Devil 44
Dear Hated One 45
Heart Lines 1 54
Heart Lines 2: Rumi-nations 58

3. Writing to Open the Mind 61
Who’s In? Who’s Out? 68
The Power of Influence 70
Bye-Bye Bias, Part 1 73
Bye-Bye Bias, Part 2 75
Definitions 78
Writing Against Language: The Vorpal Blade 83
I, Superhero 88
Alter Ego 88
Calling Dr. Freud, Calling Dr. Freud 89
Sticks and Stones 90
Who Am I? 95
My Destiny 97
The Name Game 98
Narrowing the Narrow Mind 101
The Three Garments of Self 103

4. Writing to Open the Soul 105
Lung 107
Amazing Gazing 109
Shoeless Moe, Part 1: Identifying Your Sandals 111
Shoeless Moe, Part 2: Lech Lecha 112
Against the Pathetic Fallacy 114
Blackout Poems 115
The Exquisite Corpse 116
The Giving Tree Revisited 118
Glimpsing the Bush 120
A Day in the Wilderness 121

5. Writing to Open the Spirit 123
Resting in Soul 124
Playing the Paradox, Part 1: Colorless Green Ideas 131
Playing the Paradox, Part 2: Cut-up 134
My Story, My Sage 136

6. Turning the Spiral from Body to Spirit: Returning—by Way of Conclusion 141
Homophonic "Translation" 143
Turn and Return 145

Acknowledgments 149
Notes 151
Suggestions for Further Reading 153

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