Great Matters: Zen, Literature, and the Southwest Literature, Writing, and Mindfulness
Imagine a day of reading haiku masters Basho and Issa, or Romantic poets Wordsworth and Shelley, out in the breathtaking natural landscape of Northern New Mexico, wandering the mountains and arroyos as we wander the lines on the page together, becoming full of the richness, mystery, and beauty of both. How did these poets distill their contact with the natural world into words? What did words, and nature, mean to them? How did their spiritual lives feed into or grow out of this contact with nature and language? With these and other questions in mind, we too will write, sometimes practicing with the imagistic brevity of the haiku, sometimes with the less constrained but no less powerful lyric or sonnet of the Romantics, and sometimes with freer forms like memoir or journaling. Other days will find us exploring the literature of Zen Buddhism and mindfulness or hearing from guest speakers. At the heart of this course is a curiosity about the intersection between nature, language, and contemplation, of ourselves, of words, of the world, and of the interplay between them.
Adam Lowenstein teaches English at Santa Fe Prep, having taught for the past 18 years both in independent schools and higher education. He received his PhD in English from UCLA in 2011, writing about 19th-century American author Henry James’s efforts to elevate the craft of fiction to an art form. In 2016, on the eve…