Loading Events

« All Courses

Writing the Buddhist Essay

Online Program
Dates: Jan 10, 2023 - Feb 14, 2023

Instructor(s): Jess Row

Course Navigation

Course Description:

What is a Buddhist essay? It's an exploration, in prose, of a theme or concept in Buddhist life from a distinct personal perspective. While not necessarily autobiographical, a Buddhist essay is a piece of writing that speaks from the heart, manifesting curiosity, meditative insight, hard-earned wisdom from a lifetime of practice, righteous anger—the whole kaleidoscope of human emotions, grounded in an understanding of the Buddhadharma. For the purposes of our workshop, we'll think of the Buddhist essay as relatively short—a text that can be read in one sitting. 

We'll begin by reading a selection of classic and contemporary essays, including selections from Dogen's Shobogenzo and Sosan Taesa's Mirror of Zen, Myoe's "Letter to an Island," Robert Aitken's "Eating the Blame," Jane Hirshfield's "Poetry and the Threshold Life," Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's "Pedagogy of Buddhism," and angel Kyodo william's "Your Liberation is on the Line." While we read, we will work on short and playful exercises to generate ideas for our own essays, and then by the third week we will begin sharing short drafts with one another in small groups. By the end of our six-weeks together, you should have a complete first draft of at least one essay.

Online Schedule:
This program is hosted on Zoom and closed captions are available. Our intention is to build sangha and provide meaningful virtual interactions with each other and with teachers in our online programs. We encourage you to participate as fully as you are able. You can check the time of the group sessions in your timezone here: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com. The schedule of Zoom meetings for this program (shown in US Eastern Time) is as follows:

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 7:00pm – 9:00pm EST 

Meeting Dates: January 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14

Please note that sessions will be recorded and will be available within 48 hours of each session for courses and 48 hours of the final session for retreats and events. These recordings are not downloadable. Retreat recordings will be available for 2 weeks and event recordings will be available indefinitely.

Cancellation Policy:
Registration fees for online programs are nonrefundable after the program start date. Cancellations prior to the program start date will incur a $25 cancellation fee. For intensive, application-based programs, the cancellation fee is $50.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.