The Dharma of Poetry: How Poems Guide Us Toward Happiness

Spirituality is the heart and soul of poetry. Poetry is a rich reserve of spiritual energy.

The root of "spirit" is the Latin verb "spirare," to breathe. Whatever lives on the breath, then, must have its spiritual dimension-- especially all poems. We read poems with the breath, with our voice, and with our bodies. The fullness of spiritual knowledge lies outside words, and yet words can call us to it. Poetry is the spiritual joining the physical: poems resonate in our bodies and voices, as well as in our imagination, heart, and mind. Poems help us process emotions, connect to common humanity, find meaning, notice with more awareness, and see ourselves and the world in a new light.

How does poetry support a spiritual practice? We will look at poetry and Buddhism historically, read and analyze poems together, and talk about how to read a poem as a spiritual experience. We will do a meditation practice together as well as a poetry reading practice. No prior experience with poetry (or dharma) is necessary.

At the end of the workshop, you’ll receive a PDF with all the poems we talked about, and some beautiful extra ones as well.

Look forward to celebrating National Poetry Day together in this way.