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Creative Wordshops Newsletter October 2020

Ancestral Karma
Let’s begin with numbers 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512 1024
These numbers = ancestral multiplication. We are at the bottom, the vortex, the focal point of an expanding V. Two parents, four grandparents , eight great-grand etc. etc. In 10 generations over 1000 people are alive in our cells, directly. Singing the chorus of our bodies. We are a choral work.

In Present Moment Wonderful Moment, Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us ‘If you look into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. You are the continuation of each of these people.’

One day we too will be ancestors. If we extend the other way, passing on genes and DNA to those who come after us, we’re into diminishing fractions – ½ ¼ 1/8 1/16 1/32 – half of us in our children , ¼ in our grandchildren, etc etc. Most of us concede that genetic influence, physical attributes, disposition, unresolved issues run down-hill, given that the past influences the present. This is so yet if we move beyond linear time, there are those ever-present moments that TS. Eliot writes of in his oft-quoted meditation:

Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past.

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Creative Wordshops Whats on October 2020

  1. Fiction and Life? The thin line. A Zoom Writing Wordshop
    Sun11 Oct 2020 09.30 – 12.40ish R340 pp (12 max)
    Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos… to celebrate a world that lies spread out around us like a bewildering and stupendous dream. (John Cheever)
    We love stories for we are stories – living walking talking stories. The Psalmist reminds us we live our days as a tale that is told. We make up as we go along. Our memories are tricksters for we are forever interpreting what has happened in different ways. This wordshop considers how this can increase our sense of aliveness and enrich our lives and writing.
    A fiction writer’s memory is an imperfect provider of detail; we can always imagine a better detail… the most truthful one is what could or should have happened… Being a writer is a strenuous marriage between careful observation and just as carefully imagining the truths you haven’t had the opportunity to see. (John Irving)
  2. The Rough Writing Road: Keeping a Journal
    Sun 25 Oct 2020 09.30 – 12.40ish R340 pp (12 max)
    Why the rough road? It’s writing that has not been crafted or edited. Spontaneous. Rough also as in rough days. It’s the place of beginning.
    Many writers have kept journals. The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather—in many cases—offers an alternative to it. (Susan Sontag)
    Journals inform and support all genres. As a think book a plan book an open-hearted one. Instants of inspiration. As William Blake says, kissing the moment as it flies. This wordshop will lead you into keeping that vital journal.
  3. Magic Carpet Writing Group R690 (6 sessions)
    Next Zoom Wed 28 Oct 17. 30 – 19.30
    Need to be part of a fun-loving supportive thinking/being group of aspirant writers?
    …. we meet in an art studio. Writing exercises, conversation, energy, soup and wine. Beginners are welcome… make writing friends ….
    Our 2020 theme? – Once upon a life…… Fairy tales – ancient, modern and us

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Creative Wordshops Whats on September 2020

Zoom meet and teach – mini wordshops

Hi Dorian, am already addicted to your zingy zoom and would like to join you for the next ‘word chops’…and find strength and joy
in the river of your unfolding. (Silja)

Folks connect, enjoy the company and experience, and in no time are writing away. Cost: R320 per wordshop of 3+ hours 09.30 -12.45 SA time
I create a space that is safe, supportive and encouraging
Please email me if you want to be part of this experience. I’ll explain how to prepare for the session and send you the zoom link to click on.
Beginner writers welcome. We re-experience beginner’s mind. No pressure to share. You can be a silent listener if you are more comfortable with that.

Here are 2 retreat/wordshop offerings

1.Families Ancestors and your story
Sun 13 Sept 2020 09.30 – 12.40ish R320 pp (12 max)
Our stories are gifts we give each other and gifts we leave behind us. For one day we too will be ancestors. In this wordshop we tell and write our stories and place them next to those of our family, immediate, extended and chosen. The idea of family can include not only blood but our spiritual tradition, culture and the line of those who share our passions.

2. Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo
bookings brcixopo@futurenet.co.za 039 834 1863

2a. Between First In-breath and Last Out-breath: The Art of Story-telling
Fri 25- Sun 27 September 2020
Ever since I heard my first love story I have been looking for you (Rumi)
Who is the who that Rumi alludes to? There is something deeply fictional about us human beings. We are the stories we tell about ourselves. Rediscover the lost art of story-telling. Experience the joy, presence, mindfulness and transformation that arrive when we engage with a tale, learn how to craft it and inhabit it. We begin to see our lives as a story, keeping pace with the rhythm of our hearts, balanced between the in and the out of our breathing. Be enchanted by Zen and other tales from many paths.

2b. The Poet Hiding Inside: How to live and write poetry Sun 20 –Tues 22 September 2020 I believe that poetry is a primal impulse within us all. …we are all capable of it … a small, often ignored corner of us yearns to try it (Stephen Fry) Do you love reading poetry? Do you yearn to write poems? Poetry is a way of paying attention, listening, being in the moment and observing the world. We enter the world of images, rhythm, sound and subtle rhyme. We open to our creativity and imagination. As we cultivate a sense of belonging, our words offers us relationship, presence and healing. We can all live poetically and find the words that balance voice and silence. Together we shine light into ignored corners and engage with the craft that calls us.

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Creative Wordshops Newsletter September 2020

Dear seeker of words and images
I could be bound in a nutshell and count myself the king of infinite space
(Hamlet)
Shakespeare could have been writing in a lockdown phase when Hamlet
pronounces and Macbeth laments ‘I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound into saucy doubts and fears.’ In this Spring letter I return to the primacy of
the imagination. I suggest while we are inside a room, perhaps alone or zoomscreen bound, say on a writing retreat, we can enter the reaches of the
imagination to bring the outside world in and inside world out.

inside the outside then you will inherit the Kingdom (Queendom.)’
In the gnostic gospel of St Thomas we read ’when you make the outside the inside and My friend, Igno van Niekerk, photographer and author and I have been experimenting with zoomagine- three of many ways of opening up and out the zoom experience. – being in nature, entering memory and entertaining the imagination.

http://dorianhaarhoffblog.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Sept-2002-Newsletter-1.pdf

Creative Wordshops What’s on Aug 2020

Zoom – winter 2020 offerings

Days of social distancing can also be days of self-nearing, self- nourishing

Wherever you are in the world… you can be part of a ‘virtual’ group or enjoy one-on-one mentoring

The online support is alive and well – The Rough Writing Road Journal course, Poetry, Fiction, Writing your Spiritual Journey, Downtime with Dori, one-on–one mentoring and mini-wordshops

Zoom meet and teach – mini wordshops

Hi Dorian, am already addicted to your zingy zoom and would like to join you for the next ‘word chops’…and find strength and joy in the river of your unfolding. (Silja)

I invite you to these 2 zoom wordshops: (see below for themes). Folks respond positively. They connect, enjoy the company and experience, and in no time are writing away.

Cost: R320 per wordshop of 3+ hours 09.30 -12.45 SA time A discount if you subscribe to both wordshops = R300 x 2

http://dorianhaarhoffblog.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Aug-2020-whats-on.pdf

Creative Wordshops Writing Newsletter August 2020

Dear seeker of words and images

Whoever is innerly silent touches the roots of speech (Rilke)

A recent dream offered this month’s theme. Two teams engage in a debate. The first sprouts forth, articulating wisdom and insight, adding irrefutable argument and reference. Brilliantly structured and delivered. Now is the turn of the other team. This team chooses to respond in silence for the length allowed – some 40 minutes. Despite provocation, jeering, hurled questions, they hold the silence.

In waking, in lucid dreaming I add for the silent team, four images they project onto a screen. The Buddha holding up a flower in his silent flower sermon. The Rilke quote prefacing this letter. Rumi. ‘Where the lips are silent, the heart knows a thousand ways to speak.’ And Jung on solitude.

http://dorianhaarhoffblog.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Aug-2020-letter-1.pdf

Creative Wordshops Newsletter July 2020

Dear seeker of words and images

The first task is re-storying the adult…to restore the imagination to its primary place in consciousness in each of us regardless of age…. My interest in story is as something lived in and lived through, a way in which the soul finds its life.
(James Hillman)

It’s Dori lettertime (sent via mailchimp). What does it mean to live your life as if it were a story? This month’s theme. Why do stories hum with energy? We respond to stories because we are walking talking stories, our lives immersed in fiction. We spend our years as a tale that is told. (Psalm 90: 9)

Read this text from the Upanishad. When we inhabit our story we become both birds – one passionately eats the fruit, the other watches, witnesses , not with judgement but with compassion. The paradox is that the more I watch my life, the more I am involved in the moment.

http://dorianhaarhoffblog.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/July-2020-lertter-1.pdf

Whats on July 2020

Zoom – winter 2020 offerings
Days of social distancing can also be days of self-nearing, self- nourishing
Wherever you are in the world… you can be part of a ‘virtual’ group or enjoy one-on-one mentoring
The online support is alive and well – The Rough Writing Road Journal course, Poetry, Fiction, Writing your Spiritual Journey, Downtime with Dori, one-on–one mentoring and mini-wordshops
Zoom meet and teach – mini wordshops
Hi Dorian, am already addicted to your zingy zoom and would like to join you for the next ‘word chops’…and find strength and joy
in the river of your unfolding. (Silja)
I invite you to these 4 zoom wordshops: (see below for themes) Plus the Buddhist retreat one. Folks respond positively. They connect, enjoy the company and experience, and in no time are writing away.
Cost: R320 per wordshop of 3+ hours 09.30 -12.45 SA time
A discount if you subscribe for all 4 wordshops = R290 x 4 = R1160

http://dorianhaarhoffblog.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/July-2020-whats-on.pdf

Creative Wordshops Newsletter June 2020

Dear seeker of words and images
Looking at your image in a clear stream, you answer the question
by your very presence
It’s Dori lettertime. (As from now I’m sending the letter via mail chimp)
Living midst the uncertainties of the age, this month’s theme centres on zen
pen – writing being and meditation. [Why Zen Pen?
Zen (Chinese chán ‘quietude’) invites us to be present, to live and write
simply.
Pen (Latin penna ‘feather’ ) refers to both practicing the art of
writing and the implements we use. It also invites us to play in a safe
place – as in playpen.

I saw this cat on a recent dawn walk. It seemed to be meditating -perhaps cats are natural meditators? This one seemed to sit in a quiet space amid a tangle of branches – (a tangle of non-thoughts?) On my early walk the next morning, I came across a dog in more or less the same spot. Cat no longer in the tree.
I wonder what somatic (being in the body) cats and dogs can teach us about meditation and being? That focused gaze – that look and listen awareness…that presence. They live and move in and through the life force of the five senses. And what happens to our writing when we slow down, look listen, engage in the miracle of the body and write from the stillness – ‘the still point of the turning world’ (TS Eliot)? When we enter this slow down silence? You might recall T S Eliot’s Macavity the Mystery cat who ‘when he’s half asleep is really wide awake.’

http://dorianhaarhoffblog.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/June-2020-letter.pdf

Creative Wordshops Ongoing Activities June 2020

12% discount during these turbulent times

The Rough Writing Road
A 16 week self-directed Online Journaling Course

Your course is invaluable…thank you for the inspiration and spontaneity you sow into the word around you. (Y O)

Writers all… I have created an online journal course with the help of an online ‘guru.’
Our guiding metaphor is the rough road we travel along on the writing path. I prompt via stories, questions, quotations, poems, memories and suggestions. These are drawn from many traditions and faiths. Helping you find your voice. As you walk you enter a great conversation with yourself … and others.
Why the rough road? It’s writing that has not been crafted or edited. Spontaneous. Rough as in rough days.

Some of the 16 units are:

Retraining the Eye…Many Selves…Dreaming…The Fire that warms you Five Times…Living the Questions Now…
Self directed

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