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Poetry and Mindfulness

Poetry and Mindfulness

Yesterday, I went to the Berkeley Poetry Festival.  Several writers performed their pieces in front of an audience in an auditorium at Berkeley City College.  In graduate school, I studied Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry, though I have let my poetry writing slide a bit lately.  I have been doing a great deal of journalistic writing – which I love – but yesterday reminded me of the importance of having an artistic outlet in my life, as well.

Poetry has always felt to me like an almost direct expression of consciousness.  Like consciousness itself in written form.  It doesn’t have to have a narrative – it doesn’t even have to be “about” anything, per se.  Poetry, much like painting, has the capacity to capture one moment of thought or feeling.  Thought some poems are narrative, poetry is, in my opinion, is more about emotion than story.

For these reasons, poetry is my favorite mode of artistic expression.  I have often found that, when writing poetry, I experience a mindset similar to that of meditation. Particularly when I write stream-of-consciousness style poems, in which I simply allow the words to come without analyzing what I’m writing.

Most forms of creative expression require the artist to deeply experience and be sensitive to his or her emotional and mental states.  As such, creative endeavors are excellent tools in helping us to achieve a higher degree of awareness and mindfulness.


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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


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3:55AM PDT on Apr 30, 2013


10:38AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

wonderful awareness

5:00AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

very interesting, thank you

12:16PM PDT on Apr 24, 2013


9:35AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

Smiling is infectious you catch it like the flu When someone smiled at me today I started smiling too,I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin,When he smiled I realised I'd passed it on to him, I thought about that smile,then I realised it's worth,a single smile just like mine could travel round the earth, So if you feel a smile begin don't leave it undetected Let's start an epidemic quick and get the world infected ! Not highbrow, but nice sentiment from a friend.

9:13AM PST on Jan 13, 2013


9:02AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

thanks for sharing

2:43PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

We can all benefit from creating or doing things that help us to arrive at a higher state of awareness and mindfulness..... powerful inner insight and inspiration can bubble up from deep within...... Adventures in consciousness are always amazing.....

6:35PM PDT on May 9, 2012


11:44PM PDT on May 8, 2012

I have written in rhyme and prose since I was a 2nd grader. It's a great way to express your feelings.

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