Contemplative Writing at Berea College

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The website for Contemplative Writing at Berea College. Join us as we embark on a journey of self-discovery, solitude, silence, and reflection.

For individual bios on our authors and artists, please visit this page or view the tag here.

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Theme by: Miguel
  1. "Think of the time you have said: ‘I can’t write,’ ‘I can’t paint,’ ‘I can’t run,’ ‘I can’t shout,’ ‘I can’t dance,’ ‘I can’t sing.’ Since this is not literally true, you were really saying: ‘I can’t meet some outside standard. I’m not acceptable as I am.’"

    - Gloria Steinem (via joc868)

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  3. If You Love, Love Openly - Zen Koan


    Current Koan I’m Meditating:

    If You Love, Love Openly

    Twenty monks and one nun, who was named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain Zen master.

    Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her. One of them wrote her a love letter, insisting upon a private meeting.

    Eshun did not reply. The following day the master gave a lecture to the group, and when it was over, Eshun arose. Addressing the one who had written to her, she said: “If you really love me so much, come and embrace me now.”

    What does love mean to you? Why do you love? How do you love? Are there different kinds of love? Do you see yourself in this story? How? Are you the one being loved or the one loving?

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    2 Notes
    Reblogged from gypsy-enigma
  5. Yoko Kanno - The Man in the Desert

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  7. Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

    by Wendell Berry

    Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
    vacation with pay. Want more
    of everything ready-made. Be afraid
    to know your neighbors and to die.
    And you will have a window in your head.
    Not even your future will be a mystery
    any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
    and shut away in a little drawer.
    When they want you to buy something
    they will call you. When they want you
    to die for profit they will let you know.

    So, friends, every day do something
    that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
    Love the world. Work for nothing.
    Take all that you have and be poor.
    Love someone who does not deserve it.
    Denounce the government and embrace
    the flag. Hope to live in that free
    republic for which it stands.
    Give your approval to all you cannot
    understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
    has not encountered he has not destroyed.

    Ask the questions that have no answers.
    Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
    Say that your main crop is the forest
    that you did not plant,
    that you will not live to harvest.
    Say that the leaves are harvested
    when they have rotted into the mold.
    Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

    Put your faith in the two inches of humus
    that will build under the trees
    every thousand years.
    Listen to carrion - put your ear
    close, and hear the faint chattering
    of the songs that are to come.
    Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
    Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
    though you have considered all the facts.
    So long as women do not go cheap
    for power, please women more than men.
    Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
    a woman satisfied to bear a child?
    Will this disturb the sleep
    of a woman near to giving birth?

    Go with your love to the fields.
    Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
    in her lap. Swear allegiance
    to what is nighest your thoughts.
    As soon as the generals and the politicos
    can predict the motions of your mind,
    lose it. Leave it as a sign
    to mark the false trail, the way
    you didn’t go. Be like the fox
    who makes more tracks than necessary,
    some in the wrong direction.
    Practice resurrection.

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  9. "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

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  11. Broken Social Scene - Looks Just Like the Sun

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    1 Notes
  13. "Art enables us to find and lose ourselves at the same time."

    - Thomas Merton (via rrrch)

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    3 Notes
    Reblogged from rrrch
  15. Wild Geese

    by Mary Oliver

    You do not have to be good. 
    You do not have to walk on your knees 
    for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. 
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
    love what it loves. 
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. 
    Meanwhile the world goes on. 
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain 
    are moving across the landscapes, 
    over the prairies and the deep trees, 
    the mountains and the rivers. 
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, 
    are heading home again. 
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
    the world offers itself to your imagination, 
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
    over and over announcing your place 
    in the family of things.

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