Monday, December 6, 2010

Standing Barefoot Before God

I'm inspired.  All it took was a magazine article to wind me up and set me spinning, or should I say, writing again.  "Standing Barefoot Before God, The agony and the ecstasy of writing as a spiritual practice" written by Rabbi Rami was published in October's Ode Magazine.  It is written by a Rabbi which first caught my attention since  I'm reading it two months later and it is Chanukah.  I'm in need of a little bit of chutzpah to combat the graying days.

But this article is not written in a Jewish perspective it is written in a Yogic perspective, what I mean is that the author quotes the new testament, Hinduism and "The Legend of Bagger Vance."  (Great movie if you haven't seen it.) Moreover he's speaking my language-- the language of creativity.  He says that writing can be a spiritual practice if 1) You don't write what you know.  2)You can't write what you don't know.  3)You must write.  It is much like damned if you do, damned if you don't-- and he says that being damned is quite liberating!  I love this idea.  Also he says not to worry about publishing, or producing -- just write for writing's sake.  This is what I used to do years ago after I read the book, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  I wrote five pages a day and have dozens of journals to prove it.  I stopped writing like this because I felt that the the destination was not fruitful.  Writing plays, articles and short stories that were not published or produced felt like little deaths and all of the tombstones were collected alphabetically in my hard drive. 

Rabbi Rami has reminded me that, "write what you know and keep at it until you at last realize yo udon't know much and what you do know is terrifyingly trite and stupefyingly boring."  Most of us who reach this point quit-- but if you stay with it, like Moses standing barefoot where he meets God, then you find liberation.

This is exactly like meditation.  " leaves you raw and bleeding rather than smug and satisfied.  It leaves you hanging on the cross of your own hubris..." leading to your own crucifixion and therefore absolutely free.


(I'm going to go write some more offline.  Maybe it'll end up here.  Maybe not.  And that's the point.)

Om Shanti. 

1 comment:

  1. Isn't that something... I just read that article you wrote about yesterday... in the Ode magazine... and it inspired me to write in my journal... as a matter of fact, I am 'ending' a journal I began back in 2007, when I was still in the throes of teaching English & being blasted with constant papework--and I will be starting a new journal--using The Artist's Way to kind of guide my doing (writing)...I think writing in a journal is like meditation...(however, I do understand the difference of 'not thinking', vs. thinking on paper)...well, Swami cat--I like reading your thoughts.... and I do believe you are in an art sculpture in the Sculpture Garden.


This blog was born through the inspiration and teachings of Rev. Jaganath Carrera and The Yoga Life Society.