Readers share their responses to the recently released spiritual memoir, THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE.
Author B.R. Bodengraven served as the Service Leader at the Jan. 6, 2019, North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church service in Danvers, Mass.. She spoke on the theme of writing as a form of resistance to 21st-century negative messaging, online manipulation, and monetizing of our lives.
The idea, she said, is to become more spiritually resilient by making time for what she called "practices of resistance," such as daily meditation, writing, and personal reflection. Where best to conduct these types of activities? Inside the mantle of nature, of course -- preferably within one's own sacred shed or other place of natural solitude.
As part of the service, Bodengraven read excerpts from her spiritual memoir, THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE, and invited the congregation to write in response to writing prompts she devised from those excerpts.
Members of The Crossing, a unique Christian community comprised mainly of young adults from the Episcopal tradition, gathered to explore the art of writing as a spiritual practice with retreat leader and memoirist B.R. Bodengraven.
The event was structured with alternating readings and writing prompts from Bodengraven's THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE. Both readings and prompts were chosen with an eye toward encouraging participants to mine their own lives for evidence of the Sacred. Following the writing exercises, the group gathered for community readings and reflection.The event was held at the Lindsey Chapel of Boston's Emmanuel Church on Newbury Street. The Crossing community is associated with Boston's St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral.
Spiritual memoir author B.R.Bodengraven conducted a "Writing as a Spiritual Practice" interactive workshop to a sold-out crowd at Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center in North Andover, Mass.
"Mining your life for interactions with the Sacred is in stark contrast to having your life mined by others for your online spending patterns, shopping habits, web search history, and GPS location -- all so you can be 'monetized' and marketed to," said Bodengraven in her workshop introduction. " Living intentionally and unearthing the Divine buried deep inside yourself is a counter-cultural activity."
Bodengraven asserts that reflecting on and writing about one's interior life is a holy task; unearthing and bringing this rich spiritual life forward through the written word transforms everyday experience and encourages resilience.
Bodengraven's spiritual memoir rooted in the nature of Boston's North Shore took center stage at Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Evening Lecture Series in Newburyport, Mass. During her Valentine's Day presentation, the author shared with the audience that her book, THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE, is, in fact, her "love letter to the universe."
Following her presentation and book reading, Bodengraven invited all present to take themselves away into the beauty of nature and write their own love letters to the universe. "It's not necessary to build your own shed in a remote location," she said. "Simply call up Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield to reserve their Inner Most House for the weekend."
B.R. Bodengraven was invited to be the feature speaker at the Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary's annual staff luncheon as well as at its annual Volunteer Open House. The Sanctuary, located in Topsfield, Mass., serves as one of Bodengraven's portals into the natural world and features prominently in her recently released spiritual memoir THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE.
Bodengraven's presentations emphasized the importance of developing a reverential relationship for and with Creation, understanding that the cosmos was not just created for human use, that all aspects of Creation have intrinsic value. Her book speaks to this overriding concern through journal-like vignettes and personal reflections resulting from daily interactions with nature and the process of building her shed.
Surrounded by the lush and historic Wakulla Springs State Park on the Florida Panhandle, author B.R. Bodengraven and fellow memoirist Charlene Marie Laure Vincent conducted a two-day "Writing Your Sacred Story" retreat in late January. The authors draw heavily from their books ( THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE and CHANCES ARE...) in conducting their combination retreat/workshop. Through a series of readings, writing prompts, and group discussions, participants learn to write about their personal epiphanies and ensuing growth and transformations -- all of which serve as the basis for their sacred life stories.
Epworth-by-the-Sea Retreat and Conference Center, St. Simons Island, Georgia, hosted the author of THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE as well as fellow spiritual memoirist Charlene Marie Laure Vincent to facilitate a weekend retreat called "Writing Your Sacred Story."
THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE took center stage at a beautiful 200-year-old barn/public venue in Topsfield, Mass. Musicians and artisans were on hand to entertain book launch attendees!
In early October, B.R. Bodengraven traveled to Kansas to conduct a spiritual writing workshop at the Sastun Center for Integrative Healthcare in Overland Park and deliver two book presentations and readings -- one for the Women's Conference at DeSoto United Methodist Church in DeSoto, Kansas, and another for masters and doctoral students of psychology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
B.R. Bodengraven addressed the Interfaith Ministers of New England at the organization's annual spring retreat held at Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center in North Andover, Mass. Bodengraven's presentation focused on her recently released spiritual memoir, THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE, as reflective of Celtic Christianity and eco-spirituality. Following her address, the author facilitated an expressive writing session based on readings from her book.
B.R. Bodengraven presented a book display and featured illustrations from THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE to attendees at the Topsfield, Mass., annual celebration of spring.
B.R. Bodengraven read from THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE and discussed spiritual memoir as an ancient literary genre.