Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Practice Self-Acceptance

Practice self-acceptance continues the instructions for tonglen meditation found in slogan 7 and says you should begin the practice with yourself. It’s good to have compassion for others, but you can’t help others unless you can help yourself. Compassion really does begin at home. The original lojong slogan is: Begin the sequence of sending and… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: Practice Self-Acceptance


Ox Herding Pictures: Returning to the Source

He has returned to the Origin, come back to the Source,  but his steps have been taken in vain. It is as though he were now blind and deaf. Seated in his hut, he hankers not for things outside. Streams meander on of themselves, red flowers naturally bloom red. After dissolving into Oneness, the world returns.… Continue reading Ox Herding Pictures: Returning to the Source


Writing Isn’t Like Making a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

“Every single time you sit down to write – a story, a poem, an essay, a novel – it will be a brand-new experience. No formula works. The mystery that solved your previous story doesn’t speak the same language as your current story. The key that unlocked the sonnet of yesterday won’t work today. Accept… Continue reading Writing Isn’t Like Making a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich


Don’t Blame the Lettuce


“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet, if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.

Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Image: Dwight Sipler

Creativity · Writing

The Creative Process: Sharing your masterpiece

If the creative process has gone well, you should now be ready to share your work in the final stage: SHOWING. The moment of truth! As you work, writing and rewriting, there’s a constant internal pressure to share what you’re doing with others. Especially these days, now that our lives are enhanced/blighted (delete as appropriate)… Continue reading The Creative Process: Sharing your masterpiece


Recognise Your Value: the Parable of the Stonecutter

There was once a stonecutter who was dissatisfied with himself and his position in life. One day, he passed a wealthy merchant’s house and through the open gateway saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became envious and wished he could be like the merchant… Continue reading Recognise Your Value: the Parable of the Stonecutter