The Dharma of Writing and Meditation Workshop

Saturday, January 31, 2015

9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Nashville Friend’s House

Led by Lisa Ernst


Please join us for a day of contemplative writing and meditation practice. We will cultivate writing inspiration through meditation and exercises that help us open our hearts to the truth of what we most want to express. These practices will also help us to communicate more eloquently from our authentic voice, both in written and verbal form. In addition, we will have an opportunity to share our writing in an atmosphere of compassionate support.

This workshop is suitable to beginning and experienced writers and meditators. Cost is $75 – $100, sliding scale. Please pay at the highest level you can afford so we can accommodate those who need reduced fee, scholarship spots. For a scholarship spot, please inquire to the email below. You can pay by Paypal here using the donate button. If paying by check, please make it out to One Dharma Nashville and send to 12 South Dharma Center, c/o One Dharma Nashville, 2301 12th Avenue South, Suite 202, Nashville, TN 37204.  Please include your email address.

Lisa has been meditating for 25 years in both the Zen and Vipassana traditions. She is the founder and guiding teacher of One Dharma Nashville. In addition to regularly teaching meditation classes and retreats, Lisa has written numerous articles for magazines, newspapers and newsletters. She was the technical editor for the current edition of Meditation for Dummies. Her blog include essays and poetry: For questions, email

The Undying

This human form repeats itself

born again and again in numbers beyond count.

A pineapple has needles and fronds and is juicy sweet inside,

how many have graced this world since the first one dropped to the ground?

Trees, flowers, insects and animals repeat themselves

endless reproduction, yet a mystery at the core.

Science tells us how, but can’t get to the rood of why.

Its a a gift of our life

this endless repetition of what we need to live.

Without the trees, the flowers, the bees and the fruit, we die.

Yet the sun in our world doesn’t repeat itself

it doesn’t birth new suns — all we need is one.

What is always here, with us now


what doesn’t repeat itself?

– Lisa Ernst

Only the Moon

The moonlight through the trees

enters the room where I sit

and casts shadows across the floor.

It beckons me to be still,

and love just what it gives

in its fleeting time before dawn.

In this moment, still and silent

only the moon

can speak to my heart,

reveal my true nature

without even a word.

– Lisa Ernst

The Silent Well

 This morning I fell

into a well of silence.

Not a push, not a jump,

just a breath and an instant

and all is still

like a snow covered morning

at first light.

Before the mind stirs

Before the heart wants

something else

this silence

enters me, washes me away

into the joy of this

undying moment.

– Lisa Ernst

A Sliver of Moonlight

A sliver of moonlight

against a slate sky

wakes me up

offers no words

but pierces my heart

breaks it open,

tears, silence.

A screech owl

penetrates the stillness.

Then another,

back and forth they shriek

then silence, tears dry.

The moon fades

as dawn lights the sky.

Awareness is Your Refuge

Especially In honor of the people who will take refuge and the five precepts this Thursday, December 20, at One Dharma Nashville, here is a lovely reflection on refuge by Ajahn Sumedho:

Awareness is Your Refuge

Awareness of the changingness of feelings,

of attitudes,  of moods,  of material change

and emotional change:

Stay with that, because it’s a refuge that is


It’s not something that changes.

It’s a refuge you can trust in.

This refuge is not something that you create.

It’s not a creation. It’s not an ideal.

It’s very practical and very simple, but

easily overlooked or not noticed.

When you’re mindful,

you’re beginning to notice,

it’s like this.