July 9, 2014
Writing from the Senses, at Green Gulch Farm

Join author Laura Deutsch and Zen teacher Reirin Gumbel on August 2 for a workshop where fresh writing can grow out of the inspiring natural and contemplative setting. Using Green Gulch as a canvas, delightful and unusual sensory prompts will help writers tap into their best material, enriching memory and story with imagery and detail. Sessions will take place in the garden and zendo in addition to the Wheelwright Center.

Published by Shambhala (2014)

Published by Shambhala (2014)

The group will practice ways to be aware of all the senses and how to write about them in their authentic voices. Laura highlights the wonder of such practice in a passage from her book Writing from the Senses, from the section on smell:

Take a whiff of Vicks VapoRub and suddenly you’re writing about that winter night when your mother tenderly applied a compress to your four-year-old chest. Inhale fresh lavender and you’re transported to the outdoor market in Arles, writing about sachets in your lingerie drawer that, fifteen years later, still smell of Provence.

We see when there is light, taste when something crosses our tongue, hear when sounds are audible. But we smell with every breath.

Smell bypasses thought, jumping from the cerebral cortex straight to the limbic system, an ancient section of our brain. It can snap us to another time and place, and excavate memories and emotions long forgotten.


The workshop Writing from the Senses is at Green Gulch Farm on Saturday, August 2 (follow the link for details and registration). For more about Laura and her writing, visit her website at lauradeutsch.com.

Laura Deutsch; Reirin Gumbel

Laura Deutsch; Reirin Gumbel

Joshua Sandeman
Arts & Culture, Features, Zen Practice

Medicine and the Dharma

Joshua Sandeman, a former SFZC resident, is a Nurse Practitioner based in Salem, Oregon. “Medicine puts me face-to-face with all manner of human suffering and it can be a challenge to take care of feelings of burnout, detachment, and despair."