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Thread: ARTS: Weekly Writing Prompt

  1. #1

    ARTS: Weekly Writing Prompt

    Each week, I will post a writing prompt on this thread. If it piques your interest, see what you can do with it.

    There are no rules. No expectations. Nothing to strive for. No length requirement. No one to compete against.

    Just write, in whatever way strikes you. Maybe sit first.


    Let's keep this thread as simply a list of prompts, without comment or follow up.

    If you wish to share what you've written, post them to the thread called "The Dharma Cafe."


    Gassho,
    Hensho

    satlah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-24-2021 at 02:30 AM.
    Hensho: Knitting Strands / Stranded on a Reef
    "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." -Elizabeth Zimmerman

  2. #2
    Prompt #1

    In the prologue to Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Shunryu Suzuki says to us, "When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners." Later he says, "This is also the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner."

    Approach your writing today as a true beginner. Set aside whatever you have heard about your writing, all critique and all expectation. Have no thought of good or bad. Set aside any baggage you carry, any stressful or anxious thoughts. Set aside the rules to which you've bound yourself. Set aside your satisfaction in whatever you wrote before. Carry nothing with you. Just write.

    Prompt: Empty your mind of everything you are carrying in it right now by writing it down. Make the longest list you can. Exhaust yourself. Get it all out. Then sit zazen. Then write non stop for 5 minutes.
    Hensho: Knitting Strands / Stranded on a Reef
    "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." -Elizabeth Zimmerman

  3. #3
    Prompt #2

    Shunryu Suzuki says:

    "Zazen practice is the direct expression of our true nature. Strictly speaking, for a human being, there is no other practice than this practice; there is no other way of life than this way of life."

    Prompt: What is your true nature? Answer this question in whatever way you wish. If you feel called, share what you wrote in the Dharma Café. We will be most obliged to welcome you there.
    Hensho: Knitting Strands / Stranded on a Reef
    "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." -Elizabeth Zimmerman

  4. #4
    Prompt #3

    Jundo says, "Zazen."

    Prompt: Sit in zazen. Then write about the first thought that comes into your mind when you rise from your cushion. What has filled your mind? If you feel called, share what you wrote in the Dharma Café. We will be most interested to share in your experience.
    Hensho: Knitting Strands / Stranded on a Reef
    "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." -Elizabeth Zimmerman

  5. #5
    Prompt #4

    Wallace Stevens writes, "One must have a mind of winter" to behold the "nothing that is not there and the nothing that is." (The Snow Man)

    Prompt: Describe what it would mean for you to have a mind of winter. What do you notice? What is there that you don't see? Where does your wintery mind lead you? Read the poem if you wish, but it is not entirely necessary: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...-56d224a6d4e90.

    You are invited to share your thoughts at The Dharma Cafe.
    Hensho: Knitting Strands / Stranded on a Reef
    "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." -Elizabeth Zimmerman

  6. #6
    Prompt #5

    Dogen writes, "When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves."

    Prompt: What is the truth that is already in you? If you are a fiction writer, consider creating a character who speaks your truth on your behalf. If you are an essayist or a memoirist, consider writing about what your original self has to say to the world.

    As always, you are invited to share your thoughts at The Dharma Cafe.
    Hensho: Knitting Strands / Stranded on a Reef
    "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." -Elizabeth Zimmerman

  7. #7
    Prompt #6

    Prompt is Flash Fiction / Flash Prose: Write a fictional story / Tell a personal story that incorporates this phrase into its last line: "all Buddhas throughout space and time." No more than 300 words.

    Post your results at The Dharma Cafe. Indicate somehow that it is a response to Prompt #6.
    Hensho: Knitting Strands / Stranded on a Reef
    "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." -Elizabeth Zimmerman

  8. #8
    Prompt #7

    Prompt: Find something from nature, a rock, a leaf, a feather, a seed--so many possibilities, and describe it in any way you like (prose, poetry, freewrite, blurb, etc). Then describe the space that it occupied when you found it, the space that is now empty. What is your relationship to that space? What is there and not there?

    Post your results at The Dharma Cafe. Indicate somehow that it is a response to Prompt #7.
    Hensho: Knitting Strands / Stranded on a Reef
    "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." -Elizabeth Zimmerman

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