For more than twenty years Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering on writers with her books and workshops. In her groundbreaking first book, she brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice —"it is backed by two thousand years of studying the mind."
This new edition, which marks almost twenty years since the original book's publication, includes a new preface in which Goldberg expresses her trademark enthusiasm for writing practice, as well as a depth of appreciation for the process that has come with time and experience. Also included is an interview with the author in which she reflects on the relationship between Zen sitting practice and writing, the importance of place, and the power of memory.
Natalie Goldberg's love of writing stems from her desire to connect with herself. In this audio version of her bestselling Writing Down the Bones, this is a potentially self-absorbed wish, especially considering that the author reads from her own work and interjects morsels of wisdom gleaned from a long writing career, which includes books on writing (Wild Mind, Long Quiet Highway), creativity (The Well of Creativity), and art (Living Color). However, Goldberg's relaxed narration and Everywoman sensibility help her avoid this danger. The classroom-like reading gives listeners a growing acquaintance with Goldberg and a friendly assurance of her methods as she quips: "you can hear my New York Jewish voice nagging you." The recording also includes an interview with Goldberg, focusing on her use of Zen meditation in writing and offering additional insight into her own rule-free writing habits. (Running time: 9 hours, 6 cassettes) --Bryony Angell