I have set two major writing goals for this year, editing and publishing The Book of Sharon before the end of the first quarter, and writing Sunrise Souls before the end of the year. If I get to the editing of the last one, I will be very happy, but for now, writing it is all I am expecting. In addition, I am hoping to develop my author website a bit more; it has been under construction. As far as this blog goes, I am hoping to post at least three times a week. Those are my only writing goals for this year – few and clear. My main focus will go towards regaining my health. Other projects will be on hold for now.
Today, my nephew sent me an email that had an Allan Watts short video about one of his lectures on meditation. One thing caught my attention immediately – his definition of meditation. He views meditation as a way to bring you back to reality (to the real world, to the life that we live in a daily basis, to the now, to be present …). When I thought about it, I realized that my concept of meditation was at conflict with this definition. I viewed it as a way to relax and step out of reality – a way to alleviate stress or any present inconvenience. This view is opposite to the purpose of meditation. I found this interesting, and I think that many people think of meditation as a way to escape reality instead of getting back to it. I thought this was brilliant.
As writers we tend to retreat; we spend long hours alone dipped into our own worlds and thoughts, and many times far away from reality. Meditation may be a good tool for writers, that is, as a way to bring us back to life into the now.
Cloud (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many times, I have heard that inspiration is all around us, and may show up unexpected, can come from anywhere because it is everywhere; I’ ve even written about it on this blog. However, I have found that sometimes, inspiration is not enough. How come?
For me, it happens when despite being inspired, the writing presents a challenge. I know what I have to write, or I had written it, but deep inside I have trouble dealing with it – more of a spiritual denial, I think. It is on these instances that I have to step it up a bit, and connect spiritually with my work. It helps me understand my human limitations. It helps me view the overall picture and understand why I have written it, and at the same time understand my perception of it/my conflict. This is happening now when I am writing The Book of Sharon, and another reason why it has been a challenging novel. Sometimes, I’ve had to take a few days between chapters to reconnect with the book (on purpose) and stop fighting my own limitations. I am thinking that because of this, editing will be as challenging or more when time comes.
As individuals, we have our own ways to reconnect spiritually, recharge our batteries, and try to gain a deeper understanding of our work and of the world that surrounds us. For me, prayer/meditation, contemplating nature, awareness of the moment, among other things, help with this. One thing I know for sure is not to ignore when inspiration is not enough. By taking the necessary time to do this, I think that we help and authenticate the process.
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We live hurried lives, and at times, we think that multitasking and 24/7 doing is the answer to moving on, moving up, or getting it right. Doing is good; goals without a plan and a purpose stay stagnant. However, there are times when we must trust, be still, and listen to what Spirit – God – or what you want to call it – has to say to us. All we have to do is ask, trust, be still, and listen. Many times, the simple things are the hardest to do.
Monks have mastered the art of meditation and listening. We think that it is impossible for us to master such high art; maybe, because we are approaching it from the hardest point of view. When we slow down and learned to trust the divine voice inside us, learn to quiet ourselves down, and listen to it, there are new insights to our situation, question, or concern.
Maybe the hardest part is for us to trust. To trust that what we have asked, pondered, or dreamed is just around the corner if only we would be still and listen to Spirit.