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Writing from Within
Using a Journal to Examine Your Soul

Every stroke of my brush
Is the overflow
Of my inmost heart
—Sengai, Seventeenth-Century Zen Master

The original Anglo Saxon word writan, from which we get the word write, meant to score, scratch or cut. Writing was accomplished by scratching wood with a knife. Many remember seeing the names of lovers cut into a tree trunk with a knife. There is an indelible, even artful quality about letters cut into the piece of bark. The same indelible and artful quality can be experienced when we "cut" with a pen the words of our heart onto a blank piece of paper.

Journaling as a spiritual practice is a way of creating a legacy of your life. The poet Ranier Maria Rilke wrote, "Everything is gestation and then bringing forth." The practice of journaling invites that gestation that will bring forth the most important and meaningful aspects of our inner life. In so many arenas of life we are called upon to produce quickly, consume quickly, think quickly, talk quickly, act quickly, create quickly. Perhaps, for our own sense of well-being and wholeness, we need to reclaim the privilege of thinking deeply and feeling fully. Like a seed breaking forth from its pod, our thoughts and feelings deserve to break forth from the pod of our soul. And there on the waiting page they can be given voice and form, shape and image.

The empty page is always ready to receive the contents of your heart without judgment. Because of this, we can be free to speak truthfully and as the legacy is gradually formed, we can read again the movement of life through our veins. We can see where we have come from and how life and the presence of the Holy One have fashioned and formed us into who we are. So try writing your life in order to find your life.

Journaling as a Spiritual Practice

for September

for Autumn

with C.S. Lewis

for the Holidays

for Lent

for Easter

--for Summer




transforming doubt

embracing forgiveness


my purpose in life


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