I’ve enjoyed walking meditation for years – I just didn’t know that was what I was doing!
I knew that when I walked our dog (especially as he became older and walked more and more slowly), I became hyper-aware of all sorts of sensory details around me, and that I’d often have what seemed like brilliant ideas as to how to solve problems with the story or choreography I was working on.
It was only when I went on a guided hike with Ronna of Eco Yoga Adventures while at a writers’ residency at the Banff Arts Centre that I discovered the concept of walking meditation.
I have to thank Ronna for a wonderful experience and for introducing me to these strategies for entering into the flow of this kind of dynamic meditation. Continue reading →
The idea of flow in writing is usually associated with ‘being in the flow’, that wonderful sensation when words and ideas synchronize, when your concentration is totally focused, making you lose all sense of time, when everything seems to come blissfully together.
Movement offers writers a different way of looking at flow.
For example, these two contrasting types of flow give interest and energy to movement and written narrative alike: Continue reading →
Mine has to be when I’m writing in response to a prompt (could be some detail in a story I’m working on or something entirely new) and I feel that special tug. Something has grabbed me, something that intrigues me, that seems meaningful, even if I’ve no idea what exactly or why. All at once I’m alert, curious to see what’s going to happen, energized, happy as a clam on its favorite rock when the tide is in.
Sometimes this happens after I’ve been free-writing, going with whatever wafts through my mind. Other times it happens when I’ve been concentrating on details of the prompt itself.
I watched a mother pass sample pots of dry teas to her young son in a local tea store. Oranges, he said, sniffing at the tin his mother held out while at the same time continuing to tease his little brother. Grapefruit. Vanilla. Mint. He got them all. I thought about writing and the sense of smell.
Smell for Narrative Energy
In Edinburgh last year, I was entranced by the installation “It Happens When The Body Is Anatomy Of Time” by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The fragrance of spices, cloves, cumin, turmeric, pervaded the room, bringing the visual artwork – lycra ‘skins’, the stitching details, the colour and lighting – alive, and making the installation a sensual and exciting experience. Continue reading →