British Columbia author Ruth Ozeki's majestic 2013 novel A Tale for the Time Being imagined a global perspective on the Northwest, pinning together the Fukushima meltdown with our coastline on the other side of the world. She is a vocal supporter of the amazing Hedgebrook writers residency for women. And she's a natural teacher who has guided new generations to the pleasures and challenges of writing fiction.
Ozeki is also a Zen Buddhist priest-ordained in 2010-and that informs her work more than any single region or theme ever could. Zen Buddhism enables Ozeki to span the divide of time in her work in novel ways, exploding a moment out into an eternity and back again.
This Friday at Washington Hall, Ozeki will speak on the theme "Meditation for Writers," and it is a talk that only she could give. She'll help writers gain the focus that modern technology seeks to steal from them, and the perspective that only a true sense of timelessness can offer.
Here's a video of Ozeki talking on the topic of meditation:
So, look. Maybe you're thinking this is religious bunk, or just feel-good hooey. If so, that's okay. This isn't for you. But if you can't get through a paragraph without checking Twitter lately, I'd advise you to attend this talk. As anyone who's had a burst of inspiration in a shower can tell you, sometimes the very best thing you can focus on in pursuit of fiction is nothing at all.
Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, http://washingtonhall.org, 8 pm, $15.