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Book before midnight on Friday 10th February to benefit from the early bird discount. Booking for this event has now closed. An introduction to writing with Zen is a series of exploratory writing workshops touching on the principles and philosophies of Zen. For the first time, this popular workshop will be held on Zoom - over three recurrent Wednesday evenings.

  • Date:15/02/2023 07:00 PM - 01/03/2023 09:00 PM
  • Location Online Event


To study the Way is to study the self;

to study the self is to forget the self;

to forget the self is to be enlightened by the myriad things.

                                                             (Eihei Dogen, 1200 – 1253)

Join poet and Zen practitioner benjamin cusden on the path to writing with Zen. In this workshop we’ll start our journey by looking at the concept of ‘I’ and transforming this focus to others in an attempt to find the interconnectedness of all things through writing and sharing.

Without judgement or preconceptions we’ll touch upon the concept of ‘I / me’ and the interbeing of all living things from a Zen perspective as a tool for creative writing.

Whatever your genre or wherever you are on your writing journey this is a wonderful opportunity to silence your inner critic and write freely in the ‘now’. This workshop does not presume any Zen experience. 

We will explore:
• using a Zen perspective as a tool for creative writing
• writing about feelings and emotions
• the presence of others our lives
• the interconnectedness of the world around us
• writing freely from ‘first thought’
• banishing the inner critic
• generating ideas
• creating a writing practice

Week One, Wednesday 15th February, 19:00 – 21:00 

To study the Way is to study the self.

We will start our journey by looking directly at ourselves. Who am I? What do I feel? What do I think? Starting with this very moment we will be going back to childhood memories and bringing them into a living context where we’ll consider our ways of perceiving ourselves, the past and the present.

Week Two, Wednesday 22nd February, 19.00 – 21:00

To study the self is to forget the self.

How did I get here? We’ll take the first step away from ‘I’ to look at others and the part they have played in our life. 

Week Three, Wednesday 1st March, 19:00 – 21:00

To forget the self is to be enlightened by the myriad things. 

What else is there? Everything. Looking around and outside of ourselves we begin to see the interconnectedness of all things and our interbeing with them.  

Some things said about the workshop:

"benjamin gently encouraged our thoughts, words and feelings from the heart"
"It was relaxing, reflective and freeing."
"I enjoyed the sense of community and safety."
" I learnt more about Zen and was impressed how much I learnt in a short time "
"It showed me how to do more writing."
"Such a memorable afternoon!"

benjamin is a member of Wildflower Zen Sangha in Paris and their sister sangha Wholehearted Zen Sangha in Richmond-upon-Thames. His poetry has been published worldwide and ‘Cut the Black Rabbit’, a selection of his poems, is published by Against the Grain Poetry Press.

Wednesday 15th February      19:00-21:00

Wednesday 22nd February     19:00-21:00

Wednesday 1st March                 19:00-21:00

Venue: Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent to you before the event.

Cost: The price for this workshop is £80.00

(a concessionary price for those on benefits or experiencing financial hardships is available on request. Please contact me for details)