Fearlessly Creative: A Meditation and Writing Retreat
December 11–15, 2019
What do writers want more than anything in the world? Time to write.
Yet even if such precious time could be found, it’s not always easy to settle into the writing groove. Meditation can help synchronize mind and body in a way that truly supports the creative process. In addition to plenty of personal writing time, quiet, and the supportive (but non-intrusive!) presence of other writers, this writing retreat will include meditation instruction and discussion of how to create and maintain a practice at home. Evenings provide the option to share and discuss your work with others, if you would like.
Open to writers of fiction and non-fiction, published and unpublished. Please note that the majority of time will be spent writing rather than doing writing exercises. Thus this writing retreat is best for those who wish to begin, continue, or complete a particular project. Bring your ideas, works-in-progress, or simply your wish to devote attention to your creativity.
Check-in from 2 pm to 5 pm, dinner at 6 pm, followed by orientation
7:30 am – Early morning meditation practice (optional)
8 am – Breakfast (vegetarian options available at all meals)
9 am – Meditation practice, journaling, personal writing time
12:30 pm – Lunch and break (hike, rest, read, write, hang out with new friends)
2:30 pm – Meditation practice
3-430 – Personal writing time
430 pm – Tea break
5 pm – Discussion
6 pm – Dinner
7:30 pm – Evening event to share work
Writer’s Retreat – Past Participant Video
Blog Post: Q&A Susan Piver Discusses the Writer’s Groove and “Fearlesslessly Creative”
Travis Newbill and Susan Piver
A couple of common obstacles that most writers–or would be writers–encounter: 1) No time to write! 2) The fear of putting the pen to the page (err, typing words into the computer).
Meditation teacher and New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Piver has a remedy. It involves structuring daily life in a way that is conducive to creative work, and…practicing meditation. Does that sound simple? Impossible? Worth exploring?
This weekend, Susan will be leading a retreat at SMC which is intended to provide a space for writers to find their groove and produce work, and also to model a routine which will allow them to live more fully as writers in their daily lives.
Recently, Susan took some time to discuss the retreat.
Travis Newbill: So, what is the intended purpose of this retreat?
Susan Piver: If you have something that you want to work on—a book, a memoir, anything—this program is meant to provide a container for you to do so. It’s not learning how to write, it’s not getting prompts and learning writing techniques, it’s for writing.
TN: Who would you say this program is for? Anyone who wants to write?
SP: It’s a program for artists of any kind—although I never say that because people get intimidated, thinking that they aren’t artists, or that they aren’t writers. But, you know, it’s for people who want to reflect, and create art with words.
TN: Will there be lots of discussion, and that sort of thing?
SP: It’s not about talking. I made it that way because, that’s the program that I want to go to. Maybe I’m the only one, I don’t know.
TN: Does this sort of environment somehow help writers overcome the fear to see a work through or to start a work?
SP: Yes, and it’s rather hard to explain how that happens. It’s not that you get a trick that helps you overcome your fear. Meditation practice is the trick. I never say that. But, there’s something about the combination of meditation, companionship of fellow writers, and specific periods of time for work that calls the words forward.
TN: You say this is not how to write, but it kinda seems like it is?
SP: It doesn’t teach you how to write, but it teaches you how to be a writer. Because every writer has to be afraid, and stay. And then allow. And it’s hard for everyone to do that. But this program shows you that you can do it. And you don’t have to be at Shambhala Mountain Center to do it–although that is better.
TN: What’s the takeaway?
SP: You will learn a technique for writing that you can take home. So, it provides an actual container in which to work, and is also informative for the introverts coming together here to take back into their regular rhythms.
TN: So, folks may learn ways in which they can structure their daily lives to allow for writing.
SP: Yes, it will model a routine–that they can replicate at home–for being a writer. No matter what else they do in their life.
TN: Sounds great. Thanks, Susan.
SP: Thank you.
Susan Piver is a Buddhist teacher and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including The Wisdom of a Broken Heart, and Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation. Her latest book is The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships.
Piver has been a student of Buddhism since 1995, graduated from a Buddhist seminary in 2004 and was authorized to teach meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage in 2005.
She teaches workshops and speaks all over the world on meditation, spirituality, communication styles, relationships and creativity. She wrote the relationships column for body + soul magazine, and is a frequent guest on network television, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, and CNN. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TIME, Parade, Money, and others.
In 2011, Piver launched The Open Heart Project, an online meditation community with more than 20,000 members who practice together and explore ways to bring spiritual values such as kindness, genuineness and fearlessness to everyday life.