Poetry as a Spiritual Practice

Poetry as Spiritual Practice

Why is poetry the source language of devotion and the richest expression of spiritual practice in prayer, chant, and song? How can we wake up to recognize poetry as the pure sound and shape of the spirit?

 Together we’ll practice reading, writing, and using poetry in our daily rituals, aspirations, and intentions. We’ll explore poetry’s sound and language, its rhythms, meters, and forms, in a reflective writing process that leads to deeper awareness and daily enjoyment.

Participants will experience a wide range of well-known poems—good and bad—as well as our own work to create a treasury of poetry with deep, abiding messages from all historical eras and all religions and faiths.

Interactive exercises and guided meditationswill help us to put these methods and messages into practice by integrating poetry into our daily path and spiritual journey. All that’s required is your willingness to enter the magic of poetry and deepen your practice.

Here is a poem on Father’s Day by Theodore Roethke.


My Papa’s Waltz


The whiskey on your breath

Could make a small boy dizzy;

But I hung on like death:

Such waltzing was not easy.


We romped until the pans

Slid from the kitchen shelf;

My mother’s countenance

Could not unfrown itself.


The hand that held my wrist

Was battered on one knuckle.

At every step you missed

My right ear scraped a buckle.


You beat time on my head

With a palm caked hard by dirt,

Then waltzed me off to bed

Still clinging to your shirt.

Deep Peace of the Light of the World To You!

Robert McDowell

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