My Writer’s Den
by Hwa Rogers
My writer’s Den is a hut in the forest — in a forest clearing — not unlike my kuti in the rainforest in Thailand but bigger and more spacious.
It’s also up on stilts, so there’s a cool place underneath.
It’s in the mountains and everywhere there are birds singing joyfully and forest animals coming and going.
It’s simple but comfortable. I have a writing desk, a place to sit on my zafu and meditate, a large window to gaze out of as well as a skylight, so when I lie down I can look up at the moon.
Feeling of the Taoist approach of Heaven, Earth and Man — Tian, Di, Ren.
There’s also a special window, like a bird hide, so viewing can be secret.
Sometimes the weather is clear and bright, other times it’s cloudy, overcast and grey but always beautiful, uplifting and supportive, nurturing. I feel at home.
I’m alone, but never alone; how can one be isolated when fully part of the natural world.
I also have a space to paint when I feel so moved, but increasingly I sit to write as feelings, memories, exquisite ways of understanding emerge, become accessible. Childhood experiences meshing into a more adult understanding; memories surfacing, clamouring for a deeper acceptance — seeing more clearly with each insight arising.
Seeing the importance to me over and over of The Left Home Life — a real time to nurture one’s own being as well as share — mostly denied, impossible in worldly life.
How worldly life has always left me wondering “ Is this all there is?” Such relief when I found there was more, but then needing to go back in to see/ experience/understand more of the “other side” again, to deepen the knowing of the way things are.
Some days I choose to do almost nothing- only walk on my chankamana (walking path), just being; it’s enough — hardly eat.
©Hwa Rogers 2022
Hwa Rogers is an artist and writer who has spent many years in Asia as both a buddhist nun and English teacher. Her book The Left Home Life about teaching young monks in a monastery in China will soon be published. She is currently working on a follow up book, A Foot in Both Worlds.
Hwa attended our Easter Writer’s Retreat at Namgyalgar in the Glass House Mts, Queensland.
The piece above was written in response to the preamble in our guided meditations, where I ask the writers to imagine their perfect writer’s den.
Jan Cornall leads international writers retreats and workshops. See pics here.