Madhu Bazaz Wangu | Blog
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India: A Wonderful Weave

It has been two weeks since I returned from my trip to India. Distance of a decade from the country of my birth made it possible for me to observe it as an outsider.  I wondered, was I born and brought up here? So I just looked and breathed it all in. Years of my previous experiences as a young woman resurfaced as I soaked in the sights, sounds, smells and local foods. I felt saturated with the sensuousness, consumed with warmth of the people, their love. The colors, the art, the music, the ethnic food bursting with flavors revived my senses, made me feel alive. So hard to describe the experience! The month divided itself into three segments. First, the research for my second novel in the villages of Deorala...

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Transmuting Tragedy

Transmuting Tragedy Into Romance The day Gwyn Cready, our guest writer this month, joined the Mindful Writers Group, her poignant face and somber demeanor intrigued me. There was something about her that I felt connected to. What was it? Then last July at our one-on-one meeting, I asked her what inspired her to write romance novels. 'Death of my younger sister when I was 34,' Gwyn said. During our conversation, at certain moments, her eyes welled up. An outpouring of emotion, a floodgate of forgotten memories opened in my heart. A sorrow dormant within Gwyn stirred a latent emotion inside me. I too had lost my brother in my mid 30's. My 38 year-old-brother, my mother and my father passed away within eighteen months. Life seemed meaningless. Numbness enveloped me. When my sensation...

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A Month In India

On the morning of 5th September 1987, as I was going through the card-catalogue of Hillman Library at the University of Pittsburgh, a friend (also a student of world religions) informed me that a young Rajasthani woman had committed Suttee in India. A day before, an eighteen-year old woman named Roop Kanwar had immolated herself on the pyre of her dead husband. The ritual was witnessed by thousands of townspeople.  Stunned and speechless, my lead laden legs felt cemented to the ground. At that frozen moment the seed of a book was planted in my mind. But the seed stayed dormant for decades. The incident continued to sear like a wound at the back of my mind. Yet I was not emotionally ready to write about it. All these years I trawled...

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Writing in Solitude; Writing with the Mindful Writers Group

Until 2010, for twenty-five years I wrote alone in the solitude of my study. Every weekday my writer's voice emerged as I meditated, wrote in a journal and worked on my projects. The daily practice helped me overcome my fears, my internal critic and writer's blocks. I wrote for long hours, my writing improved and I was able to liberate my authentic voice from self-doubt. The practice resulted in Writing Meditation Method. I decided to share it with other writers.   In March 2011, I started the Mindful Writers Group. Lori M. Jones and four other writers joined me on this journey.  Once a week we wrote together. Since then, writing with others has enriched my experience of writing in more than one way. Over the last two and a half years...

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Summer Solstice Soiree

Come and celebrate the summer solstice Soiree evening Friday, June 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at  Courtyard, 516-522 Allegheny River Boulevard, Oakmont, PA-15139, with the following authors: Kathleen Shoop* Meredith Mileti* Lori Jones* James Robinson, Jr.* Madhu B. Wangu* Bill Deasy SK McClafferty JD Wylde (*Mindful Writers)   In addition to meeting and greeting the authors you will have an opportunity to win one or more of the following raffle baskets on display: Mini-ipad Basket Coffee & Gift Card Basket Kid's summer fun/books basket Summer books basket   Don't miss this evening of meaningful conversations, music and literary gathering! See you there!   ...

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Chrysalis Becomes A Butterfly

For the last several months, we have missed Meredith Mileti at our Wednesday Group meetings. She was unable to come because of her frequent commute from Pittsburgh to Florida to help nurse her dad: one week sitting beside her father in Boca Raton, next week standing by in her Pittsburgh home ready to get on a plane.  Sadly, her dad, Robert Mileti passed away peacefully on May 29, 2013. He was 81 years old. Meredith was by his side just as she had been throughout this journey, difficult for both of them.   Even at this trying time, Meredith kept her promise of writing a post for our website. (See "Go Dad Go" on Writing & Meditation page) Death of a parent is a time of deep sorrow. No matter how...

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Benefits of Daily Journaling

Journaling is an integral part of the Writing Meditation Method that I practice daily. I prefer to write longhand for twenty to thirty minutes. When I write this way I feel a sense of self-exploration. Like digging deep within and excavating precious relics from underneath the surface. Sometimes I dig my outer life, sometimes my inner, and some other times both. I am my own research laboratory in search for not only my future writings but also my true Self.   Journaling helps me delve deep and excavate my self. I explore and in the process discover things that I did not know before. Thus each time I get to know myself a little better. My thinking clarifies. My attitude changes a notch. Unself-conscious writing is a way of self-exploration. Once...

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Writing Meditation Helps Surface Incubating Ideas

Writing Meditation Method (WMM), the combined practice of meditation, journaling and writing, as I have said in several of my previous posts, helps mindful writers in two significant ways. One, it removes the debris of doubt, fear and anxiety that presses upon us without us even realizing it. Two, it helps surface new ideas that have been incubating in our minds. Daily practice of inhaling and exhaling with awareness clarifies mind and opens heart. Breathing with attention maximizes concentration and creates a treasured space within where writers go mentally to write at their designated place and appointed time. Meditation helps ideas float to the surface. From the time an idea strikes a writer to the time it is expressed in words, it slowly develops without any perceptible signs. The incubation time between...

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Discovering Writer’s Voice

The daily practice of Writing Meditation helps writers penetrate beyond the restless thoughts and foggy intelligence and unlocks the door to a realm where body, heart and mind are integrated as a whole. With one-pointed concentration, the writers access the place of insights, ideas and wisdom that is beyond the reach of the senses and the intellect. The integrated self works from the deepest level where the writers are unmasked and ungarbed and authentic. This is where their original voice is rooted. Writing flow is static, stuck in an eddy until they become an integrated whole. The practice of Writing Meditation Method integrates their scattered self. Whatever the subject matter, the mindful writers drive deep into the consciousness and become one with it. This results in acquiring an original writing voice. Instead...

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Writer’s Dogged Determination

Talent and passion for writing by themselves do not make a successful writer. Dogged determination combined with these qualities does. "To write a minimum of thousand words every day" is one of the mottos of the Mindful Writers. Whereas talent and passion come naturally, determination is to be cultivated. This is hard to do. Most writers find starting a piece  quite challenging. The good news is a Method that the Mindful Writers follow. The Method is to practice Writing Meditation that cultivates and strengthens determination to write everyday. The Method begins with fifteen minutes of unselfconscious, playful, imaginative and unrestricted writing. This free writing or spiritual journaling is followed by fifteen minutes of meditation. During these thirty minutes the writer's fragmented body, mind and heart get integrated into the whole healthy...

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