Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sadhana & Writing: Coming from Center

Robin Throne is the author of "Precision" in the MWC Creative Writing Primer (MWC Press, 2012) and publisher of 918studio, a small literary press based in Le Claire, Iowa, better known as the home of the American Pickers. Although in gratitude, Mike Wolfe did contribute the Foreword to The Legend of Tug Fest and other LeClaire Ghost Stories (918studio, 2012). She teaches research and writing at the doctoral level and volunteers for the MWC@918studio


"What is sadhana? It’s a committed prayer. It is something which you want to do, have to do, and which is being done by you. … Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best." ~Yogi Bhajan

I used to do much traveling in search of my writing center.

Forest Beach,
Hilton Head Island at sunrise

I thought that if I stayed on the road and touched pavement and ocean, I would eventually find and connect with my center and the result would be a prolific period of writing. If only I could arrive at the right place at the right time, then this inner connection would be fulfilled and so would my writer self.

Wounded Knee. Sedona. Edisto Island. Glastonbury, both the UK and Connecticut. Ozark Mountains. Stroud, Oklahoma. Cocoa Beach. Fairfield. Shipyard Plantation.  And most recently, Camp McClellan.

No such luck. My writing center was not and could not be found in these locations. Perhaps an occasional poem or two or a novel segment would emerge, but not the inspired, sustained daily practice I envisioned and sought and sought and sought.  

Then sadhana found me.

 While sadhana may have a variety of definitions, my sadhana was found in the writings and teachings of kundalini yoga, especially the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, and the parallels to my writing practice were too great to ignore. It was what I had sought and to see it and read it articulated so clearly, was a great relief. I cashed in my hotel points and hung up the miles to focus on sadhana as my writing practice.  

In her book on kundalini yoga, Shakti Parwha Kaur said, “During what are called the “ambrosial hours” (the two and a half hours just before sunrise), when the sun is at a sixty-degree angle to the Earth, the energy you put into your sadhana gets maximum results. Your world is quieter. It’s easier to meditate and concentrate before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.”  

My sadhana is found in the early morning and the GPS coordinates do not matter. By 9 a.m. CDT it has usually departed and I move on to the rest of my day knowing the next early morning will be there. Sustained. Inspired. To begin again.

Alone in the early morning is where I finally found my writing center and it is my sadhana. 

“Commit to meet your higher Self each morning and your decisions and your life become original; your life will bear the signature of your soul; your radiance will express the meaningful intimacy of the Infinite in each moment. Immerse yourself in the joy of victory that comes from starting each day with a powerful sadhana and every challenge becomes opportunity.” ~Sadhana Guidelines

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