Wednesday, December 22, 2010


When you get to a point in the telling of your story where you think, "That part is boring and unnecessary. I’m going to skip over that," and there is an unfulfilled, disconnected feeling inside you, that usually means that you are so judging yourself for the unwritten part--the part you lived, or now perceive--that you would just as soon turn away from it. But the remedy is not in diminishing its importance; it is compassion, invariably it is compassion for yourself. Somewhere in the original experience and your subsequent interpretation of it, you judged yourself, you rejected yourself; in shame, you don't want anyone else to see, not even you.

And that is the paradox of this way of writing. For the story that you have cast out seeks to be taken back in, embraced by your compassionate seeing and heart. To hold yourself within to the unloved experience with as soft and kind a heart as you can. That is what allows the details that are blanked out to come into focus, the words to stream up out of your heart. And as you cradle yourself, the energies locked inside that judged experience come out in the writing and infuse your being. Now you have the missing piece of writing and a missing piece of your being back.

To help the process of self-compassion come about, why not use the Rose Press Flower Essence Remedy for Writers, "Self-Compassion: Rewriting the Past." Sometimes what we write brings up old, unforgiven places in our pasts. Writing a book offers a wonderful opportunity to go back into the same events, feeling tones, or patterns in service of the story ~ but now with the compassion you are capable of in present time. "A writer gets to live twice," it's been said: "once when you have the experience, and again when you write about it. Self-Compassion: Rewriting the Past Flower Essence Remedy allows you to live deeply and fully by mining your past for its hidden gems and bringing them into the present, thus benefiting your actual life as much as it does your writing.

$15 for a 1/2-oz. dropper bottle, available from Rose Press:; by emailing; or by calling 510/653-ROSE (510/653-7673).  
For a healing experience of writing ~ and living.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More on art, the artist's process, and the art that comes out of it, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Hardly had I finished posting the blog just below when I read more from that same volume by Hazrat Inayat Khan which I quoted there, and it so captured my soul and imagination that I wanted to share it, too, with you. So here are some further quotes from this great Sufi master and teacher. Although he is writing about sculpture, here, it is simple to translate the essence of his thought to include deep writing. As you read, see what is moved and uplifted in you. If you come away with a sense of recognition ~ or even longing ~ then his writing is successful in awakening, and nourishing, your soul.

When we come to the art of sculpture today, it seems as if the artist is searching; he is trying to reach something that he knows is absent. The soul of the sculptor is seeking for something that seems lost. First of all, by lack of appreciation around him, the artist is discouraged. Next, he is put in the midst of the business world; and the relief which should be given to the heart of the artist, so that he may think of art and nothing else, is not to be found today. There was not so much thought of competition in ancient times; there was not a fixed price for art. Art was invaluable. The admirers of ancient art never considered a work of art as having a fixed price. They always thought that they could never give enough for real art. In that way, art progressed; it was admired.

Besides, the direction of art today is not of the same nature as in ancient times. The direction of ancient art was towards spiritual realization. Love, harmony, and beauty were seen by the artist in their highest aspects. And when the artist loses that direction, then he comes down to earth; instead of going upward, he is going downward....

The scientist is sooner contented with what little he discovers, but the better the work of art, the more the artist feels that there is something still missing; his heart is longing all through his life to produce something more than that. Consciously or unconsciously, every artist is craving for that something which is missing. And if this goes on, no doubt the artist will find it; and on the day when the mystery is found, art will again become a language.

The meditative quality and the practice of concentration should be developed in art, and also the higher ideal; but the material world forms a barrier to all these. It stands in the way of the artist's progress. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that a real artist is always spiritually inclined; he is only hindered by the world, and therefore it is possible that tomorrow the art of sculpture will evolve. It will evolve in fineness and in beauty, and sculptors will also develop their imagery. Then art will culminate in that greatest of achievements, when the artist will really be able to produce a living statue.

The motive behind the whole of creation is to put life into everything. That is its sole objective. In other words, every rock is longing for the day when it will burst out as a volcano, and when all that is valuable in it will come out. Sulfur, diamonds, gold, and silver; everything that is in its heart must come out one day. That is its purpose.

Every tree is longing for the day when it will bear fruit. Love expresses itself through every channel, and it manifests outwardly in order that God may see Himself face to face. And so it is with a work of art. People think that it is the artist who has made it; in reality, it is God who has perfected it. As it is God's pleasure to create the world, so it is also God's pleasure to create through pen and brush and chisel, to give life to what is lifeless. If there is life, it is God. And what is God? God is love, and thus the desire of that love is to manifest in the form of beauty in the realm of art. 

[From the book, Sufi Mysticism: Art Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, by Hazrat Inayat Khan]

"When the Artist Loses Himself in His Art, Then the Art Comes to Life"

The great Sufi mystic and teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan, was also a great musician, and he often wrote about art as a mystical path of union with the Divine. Below is a quotation from among his writings that addresses the process of what it is to become fully engaged with the process of bringing forth what is in you: the art that comes out of it, and the inner experience of wholeness.

I hope you will feel as blessed by this quotation as I do. Hazrat Inayat Khan's message and writings have certainly influenced my own experiences of deep Being, deep writing, and my writings about deep writing. 

When the artist loses himself in his art,
then the art comes to life.

One must not only be an artist; one must become art itself. Then to the one who is so absorbed in his work that he forgets himself, that capacity, that intuition, that skill will come naturally. He begins to do wonders, and his art becomes a perfect expression of what he had in mind. ...  People think that it is the artist who has made it; in reality, it is God who has perfected it. As it is God's pleasure to create the world, so it is also God's pleasure to create through pen and brush and chisel, to give life to what is lifeless.

The artist who has arrived at some perfection in his art, whatever his art may be, will come to realize that it is not he who ever achieved anything; it is someone else who came forward every time. And when the artist produces a perfect thing, he finds it difficult to imagine that it has been produced by him. He can do nothing but bow his head in humility before that unseen power and wisdom which takes his body, his heart, his brain, and his eyes as its instrument. Whenever beauty is produced in art, be it music, or poetry, or painting, or writing, or anything else, one must never think that man produced it. It is through man that God completes His creation. Thus there is nothing that is done in this world or in heaven that is not divine immanence, which is not divine creation. ...

What is art? Art is the creation of beauty in whatever form it is created. As long as an artist thinks that whatever he creates in the form of art is his own creation, and as long as he is vain about his creation, he has not learned true art. True art can only come on one condition, and that is that the artist forgets himself -- that he forgets himself in the vision of beauty. ... We are vehicles or instruments that respond. If we respond to goodness, goodness becomes our property. If we respond to evil, then evil becomes our property. If we respond to love, then love becomes our possession. 

(From the book, Sufi Mysticism: Art Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, by Hazrat Inayat Khan)

Monday, November 29, 2010

When Your Long Written Work (e.g., Book) Honors You

The days I make time to write deeply are days I feel arise from within me, rather than my reacting to them. There is something about simply stopping to listen to what is inside through writing that reminds me of how much there is inside me, all those treasures waiting to be noticed, called forth, brought into form.

It is not the same, for me, as writing down a dream or dashing off a journal entry. There is something about writing a work ~ most often, a book ~ that seeks not only deep exploration but coherence, like tracking the threads of your life in the trust (sometimes, wobbly trust) that they truly form a pattern, and a beautiful, radiant, inspiring, worth-it-all pattern. There is something about writing a work, a longer work that asks commitment and endurance and willingness to risk and find everything, that calls me back to it again and again, even when I am a forgetful devotee. It reminds me that even despite all the awkward beginnings and utterly too many pieces of paper drafts, I have given my soul to this; I have set a creation in motion, and that creation now has a life and wants to honor mine.

How will this creation honor my life/yours, your life? Perhaps by the public's adulation-to-come, and the best-seller-status and financial rewards to come. But for now, in the writing process, the honoring comes by what I get to remember in the writing, and that ~ in its more revised, developed incarnation(s) ~ it holds the great, deep love and energy of the very thing I was seeking when I set out (boldly, ignorantly, tremulously) to write it in the first place.

My current book is Living in MotherWealth, a sequel to my book, MotherWealth: The Feminine Path to Money. Living in MotherWealth began as a wish to have my daily, my moment-to-moment being in that place I called "MotherWealth," which I "fell into/was forced to my knees into" in the story recounted in the first book. I thought perhaps, God willing, there could be a way to live in that Being place, where everything is given, without having to sacrifice everything one had, was, and knew.

At first, this sequel was mostly a litany of my deficiencies ~ difficult to read back, but cathartic to put down on paper. Over the years, about 3 years now, the "deficient" script began to wear thin; and in its place has come an awareness of incredible wealth, inner wealth, that every human being has inside them. My discoveries of such wealth through the writing began to percolate in my cells, in my consciousness, in my daily life: brushing my teeth and feeling the pleasure of that cleansing instead of just getting it done. Taking a shower and feeling the caress of the hot water, hearing the plink-plonk of the droplets touching down on the bathtub floor: music. Music and being here have become a gift from the book to me, once I returned and returned again to it and said to myself, "This is what I have been looking for. This is what is in me. This is who I am."

To come back to writing my long work, although much yet remains to be done with it and much yet exists to let go of, reminds me that I exist beyond all the outer forms, beyond all the to-do's, beyond all the ways that this book, once it becomes a "product," might serve my more material needs as well as emotional and spiritual. This long work is a kind of a life, in chapters.

And are not our lives like that, as well?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Important Role of Silence in Writing (a book or anything else you care about)

If you have ever been on a silent retreat, or been in nature for a period of time in silence, you already know from experience how incredibly fertile that bed of silence can be. As the usual chatter fades, the things that pull us away from our in-the-moment inner experience (things to do, places to go, errands to run, emails to send, worries to keep circulating, etc.) show their true colors as mind-distractions and perhaps –addictions, and just don’t seem as compelling as they had before. Something in us begins to relax, then; to stop always being on alert, ready for the next action, the next item on the to-do list, the next thought/opinion/decision. We drop into ourselves, and into the moment. We are that most essential of things: here.

It is in being here that we are available to revelation ~ whether that revelation is of the epic, prophetic kind, or simply a deeply felt, spacious awareness of the beauty of life because we are here to know and feel and experience it. And it is when we are most deeply here ~ present, spacious, appreciative, and gratefully willing to encounter the blessings that arise (both from within us, and outside us as what is within us is available to meet what is outside us) ~ that deep writing is possible.

I know for myself that in a single workday, I can sit at the computer and accomplish a whole roster of things that I can tick off my to-do list, and sometimes still have room to do more. Yet none of that is usually done with inner silence. There is most often an accompanying sound track that is commenting on what I am doing, or going ahead to the next thing to do, or fretting about what I haven’t yet done but should. No wonder there can be a sense of putative accomplishment, but energetic depletion at the end of such a day. And if I try to fit a writing session into such a day, most often what I write is simply another thing that I can tick off my to-do list as having accomplished.

For me, doing deep writing is a sacred act, and that includes the need to set it apart from my usual actions and ways of seeing life. It is the setting it apart from the prosaic, the getting-things-done aspect of ordinary life, that reminds me of what is potential within me. It is the silence that allows the words ~ the music, if you will ~ to arise.

There is that place in me ~ is it in you, too? ~ that is convinced that I need to keep doing every moment in order to ensure not only my own personal survival but that the entire universe keeps on going. Of course, the latter is not true at all; the universe’s cosmic order does not depend on my doing everything, only what is mine to do. But when the absence of inner silence grows louder and greater, I fall into a place that on the surface looks like I should get some kind of prestigious medal of recognition from our culture, for I am doing up a storm. And yet, in that storm of doing, where is my true being? Subsumed under all that activity and noise. And what would a cultural medal of recognition for having devised and fulfilled my to-do lists then get me? Just more noise, more stress, more time on the treadmill.

The cultivation of inner silence from time to time is medicine not only for our writing, but also for our entire being. It is in silence that what is real has room to show itself, whether that “showing” is in images, in sounds, in sensations, in energies, or in nothing. There is a “nothing” that is so full that it is the pregnant potentiality from which all manifestation, all “somethings,” come. We can orient ourselves in that direction, towards the silence, the inner quiet, the place where “nothing” is “happening” ~ until something reveals itself to us, and we know we must and want to follow it. That is the beginning of writing from the deeper Self. First we need to be present to the deeper Self. Then, writing from it is a following of what we receive; an encounter with something true that we do not have to invent or make up, original though it may be. It is a dance of what we don’t know with what we do; it is a harmonious song sung by our finite self and our Divine Self. We can’t make the words happen, but we can always make ourselves available to that quiet place where what divinely wants to grow and tell itself to us can grow and tell itself to us. We can make ourselves available to become “pregnant” with what is there for us, uniquely, and to carry that seed through to term, until it is complete.

And once we have done that ~ once we have given ourselves to that inception of truth, beauty, whatever other deep and redemptive qualities call us to them ~ we know that we are not “producers” or “manufacturers,” but lovers. We have loved our creation into being, even if along the way there was doubt, despair, frustration, the equivalent of morning sickness, procrastination, and all the other ways we humans have of denying our greatness. Once the creation exists (it is a book! it is a paper! it is a painting! it is a song! it is a relationship with a human being whose every gesture, yawn, and aspiration matters to us!), it lives not only in us but also for us. It lives to give us back the joy and pleasure we put into it. It is our child, in a sense, and we have no wish to abandon it to the world, but to bring it into the world like the treasure it is.

And what happens when the world receives it? I don’t mean in terms of, “Did you get on Oprah?” I mean in terms of what happens inside the individual people who receive it. My conviction is that they receive it in the same spirit in which you wrote it. If you wrote it with silence as your base, then your book takes your readers into that same universal place, and there they can touch into their own deep nature. Who would not be grateful for that?

Not everyone has the opportunity to go on a silent retreat, or even to spend a stretch of time in nature. But what we do always have with us is our own deep nature. I bless you that if you are writing, or wish to write ~ a book or a shorter work ~ that you can do so from within the sacred silence of your own deep nature. Whether this means setting aside a morning to write in which you do nothing else ~ or clearing the papers off your desk or table, and lighting a candle accompanied by a conscious intention or prayer ~ or even taking a flower essence for writing, such as Rose Press now has available ~ setting aside the world’s concerns for a time, so that you can hear the silence within you and allow it to give you something wonderful to follow in words written down, is a gift you can give not only to your writing project, and not only to your eventual readers, but to your own soul.

And this silent, sacred space and time will help to heal the world. Just your doing it. Even before your book hits the stands.

This is a way you help the universe keep on going: by being there for it. And then allowing its gifts to take root in you as writing.
Copyright ã 2010 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Opening the Door

I was reading Barbara Wilder's very fine blog, which she announced as her replacement for her newsletter--a way of coming into the 21st century. Well, I know blogs, and I have resisted them, because for one thing I already send out a newsletter.

But then I saw how, if you are a writer for real, at heart, a blog could give you room to come in close to things that were just lying around in your inner closet, waiting for a chance to make their impression on your conscious awareness. A blog could let you dream and follow it, without requiring a linear justification or scaffolding. A blog could let you share your writings, your views on what it is in us that seeks to be known through writing (and reading), and really, anything.

And, a post is usually moderately short.

All these reasons conspired to lure me into the blogworld. I have so many wonderful treasures to share.

I have shared these treasures at length on my (two) websites: "Writing from the Deeper Self: Bringing Your Treasures into the World" (my book-developer work):  And the organic fruiting of that way of seeing writing, the published books (as well as flower essences for writers, and other wonderful healing treats): Rose Press:  So I will not repeat myself here. (Though as you can see, I have no false modesty about pointing you in those two directions, where you can read to your heart's content.)

In future blogs, I will write about such things as:
  • Money and the inner life (how one fosters and heals the other)
  • The real ground of creativity (it's not just about lots of ideas)
  • How musical harmony captures our souls, and translates to human relations
  • Growing into love
  • My books and their healing intent
  • How writing and reading can have communion at its center

If you have read this far, thank you. It is almost 11pm, and I'm less perfectionistic than I'd be during the earlier hours. Random thoughts may be replaced, with sufficient rest, by deep and healing rhythms.

Meanwhile, I want to thank my friends for all their support and love.