Imagination and Justice: Meditation and Free-Writing Circles
with Lisa Freedman
An activist’s faith can never be unquestioning … can never oversimplify, as believers and activists are often tempted or pressured to do. Adrienne Rich
These freewriting circles are intimate and expansive. We hold space for the complexities of our own and each other’s stories. Each time we meet, we start with a few minutes of silence followed by a short guided free-write and share to check in. Then Lisa guides us in two more rounds of meditation, free-writing, and sharing. The sharing is always optional.
Holding the silence together is a bonding activity, and as the weeks unfold, we connect more deeply through our writings. This is how we help each other take writerly risks to reveal our experiences and imaginings. And this is how we support each other as we dare to share our voices and visions with the world.
Meditators, writers, dreamers, and activists at every level of experience are welcome. All genres are welcome. These circles are a place to write or re-write material that dwells (or wants to dwell) in the realm where the personal is political. You may already be working on a relevant project, or you may be starting a new one. Either way, you and your stories, your writings are welcome here.
Participants receive the prompts and background materials each week. These come from many sources, including Ada Limon, Ross Gay, adrienne maree brown, and Ilya Kaminsky.While this is a generative, free-writing circle, participants are often surprised by the power of the words that land on the page. Those of us in the first Imagination & Justice Circle, which took place in the fall of 2021, are delighted to have our writings (with just a little bit of editing) collected by the IWWG in the anthology, Roots/Trunk/Sky, which you can read here: Read Anthology
Lisa Freedman is a writer, activist, and New School Writing Program faculty member. She founded Breathe/Read/Write as a contemplative response to the chaos of the U.S. elections in 2016. BRW combines meditation and freewriting so participants clear the static and astound themselves with the flow and clarity that comes when they set their pens on the page. As a practitioner of Shambhala Buddhism, Lisa knows how inspiring it can be to share the open space of silence. And she has a knack for choosing free-write prompts that connect writers to what they need to say. Lisa leads BRW circles for The NY Zendo, the International Women’s Writing Guild, The Poetry Barn, and the New School’s Social Justice Hub, among others. Her work with BRW earned a 2021 NYFA Community Artists Corp Grant.
Lisa holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School. Her creative work can be found in these anthologies: Resist Much, Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance; Literature from the First 20 Years of Art & Understanding; and Grabbing the Apple: An Anthology of New York Women Poets. Her poetry and prose also appear in Satya Magazine, POZ, Poetry Ration, and others. For more info, see the Breathe/Read/Write Eventbrite page and Lisa’s Writing Coach website.