For the past year or so I have been mulling an ACIM-based writing group. Recently, unprompted, a friend said, why don’t you run an ACIM-based writing group?
What can one say but yes?
So I am offering an ACIM-based writing group. If you are interested read on, and if after reading on you are still interested, let me know.
For this first group, there is no charge.
This group will be small – at most six or seven participants.
The group will meet once a week for four weeks. We will work together to find a mutually convenient time. I am thinking four Sundays in August, but I am flexible.
Each week we will meet virtually for two hours, plus or minus (e.g., keep an open mind about the last fifteen or twenty minutes).
Prior to each week’s meeting, I will send around a reading list which will include sections/lessons of A Course in Miracles (I use the Foundation for Inner Peace version), as well as up to half a dozen poems and/or essays or fiction (either whole pieces or sections of larger pieces). You will not need to buy anything – if I don’t have links, I’ll attach pdfs.
Some fluency with A Course in Miracles will be pre-supposed! I recommend having read the Text and having either completed or being relatively far along into the Workbook. If ACIM is not your practice, this workshop will make less sense.
During the first half of the meeting, we will talk in a discursive way about the writing and how it connects to A Course in Miracles. Four questions will loosely guide our shared dialogue:
- What is the author saying?
- How is the author saying it?
- How does it relate to ACIM?
- What is my response?
In the second half of the meeting I will provide several prompts and each of us will choose one and write for approximately 20-25 minutes. I’ll ask you to mute and turn off your camera – but remain present – and together we will write.
When we are finished writing, we will – if we want to – either share all or a part of what we wrote, or what we discovered or felt while writing.
Critically, this portion of the meeting will not be dialogic. We will not feed back to one another; we will not provide praise or criticism. We will listen with open hearts and minds, and welcome what is given. This is designed to maximize the potential of our shared vulnerability in both extending and holding space for one another’s truth.
Sharing will be entirely optional.
Additionally, if participants want, I will meet with you 1:1 once during the four-week period to talk about your writing (both as a process and as a product) and its relationship to an ACIM-based spiritual practice.
This, too, is entirely optional.
I hold a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing (after a law degree it was a kind of spiritual therapy), and have been running workshops for kids, college students and adults in various settings for fifteen years or so. My poems and short stories have appeared in a lot of places, including Yankee Magazine, Rattle, Chiron Review and others. Prior to my MFA – and after bailing on the law – I worked as a freelance writer for many years.
I was also an English professor at a local community college.
For the past ten or twelve years, my writing has been mostly focused on ACIM and my twenty-sentences practice (which surfaces now and then publicly, and is presently not surfacing but private).
Writing creatively as a spiritual practice can be a means of penetrating mysteries and illuminating secret spaces. Often, when our discursive mind hits a wall, appliced poetics (in any genre) will dissolve the obstruction. Or reframe it, or burrow under it, or simply sing to it.
In A Course in Miracles, the freedom bestowed on us through the Atonement, frees us to create as our Creator created us. Writing can be a powerful way of liberating our minds, allowing them to partake in a literal way of the same divine Source that fuels the cosmos.
It can also just be a lot of fun.
If this workshop is successful – e.g., fun and interesting and helpful – I may charge for it but right now I am simply curious to discover what, if anything, happens while doing it.
Interested? Let me know.