Meditative Writing

Weekend Retreat: The Sanctuary of Writing

The Sanctuary  of Writing

Friday May 6 - Sunday May 8, 2016

Arrival 5-6pm, Gathering 6pm, Departure 3pm


The experience of living in today’s world

creates a sense of overwhelming constant

pressure. This is not always relieved

by what is promoted as relaxation

and leisure such as TV, movies, travel,


This weekend will offer an opening

to explore how personal writing can be

your “sanctuary” - a word almost lost

in our current way of life - a wide

spaciousness inviting your inner realities

to emerge in words that will speak

to you and to the world which you inhabit

and which inhabits you.

Facilitating is Brenda Peddigrew,

Sister of Mercy, author and writing guide.

Private Rm $265, Shared Rm $220 pp

Commuter $175 (supper & lunch)

Deposit $75

Loretto Maryholme Spirituality Centre

379A Bouchier Street, Roches Point, Ontario L0E 1P0 905-476-4013

Where Meditative Writing comes from

I give credit to Francis Dorff, O.Praem (otherwise known as a Norbertine priest) for most of what is here in his little book Simply SoulStirring.

And I say thanks for Franz Kafka speaking the words that "Writing itself is a form of prayer."

Some variations on Meditative Writing

Besides what is described in the former posting, there are other ways to practice hearing your soul through meditative writing.

One is to take a text or a quote that seems to mean something to you, that resonates with you in some way, and write whatever comes to you to say about it.

Another is to start a sentence and then complete it: something like these:

"In the secret of my heart..."

"In the center of the storm..."

"The ending of a season..."

"The ebb and flow of living..."

"What I know for certain..."

Meditative Writing: Step by Step

Meditative writing is a practice of allowing life to move through us, rather than our usual way of scripting and planning everything, day by day. It is about allowing, not doing; waiting; not urgent action; listening within, not making sentences with the mind. It is about including body and feelings, not just mind.

Here is a way it works:

1. Find a time of day and a place when you can settle for 5-10 minutes to start...a quiet and uninterrupted place. (Extend the time as you wish).

2. Choose a small journal or notebook in which you will write this way each day.

3. Put the date at the top of the page.

4. Become quiet inside, as you know how;

5. Write what is there: that's float.

6. Incorporate inner chatter: it is telling you something.

Over time of doing this most days, you will become familiar with your inner reality, the voice of your soul.There is no good or bad, right or wrong...there is just growing closer to who you really are, and lessening the conflict between inside and outside.

listening to your soul

Meditative Writing is the practice of opening a sacred conversation with your own soul. We live in a frantic world, full of fear and anxiety, pressure and surgency, unless we choose otherwise. Meditative Writing gives us a way to do just that.

Many live lives of looking outside themselves for self-improvement...the list of what is offered is endless. And these can be helpful in many ways. But the only one who truly knows what is right and good for you is your own soul...notice, I am not saying "your own self" but your own soul.

There are many voices inside us, and at first it is difficult to hear what you would call the voice of your soul. But with practice, you become familiar with it. It is the voice that calls you to goodness, and self-care, and seeing through through the heart of things and people, not just their surfaces, even when you are being pressured otherwise. Here is a way to think about what I am saying here:

To begin with, why is being who we are essential to staying well? Because we must meet the outer world with our inner world, or existence will crush us. It is a spiritual law as real as gravity. If we don't assume our space as living beings, the rest of life will fill us completely, the way water fills a hole. (Mark Nepo The Exquisite Risk, p.11.)

Or, as Tolstoi said, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

Meditative Writing is a very simple way to begin this process. It is a lifelong practice, for most of us are very unskilled at listening to our own souls. When we do, it grows stronger and clearer, and gives a kind of shining energy to our pressured lives.

Mary M 23.02.2014 00:24

Thanks so much Brenda, I'm really happy that you have put this material on your blog. It's good to read it again following our writing retreat last weekend.

al 22.02.2014 23:55

That is a great subject about a very helpful practice. Keep up the good teaching.

| Reply

Latest comments

23.11 | 19:20

Hi Marilyn...can you share your writing when there's a chance? Love to read some!

04.01 | 19:04

Thanks, Andie...that's it exactly ! So glad you experienced it!

04.01 | 18:36

'Whatever you need
and wherever you go next -
will come to you'
My holiday experience.

28.12 | 15:12

Hi Brenda,
I've just finished reading The Choice - got it from the public library. What an amazing story and an unbeatable spirit. I'll check out youtube now