SPOKES IN THE WHEEL: BETTER WRITING (AND LIVING) THROUGH THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
with Timothy Charles Davis
Online Retreat • Four meeting dates:
Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 4, Feb. 18
9 am - 11 am CST
Plus monthly meetings! Time & Date TBD
About the Event
Knowledge of The Eightfold Path — essentially, eight aspects of Buddhist practice described as “wise,” “skillful,” “correct,” or simply, “right” — is crucial for proper cultivation as a Buddhist. The Eightfold Path, when followed, leads to the development of correct prajna (insight or wisdom), sila (morality), and samadhi (meditation).
Notice the order the Eightfold Path is in, with meditation at the end; this is because practicing meditation alone, without the rest of the Eightfold Path to back it, lacks a "gold standard" and as such can seem rather hollow.
Granted, any steps taken down the Eightfold Path can transform our lives writ large, but what might happen if we take the Eightfold Path as a guide to our creative practices, too — in this case, writing?
During this four-class mini study series — every two weeks to begin the year, with monthly meetings throughout 2023 to check in with each other and discuss our work — we will look at the Eightfold Path as a guide to making us better writers.
The schedule below will serve as a guide, but occasionally the conversation may follow a slightly different... path…than listed here, depending on what comes up for us.
We will write, and share, and read, and revise...together! We will jointly hold space, for ourselves and others, to create a writing sangha where we can feel comfortable sharing as much or as little as we would like. Whether you have a large-scale project in mind, have been thinking of journaling, want to polish a single story, or simply want to feel more comfortable with the writing process, you are welcome here. Bring a pen and notebook, or your laptop, and come join us!
Week One: January 7, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am CST
1. WRITE VIEW
Reality and suffering are intertwined. If we know this, why do we avoid topics or ideas that are tough for us?
2. WRITE RESOLVE
How do we write with intention? What does it mean to do no harm?
Week Two: January 21, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am CST
3. WRITE SPEECH
We are told that we should avoid lying, divisive or abusive speech. And yet it’s everywhere we look — even when the subject we’re writing about is ourselves. How can writing teach us to be kinder? Also: Is fiction “lying?”
4. WRITE ACTION
How do we live out our writing (and vice versa) in the quote-unquote “real world”?
Week Three: February 4, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am CST
5. WRITE LIVELIHOOD
How do we learn to be morally and ethically sound in our work?
6. WRITE EFFORT
How do we give rise to skillful thoughts and words and speech?
Week Four: February 18, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am CST
7. WRITE MINDFULNESS
And how we can tap into it in our writing.
8. WRITE CONCENTRATION
Keeping our eyes on the prize.
Timothy Charles Davis (AtīvaDātu) is an ordained Dharmacharya through Heartwood Refuge, a multi-lineage lay ordination program lead by Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni and Venerable Pannadipa Bhikkhu, and is a current member of the Zen Peacemakers Order ministerial program. He helped write The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook and released The Hot Chicken Cookbook: The Fiery History and Red-Hot Recipes of Nashville’s Beloved Bird in 2015. In its fifth printing, the book has been reviewed or otherwise mentioned in Time, The Washington Post, Southern Living, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Food Republic, and NPR’s Morning Edition. Davis’ partial publication credits include pieces for Southern Living, Salon.com, Mother Jones, First We Feast, Saveur, Christian Science Monitor, Travel + Life, Harp, Gastronomica and Oxford American. He has taught English, Creative Writing, Literature and Journalism at Belmont University, Cumberland University, Volunteer State Community College, Nashville State, Lipscomb University, and Watkins College of Art, Design + Film.
If you have questions or need additional information about this retreat or other Flowering Lotus program offerings, please contact:
Beth Herzig, Retreat Director
We ask that you support Flowering Lotus and those whose needs are greater by registering at the highest level ($75, $50, $25) with which you’re comfortable.
All are welcome to participate, regardless of ability to pay. If you are unable to pay the minimum $25 registration, select “Scholarship”, and no payment will be required.
There will be an opportunity to make a dana* contribution in any amount, to Flowering Lotus and the teachers at the online event. Your generosity is a gift that supports not just the teacher; but also the Sangha (Flowering Lotus); the larger Dharma community; and, most importantly, your own practice.
*Dana is a Pali word that is generally translated “generosity.” We are taught to practice dana, or generosity, by making monetary offerings for the teachings. Dana is not payment for services rendered – it is given from the heart. Dana is the first theme in the Buddha’s system of gradual training and the first of the three grounds for meritorious action.