Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I’ve never been to anything like this before. What can I expect?
You can expect to come into a space that feels really comfortable, inviting and safe. We’ll sit in a traditional circle, opening with lighting of a candle, becoming fully present in the moment and prepared to leave the world behind for a while to do something that is nurturing for ourselves. One of the things that makes our time together so beautiful is the ritual feel of the circle. You may not be able to fully understand it until you experience it, but when you do, it feels like – being seen, being heard, being accepted and encouraged.
Q. What if I’m not a writer?
Some people come into the circle without having ever written in this way before, and others might journal every day. Either way, and anything in between, is totally fine. There are absolutely no rules here. This is something that you are doing for one person: YOU. And whether you write every day or not at all, you will very quickly get into the swing of writing from specific prompts that help you to get into corners of yourself you haven’t seen in years or may have never seen before.
Q. What kind of writing will we do?
During our time together, I provide specific prompts, and we write for a certain amount of time and share (and gasp at the ah-ha moments…and laugh…and connect). We don’t self censor while we write or pay attention whatsoever to style or syntax or grammar. We simply write whatever comes off our pen without real conscious thought. This allows us to access parts of ourselves that we aren’t able to access through speech or thinking alone.
Q. Will we be talking about what makes a good piece of writing?
Not at all. This won’t take on a how-to flare or have a creative writing focus, although you certainly could take it in that direction if that’s what feels good to you. But we won’t be sharing for the purpose of discussing what makes an entertaining or successful piece of writing. This writing is all about self inquiry.
Though I will always appreciate a well-crafted sentence, contemplative writing is interested more in the process than the product. This is a different kind of writing than novel writing or writing for publication or for an audience. It is writing whatever comes off your pen without regard for grammar, neatness, syntax or self censoring of any kind. Sometimes, out of habit more than anything else, conscious thought is involved, but more often there’s simply a sense that you’re writing from a different part of yourself, a wiser part. This allows you to access parts of yourself that you aren’t able to access through speech or thinking alone.
Q. Will I have to read out loud what I’ve written.
It’s entirely up to you, and it is a very personal thing. You will never feel forced to read your writing if it doesn’t feel good to you. You will find, after experiencing circle for the first time, that the sharing is one of the best parts of our time together.
Q. I am Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, I’m 25, I’m 85 . . . is this for me?
Absolutely. You don’t have to be anything other than who you are to be a part of this circle. This is an all-inclusive, welcoming and supportive space.