Creativity isn’t confined to just our heads. For Lama Rod Owens, body concentration is a prompt that helps him write poetry and tap into instinct. 

In the following video Owens, who is a teacher in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, guides you through a physical writing exercise that draws on meditation and mindfulness of the body to “generate verse” and perhaps find an underlying narrative that you haven’t explored before.  

You’ll also hear Owens read two poems he wrote while on a three-year retreat at Kagyu Thubten Choling Monastery in upstate New York, and he’ll talk about the important role of poetry in his own life and practice.

“One of the things that really motivates me as an artist, as a poet, is this challenge and struggle to bring awareness to things that are so often considered ordinary or underwhelming,” Owens says in the video. “I think it is my personal effort to make the world more relevant . . . my poetry is an extension of that work.”

Learn more about Lama Rod in this Harvard interview


Watch more Tricycle Poetry Month videos:

Week 1: Zen, Poetry, and Not Thinking with Dick Allen

Week 2: Using Poetry to Work Through Difficult Emotions with Teresa Mei Chuc

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