[photo by Jan Cornall in the Mohawk High School Library]
Fourteen people attended with the intention to strengthen their writing. Jan’s exercises were marvelous forays into “sensory literacy” (to borrow a term) by combining the power of observation and awareness with sensory experience to trigger writing in the moment without self-censorship or judgements. Her guided meditations created powerful prompts for imagery and meanings, sometimes with surprising outcomes. Sharing the results of these exercises with our fellow participants was half the joy. How refreshing to enter into a non-competitive activity without judgements to kill the delicate creative process. Jan proved a master of this technique bringing us gently into the moment with her guided meditations through the corridor of our mind’s eye.
As a sometime teacher of contemplative writing, I really enjoyed learning some new techniques from Jan. I particularly loved her brilliant strategy to work with self-deprecating remarks that can surface towards one’s writing. At the beginning she suggested that if we didn’t like the result of our work with the exercises--we just say “Bananas” and move on.
Well, among all the 14 participants there were NO bananas just a good time sharing our spontaneous work and mingling our minds in the transmission. Thank You Jan!
Later that evening, there was a reading at Mocha Maya’s Coffee Bar in Shelburne Falls, home to many literary events. They were great hosts providing us with a podium, sound system and selected beverages and snacks. Featured readers included Jim Bauerlein from Shelburne Falls, Jan Cornall from Austraila, Peter Fortunato and Mary Gilliland from Ithaca, Jacqueline Gens, and of course, Louise Landes Levi who each read for seven minutes. Afterwards there was an open mike for other readers to participate.
[some of the audience at the Mocha Maya reading]
[Jim Bauerlein from Shelburne Falls read his powerful poems]
Mary Gilliland with her husband Peter Fortunato both poets (below) from Ithaca emceed the event.
Peter read his poem ‘Up on Khandroling” you can read on the blog here.
[It was great to hear our guest reader Jan Cornall “perform” her work with a rare combination of verve, tenderness, and expressive clarity]
[Our own Dzogchen Community Poet Laureate, Louise Landes Levi, here with Dan Zegunis. Louise was in great form reading with her characteristic humor and divine sense of irony and devotion]
[Mocha Maya’s proved the perfect venue for our reading to a packed house]
Many poems were read in honor Rinpoche who himself is a poet in the Tibetan language. He remains as ever the Light who shines a Beacon in the dark forests of our mind bringing us home to our true nature.
Thank you to all our readers and audience supporting our
Dzogchen Community writers.
Photos by Jacqueline Gens who apologizes for the fuzziness of her IPad lens