Saturday, January 19, 2013

"I Write: Being & Writing" Featured in Transcendental Meditation Online Magazine

"Here, have a copy of my new book, I Write: Being and Writing," I told Dr. Richard Beall, the head of Maharishi School, where I teach.

This was several months ago when he was traveling out of the country, so I knew he'd have some air travel time. Dr. Beall is our hands-on advocate of Consciousness-Based education, and his hands are always filled with a million things to do. I shamelessly took advantage of the "opportunity" that he'd be flying across the Atlantic Ocean and dropped off a copy of the book the night before he left town.

The result of my bold little gift was that the book is the focus-point of Dr. Beall's recent article in Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation Magazine. Entitled "Waking the Inner Writer: Consciousness in the Classroom," the article focuses on Maharishi School's innovative approach to education, an approach that emphasizes not just course content but also the consciousness of the learner.

"Tom Kepler is an English-Language Arts teacher at Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa, who challenges us to look beyond the words to realize the significance of the writer within," Dr. Beall states at the beginning of his article.

That is indeed one of the key concepts of the book, that writing is an intimate and accurate reflection of the consciousness of the writer, and that as writers we must consider not only the word but also the source of the word. I think it no exaggeration to refer to the words of the Bible in John 1:1. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Words are the manifestation of what lies within us, and if we can only clean that channel from which consciousness flows to thought and thought to word, then our writing will be not only more uniquely our own but also more completely cosmic.

“As writers, we have to consider the subject, the ‘I.’ If I am dull or impatient or distracted or unhealthy, what I write will lack my full potential. Like an athlete, I must be fully engaged, alert. I must continue to grow and expand as a person,” is one way I express this in I Write: Being and Writing.

The book is divided into three parts: the writer, the process of writing, and the written word. In each section, I address the relationship between the techniques of writing and the awareness that we bring to writing. Most often writing about writing only focuses on processes or how "how to get into print." I wanted to balance that emphasis with a consideration of writing as a reflection of who we are.

Even for the most mono-focused, obsessed writer, writing is, at the end of the day, just one aspect of our lives. Who we are is the big issue--and is the basis of what we write.

At Maharishi School, I am happy to say, there is a healthy balance of both providing knowledge and expanding the ability to know. In terms of writing, Dr. Beall describes this as the process "to construct a pipeline between the inner reservoir of creativity and intelligence, and the writing process." I send my thank-you's to Maharishi School, to Dr. Beall, and to the students, the parents of those students, and to the faculty and staff with whom I interact every day. I may be the teacher, but I learn something and grow as a person every day at Maharishi School.

As writers, all of us have a new paradigm to follow, not just to increase our "hand-eye" coordination to more quickly type out more words, but also to improve our  "mind-word" coordination in order to write with greater depth and power. We should all follow in the footsteps of Maharishi School's children and start each day of writing with the purity of a clean slate.

Copyright 2013 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved


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