We know that practicing mindfulness and meditation lowers stress, improves health, strengthens relationships, improves concentration, and increases happiness. But did you know that practicing mindfulness can also help you tap into your creativity and become a more skillful writer? This weeklong combination writing workshop and mindfulness meditation retreat invites writers and meditators at all levels to delve deeply into both practices. The retreat?s daily guided meditations have been designed to feed our writing, helping us to be present to experience, forge a strong mind/body connection, and access emotion and empathy?all important tools for rendering the world on the page. The meditations are supported by prompted bursts of free writing, which are especially useful for tapping our creative energy and bypassing the internal judge that keeps us from our most original and fearless writing. We will begin our days with a morning free write–you’ll be amazed what happens when you free write close to the dream state! We’ll share this morning writing with a partner–a different one each day. This will be followed by a guided meditation (or two) focused on a specific aspect of writing craft, and a discussion (using examples from published works) of how to best use that skill. This will be followed by more prompted free writing and sharing our work for feedback in a supportive environment. We’ll have time in the afternoons to work on our writing before we come together (after dinner) for a One Page Salon. During the salon, everyone will be invited to read one page of their writing to the group to thunderous applause…because we rarely have enough applause in our lives! We will close with a calming meditation to send everyone off to sleep. The workshop/retreat will take full advantage of the inspiring landscape and peace of Ghost Ranch–some of our mindfulness practices will take us outdoors. By the end of the week, everyone will have the tools to begin both a daily meditation practice and a daily writing practice. Because this workshop/retreat is designed to help us develop the calm, mindful presence necessary for accessing our creativity, it is equally appropriate for seasoned writers (and meditators) as well as enthusiastic beginners.
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