What Does the Buddha Write About?

When she writes, what does the Buddha write about?

We know the Buddha encourages us to experience the world strictly as it is, without the overlay of our story. But writing is all about story, isn’t it? Isn’t that what makes it engaging?

We know the Buddha tells us to focus on the moment. That is how intimacy is born. But writing’s intimacy is born not of the moment, but by guiding us through beginning, middle, and end.

So, if you’re a Buddha, why write?

The Buddha tells us to meditate to feel the here-and-now. To see thoughts arise and disappear, like in a dream. To watch them come and go without grasping on. Experience the moment without the need to understand it. So that it leaves a question behind.

Like how good writing works.

Writing creates intimacy between writer and reader through the shared experience of the story. By the writer tapping into personal truths, she provides the reader a glimpse into the universal.

Like in meditation.

Writing is a string of linked sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. Each raises a question, which the next sentence, paragraph, or chapter hints at answering. By posing its own new question. Each solution a new challenge. That’s how the stakes get raised. That’s how insight and confusion combine into one.

Like in meditation.

The more your writing makes a reader question, the more likely the reader reads more. Engagement comes not from telling, but from asking. Good marriages come not because of the ease partners give one another, but because of the demands they place. All stories are a swirl of uneasiness. Where is this going? Why did that happen? What does this mean? A mix-up of intimacy that twirls the writer, story, and reader into one experience. Three unique-nesses blended together.

Is this helpful? Or just blathering? Either way, sit with it. Read a passage, a poem, a haiku—whatever. Then sit in meditation. Do not dwell on what you read. Instead, see what arises from your experience of having read it.

All good writing takes readers to unique understandings. What’s the first rule we writers are taught? That the character must change. Change is inevitable. Because that’s what the reader wants. The shared intimacy of realization. The connection it gives.

Change is intimacy.

Like in meditation.

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