The Immigrant Wife and the Mindful Writers Group
I wrote my first collection, Chance Meetings: Stories about Cross Cultural Karmic Collisions and Compassion and the final drafts of the novel, The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey during the Mindful Writers Group weekly meetings. What a fine fellowship of writers!
For almost thirty years I have begun my day with meditation and journaling. These two practices have dramatically improved my attention, deepened my insights, revealed ideas and enriched my imagination.
Until 2010, I wrote alone in my study. I loved the room’s silence and solitude. Occasionally, I wrote in libraries, coffee shops or bookstores. There were days when writing in isolation was lonesome. But life of a writer is a lonely affair. I craved to write with fellow writers. Almost all writers groups available were critique groups. In absence of such a group, I started a new group in 2011 and named it, The Mindful Writers Group (MWG).
In addition to writing with writers I also shared the benefits of mindfulness meditation and journaling with others. MWG meetings combine the practices of meditation, journaling and writing. The fellowship with other writers empowers the rest of my week irrespective of whether we are established authors or beginners. Gathered in a room we delight in the process of writing. Within an hour the place seems filled to brim with an inexpressible energy of companionship.
To some degree, all of the MWG members have experienced what I am going to say now. In the constant company of brooding, agitated or conformist people we tend to become worrisome, agitated or disinterested. But in constant association of calm and creative minds we too become calm and creative. Accordingly the association with the Mindful Writers keeps me energized and encouraged so that I continue to write and complete my creative endeavors. The power of association helps me absorb the good qualities of the fellow writers.
The camaraderie continues during the Mindful Writers Spring and Fall Retreats. In spring retreat we spend four weekdays in companionship with other like-minded writers; in Fall, it is a long weekend. Our retreat co-ordinator is Kathleen Shoop with the help of Lori Jones and Larry Schardt.
The original MWG North, in Wexford, is full to capacity. In March, a second MWG East, in Waterworks Mall, will welcome more writers. Eventually, I plan to lead an Internet Mindful Writers Group so that writers from distant places can join us in meditation, journaling and several hours of writing.
I feel much gratitude to be able to write and rejoice in the company of the fellowship of Mindful Writers in Pittsburgh and soon around the country.