Hello to the creative artists out there.
Hello to those of you who wish to live authentically and deeply.
Hello to anyone out there who is confused as hell about what this means.
I’m talking to all of you, including myself.
About a month ago, I was on the phone with a close friend who was utterly confused by his own life. He had started on his adult path with a clear connection to his creativity and purpose. But now, 15 years on, with a lucrative profession and a beautiful family, he had gotten himself to a place where everything looked good on the outside but felt bad on the inside. For years he had been asking himself if he should he quit his job, move to a different town, etc. He thought long. He thought hard. One day he thought this and the next day he thought that. But nothing changed. When we last spoke, he had reached the end of his rope. He said, “I need advice. I can’t keep going in circles like this. I’m just not happy but I don’t know why or what to do. I need someone I trust to tell me what to do.”
Fortunately, I knew exactly who to refer him to. Himself.
I’m not talking about the agitated, childhood-neurotic, moralistic, affirmation-saying self. That self just kept plaguing him with thought after thought after thought, laying out hopeful scenarios followed by fearful ones, debating with him in the voices of his mother, father, best friend, favorite writers, and various television stars. I’m talking about the self that exists just beyond the fringe of discursive, conventional mind, the self who sees clearly, possesses extraordinary insight, knows the truth, and can be called upon in every moment to guide with wisdom—if only we can remember to ask.
This self automatically steps forward when we relax and stop thinking that the problems we think we have can be solved by thinking some more about them.
This self automatically steps forward when we step out of the discursive stream and, rather than allowing it to carry us, watch it rush by. This is what happens when you meditate. It is also what happens when you write.
These realizations lead me to create a retreat that combines meditation and writing. During this program we slow down, unhook from our conventional lives, rest the mind in meditation, and then write to discover who we are, what we think, and what we need to express. It is meant for anyone who wants to reconnect with his or her authentic self. It also happens to be a fantastic way for those who write to take a deep dive into an existing project or start a new one—but no writing (or meditation) experience is necessary to take advantage of this program and receive its gifts.
So I suggested to my friend that he stop thinking and instead relax his mind. I suggested that he go on a meditation retreat and let the raging river of thought settle into a cool, clear stream where what is settled at the bottom is as evident as that which floats on the surface. This is how one makes space for wisdom to arise. I wish this for him, and I wish it for you.
Please email me if you think you might be interested in attending such a retreat, but think you can’t meditate, would never dare to call yourself a writer, or your life would fall apart if you walked out of it for 3 or 7 days. We could have a discussion.
September 18 – 25
Program Fee: $675
This price includes meals but does not include accommodations. To view scholarship and financial assistance resources, click here.
October 23 – 25, 2009
Meditation and Creativity
Red Feather Lakes, CO
Shambhala Mountain Center
Program fee: $315 – $595, including $155 tuition, depending on lodging. Price is all-inclusive.
October 23 – 29, 2009
Meditation and Creativity: An Extended Retreat with Susan Piver
Red Feather Lakes, CO
Shambhala Mountain Center
Program fee: $495 – $1,055, including $195 tuition, depending on lodging. Price is all-inclusive.
I had not written anything in a long time. The Writers’ Retreat gave me the space, time, and inward focus to let creativity happen naturally. I hadn’t realized how much I had to say. The meditation aspect of the retreat provided a peaceful structure where writing could be a pleasure once again instead of work.
Anne, Boston, Realtor
This course helped me integrate meditation skills such as serenity, focus, compassion, and insight into the areas of poetry and fiction. I am extremely grateful!
Brian, Ithaca, College Student
The growth I experienced in a few days was life changing.
Britta, NYC, Graphic Designer
I cannot recommend this writing and meditation retreat enough! Susan’s carefully considered practice schedule offers precisely the right balance of meditation and space in which to write. Her teaching style allows for full creative expression to unfold because she neither interferes with the writing process, nor does she abandon the writer to his or her own devices. The result is a profound deepening of the work of writing and the practice of meditation. I left with a much more sophisticated understanding of how these two practices are not only complimentary, but how meditation is crucial to the life of the writer. This is a very rare opportunity for anyone, indeed.
Crystal, NYC, Novelist
Susan Piver is very wise, intuitive, and insightful and has had great impact, with a very light touch.
Gil, St. Johnsbury, VT, Corporate Consultant
Susan is a caring, compassionate person whose presence, insights, and instructions made for a valuable week exploring meditation practice and writing.
Heather R, Albany, Travel Writer
I can’t imagine any way to improve this program because it was more than I could have asked for.
Kathy, Cleveland, Librarian
Emotionally moving, spiritually a gift, cathartic beyond my wildest imagination.
Miriam, Cambridge, Waitress