Invitation letter from Natalie
I see and feel your enthusiasm with writing practice. Now I want to share with you its deep roots. Over the years I’ve gotten countless messages on how writing practice has inspired people, given them the courage to face what’s been profoundly painful, and how it’s been life-changing. What we have is something powerful. And I want you to understand that its potency comes from its roots.
Writing practice is not Natalie’s little creation. Writing practice is grounded in studying the mind. It is part of a two thousand year-old lineage. I worked and studied with a Zen teacher for a long time as I developed writing practice. Students who’ve served as teaching assistants in the previous online courses and who are now teaching on their own have studied and worked with me for decades—Dorotea, Carolyn, Sharyn, and Sonja—they’re all part of this practice lineage. You as a practitioner, continuously putting pen to paper, are becoming part of that lineage. Feel how life-affirming that is, to know that we’re connected to something much bigger than ourselves that we can rely and rest in.
I am offering a five-day retreat for those who attended my eight-week Way of Writing course and/or my Writing Down the Bones courses. I feel it will build on the foundation that we started. I know that writing practice excited and inspired many of you. I want you to experience the roots and lineage of this practice so that you’re not tossed away, so that you continue under all circumstances.
I am hoping we can practice silence, with the exception of functional talking in the course itself, for the full five days of the retreat. If this is impossible, see if you can practice silence for at least one whole day. Let your family/household know so that they can support your practice. Remember, the back of words are no words. As writers we need to know about silence.
I look forward to practicing with you. This retreat is open only to those who’ve studied with me before and will build on what we’ve done in the previous courses. Fellowships for people of color are available.