Dark Night of the Soul

The Handless Maiden part 3: Entering the Forest

Our story continues: the deal has been made and the maiden has lost her hands… The devil retreated to the forest and the maiden’s parents did their best to care for their daughter. Her father begged her to stay, promising to provide everything she could ever want or need, but she refused. She had her… Continue reading The Handless Maiden part 3: Entering the Forest

Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Don’t Hold on to Your Stories

Don’t Hold on to Your Stories is about not holding on to your ideas about reality or yourself. Don’t turn the stories you tell yourself about who you think you are into a solid identity. They’re just thoughts in your mind. Negative stories can hold you back in your writing, so this slogan reminds you… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: Don’t Hold on to Your Stories

Dark Night of the Soul

The Handless Maiden part 2: Dismemberment

Our story continues: the deal has been made and three years have passed… At last, the dreadful day arrived when the devil would come to claim his payment: the maiden. That morning, the girl washed and drew a circle around herself with chalk. The devil appeared, but couldn’t come near her. Furious, he demanded she… Continue reading The Handless Maiden part 2: Dismemberment

Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Examine the Nature of Awareness

Examine the Nature of Awareness is about turning your attention inwards to notice who is aware of your experience. When you try to catch yourself seeing or thinking or feeling, ‘you’ disappear. All you find is awareness itself. When you’re distracted and your mind is filled with too many thoughts, it can be hard to… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: Examine the Nature of Awareness

Dark Night of the Soul

The Handless Maiden part 1: Deal with the Devil

Once there was a miller who had fallen into poverty. His mill was broken so he had to go to the forest to chop wood. One day, when he was hacking at a tree stump, an old man appeared and said, “I’ll make you rich if you give me what stands behind your mill.” The… Continue reading The Handless Maiden part 1: Deal with the Devil

Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: See Everything as a Dream

See Everything as a Dream is about seeing that life is impermanent and always changing so you can’t pin reality down or control it. Trying to do so will cause problems so the only sensible response is to let go and go with the flow of life. When paying the bills and dealing with the… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: See Everything as a Dream

Dark Night of the Soul

The Handless Maiden (complete story)

There are many versions of The Handless Maiden from around the world. It’s a fairy tale that was collected by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, but its roots are much older. This telling is my adaptation of the tale with gratitude to Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Read the introduction to this series here or follow the… Continue reading The Handless Maiden (complete story)