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The Power of the Pen, and the
AYP Plus Additions:
On Writing: Sobbing While Journaling (Audio)
April 27, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
We all come to spiritual practices through an inner dialogue. No doubt we
heard or read somewhere about the possibilities for improving the quality of
our life though deep meditation and other practical techniques. But before
we did anything about it, an inner conversation occurred. A conversation
with our self. Or, more accurately, a conversation with our Self (big "S"),
meaning an interaction within the stillness of our inner realm, the guru in
us, which is always drawing us toward more fullness and happiness in life.
Once we made this connection, even a little, we sensed it was time to act,
and did. And through an ongoing inner dialogue we have continued with our
practices over the weeks, months and years, moving steadily closer to the
freedom of enlightenment.
Writing can be a great aid
on our spiritual path. When we put words on a
page, we are seeing a version of our inner dialogue. We call it a "version,"
because, depending on the duration of
experience in writing, what we see may be a clear or distorted view of our
inner-most vibrations. Writing is like a mirror of our inner life. The more
developed the mirror, the clearer the view. Of course, if our inner life is
in shambles, we will see that in our writing too, and there we may find
opportunities to help ourselves work things out, much the way we might in an
inner dialogue. The advantage of writing is that we can generally see it
better than the constantly shifting multitude of our
thoughts, feelings and sensations. Once we
have written it down, there it is, staring us back in the face.
Writing can greatly simplify things. Now what will we do with that?
down to earth
"in your face"
characteristic of writing makes it good for problem solving at any level of
perception, and especially for self-inquiry, no matter
what style we may be drawn to. But
about more than
problem solving. As our
writing becomes more reflective of our inner nature through practice, and as
we advance with internal purification and opening through daily spiritual
practices, then writing can take us much deeper into perceiving our inner
dialogue. It can become a reflection of the most subtle vibrations within us,
a reflection of our most subtle
in stillness. In this, there can be levels
of perception and
creativity that were
not available to us before, a pipeline from that place in
all of us
live. Through writing, we can
become a channel for that. And who knows what good may come from it? It is
the place in us that is eternal and knows no fear. It is the divine
wellspring. Writing can put us directly in touch with
That. There is
a progression going from external, relatively random and internally
uninformed writing, to an internal, highly illuminated kind of writing. If
we keep up our spiritual practices, and keep writing, these two areas of
development can merge in a divine outpouring.
All of this is for our
growth, and ultimately for the growth of everyone.
When we take our internal dialogue, by whatever literary device
(prose, poetry, fiction, etc.), and express it in writing, it forms a
path that we can follow. Whether we are asking ourselves questions, or
stating principles of truth, right or wrong, we
will be duly
affected, and grow. We will be
Private journaling has long been known to be a useful
self-improvement method. When combined with daily spiritual practices such
as deep meditation, spinal breathing pranayama and related methods, our
writing can take us into new dimensions that can both inspire and inform us.
As a minimum, regular writing can encourage us to continue our daily
practices, because we can see more clearly the changes that are occurring in
us, in the mirror of our steadily refining written words. That alone makes
writing highly valuable.
Besides being a tool for self communication
and an aid to our individual
development, writing can be a tool for sharing our inner dialogue
with others, and for communicating with others on any subject
imaginable. If we write to other individuals or to the public, we will
usually be doing both at the same time sharing our inner life, even as we
may attempt to help others come in closer contact with their own inner life.
Or perhaps we are inclined to convince others to join in our point of view.
As in all human relations, it may not always come off the way we would like,
or the way our reader might like. As long as we are true to ourselves, while
being mindful of our responsibility to others (to aid without injuring),
much good can come from written communications.
In centuries past,
has been said that the pen is mightier than the
sword. In modern times, it could be said that the keyboard is mightier than
the missile. Meaning, the power of ideas has always been and will always be
greater than physical force. Writing is a fluid
medium that springs from our shared inner source.
Because of this underlying inner connection, sooner or later our writing
will purify and become a reflection of the inner silence
that we are. The same is true for all of life. Our source cannot
remain hidden from us forever. The deeper we go with writing, the deeper we
go into ourselves. With spiritual practices in play, our writing will
eventually become a pure reflection of the expanding inner life resulting
from the natural process of human spiritual transformation. And this can be
shared with many. As it goes around, the power of truth can be amplified in
those who are reading, resonating and writing along these same lines. There
is great transforming power in this.
As we have discussed in the
previous lesson (#394), the
rise of the internet has created many opportunities for spiritual
practitioners to join in communities. This is a written joining that reaches
far beyond words on a screen, and
thus represents a highly advanced form of
communication, with the potential to change lives and
illuminate all human endeavor
world. Anyone who doubts this only need observe how the internet has
transformed communications and
tangible progress in many fields of activity. In the field of human
spiritual transformation, these changes are occurring also.
It is happening through
writing, and through the transcendent effects of
interactive writing. Much good is coming from it.
Is there a
downside in this? Where there is duality, there are pros and cons. We will
explore that in the next lesson.
In the meantime, individual
journaling on a regular basis can be a boon to our spiritual practice. So
often we might like to have someone to talk with about our practices and
experiences. The truth is we always have that available to us. We can
express our inner dialogue, our longings, and our insights in writing no
matter where we are. And we can share with others in
writing as we may be inclined. This can help us on our path. It is
good to keep in touch with the divine
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed discussion on building a
self-directed routine of practices, and how this illuminates our
relationship in stillness and our relationship with others, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga Book,
and AYP Plus.