Guided Journaling

Hand writing

Every stroke of my brush
Is the overflow
Of my inmost heart.

—Sengai, Seventeenth-Century Zen Master

The original Anglo Saxon word writan, from which we get the word write, meant to score, scratch or cut. Writing was accomplished by scratching wood with a knife. Many remember seeing the names of lovers cut into a tree trunk with a knife. There is an indelible, even artful quality about letters cut into the piece of bark. The same indelible and artful quality can be experienced when we "cut" with a pen the words of our heart onto a blank piece of paper.

Journaling as a spiritual practice is a way of creating a legacy of your life. The poet Ranier Maria Rilke wrote, "Everything is gestation and then bringing forth." The practice of journaling invites that gestation that will bring forth the most important and meaningful aspects of our inner life. In so many arenas of life we are called upon to produce quickly, consume quickly, think quickly, talk quickly, act quickly, create quickly. Perhaps, for our own sense of well-being and wholeness, we need to reclaim the privilege of thinking deeply and feeling fully. Like a seed breaking forth from its pod, our thoughts and feelings deserve to break forth from the pod of our soul. And there on the waiting page they can be given voice and form, shape and image.

The empty page is always ready to receive the contents of your heart without judgment. Because of this, we can be free to speak truthfully and as the legacy is gradually formed, we can read again the movement of life through our veins. We can see where we have come from and how life and the presence of the Holy One have fashioned and formed us into who we are. So try writing your life in order to find your life.

Journaling suggestions for...

When we take a scan of our own thoughts and behavior and know that we have been forgiven, we find it harder to judge someone else's thoughts and behavior.

Taking time to reflect in your journal about your feelings during the Easter season will help you keep alert to the signs of resurrection and wholeness outside and within.

When we experience pain, struggle, and despair, we feel so terribly alone.

Lent is a time to look seriously and intentionally at our lives— who we have been, who we are, and who we are becoming. Journaling is a way for us to embody this intention, because it gives us an environment for delving deeply into the bottomless well of our souls.

Eight weeks of journaling guided by quotations from C.S. Lewis.

Our purpose is always something that makes more of us. It increases our capacity for bringing goodness, for deepening our love and compassion, for filling empty pockets in our soul.

When prayer is the foundation of discernment, we are emptying our souls into the hands of heaven and having them filled again with the presence and direction of God.

This 8-week offering of journaling reflections and questions will take you from Thanksgiving through Advent and Christmas and into the new year.

By pausing to write about the different times in our life, what they mean to us and where God’s fingerprints can be found, all time becomes more precious.

The very practice of writing can move us to reconciliation and the ability to embrace those who have seemed so separate from us.

Imagine if we lengthened the vision of our eyes, brightened the room of our faith, and injected courage into our heart.

While verbal prayer is a way for us to communicate the contents of our heart and soul with the Holy One, recording our life of prayer in a journal makes it possible for us to delve more deeply into the inner core of our being.

With the end of summer, there is a feeling of quiet loss and budding anticipation.